a bathroom with bathtub

DIY Bathroom Remodel: A Step-by-step Guide

If you are looking to spruce up your home, a DIY bathroom remodel is a good way to go. If you decide to go this route, make sure that your bathroom makeover has a step-by-step plan, so you have a good idea about project time, cost, color family, paint, and accessories. So. here a DIY bathroom remodel: a step-by-step guide.

Cost of a Bathroom Remodel

A bathroom remodel cost is wide-ranging, depending on the size of your bathroom, whether you are doing the entire bathroom or just part of it, your choice of materials and the complexity of the work needing to be done with the various lines. The average cost is approximately $11,000, with a minimum of around $3,500 for a small bathroom, and over $25,000 if you are doing a large master bathroom. Labour costs quite a bit, so DIY can be the way to go if you have the skills, and that will save you a few thousand on a medium-size job.

Ready, Set, Go!

Getting ready to start your DIY bathroom makeover means finding a design that includes everything, including storage space. You want your design to fit not only your vision for a new bathroom style, but also your skill set. Whether you are just changing sinks and vanities or doing the entire space from scratch, you need a plan. Here are some design musts before you start:

  • Color scheme – There is a wide variety of colors to choose from, but you want it all to flow together. Tile flooring needs to meld with your vanity, toilet, tub, and paint. Then you need the accent colors to work as well.
  • Fixtures – Are you going to replace or remodel the shower, tub, or sink? This choice will have a significant impact on your time and costs.
  • Storage – If there is a closet, do you need more storage space? If you don’t have a closet, would you use the space under the sink? Or the shelving?
  • Utilities – Wiring and plumbing all need to be assessed to see if anything has to be moved. Make sure everything is where you want it, and include the cost of moving these utilities if you are changing the layout.

Photo of bathroom

Have the Correct Remodeling Tools and Supplies

Make sure everything is in place before you start your bathroom remodel. You will need safety gear such as goggles, a hammer, caulking gun, tape measure, spackle equipment, stud finder, power drill, crowbar, adjustable wrench, screwdriver, saw, and extension cord. These are the basics, so assess the job in case there are other essentials you require. There are rental stores if there are things that you need, but you don’t want to purchase all of that as a shop vac.

Step-by-step Guide for Remodeling Your Bathroom

  1. Bathroom Fixtures – Remove drywall and fixtures that are being replaced.
    1. Drain and remove the toilet.
    2. Cover the tub and remove the surrounding bath tile to the studs.
    3. Remove the insulation from the walls. Wear a safety mask, gloves, and goggles for this.
    4. Take out cabinets, vanities, bathroom flooring, baseboards, and mirrors.
  2. Showers and tubs – These are the first things to be done, especially if new water lines, plastic drain lines, plumbing lines, or water supply lines need to be moved or replaced. Tubs can be put in and leveled; the shower if separate, can be rectangular, square, or pentangle. Choose the one that works with the floor layout of your bathroom. Be mindful of the door location and that the shower drain is in the right place. You can also have a tub/shower combination, depending on space.
    1. Watch for subfloor issues. Water damage or rotting wood needs to be replaced.

Photo of tiles

  1. Lighting – Choosing new electrical fixtures means you may need to do some rewiring if they are different sizes than the old ones. Make sure outlets are where you need them. While this is a DIY project, you need to hire someone to do wiring if you aren’t knowledgeable about it. It is dangerous to do it on your own.
  2. Floors are next – Make sure to use a mason’s chalk line to draw a line at a 90° angle to the bathroom wall with the longest line. This is critical to make sure your tile is straight. Whether you are using ceramic tile, real stone tile, or accent tile, it needs to be straight.
  3. New drywall – This includes cement board, and it’s a longer part of the remodel. The boards have to be cut to fit around fixtures and vanities. Once they are cut through, it gets easier.
    1. Make sure you have drywall mud to do cement board joints.
    2. Use cement board rather than drywall for the shower and tub area.
    3. Use a waterproofing barrier to stop any water damage.
  4. Paint – Now it’s time for a coat of paint. There are some amazing paint options available and endless colors. Painting can give your whole bathroom a new look and is fairly inexpensive. Use a semi-gloss paint that resists mold and mildew. Although you have done the floor tile, this is a good time to do the tile surround for the tub or shower, too.
  5. Vanity and cabinets – Now it’s time to put in the vanity, storage cabinets, mirrors, etc. This will include sinks, a bathroom faucet, and trim.
  6. Final hookups – Now the toilet. Whether you have a wall-hung toilet, standard-height toilet, or one that is higher for an accessible bathroom, they all have to be hooked up and properly plumbed. This should be the final large install.

Cleaning the bathroom

Finishing Touches

You are almost done. Time to do the caulking, cleaning, and add the accessories such as toilet paper holders, extra shelving, and decor. Bathroom remodels don’t have to cost a fortune to look new and bright. A revamped bathroom can increase home value as well as making your living space more enjoyable. Once you’ve finished all the steps, enjoy a nice relaxing bath in your newly styled bathroom.

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