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Bathroom renovations and other major household makeovers are a great way to increase the value of your home and its comfort as these changes become a permanent part of your home. A well-renovated bathroom can become a relaxation spot for you and your family.

This article addresses the how-to and the order to renovate your bathroom, the essential tools, supplies and materials required, tips and guidelines for your bathroom renovation.

Guidelines for Your Bathroom Renovation

Whether you are getting a professional to carry out the renovation or you are doing the bathroom renovation yourself, the following guidelines are vital for your renovation project:

1. Assess your Current Bathroom

Look at your bathroom, decide on the changes it requires and the extent you want the changes to go. Decide on the kind of bathroom suite you want. You should also consider the size of your bathroom. This will help you decide whether to extend the size of your bathroom or utilise the unused space in the case of a large bathroom and add a masterpiece of your choice. The most important thing is to figure out what you need and the things you can do without so you can budget towards a more practical bathroom.

2. Set Up your Budget

Now that you know what you want your bathroom to look like, the next step is setting up a bathroom renovation budget. Be realistic with your budget bearing in mind that the cost of materials will vary depending on the size, quality, and type of materials you choose. Moreover, remember that the cost of labour differs as some materials are hard to install. Including electrical works in your bathroom renovation can also impact your budget.

3. Choose your Bathroom Design

Choose the design of your bathroom based on how you want your bathroom to look. While making your choice consider the following factors:

Colour Scheme

The colour scheme you choose will set the mood and tone of your bathroom. Go for bright colours like orange, green and yellow if you want a warm tone theme for your bathroom. Go for lighter colours like white and beige if you want a bathroom with a relaxing tone or mood.

Sanitary Wares

They include WCs, bathtubs, basins, sinks, showers, faucets and countertops. Consider visiting a bathroom showroom before making your choice. Ensure that your selection of sanitary ware meets your colour, size and quality requirements.

Light Fixtures

Adequate and good lighting in the bathroom makes it more appealing and creates a good ambience. Decide on the kind of light you want in your bathroom. A few choices that you need to make as far as lighting is concerned include:

  • Vanity Lights: Usually mounted above the vanity mirror and sink. Vanity lights are essential for performing specific tasks like applying make-up, shaving and grooming.
  • Recessed Lights: Should be installed in the ceilings of the bathroom for the general illumination of the bathroom.
  • Low Lights: Essential for setting the mood in the bathroom. They come in handy when having a soak in the bath and relaxing in your bathroom.

Bathroom Heaters and Ventilators

Bathroom heaters include heated towel rails and underfloor heaters. Underfloor heaters and heated towel rails are good design ideas for wet rooms like a bathroom. They keep your bathroom warm and cosy while giving it a sleek look at the same time.

In line with the building code, ventilation is a crucial requirement for a bathroom. You can use manually switched standard fans, vent fans or humidistat fans as your bathroom ventilation system.

Walls and Flooring

Tiles, vinyl flooring and wallboards are the commonly used options for the walls and flooring of bathrooms. You can choose mosaic tiles or acrylic wallboards for the walls. They give high shine and help bounce light around the bathroom.

A good floor tile should be moisture resistant and attractive at the same time. If you want an easy floor to take care of, go for porcelain or glazed tiles. Go for tiles with matte finish or textured surface tile if you want a slip-proof floor.

Cabinets, Storage Units, and Countertops

As for renovating small bathrooms with limited storage space, go for fitted furniture like wall cabinets, vanity cabinets and other recessed fitted and savvy storage units. For a spacious bathroom, go for a vanity with a sink that takes up space and equally requires sufficient space to open up the doors or to pull out the drawers.

As for countertops for your cabinet and storage units, go for natural stone like limestone, resin-based tiles or laminate countertops.

Essential Tools, Materials, and Supplies for Your Bathroom Renovation

Below is a list of what you will need to follow while renovating your bathroom.

Proper Wearing of Protective Gear
  • Protective Gear: Include safety masks, hand gloves, eye goggles, dust masks and helmets.
  • Hand Tools: Include an adjustable wrench, utility knives, screwdrivers, hacksaw, measuring tape, chisel, chalk line, caulking gun, hammer, stud finder and pry bar.
  • Power Tools: Power drills, cordless drills, extension cord, wet and dry vacuums.
  • Materials and Supplies: Work light, buckets, silicone sealant, paintbrushes and other painting supplies.

Bathroom Renovation Checklist

  • Ensure you have the required approval for your renovation especially if you want to add new plumbing and electrical installation or make structural changes to your bathroom.
  • Cut off the supply of water and electricity to your bathroom before you start work.
  • Make arrangements for a backup bathroom as yours will be unavailable for use throughout the renovation period.
  • If you are knocking out tiles and drywalls yourself, purchase and use enough plastic sheets to protect your bathroom from dust.
  • Decide what to do with the fixtures you will take out from the bathroom. Decide whether to reuse some of them or dispose of them. If you decide to dispose of them, make arrangements for that.
  • Before hiring professionals, ensure to check their license, registration and their recent work reviews.

Order of Bathroom Renovation

After gathering your tools and ensuring that everything is in place, now it’s time to get to work. Whether you choose to do a DIY bathroom renovation or seek professional help, follow the steps below to renovate your bathroom from start to finish.

Step One: Demolition

This step involves removing and uninstalling everything you wish to change in your bathroom. Start with the bathtub and toilets then, faucets, sinks, and basins. Next, uninstall the electrical systems you want to change. You can equally tear down the part of the bathroom you want to extend.

Step Two: Install the Plumbing and Electricals

Fix in the new plumbing system installation, your new bathtubs and install the showers. Adjust the electrical plug-ins and wirings to the area you want them to be. In the case of new plumbing installation and electrical rewiring, you should consider getting a professional plumber and electrician to hook it up for you. You can handle the plumbing and electrical fixtures that involve just replacement and not new installations.

Step Three: Cover the Walls

The next step is to cover the walls with paint or bathroom tiles. If you are painting or tiling the walls, hang the drywall first before painting the walls or installing the tiles. Ensure to use satin or semi-gloss paint as they are both water-resistant.

Don’t forget to paint the ceilings or apply your false ceilings. It’s easier to do the wall covering at this point because the walls are free and exposed with little or no installations. Also, nothing gets stained as the valuable materials are not fully installed.

Step Four: Install the Floor Tiles

A bathroom renovation without the installation of new floor tiles is not complete. Install your underfloor heaters first, then install your chosen floor tiles to finish the floor look. Do this after the wall paint is dry or the wallboard or tiles are well bonded and dry.

Step Five: Fan and Light Fixtures

Fix your ceiling lights, vanity lights and wall lights into the electrical outlets you have provided. Fix and connect your fan into the new electrical outlet already installed.

Step Six: Install New Toilet

This part is considered the easiest and least time-consuming. Install your new toilet on top of the dry floor in the area provided. Ensure that it fits and aligns perfectly.

Step Seven: Install the Cabinets, Sinks, and Countertops

Here you install all the fitted sanitary wares, faucets, vanity cabinets, sinks and basins with their countertops into their respective places. Proceed to fix bathroom accessories like towel rails, toilet roll holders, showerheads and light switch plates.

Step Eight: Finishing Touches

Lastly, install the mirrors, shower screens, shower doors and other glass enclosures you want around the bathtubs or showers. Touch up the wall paint if there’s a need to do so.

Apply caulk with a caulking gun around the seams of the sinks, toilets and tubs. This prevents water leaks and gives the bathroom a neat appearance. Use acrylic-based caulk that is easily removable and replaceable without the use of harsh chemicals. Also, ensure to go for the ones containing mildewcide that offer protection for up to five years or more.

Bathroom Renovation Tips

  1. If you don’t have the necessary tools for your bathroom renovation, you can rent from home improvement stores at affordable prices.
  2. Rent dumpsters. This will help you dispose of your demolition debris all at once and save you several trips to the local dumpsite. That way you can concentrate more on the renovation work.
  3. During the demolition process, ensure to drain the toilet first before removing it to avoid unpleasant spills.
  4. Inspect the tools to ensure that they are in good working condition. Make sure to replace the rusty stools and ladders with better ones to avoid hazards during work.
  5. As for the underfloor heaters, you can either install new ones or add electric mats to boost the existing underfloor heating system.
  6. Do not lay floor tiles over plywood because it can soak up water and break the tile bonds. You can pour new flooring or use flexible underlayment on the plywood before installing the tiles.
  7. Budget for high-quality toilets and do not settle for a wimpy flusher. Before buying toilets, ensure that the Maximum Performance(MaP) test is carried out and go for the ones with a MaP of 500 and above as they can flush with just one push.
  8. If you plan on adding a soaker or tub to your new bathroom, you should consider switching to a hot water system higher than the one you currently have in your bathroom because tubs are big and consume more litres of water.
  9. While choosing your bathroom suite, decide if you want a modern bathroom or a traditional bathroom. You should also decide if you want a luxurious master bath or a family bathroom with easy access to the kids.
  10. Converting your bath to a walk-in shower is a stylish way to save space and upgrade your bathroom into a modern bathroom.
  11. While carrying out your DIY bathroom renovation, don’t hesitate to seek professional help when the renovation becomes difficult for you to handle.
  12. The average cost for a minor bathroom renovation is between $5,000 – $10,000 whereas, major renovation projects go between $10,000 – $16,000 and above. The labour cost takes up 20-30% of the budget, which can vary depending on the nature of the work.


Home renovations allow you to invest in your home and maintain it. Bathroom renovations are time-consuming, involve rigorous processes and can eat into your pockets but are worth it.

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