Step 1: Decide on a Bathroom Design From the Get-GoBefore you do any bathroom remodeling yourself, you should settle on a new design that fits your vision, as well as your skill set. There are so many different ways to approach a bathroom makeover, ranging from swapping out the vanity to gutting the space and starting over from scratch. Here are a few design elements you absolutely need to nail down before you start renovating your bathroom:
- Color scheme: Are you a fan of blue hues? Or perhaps shades of gray fit the rest of your decor? Know ahead of time to make sure your new bathroom tiles don’t clash with your choice of paint.
- New fixtures: Will you replace or remodel your shower/tub? Are you installing a new sink? Replacing one or both of these fixtures will add to your project time and budget.
- Storage spaces: Where will you keep your towels and toiletries post-remodel? If you’re removing a closet to expand the space, make sure you have shelving or cabinets as a backup.
- Location of utilities: Do you know where the electrical wiring and plumbing pipes are located? Make sure you have accurate measurements for each of these so you don’t end up needing expensive repairs.
Step 2: Gather Your Tools and SuppliesOf course, the materials and tools you’ll need will vary based on your renovation plans. But a few essential tools and supplies to have on hand for any bathroom remodel include:
- Safety mask
- Caulking gun
- Silicone sealant
- Tape measure
- Spackle knife
- Stud finder
- Power drill
- Pry bar
- Adjustable wrench
- Flathead screwdriver
- Utility knife
- Chalk line
- Extension cord
- Wet-dry Shop-Vac: Very handy in case any water spills while removing the toilet or other fixture.
- Cordless drill: Makes it easier to move around and frees up your extension cord for other power tools.
Step 3: Remove or Demolish Bathroom FixturesAssuming you’re partially or totally renovating your bathroom, this is where you’ll start removing drywall and any fixtures you’re replacing. Demolishing a bathroom yourself isn’t all that hard, but there are a few steps you should follow to avoid any costly mistakes. How to Demolish a Bathroom Before a Total Renovation:
- Start by draining and removing the toilet 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.
Step 5: Make Adjustments for New Fixtures & FeaturesWith the shower out of the way, you can now install your new vanity and cabinets. If their dimensions are bigger or smaller than your current ones, you’ll need to renovate your bathroom a little further by adjusting the wiring. For the most part, that means moving the GFCIs (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) 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. This is where we recommend calling an electrician, especially if you have never worked with home wiring before.
Step 6: Lay Down Your New Floor TilesA DIY bathroom makeover is not complete without new floor tiles. After you’ve adjusted your utility lines, it’s time to lay down some fresh tile. But before you start grinding away with the grouting, use a mason’s chalk line to mark reference lines perpendicular (90-degree angle) to 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.
Step 7: Hang New Drywall & Start PaintingNow your bathroom makeover is starting to take shape. The next step is to hang your new drywall. This can be a long process as you have to cut new drywall to fit around your vanity and any other features. But once you start nailing up the boards you should be able to move briskly. A few important do-it-yourself bathroom remodeling tips to keep in mind during this step:
- 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.