The bathroom is one of the most important rooms in your home, particularly when it comes to selling. However, the space often gets overlooked. It’s quite common to walk into a beautifully-appointed home, only to discover that no work has been done on the bathroom for decades. 

According to Angi’s list, the average cost of a bathroom renovation is about $15,000, so it’s not small change. However, labor accounts for around 20 percent of the price, or $3,000, so you could save a lot of money by doing it yourself. 

Taking on a bathroom renovation, though, is no easy DIY task. In fact, it’s perhaps the most complicated room in the whole of the house. Even so, you can still give it a go, provided that you’re willing to learn. 

In this post, we take you step-by-step through what you need to do for a bathroom remodeling. Check out our ideas below:

Decide On Design Elements

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The first thing to do is to decide on the design elements that are important to you. You’ll need to consider things like the paint scheme, the type of cabinets that you want to install, and how much of the space you want to gut and replace. 

When it comes to color, you’ll need to think about whether you want a clean, contemporary design, or something more traditional. You’ll want to make sure that none of your new fittings clash with your choice of paint. 

If you’re going for tiles, think about how these match the rest of the room as well. Beige tiles, for instance, might not work well with brightly-colored units. 

Next, think about your storage space. Where will you keep all your shampoos and toiletries? Will you have enough shelving and cabinets in the bathroom?

Also, you’ll want to think about the location of any new utilities or facilities that you add. For instance, where will your Toto Washlet G450 or shower cubicle go? Will you add a new low-flow sink, or keep the one you have? 

Grab Your Tools

Once you have a basic setup in mind, the next step is to gather together all the tools you’ll need for the job. Usually, you’ll already have most of the items that you need available. However, you may have to go to the hardware store to stock up on additional supplies. At the very least, you will need: 

  • Caulking gun
  • Power drill
  • Personal protective equipment, such as gloves, masks and goggles
  • Bucket
  • Chisel
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Chalk line
  • Extension cord 
  • Hammer
  • Spackle
  • Stud finder

As you go through the renovation process, you will inevitably find other items that you require that are no on this list. Make sure that you have everything that you need to hand. 

Remove Existing Bathroom Features

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Once you’re ready with tools and you know the general shape that the renovation will take, the next step is to remove existing bathroom features. 

Shut off the water first and then remove the toilet to avoid any unpleasant spills. Make sure that you clean and flush the toilet thoroughly before removing it. 

If you are taking the bathtub out, you’ll need to get rid of any tiles all the way down to the studs. If you don’t, you may find it hard to fit a new shower or tub into the existing space. 

If necessary, you may also need to remove the insulation from your walls. Don’t use a hammer for this. Instead, use a reciprocating saw to carefully cut out the panels. While doing this, make sure that you wear gloves and goggles. 

Lastly, remove the vanity, cabinets, mirrors and flooring and any other features that you plan to replace. 

Install A New Shower Unit Or Bath

Once you’ve got all the existing units out, the next step is to replace them with ones that you actually want. First, check whether there is any damage or rot to the sub-floor. If there is, resolve this issue immediately before installing any new hardware. 

Next, make sure that the pan or subfloor is suitable for the shower or bath unit that you want to install. It needs to be large enough to accommodate the new unit. 

Generally speaking, you’ll want to have at least one bathtub in your home, even if your bathroom also has a shower since this is a tried-and-tested way to increase the resale value. 

Lay New Flooring

Once the bath is in place, the next step is to lay the new flooring. Unless you have a standalone bath or a walk-in shower, the new flooring will start from where your units end. It won’t travel underneath. 

If you want something DIY-friendly, go for laminate or vinyl. These tend to be easiest to put down for beginners and come with clear instructions that help you along the way. 

If you’re using tiles, make sure that you choose your perpendicular lines carefully. The biggest challenge is keeping tiles straight, particularly in oddly-shaped rooms. 

Hang And Paint The Drywall

Most modern bathrooms rely on drywall to create a barrier between the bathroom and the underlying wall. However, installing it can be particularly time consuming, mainly because you have to cut it bespoke to the shape of your bathroom so that it fits your cabinets, vanity, sink and so on. 

When working with drywall, you don’t have to get it to line up absolutely perfectly. In many cases, you can paper over gaps with tape and drywall mud. 

If you’re not confident working with drywall, you might want to try a cement board, particularly for the shower wall. Just remember to coat it in suitable products to prevent water damage. 

Install Your New Cabinets

With the walls out of the way, the next step is to bring the major items, such as the toilet, vanity and cabinets into the room and fit them into place. Generally speaking, you’ll want to install the vanity first, particularly if it comes with a sink attachment, followed by your mirror, trim around the shower and the bath, and other cabinets. 

Hook Up The Plumbing

Bathrooms aren’t much use without the plumbing. The room might look functional, but if the toilet doesn’t flush, it’s not going to be of much use. 

If you’re not confident in doing the plumbing yourself, you might want to contact a plumber to do it for you. You might want to try fitting the toilet, shower, bath and sink yourself first to see how it goes, and then contact a plumber if there are any problems. 

Change The Lighting

Lastly, you’ll need to reconfigure the electrics in your bathroom, particularly if you are thinking about swapping out the lighting (which you should be doing in a standard renovation).

In some cases, you may wish to install spotlights into your bathroom. This requires drilling round holes in the ceiling that are the right size for them. If you need to drill larger holes than you already have, then you can insert bigger lights. 

If you already have wall light attachments, take advantage of them and add sconces to your bathroom. These look great and immediately transform the atmosphere from drab to exceptional. 

Apply The Finishing Touches

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Those are the basics of any bathroom remodel. It’s then up to you to provide the finishing touches and make it your own. Add window treatments, decorative storage, picture and anything else you can think of to personalize the room and make it your own. Then, why not treat yourself to a nice relaxing shower or bathe after your hard work so that you can see how the room feels.

This is a contributed post.

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