When you’re in the market for a new home, make sure to take a close look at the bathrooms. They may be one of the smallest rooms in the house, but they’re also one of the most important rooms. Look beyond the lovely décor and find out if any bathroom red flags could make your home deal go down the toilet.

Water Damage

Check thoroughly for signs of previous water damage or current leaks. Look around the base of the toilet for stains, around the edges of the shower or tub, and under the sink — yes, it’s fine to peek in the vanity to look for water stains!

Signs of water damage can mean there are current plumbing issues or damage to the flooring that need to be addressed. Discuss any water stains or evidence of leaking with your realtor. If you have any questions about the extent of the damage or future damage, make sure your home inspector takes a good look at the areas.

Look Carefully at the Tile

Check for cracked tiles in the shower. While these can be replaced, pay particular attention to the direction of the cracks. Vertical cracks are indicative of normal house settling. Horizontal cracks may indicate structural issues.

If the bathroom has a tile floor, take note of any stains in the grout that may be from water. Soft spots in the floor indicate water has seeped under the tile to the wood below. You may have to replace a portion or the entire subfloor to keep wood rot from spreading.


Mold doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker. Common enough in high-humidity places like bathrooms, mold can be cleaned. The issue is whether it is growing due to improper ventilation of the bathroom. If there are no windows or exhaust fans, the moisture has nowhere to go and it provides a warm, wet environment for mold to grow. Consider whether you will need to add a window or an exhaust vent to prevent mold.

Function Over Fashion

It’s most important that the bathroom has enough space, is laid out in a convenient way, and is functional. While some elements are easy to change, functional elements, like a built-in shower, are more difficult. Make sure everything is working properly and is right for your family’s needs. You can take on the appearance later!

Bathroom Remodeling

If you love the house, but the bathroom has some issues, you always have the option for a bathroom remodel. Quality Homes of Rochester has years of remodeling experience and would be happy to help you make your new home perfect! Call 585.429.5400 for more information.