Bathroom Renovation Tips for Beginners

Renovating a bathroom can be both an exciting and sometimes-stressful undertaking. To make it more much more of the former and as little of the later as possible there are a few less-exciting things you need to consider so your dream bathroom doesn’t turn into a nightmare.

Make a Budget

If you haven’t done it already, work up a plan to see how much your new bath will cost you. Typically, bathroom renovations will add value to your home, provided you don’t go crazy with the most expensive tile, fixtures and lighting in the store. Creating a budget will help to guide you as you make your decorating choices and how much your can spend on each part of the renovation – and don’t forget the accessories.

While seemingly insignificant in the overall picture, no bath remodel could be complete without a few new accessories. Surprisingly enough, the small things like new bath linens, towel racks and mirrors can make the final bill go up by a several hundred dollars, or more. If you don’t budget in these items you may end up having to settle for just a new soap dish.

Style and Function

There are many factors for you to think about when designing your new bath, like tile, paint, wallpaper, fixtures and the list goes on. With so much to consider the choices can seem overwhelming, so begin with some research. Try to start by piecing together elements you like into what will eventually become your new bath. A good rule is to find one or two things you want to feature, like a claw-foot tub and pedestal sink, and design the rest of your bath around those items.

Calculate a Timeline

You shouldn’t just assume that a smaller bathroom will necessarily take a lot less time than a larger one. Depending on how many changes you’re making, your contractor will have to go through almost all of the same steps as in redecorating a larger bathroom. Calculating a timeline means not only defining the duration of the project, but also the intermediate steps like purchasing fixtures, tiles and a custom-built vanity. Scheduling a timeline so your bath will be out of order for the least amount of time possible is critical if your home only has one bath.

Work Sequence

Have your contractor carefully go over the specific sequence of when and how the different parts of the renovation will be done. Whether demolishing sheetrock or just repainting, you always want to begin at the top of the room and work your way down, that way the work that was just completed won’t be damaged by the work in progress.

Avoid Surprises

If you are undertaking a full renovation that involves completely gutting your bathroom be sure you have hired an experienced professional with the expertise to handle such a big job. Depending on how old your home is, and how well it was constructed, you may run into significant repairs. Ask your contractor directly about correcting problems such as structural deficiencies, poorly-vented or corroded plumbing and non-waterproof tub and shower surrounds.

Features and Fixtures

No bath renovation would be complete without updating the your bath fixtures. The best way to decide on what fixtures you like is to go shopping and make a list of everything that catches your eye, such as tub, shower, sink and toilet fixtures. If you are planning a full-gut remodel, selecting new a bathtub and spouts is a crucial step. Keep in mind that things like faucet and spouts are just as much a matter of function as style. First, if you are installing a large tub be sure you are also installing high-volume valves, or it will take forever for the tub to fill. It is also important to choose the right type of piping for the style of bathtub. If you have decided to mount your new tub on a raised deck the spouts must have a long enough reach so all the water goes into the tub, without splashing all over the floor.


Your bath can be rendered anything from impractical to out-and-out dangerous with the wrong lighting. Try to plan for maximizing any natural light and then supplement that with new light fixtures that give off enough light to safely illuminate the entire room. A rule of thumb is to have a minimum of two to four watts of lighting per square foot.

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