7 things you should never DIY during a
bathroom remodel

Bathroom remodels are increasingly popular in American homes. Naperville is among those cities where the housing market has seen consistent growth. Hence, homeowners need to figure out ways to improve their property’s value and functionality. 

According to a 2021 study by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), bathroom renovations topped the list of most requested home projects, with a staggering 78% of homeowners indicating interest. This surge in bathroom remodels might lead many to consider DIY approaches to save costs, especially since living costs in Naperville are 41% higher than the U.S. average! That’s a lot! 

However, while some tasks might be suitable for the average homeowner, there are particular aspects of bathroom renovation where professional expertise is required and recommended. Any major mistakes can lead to greater repair costs. However, before we discuss the projects that you should definitely let a professional handle, here’s a piece of advice:

Find the appropriate professional 

Now that you’ve decided to engage a professional, it’s essential to recognize that not all professionals might work according to your expected standards. A city like Naperville, with its unique weather patterns ranging from cold, harsh winters to warm and humid summers, requires specific considerations in terms of materials and techniques. Ensuring water resistance, appropriate insulation, and durability against temperature fluctuations can be challenging.  Therefore, selecting the right Naperville bathroom remodeling company is crucial.  Their expertise can make the difference between a remodel that withstands the test of time and one that falters within a few years.

Things you should never try as a DIY project! 

  • Plumbing Alterations:

Plumbing is the circulatory system of any bathroom, channeling water in and directing waste out. DIY alterations in this domain can bring many challenges. First, the modern plumbing system is a delicate balance of pressure, ensuring that freshwater efficiently flows while waste is adequately flushed away. A minor error, like incorrectly joining pipes or misjudging pipe sizes, can cause imbalances that may manifest as weak water flow or recurring clogs.

Secondly, improper sealing at the joints can lead to leaks. While a visible leak is a nuisance, a hidden leak can be catastrophic, quietly causing wood rot, foundation issues, or mold growth in concealed spaces. Professionals use specific tools, like cameras, to inspect inner pipe conditions, ensuring there are no blockages or vulnerabilities.

Finally, plumbing work must adhere to local building codes, which dictate standards for material use, pipe placement, and waste disposal. Non-compliance can not only lead to inefficiencies but also legal complications and fines.

  • Electrical Work:

The dangers of DIY electrical work in a bathroom cannot be overstated. Water, frequently present in bathrooms, is an excellent conductor of electricity. An exposed wire, an ill-fitted switch, or a non-isolated connection can instantly become a life-threatening hazard. Apart from electrocution, faulty wiring can strain the home’s electrical system, causing circuit breakers to trip frequently or even result in electrical fires.

Besides safety, there’s the issue of efficiency and functionality. Modern bathrooms often have intricate lighting schemes, heated floors, or advanced fixtures like smart mirrors. Installing these without a thorough knowledge of electrical load balances, grounding, and circuitry can lead to inefficient operation or frequent malfunctions. Professionals ensure that every installation is not just safe but optimized for the best performance.

  • Tiling:

Tiling, while apparently a simple task, is a blend of art and science. The aesthetic aspect involves ensuring tiles are cut perfectly to fit corners, edges, or around fixtures. Even a slight misalignment can disrupt the visual harmony, leading to an amateur finish. On the scientific front, tiles must be laid on an even, clean surface. Imperfections or debris can cause tiles to sit unevenly or become loose over time.

Grout, the material filling the gaps between tiles, plays a dual role: it adds to the visual appeal and acts as a barrier against moisture. DIY attempts can often result in uneven grout lines, which can harbor mold or mildew. A professional will ensure that tiles are not only laid aesthetically but are also sealed to prevent any water intrusion.

  • Waterproofing:

Waterproofing is a critical yet invisible aspect of bathroom remodeling. It’s what ensures that the moisture-laden environment of a bathroom doesn’t damage the structural elements of the home. This involves applying a watertight barrier, usually a membrane or a specialized paint, on floors, walls, and especially around wet areas like the shower or tub.

A DIY oversight, like missing a spot or not adequately sealing an edge, can allow water to seep inside, leading to swelling, rotting, or mold growth. Over the course, this can compromise the structural integrity of the walls or floors. Professionals employ systematic methods, ensuring every inch is waterproofed, and often have tools to detect potential vulnerabilities in the applied barriers.

  • Ventilation System Installation:

Bathrooms, with their humid environment, are the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. An effective ventilation system is crucial in maintaining air quality, preventing moisture buildup, and ensuring the longevity of bathroom fixtures and finishes. A common DIY pitfall is opting for a fan based solely on size or noise levels without considering its capacity or appropriateness for space.

Furthermore, the installation process itself is complex. It’s not just about mounting a fan to the ceiling. Proper ventilation involves creating duct pathways to ensure moist air is effectively expelled outside the home and not just into an attic or crawlspace, which can lead to broader structural issues. Additionally, vents should be positioned to optimize airflow, preventing condensation buildup on mirrors or walls. Professionals not only bring expertise in selecting the right ventilation system but also possess the knowledge to install it for maximum efficiency and safety.

  • Installation of Fixtures:

Bathroom fixtures, like a vanity or bathtub, serve as both aesthetic and practical cornerstones. Each demands precise installation, as even a slight oversight can lead to wobbling fixtures or persistent leaks. Especially significant are the connections to the home’s plumbing system. If not properly sealed, they can become sources of water damage, compromising floors and walls. Professionals bring a blend of experience and tools to the table. Their keen eye for alignment, coupled with adeptness at selecting the best mounting hardware and seals, ensures each fixture not only looks impeccable but also performs reliably, safeguarding against potential damage.


It’s quite tempting to undertake many tasks yourself. After all, it apparently saves costs. But, what we often tend to overlook are the costs associated with DIY mistakes. A minor fault can lead to costly repairs, so why not let the experts do it right the first time? Preventing mishaps during a bathroom remodel not only preserves the value and functionality of your home but also ensures the safety and durability of the renovated space. Thus, understanding when to enlist professional help can make the path of remodeling smooth, efficient, and ultimately successful.