Bathroom Remodel - Where Can You Find A Better Deal Than This?

by Dan Derkum


That was the title of a recent advertisement in a prominent South Orange County, California newspaper.  Here is what this deal offered:

“We will professionally design your bathroom.  We supply the Natural Stone, we feature the latest Listello & Inserts, Solid Surface Countertops, All the Hardware, Frameless Shower Door,  Also includes vanity cabinet oak or maple up to 5 ft.  Install all plumbing and plumbing fixtures, and undermount sink and toilets.  We hot mop & we float our walls, the old fashion way.  Complete visual design of your new bathroom will be provided.”

“Where else can you find a better deal than this?”  “Not Just A Bathroom.  This Will Be Your Dream Bathroom.” “All For $14,900.”


Sounds great . . . or does it?  Let’s take a closure look at this ad.  First, let’s see what the ad is missing.  What about:      

1.       Lights?

2.       Flooring?

3.       Towel bars, tissue holder, robe hooks?

4.       Painting?

5.       Bathtub Fixtures?

6.       Shower Fixtures?

7.       Bathtub Valve?

8.       Shower Valve?

9.       Faucet(s)?

10.   Toilet?

11.   Bathtub?

12.   Fixture Finishes (polished chrome, brushed nickel, etc.)?

13.   Angle Stops and Water Supply Lines for the toilet and faucet(s)?

14.   Traps for the sink(s)?

15.   Tile for the Bathtub and/or Shower?

16.   Drywall repairs and/or replacement?

17.   Baseboards?

18.   Design – by whom?  And what are their qualifications and are they licensed by the State of California?

19.   Do you get to keep the Design?  How detail is the design?  Does it leave itself open to interpretation?

20.   Permits?

21.   Inspections?

22.   Warranty?

remodel Notice the ad says that it will “Install all plumbing and plumbing fixtures, and undermount sink and toilets.” It does not say it will provide these items.


What does this ad leave open to interpretation?  Let’s take a closer look:

1.       What size is this bathroom . . . 30, 40, 50, 75, 100 or more square feet?  At 40 square feet, this “deal” costs $372.50 per square foot . . . and it doesn’t even include the plumbing fixtures, toilet, tub, flooring, painting, tile, etc, etc.!

2.       Is this a one room bathroom or does it have separate closet, toilet (commode), and/or shower rooms?

3.       The ad starts out talking about Natural Stone.  It then switches to Solid Surface Countertops.  What’s the Natural Stone used for and why was it mentioned?

4.       Who are the manufactures of the items they mention?  Do they come with a solid manufactures warranty?

5.       The cabinet:

          a.       How many doors and drawers?

          b.       Are the drawer’s full extensions and made using dovetail construction?

          c.       Do the drawers and doors include knobs or pulls?

          d.       Does the cabinet include wood paneling across the entire back of the cabinet?

          e.       Is the inside fully lined with an easy to clean PVC coated Maple, Oak, or white Melamine?

          f.         It’s not clear if the countertop is included or what material it would be.

6.       The frameless shower door:

          a.       Is it plastic or glass?

          b.       Is it tempered for safety?

          c.       Is the glass 3/16”, 3/8”, or 1/4” thick?

          d.       Does it include a towel bar on the door?

          e.       What’s the finish (polished chrome, brushed nickel, etc.)?

7.       Who performs demolition?

8.       Who’s responsible for discarding all the debris?

9.       Who’s responsible for daily cleaning?

10.   Who’s responsible for masking?


Perhaps, the most incredulous part of this ad is that it gives the consumer a false impression about what is included.  For example, the ad begins by talking about Natural Stone and then says “we feature the latest Listello & Inserts”.  After reading the ad, I thought I was getting a Natural Stone (travertine or granite) tiled bathtub or shower.  However, upon researching the ad, I learned that Listello is simulated tile tub surrounds that are manufactured from a cast polymer based solution.  It’s cast into molds to create a tile effect.  In other words, Listello is plastic panels that are glued onto the tub and shower walls – it’s not Natural Stone or tile at all!  According to the manufacturer, Listello panels can also be installed (glued) directly over existing ceramic tile.  Perhaps this is why the ad does not mention demolition – they plan on gluing Listello panels over your existing ceramic tile walls.  Listello Inserts are tile looking panels (narrow Listello colored insert panels textured to look like tile) that are placed in the middle of the wall to simulate a tile boarder!


When I checked out the license number in the ad with the California State Contractors License Board (CSLB), the company didn’t even have Workers Compensation insurance.  So if someone is injured or killed while working on your bathroom, you are likely responsible for all of the injured workers medical and legal bills!


What kind of $14,900 deal does this sound like now?


If you have any questions about bathroom remodeling "deals," please call me, Dan Derkum, at (949) 380-0177 or e-mail me by filling out our quick contact form

About the Author
Daniel A. Derkum is the owner of DAD's Construction, a leading South Orange County, California design-and-build remodeling and renovation contractor.

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