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How to Remodel a Bathroom

There is no space in the house quite like a bathroom. Bathrooms play a critical role not just in our day to day routine, but also in our relaxation and health. It is in the bathroom that we take time for ourselves to soak in the tub, take care of our bodies, and retreat from the fast-paced world.

Remodeling an old-fashioned or poorly designed bathroom can be just what you need to lift your spirits up, as well as add value to your home. You cannot imagine what a fresh coat of paint can do to transform a previously dingy bathroom. Changing out your layout of fixtures can make your bathroom more suitable to your needs and annexing space from nearby closets can update the storage space to suit a growing family.

Dreaming up what you want your bathroom to look like in the end is probably the best part of remodeling a bathroom. There are endless styles, designs, and layout options that you can choose from that can fit your actual space and budget. Before you start tearing down shower doors and light fixtures, however, it is essential to understand that a DIY bathroom remodeling or any other home improvement project for that matter costs a lot of money.

Additionally, even with the right skills and a vision for your dream bathroom, it can be difficult to know where to start. Since a bathroom remodel is no small undertaking, it is important to take the time to plan your remodeling process step by step so that you can know exactly what you are getting into. Curious to get started? Here is a step by step guide on how to remodel a bathroom:


For you to pull the job off, you have to be prepared for everything that comes with remodeling a bathroom. A DIY bathroom remodel is a huge undertaking and if you can only work on weekends, you should be prepared to not have a functional bathroom for two or more months. You will need to educate yourself on everything including tackling tiling, dry walling, electrical, plumbing, taping, as well as exterior siding.

Visit online home improvement websites and stores and read online interior design blogs for inspiration. Decide on what you need to work on and then plan every aspect of your remodel. Always take measurements with you to the store and purchase what you think you will need before starting the process. Rent a dumpster for the demolition if you do not want to get stuck with the debris of what used to be your old bathroom.


Demolition is also a fun part of the remodel because you get to go to town on your old bathroom with a sledgehammer. As long as you protect yourself, and you understand what you are doing, this can actually be a cathartic experience. During demolition:

Drain and remove the toilet.

Cover the bathtub with a tarp and remove all the tiles down to the studs.

Where necessary, remove the insulation using a reciprocating saw to cut the panels. Never use a hammer when working with insulation and always wear protective gear.

Remove the mirrors, vanities, cabinets and any fixtures that you are planning on replacing.

Start shower/tub installation

By now, you should already have decided which shower pan or cast iron tub you want. In regards to the shape of your tub, you can only choose from square, rectangular or pentagonal shapes. The shape that you select will determine the layout of your bathroom.

Take measurements of the shape and use it to determine where the rest of the features will be positioned. Fix the drains to ensure that they are in line with the new tub and replace your sub-floor if there is evidence of water damage.

Fit in your fixtures and features

You may have to move your power outlets so that they can line up with your fixtures. If your new vanity requires a power outlet, ensure that it is installed. The plumbing might also need adjusting if you are also buying a new sink.

Lay the tiles down

When tiling, start with the walls first then work your way down to the floor. Use mason’s chalk to draw lines that run perpendicular so that you can avoid a crooked tile job. Use these lines to get even spaces throughout the floor and grout the walls and floors. However, only caulk the inside corners that you find between the wall and the floor.

Buy specially designed caulk from the tile supplier so that it can match the grout color that you used in the corners. Also, if you want a floor that is easy to care for, buy porcelain or glazed tiles. Alternatively, if you are looking for a non-slip floor, then you can spring for tiles that have textured surface such as matte finishes.

Hang the drywall

By now, your new master bath should be starting to take shape. Hanging drywall can be tasking because you have to fit your drywall to your new fixtures. When hanging your drywall:

Use tape and drywall mud to cover up the gaps.

Use cement board for the tub or shower wall. Do not use drywall.

Ensure that you coat the cement board with a waterproofing membrane like Redgard to prevent water damage. After, re-tile the shower and tub area.

Start painting

After the walls are up, then it is time to get painting. Pick any color of your choice, as long as it matches the fixtures and your vision. Pick a semi-glossy finish because it will stand up to mildew and mold.

Install your vanities and light fixtures

Install your light fixtures, making sure that everything is in order, and then incorporate all your accompaniments including your new vanity, sink, and faucet. Hook the drain up to the faucet, and then add the mirrors, cabinets and the trim around the tub.

Finish with the toilet

You can choose to install your toilet earlier on in the process or at the very end. After, make certain that the trim around the room is in place. Then, take a step back and enjoy your work.

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