Amateurs beware!

A bathroom is a complex assembly of plumbing, ventilation and electricity –not to mention the soundness of the walls and ceiling. This includes ensuring that there is no mould in the gypsum or the structure. In general, it’s quite a construction project, hence the importance of hiring an interior designer or a qualified contractor, or both!

“The average person is not qualified to renovate a bathroom by themselves,” says Pierre Carrière, interior designer and CEO of Montreal-Les-Bains.

You will also increase your chances of being satisfied with the results by choosing products from a reputable company. Given that not everybody readily knows these companies, this is another good reason to hire someone knowledgeable.


When in comes to plumbing, insurers usually require replacement of supply lines, which includes, in addition to the visible parts, all galvanized metal pipes rusting from the inside and that can ultimately break under pressure.

Even the fittings are often more complex than we think: there are the dimensions of the various pipes, connections to the circuit breaker, the choice of materials (wood, tile, ceramic, etc.), auxiliary heating, lighting, ideally divided into several zones and adjustable, the quality of the adhesives, etc. “There are adhesives that cost up to 30 times more than others, and this is not just marketing,” says Pierre Carrière.

And then there are the details. For example, when installing a multi-jet or high pressure shower, the capacity of the drain must be sufficient for the user to not systematically have water up to the ankles! Another example, when laying underfloor heating, you must keep the layout plan and take pictures to remember where the wire passes and avoid the risk of piercing it when subsequently setting a doorstop or replacing equipment with something of a different size.

Renovation de la salle de bain



Most of the time, people misjudge the scope of work, and therefore the time and budget required. Yet, the budget must be established to factor in the overall value of the residence. In an attempt to save money, people sometimes hire unlicensed contractors under the table. This is not an advisable solution as it can lead to a precarious outcome and, in case of problems or accidents, insurers may not compensate you.

It is also not recommended to renovate a bathroom with the sole aim of reselling a property. In such cases, we are naturally inclined to choose standard or cheaper products; they add nothing to the value of the room, do not have the desired effect on potential buyers and do not allow for the recovering of the investment.

“That being said, the biggest mistake is to start work without planning. This further exposes you to the famous syndrome ’As long as we’re doing this, why not …?’, which makes you take impulsive, piecemeal decisions that are ultimately always more expensive than if the project had been properly planned,” warns Pierre Carrière.

The steps for a
successful pre-construction

  1. Planning and scheduling
  2. Choosing materials and accessories
  3. Establishing of a global budget
  4. Choosing competent professionals (designer/ architect, general or specialized contractor)
  5. Plans and cost estimate