Bathroom remodeling projects are a great way to upgrade your home’s style and increase value. But it can come with a hefty price tag depending on the intensity. Before the water is running again, it’s important to consider your warranty options. If there’s a situation where a mistake is made during the installation project or if a product malfunctions, warranties help protect the homeowner from additional out of pocket expenses. Here is what you need to know. 

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Manufacturer vs. Contractor Warranties 

When it comes to bathroom remodeling warranty types, there are two different kinds: warranties presented by the product manufacturer and from your bathroom remodeling contractor. Together, the two warranty types should cover your bathroom remodel from installation to parts and labor. 

Manufacturer Warranties: A warranty directly from the manufacturer guarantees your bathroom fixtures against defects in the products themselves. It is worth noting that in order for these warranties to be applied in full effect, sometimes a qualified contractor or installer is required. Additionally, a qualified contractor may carry specific product and product warranty knowledge. Modernize recommends consulting with your contractor ahead of time about preferred or recommended manufacturers. Contractors can also help you register your warranty and contact a manufacturer if a malfunction occurs. 

Contractor Warranties: Unlike manufacturer warranties that are affiliated with the product being installed, contractor warranties come directly from your bathroom remodeling contractor. A contractor warranty guarantees a contractor’s workmanship on installations and can vary in length. Typically, they last for a year. Because they are coming directly from the people you’re working with and not a product’s company, contractor warranties are often negotiable to better meet your individual needs. If a problem with workmanship arises after the warranty has lapsed, a trusted contractor will still usually provide support to an extent. 

Elements of Bathroom Remodel Warranties

Either warranty type should be available in detail for you to review ahead of time. Warranty documents typically list a range of problems and solutions that are covered by the policy, as well as the warranty’s duration and how problems will be addressed. Though exact warranty terms will vary based on your contractor or manufacturer, here’s a brief overview of terms you can expect: 

Lifetime warranties: First thing’s first — this doesn’t usually mean your lifetime. Lifetime warranties are a general term used by manufacturers to detail how long a product can maintain its maximum quality. Depending on the manufacturer, the range of a lifetime warranty can be as low as three years or they can be prorated, meaning that over the product’s life, the amount of coverage will steadily decrease. Lifetime warranties sometimes come with fine print. Modernize recommends homeowners fully understand what is and isn’t covered and if there is a deductible involved before signing anything.  

Bathroom remodel contractor warranties: Contractors typically include free warranties for labor and installation-related issues for a set duration of time. Often, parts are also covered under warranty by a reputable plumber. Modernize encourages homeowners to discuss what is and isn’t covered by a contractor before signing contracts. 

Evaluating Bathroom Remodel Warranties 

It can feel overwhelming when trying to decide if a warranty option is the right fit. The first step in evaluating any warranty is to read it carefully. Bathroom remodel warranties have a wide range because of the myriad products used in a remodeling project. To better understand warranties and their terms, Modernize encourages homeowners to review warranties in tandem with their contractor. A trusted bathroom remodel contractor can answer your questions, explain differences in warranty agreements, and help decipher confusing language. 

Here are some questions to help guide your conversation as you review bathroom remodeling warranties: 

  • How long is the warranty valid for? This question will depend on the product or labor you are asking about. For instance, an installation’s warranty period won’t be the same duration as a new toilet or sink fixture. Find warranties that make you feel comfortable that you’re getting the most value and let those steer your questions. 
  • What components are covered by the warranty? Make sure you fully understand what is and is not covered by your fixtures’ warranties. Ideally, all parts are covered. 
  • Does the warranty cover labor? A manufacturer’s warranty might not cover the labor costs of replacing a product if it is defective. Your bathroom remodel contractor may additionally have special fees related to labor in their warranty. 
  • Is this a limited or full warranty? Depending on the product or fixture, the warranty’s scope might change. For instance, if a sink stops working, will the one faulty faucet be replaced or the entire encasement? Fixtures with full warranties are replaced by the manufacturer or contractor within a reasonable amount of time. Conversely, a limited warranty is more strictly regulated and might only apply to a certain part or specific defects. 

Like with other home renovations, finding the right contracting partner will play a large role in deciding on your desired bathroom remodel warranties.