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How to Remodel a Bathroom: A DIY Guide

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Remodeling your bathroom is a great way to add value to your home and make it more comfortable for you and your family. But where do you start? First, get some bathroom remodeling ideas and bathroom pictures together so you can create a mood board; you need a set vision.

Then, set a budget and calculate your total bathroom remodel cost. Don't stress; we'll give you some tips on how to plan your bathroom remodel so your project will go smoothly and you'll end up with the bathroom of your dreams!

Bathroom remodel plans with floor tiles

Planning Your Bathroom Renovation

Are you planning a bathroom renovation? If so, here are some tips to help you remodel your bathroom so it's not only a smooth project, but it also meets your expectations:

  1. Decide what you want to change: The first step in any renovation is deciding what you want to change. In a bathroom, this could mean anything from changing the layout to updating the finishes. You could make a simple change by updating the taps and shower heads to gold or black in order to modernize the space.
  2. Set a budget: Once you know what you want to change, it's time to set a budget. This will help you determine how much you can afford to spend on your renovation. Keep in mind if you're planning on doing a huge renovation you may need to save money for the project. 
  3. Hire a trusted contractor (or DIY if you can): Unless you're an experienced handyman, it's best to hire a professional contractor for your renovation. They'll also be able to help with the design and construction of your new bathroom. 
  4. Choose your materials and finishes: One of the most important aspects of any renovation is selecting the right materials and finishes. For a bathroom, this means everything from choosing the right floor tile to the perfect vanity. Natural stone always looks breathtaking! It's always a good idea to take sample tiles home to see what they look like in your space before making any final decisions.

Bathroom Remodel Costs

When it comes to budgeting for your bathroom remodel, there are a few key factors to keep in mind. First, you'll need to determine the scope of your project. Are you planning on doing a complete gut job, or do you just want some cosmetic updates?

The more extensive the project, the more it'll cost.

Next, consider the materials you'll be using. Luxurious materials like marble or granite obviously cost more than basic options such as tile or laminate. And don't forget about the small details such as door handles, taps, hardware, and lighting. These all add up quickly!

Finally, think about who'll be doing the work. If you're planning on doing it yourself, you can obviously save money. However, if you're hiring a general contractor, make sure to get several quotes and choose someone with a good reputation.

Plumbing and labor costs are typically the most expensive part of the average bathroom remodel.

With these factors in mind, you can start to get a clear picture of how much your bathroom remodel will cost. Write a list and take notes as you go. Once you have a budget in place, you can begin shopping for materials and make plans for the work to be done.

Bathroom Remodeling Design

When it comes to planning a bathroom remodel, the design is one of the most important aspects to consider. After all, this is a space where you'll be spending a lot of time, so you want to make sure it's both functional and stylish!

There are a few things to keep in mind when doing a bathroom design. First, you'll need to decide on the layout. This will depend on the size and shape of your bathroom, as well as how you want to use the space.

For example, if you have a large family, you may want to include his and hers sinks and vanities, so there's enough room for everyone.

Once you have the layout figured out, it's time to start thinking about materials. This is where you can really get creative and have fun with your design. There are endless possibilities when it comes to tiles, countertops, fixtures, and more.

Do you want a round bathtub or a rectangular tub? Don't be afraid to mix and match different materials and textures to create a unique look.

Do you want a modern space or a vintage-style bathroom? Inspiration is all you have to rely on for this part of the project, so grab a design magazine from your local store or start browsing Pinterest boards so you can store all your ideas in one place.

Finally, don't forget the little details. Things like towel racks, toilet paper holders, and soap dispensers may seem like minor details, but they can really make or break the overall design of your bathroom. So take your time and choose carefully.

Bathtub next to window

How to Plan a New Bathroom Layout

Fortunately there are no shortage of bathroom layouts to choose between. The right one for you depends on the function of the bathroom, size, who will be using it, and how often it'll be used.

The first thing you see when entering a bathroom is very important in the design of the space. So you want to start with the elements that are most prominent, such as your bath or sink, rather than the toilet.

Symmetrical layouts are worth considering if your room's proportions lend themselves to symmetry, or if you have an architectural gem such as an original sash window.

If space is tight in your bathroom, try installing inward-opening doors or an over-bath shower. However, make sure there's space around the fittings so they're comfortable to use.

Create drama in larger bathrooms. Don't keep everything flat; instead, experiment with angles. An offset bath or a walk-in shower can be dynamic, or you can combine both the bath and shower into one by bringing the bath forward.

When planning your bathroom, don't forget to ask for advice from specialists. You'll be surprised with how even seemingly small bathrooms can use design to adapt to their space.

Chrome Bathroom Sink

Preparing Your Bathroom for the Remodel

No matter how big or small your bathroom remodel will be, there are a few key things you need to do to prepare your bathroom and make the process as smooth as possible. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Clear out the clutter: Before any work can begin, you need to clear out the clutter from your bathroom. This includes everything from toiletries and towels to cleaning supplies and personal items. If you have a lot of stuff, you may want to consider renting a storage unit for the duration of the remodel.
  • Empty the cabinets: Once the clutter is removed, it's time to empty the cabinets and vanities in your bathroom. This will give the contractors easy access to plumbing and electrical fixtures, and it'll also prevent any damage to your belongings during the renovation.
  • Cover up your floors: To protect your floors from paint, dust, and debris, be sure to cover them up with drop cloths or plastic sheeting. 
  • Protect your fixtures: If you have any light fixtures or other delicate items in your bathroom, it's a good idea to remove them before the remodel begins. This will protect them from damage and make it easier for the contractors to work.
  • Take photos: Before any demolition begins, be sure to take some "before" photos of your bathroom. This will help you remember what everything looked like in case you want to replicate any features in the new design. Plus, it's always fun to look at the changes once you've finished the remodel!

Removing Fixtures

Whether you're remodeling your bathroom or simply looking to update the fixtures, removing the old ones is a necessary first step. But before you start, there are a few things to keep in mind:

First, take careful measurements. This is especially important if you're replacing fixtures with new ones. Knowing the exact size and location of your current fixtures will help ensure that your new ones fit properly.

Next, be prepared for some dirt and grime. Old fixtures can be pretty dirty, so have a few rags and paper towels on hand so you can wipe up any messes.

Watch the Video

This video will show you how to remove your sink fixture.


If you're embarking on a complete bathroom remodeling project, you'll need to demolish your old bathroom.

This can be a messy and dangerous job, so it's important to take all the necessary safety precautions and be prepared for a big mess.

Man installing a bathroom sink

Guide to Renovating Your Bathroom

When renovating your bathroom you'll want to ensure you do things in the right order to make the process as easy as possible. These are the steps you should take:

Step One: Make Adjustments to Plumbing and Electrical

If you need to add new lights or make changes to your plumbing, then you'll want to make these adjustments early in the project. These changes should be done before you start tiling and plastering.

Make sure to place your light switches in areas that make sense. The key to a good bathroom is good lighting, and lights can add a lot of character and texture to a space.

People often forget that bathrooms are the rooms that need the most amount of light. Will your bathroom design use a pendant light, wall sconces, ceiling lights, a chandelier, vanity lighting, mirror lights, LED strip lighting or track lights? There's plenty of options to consider!

And if you don't have experience working with plumbing and electrical, we highly recommend hiring a professional to do the work for you. It's far more cost effective to get the job done right, then to have to make repairs down the road. Not to mention, working with electricity is dangerous if you don't know what you're doing.

Step Two: Install the Bathtub and/or Shower

The next thing to do is to install your bathtub or shower. Bathtubs are excellent for families, especially those with young children. 

If you're installing a shower, you may want to consider adding two shower heads if you have the space.

And, you should definitely consider how these changes will impact your home's resale value. As a general rule, it's a good idea to have at least one bathtub in your home, so if you're removing your home's only bathtub, you may want to reconsider.

Step Three: Lay the Floor

If you're keeping your original floor, you'll want to make sure you protect it during the construction. But if you're installing a new floor, you'll want to consider the type of flooring to use. 

There's a lot of different choices. You may want to install a ceramic tile, or a vinyl or laminate. If you like the look of wood, you could install a rigid core engineered wood since it's 100% waterproof.

Whatever you choose, consider the materials durability and whether or not it's waterproof. And, it's a good idea to check the price before you have your heart set on a particular style.

Step Four: Hang Drywall and Paint

Once your drywall is in place it's time to finish the walls. Are you tiling your walls? If so will it be from floor to the ceiling? Will you be painting your walls? There's lot's of options.

Choosing colors is the fun part. Your local hardware store should be able to provide you with some paint samples to help you get a feel for how a color will look in your bathroom. Keep in mind that paints often look darker than the sample once you've covered your walls.

Don't be afraid of bold paint colors, it'll help your new bathroom design really pop!

Also, you'll want to consider the paint finish. It's typically best to select a satin finish or semi-gloss finish for bathrooms.

This video will give you a few suggestions on how to select paint for your new bathroom.

Step Five: Install Cabinets and Sink

There's no shortage of different sink designs. They come in different shapes and sizes, such as rectangular, circular, and more. Sinks can also come in different finishes, including black, gold, white, brass, etc. Although, the standard is white, if you want your bathroom design to stand out, you may opt for something different.

There are at least 16 different types of sinks you can install, which include: wall-mounted sinks, pedestals, drop-in sinks, vessel sinks, under mount sinks, corner sinks, console sinks, trough sinks, and many more.

Step Six: Install the Toilet

There's also a wide range of toilets to choose between. You can select different flushing mechanisms and different styles, some are common and others are quite unique. 

Before selecting your toilet, you'll want to know the space you have available and find one with the dimensions that fit.

If space is tight, you may want to select a round toilet as they fit better into tight spaces, although elongated toilets tend to be more comfortable to use.  

Step Seven: Hook-up Plumbing and Electrical

Once you have your bathroom finished it's time to get the plumbers and electricians back in to get everything hooked up and running again.

Newly renovated bathroom with standalone bathtub

Pro Tips to Remodel a Bathroom

From choosing the right finishes to creating a layout that works, here are some of top tips from the professionals:

  • When it comes to new fixtures, it's important to choose ones that fit the space. If you have a small bathroom or a powder room, you'll want to choose compact, yet functional fixtures that don't take up too much space.
  • A floating cabinet works well in a smaller bathroom; it'll feel as though the bathroom has extra space.
  • If you have a large bathroom, you can afford to go bigger with finishes, such as a double vanity, two shower heads or even open up the space more by building a wet room.
  • If your existing fixtures are still in good condition or could work with the new design. You can re-use them, you won't need to buy new ones and this can significantly reduce your bathroom remodel costs.
  • You'll want to create a layout that's both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Functionality is everything and truly makes or breaks a space. Creating a room where the space makes sense is called feng shui.
  • To plan a good layout, you'll need to consider how you'll use the room and where both big and small fixtures will be placed. Such as the shower right down to the toilet paper holder. Once you have a good understanding of the space, you can start sketching out a potential layout.
  • Think of where you'll position your laundry basket, a dustbin, and maybe you even want a magazine rack. Write a list of everything you want and then figure out what will and won't work in the space you have available.
  • Rounding off the corners on floating shelving under vanities will prevent young children from walking into sharp corners. This is especially helpful when the room is small.
Happy lady in a bathtub

How Much Does it Cost to Redesign a Bathroom?

The amount of money you spend remodeling a bathroom depends on a lot of factors. You might be surprised to know that where you live plays a big part in your costs. Some areas are simply more expensive than others, and this applies to home improvement projects too.

The average bathroom remodel costs over $11,000, but this is also assuming you'll be doing a complete tear down of your walls and replacing all fixtures. Of course, large bathrooms could be even more expensive.

Reusing fixtures and making simple changes, such as painting walls instead of tearing them down, will definitely lower costs. And of course, doing most of the work yourself will save money, although we highly recommend hiring a professional plumber or electrician to ensure these important tasks are done correctly.

Regardless of how you plan on tackling your bathroom remodel, there's nothing quite like a stunning bathroom. Your guests will be impressed, and each time you go into the room you'll be reminded of just how good it looks!

Bathtub and shower

Recap: Bathroom Remodeling Project

  • A bathroom renovation can increase the resale valve of your house.
  • You may need to plan financially for your bathroom remodel.
  • Don't skip the planning stage, it's crucial to getting exactly what your want.
  • Look for inspiration on websites, pictures, and other homes.
  • Choose you finishes with care. The time investment is well worth the results.
  • Don't be afraid to mix and match textures and colors.
  • Choose a trusted handyman to help you.
  • Even the small details like the toilet paper holder are important. 
  • Turn off the water before starting.
  • Take before and after photos.
  • Don't be afraid to choose bold colors for the walls.
  • Bathrooms need the most light in the house.

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