Frequent Bathroom Remodeling Questions

This list of frequently asked bathroom remodeling questions was put together to help you in your discovery phase of your bathroom planning.

There are hundreds of decisions to be made during your bathroom remodel design phase. Our focus is to make this process as painless as possible for all of our design and renovation clients.

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How do we get started with planning my bathroom remodel?

  • We start the process with the design phase where we will get to know your wishes and overall home style. From there we will help you navigate through the multitude of details involved with updating your bathroom's floor plan, cabinet style, countertop options, tile flooring options, lighting ideas and much more.

How long will it take to remodel my bathroom?

  • It will depend on the details of your design and the availability of materials and fixtures. Most bathroom remodels include removing the tub and/or shower plus replacing the toilet, vanity and flooring. If the bathroom remodel is more extensive, the entire room may be rearranged and/or enlarged involving concrete floor cutting, removing and rearranging walls and the ceiling.

Can my shower be re-tiled without redoing the bathroom floor?

  • We have successfully replaced tubs and showers without redoing the bathroom flooring. Tubs can be challenging if the edge of the bathtub has a unique shape. The best situation is when the homeowner has extra tiles from the last bathroom remodel to repair the floor as necessary after the tub replacement.

Is it necessary to have a bathroom exhaust fan?

  • The building code does not require exhaust fans if the bathroom has a window. We recommend that every bathroom should have an exhaust fan to remove humidity from the bathroom during baths and showers. Humidity that builds up in your bathroom will damage everything it comes into contact with. Many homeowners will notice issues with the walls, ceiling, and fixtures only after it has reached the point of needing repair. The humidity will be removed if you run your fan during your bath or shower. You will notice the mirror will not fog over, nor will anything else in the bathroom suffer from the moisture.

How can I avoid forgetting to turn off the bathroom exhaust fan?

The loss of electricity and conditioned air that you paid to cool or heat can be frustrating. The simplest cure is to install a timer switch. There are various options. The best ones will have several buttons for time options from a few minutes to half an hour. Be sure that the timer switch is rated for twenty amps in order to match your exhaust fan's requirements.

How do I choose a new toilet?

  • Toilets can be challenging to pick out for your new bathroom. They are not like cars that can be taken for a test ride. In fact, most big box stores have them displayed on high shelves making it even harder to decide. Go online to narrow your choices and then visit a plumbing showroom. Most showrooms will have toilets where you can inspect them and they will also have experts on staff to explain your options.

What are WaterSense bathroom fixtures?

  • The EPA set up the WaterSense program to help preserve the nations water supply. WaterSense fixtures have been third-party verified to perform as well or better than conventional bathroom and kitchen fixtures because they use 20% less water. These fixtures are the state-of-the-art in water features. We recommend that you consider WaterSense fixtures for your bathroom remodel. Click Here to learn more about WaterSense.

How long does a double sink vanity need to be?

  • A double sink bathroom vanity cabinet needs to be at least five feet wide to provide enough space for two people to use the area at one time.

What is frame-less glass?

  • Frame-less glass refers to the various shower enclosures made with either 3/8" or 1/2" glass. This thicker glass is tempered and safe for bathroom use. It is strong enough to be used to make dividing walls and doors. The glass comes in many variations to satisfy different design options. Frame-less glass shower doors and enclosures are customizable, enabling you total freedom in your bathroom shower designs.

What type of tile can I use on my bathroom floor and shower?

  • Traditionally, showers were built with ceramic tile made specifically for bathrooms and kitchen back-splashes. Today the choices are limitless. Bathrooms are being remodeled using numerous types of stone, ceramic, porcelain, metal and glass tile depending on the design’s style.

What does it take to rearrange my bathroom floor plan?

  • The original layout in some bathrooms is so bad that the only cure is to start over with a new floor plan. Before demolishing the bathroom that has irritated you for so long, be sure to work out all the details of your new layout and design. A bathroom layout needs to be a balanced mix of practicality and style. Arranging the features so that you are showing off a beautiful shower or a vanity with it's unique faucets, countertops and mirror will create both style and function. Be sure to consider plumbing accessibility if budgeting is a concern. Arranging your new bathroom floor plan to require minimum plumbing changes will have a positive effect on the cost of your bathroom remodel.

Why does my shower smell?

  • If your shower has a odor, it may be a water leak causing a mold problem. If it is leaking, there is no way to fix it other than to tear out and replace the shower. Hire a professional to inspect your shower to determine the extent of the problem and take care of it as soon as possible. Mold can be a serious health risk for you and your family and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Mold spreads easily when it is disturbed. Don’t attempt to deal with it yourself.

Why is a tile shower expensive to replace?

  • Most people are surprised to find out how much it costs to replace a bathroom shower. The only thing more expensive is to replace a poorly installed shower that has failed shortly after it was installed. Before the shower tile is installed, there is a major amount of work that goes into ensuring that the new shower will stay watertight and drain properly for many years. Taking shortcuts, using inferior materials or workmanship will only lead to disaster and more costs down the road.

Is it better to replace or refinish my bathtub and shower tile?

  • Refinishing a bathroom tub and/or shower can be a good option in some situations. Professionally done, it can add years to the life of your tub or shower without the major expense of removal or replacement. Your bathtub must not have rust in it if you expect the new finish to last for an extended time. Minor scuffs or cracks in the existing tub or tile can be repaired prior to refinishing so that your updated bathroom features will look like new. The grout lines will be refinished along with the tile. Everything will be monochromatic. If you have larger grout lines, this may look artificial.

Is it necessary to replace the shower valve for my new shower?

  • Technically it’s not necessary, but it is considered the wise thing to do considering the expense of creating the new bathroom shower and what it would take to replace the old shower head after the new shower is installed. There may be occasions when the existing shower valves were built so that they could have their internal components replaced without starting over. This would be the exception to the rule.


As a full-service design, build, remodeling contractor, let Homework Remodels update your home's bathrooms or create an entirely new bathroom or master suite for you.

For additional remodel questions email Steve at:

We will be glad to answer any questions or come to your home to answer questions and preview your upcoming remodeling project.

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How can I avoid forgetting to turn off the bathroom exhaust fan?