A bathroom makeover is an easy way to spruce up your home. But before you start taking measurements for a brand-new Jacuzzi, you should take the time to plan out your bathroom remodel step-by-step so you know exactly what you’re getting into.
Curious about how to remodel your bathroom? Take a look at our step-by-step guide below to figure out the best way to tackle your bathroom remodel.

Step #1: Bathroom Demolition

Step 1 is the fun part. This is one of the few domestic activities where its totally okay to take a sledgehammer and start putting holes in your home. Tired of that old particleboard cabinet that never closes properly? Time to make kindling. Sick of that lime green tiling in the shower? Its putrid existence is at an end! Its not only fun, but stress-relieving; as long as you notified your significant other beforehand.

remodel-641708_1280_Sissel Karlsen CC by 2.0

Sometimes a bathroom remodel is a necessity, instead of a luxury.

Bathroom Demolition Breakdown:

  • Start by draining and removing the toilet, as to avoid any unpleasant spills.
  • Next, cover up the bathtub and start removing the tile down to the studs. This is necessary in order to rework the plumbing to fit your new shower/tub design.
  • Remove the insulation from your walls where necessary. Do not use a hammer on insulation, instead use a reciprocating saw to cut out the panels. A safety mask, gloves, and goggles are a necessity.
  • Finally, remove cabinets, vanities, mirrors, floor tiles, and any other features you plan to replace.
One of the best bathroom remodeling tips anyone can give is to rent a dumpster for the bathroom demo. Without one you’ll be stuck with several hundred pounds of what used to be a fully furnished bathroom.

Step #2: Installing the Shower

After you’ve demolished your bathroom, its time to draw a bath. On a blueprint. You’ll want to pick a shower pan or tub basin that fits your new decor, as well as the space where your current tub sits. In terms of shapes, you generally have three choices:
  • Rectangular
  • Square
  • Pentangle (base with one corner cut off)
The base you choose will determine the layout of your bathroom, so be sure to measure out your chosen base and account for the rest of the features in your bathroom (including the location of the door). You could also consider installing a combination shower and bath tub if you have the space.
At this point, you should also be fixing the drains of your tub to make sure they line up with your new shower/tub. This process should also include replacing your shower subfloor if there is any sign of rotting wood or water damage.

Step #3: Make Adjustments for New Fixtures & Features

After you’ve picked out your new vanity and cabinets, you’ll need to make adjustments in order to accommodate their new dimensions. For the most part, that means moving your GFCI’s and other power outlets so that they line up with your new vanity and cabinets. After all, you don’t want to have to reach down next to the toilet in order to plug in your hair dryer. You should also adjust your plumbing if your new sink requires modifications or alterations to the existing pipework.

Step #4: Lay Down Your New Floor Tiles

Use reference lines to keep your tiles straight and neat. Image: Patrick Hoesly CC by 2.0

A bathroom makeover is not complete without some fancy new floor tiles. After you’ve made the appropriate  adjustments to your electrical and plumbing, its time to lay down some fresh tile. But before you start grinding away with the grouting, be sure to establish vertical reference using mason’s chalk lines that run perpendicular (90-degree angle) from the wall with the longest continuous line. This will allow you to keep your tiles in a straight line, avoiding the dreaded crooked tiling job.

Check out our previous post on laying tiles in a bathroom for more top tiling tips.

Step #5: Hang Drywall & Get Painting

Now your bathroom makeover is starting to take shape. The next step is to hang your new drywall. This can be a laborious process as you have to custom fit new drywall to fit around your new vanities and room layout. But once you start nailing up the boards you should be able to start moving briskly. Important tips here include:
799px-Cement_Board

Cement board isn’t waterproof, but it is resistant to moisture and dries quickly.

  • Use drywall mud and tape to cover seams and fill in gaps.
  • Use cement board instead of drywall for the shower/tub wall.
  • Coat the cement board with Redgard or another waterproofing membrane to guard against water damage.
After you’ve put your walls back together you can start adding some color to your bathroom. It is best to use paint with a semi-gloss finish that is mold and mildew resistant.
And while you’re working on your walls, now is the time to start re-tiling your shower and tub area. Here’s a few handy tips to follow when tiling your bathroom shower.

Step #6: Install the Vanity and Other Niceties

Now we’re cooking! After you’ve taken care of the walls and finished installing any new lights, its time to install your fancy new vanity and all the other accoutrements befitting a bathroom.
The first thing you want to install is the vanity, including the sink and faucet. Once you have the drain hooked up to the faucet, you can move on to the other essentials such as the mirror, cabinets, and the trim around the shower or tub.

Step #7: Finishing Touches

Now your bathroom actually resembles a bathroom, except for one thing: the toilet. In reality, you can install the toilet earlier in the process, but leaving it as the last item to install helps avoid chipping it while working on other areas of the bathroom. If you aren’t quite sure how to install a toilet, Lowe’s has a great guide you can follow.

If your new bathroom looks even half as good as this, your time will have been well spent. Image: Gurlan Sengun CC by 3.0

The absolute last finishing touch is installing the trim around the room and mirrors. The trim is the capstone for every bathroom remodel as it provides the last bit of detail your bathroom needs to feel complete. But of course, the real last step in any bathroom makeover is to draw a nice hot bath for yourself after all your hard work. You deserve it.

If you haven’t already, make sure to rent a dumpster for your bathroom remodel beforehand. This will make everything from the bathroom demolition to those finishing touches much easier to manage by having a place to put every last piece of tile, drywall, and porcelain. Call Budget Dumpster at 1-866-284-6164 to order your own cheap dumpster rental before you start tearing up your bathroom!