Bathroom remodeling can give you the room of your dreams -- or it can turn into a mold-filled nightmare if proper precautions aren't used. There are a few easy tips to know and discuss with your contractor during the remodel process. Ignoring these tips could create an expensive mess in the future.
If you're undergoing a major bathroom remodel, it's likely that some of the walls were opened up to give your contractor access to the plumbing. When those areas are patched back up, it's important that mold-resistant materials are used. Otherwise, dampness and mold can cause unsightly spotting and eventual decay.
Common options for walls include specially formulated mold-resistant drywall or the sturdier but more industrial cement board, which is naturally protected from mold. If moisture on the ceiling was a problem in your previous bathroom, consider having the mold-resistant walling material applied over the ceiling for a protective layer.
Don't try to cut corners on the bathroom paint. You need to find a latex-based paint with a mold and mildew repellent built into the formula. Choose a paint that also has the primer included to save work. You might need more of the paint than you needed in other rooms because the combination of features makes for a rather thick paint. But the end result is well worth it as the walls will resist mold more than regular paint.
Consider also covering the ceiling with the specialty paint. This step is essential if you already covered the ceiling with drywall or cement board, as you will want to cover the construction materials.
Well-Positioned Exhaust Fan
Exhaust fans help take the moisture out of the air following a hot shower or bath. Without a fan, that moisture lingers and can lead to the start of a mold buildup. A fan that's not positioned properly is nearly as bad as not having a fan at all. Look for an exhaust fan that's approved for use directly above the bathtub and/or in the shower. This puts the fan closest to the source of the moisture so there isn't any interfering wall or ceiling space.
Make sure the fan is strong enough for the size of your room. Measure your room -- or ask a contractor like AP Plumbing -- to find out the total number of square feet. Multiply that by 110% and the result is the number of CFM, or cubic feet per minute, that the fan needs to have to work for your bathroom. The fan's box should have the CFM clearly listed.