DIY Bathroom Remodel

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DIY Bathroom Remodel


Everyone wants a beautiful and functional bathroom. But bathroom remodeling can be costly. But that is no reason to set aside your dream. Many bathroom improvements can be done by a handy homeowner. And some should be handled by professionals.

As labor accounts for 40% to 65% of the average bathroom remodeling costs, it is obviously the most costly part of a bathroom remodeling project. However, for those who are DIYers, a great deal of money can be saved by doing some or most of the work themselves.

Typically, an interior design service is not required for a bathroom remodel as long as you know what finishes, colors, and contractors you will use. Usually, an interior designer is used for a whole house remodel.

But a complete bathroom design from a professional interior designer is the perfect solution for new homes and additions where the plumbing service and electrical hookups are not currently in place.

Also, now would be the perfect time to consider adding a new window or a larger window in your bathroom. Double hung window installation is easy for the DIYer to do. But if you are unsure, leave it to the pros.

Would you like some helpful advice to begin your DIY project?

Determine Your Bathroom Makeover Design

Before beginning on a bathroom remodel, decide on a design that fits your taste, budget, vision, and skill. There are design elements you need to be sure of prior to beginning your remodel.

Decide on a Color Scheme

Decide on the colors you would like to use first. You don’t want your choice of tile to clash with your paint color. If you anticipate the sale of your home at some future date, consider using neutral colors that will appeal to more potential buyers.


Do you plan on replacing your shower or tub? Will you install a new sink? It will add to your project time and budget if you choose to replace these fixtures.

Storage Spaces

If you’re removing a closet for room expansion, make sure you have allowed for storage of towels and toiletries post-remodel.

Location of Utilities

Do you know where the plumbing and electrical wiring are located? Make sure you have correct measurements for each to avoid expensive plumbing or electrical repair.

Here Are the Steps to Remodeling a Bathroom

Remove Bathroom Fixtures

Let’s assume you are doing a full bathroom remodel. This first step is where you’ll remove drywall and the fixtures you will replace. Remodeling a bathroom DIY isn’t that difficult, but there are some steps you should follow to avoid costly errors during this first phase. Perhaps consider renting a dumpster to get rid of the debris as you go. It will save trips to the dump and also save time and money. Some other steps to consider are:

-Drain and remove the toilet carefully to avoid unpleasant spills.

-If you are replacing the bathtub, cover the tub and begin removing the tile down to the studs. This is necessary to rework the plumbing to allow for the new shower or tub design.

-Remove the insulation from the walls. Make sure you use a safety mask, goggles, and gloves.

-Then remove bathroom cabinets, mirrors, vanities, flooring, and any other features you will replace. If you plan to replace the flooring, remove the baseboards and reinstall them after the new flooring has been put in place.

Install New Tub or Shower

Once your bathroom has been gutted, you can begin to install new fixtures. For a tub or shower replacement, choose a fixture that will complement the new d├ęcor, as well as fit the space where the tub currently sits.

For shower remodeling choices, you have three options in terms of shape; rectangular, square, or pentangle, which has one corner cut off the base. The base shape determines the layout, so make sure you consider other bathroom features ahead of time, including door location.

To prevent moisture penetration, caulking companies recommend you caulk around your bathtub, shower, sinks, toilets, etc.

Silicone is a great overall caulk and essential when working with nonporous areas, such as sinks, showers, etc.

Also, acrylic sealant includes a mildew-resistant agent that makes it perfect for wet areas such as a shower or sink.

Urethane is also a good caulk for most other surfaces and has the added benefit of being paintable.

If you have space, consider installing a combination shower and bathtub. Also, a walk-in shower conversion is a space-saving and stylish update to make in any home.

Watch for any signs of water damage or rotting wood to the subfloor. Replace it before installing your new shower or tub to prevent further damage to the subfloor.

Install New Fixtures

With the shower or tub installation complete, configure electrical fixtures and install new lighting. If the dimensions are bigger or smaller than the current fixtures, you will need to adjust the wiring.

You should bring in an electrician for this portion of the remodel if you have never worked with home wiring before. The GFCIs or ground fault circuit interrupters and other outlets may need moving, so they line up with the custom cabinets and are above your custom bathroom countertop. This is important as you don’t want to reach down next to the toilet to plug in your electric toothbrush or hair dryer.

Lay Down Your New Flooring

If you are tiling or using vinyl flooring, this is a good DIY project. But the tiles or the pattern on the vinyl must be straight. If you have never laid flooring before, seek professional help to ensure an end result you can be proud of.

Hang New Drywall and Paint the Room

The next step is to hang the new drywall. This can be a long process as it needs to be cut to fit around the vanity, toilet, and other features. Once you begin nailing up the drywall, you should be able to move along quickly. Another thing to remember about working with drywall is that it can sometimes be a two-person job depending on the size of the piece. Drywall is very heavy and cumbersome to work with, so unless you plan on working with smaller pieces, have some help available to lift the pieces into position.

Use drywall mud and tape to fill in gaps, cover seams and screwheads.

In the shower or tub wall, use cement board instead of drywall, as drywall is not waterproof. But you need to coat the cement board with a waterproofing agent to guard against the possibility of water damage.

When the walls are back in place, add some color to the bathroom. Painting is one of the most cost-effective and easiest ways to freshen things up and provide any space in your home with a brand new look. Use paint that has a semi-gloss finish that is resistant to mold and mildew.

Install Your New Cabinets and Vanity

When the walls are painted, and you’ve finished installing new lights, it’s time to put the vanity and cabinets in place.

The first fixture you want to install is the vanity, then the sink and faucet. Once the drain is hooked up to the faucet, move on to the other essentials such as the vanity mirror, linen cabinet, and the trim around the shower or tub.

Finish the Toilet Installation

Now your bathroom resembles a bathroom, except for one thing: the toilet. It could be installed or reinstalled earlier in the process but leaving it for last helps avoid damaging it while working on other areas of the bathroom. Also, having it out of the way makes hanging drywall and other processes easier.

Begin by installing closet bolts by sliding them into the slots on the flange. Tighten down the washers, so it is easier to align the toilet when setting it in place.

If your old toilet was moving in place, stabilize it using toilet shims. To install, place the toilet without using the wax ring. Using the shims, stabilize the toilet and tape in position.

Remove the bowl, then continue the installation with the wax ring (below). After the toilet is installed, cut off the excess shims.

Turn the toilet bowl over on a cloth or towel. Then install the wax ring on the bottom of the toilet. Soften the wax ring under warm water, and gently press it on the toilet outlet.

Toilets typically include a wax ring. But it’s best to purchase an additional backup wax ring in case of damage during installation. A wax-free ring can also be used. They fit on the flange not the toilet outlet. They’re simpler to install than a typical wax ring, with less chance of damage during installation.

After the wax ring is in place, it is time to install the toilet. With caution, lower the toilet bowl above the closet bolts. Lower it down over the flange straight rather than rocking or tilting into place. This will prevent damaging the wax ring. Firmly press the bowl down into place and make sure it’s square with the wall.

Put in place the cap bases, washers, and nuts on the closet bolts. Make sure the cap bases have the right side facing upwards. Tighten the nuts alternately to keep the pressure even on all sides. Ensure the nuts are firm but don’t tighten them too much because the bowl could crack. Using a hack saw, cut off the excess bolt, then snap on the caps.

Usually, the valve assembly comes installed in the tank. Flip the tank over to install the bolts to hold it on the bowl. They will slip into the slots on the tank, then install the rubber gasket to the base.

Place the tank on the bowl. Then hand-tighten the nuts on the bolts. Using a wrench to make them a little bit tighter, alternate as you go. Be careful not to overtighten as you risk cracking the toilet. Ensure the tank is level.

Reconnect the water supply and slowly turn on the water. Look for leaks around the supply line and the gasket base. If there is a leak, the bolts need to be tightened a little more. If the leak continues, remove the tank and be sure the gasket is secured correctly. Flushing the toilet a few times, check around the base of it. If you see a leak around the base, but the nuts are tight on the closet bolts, then the wax ring isn’t creating a tight enough seal. Remove the toilet carefully and install a new wax ring. Be sure to evenly set the toilet in place without tilting to avoid damaging the ring.

Now install the toilet seat with a screwdriver and set the top on the tank.

The last step is to install the trim around the mirrors and the rest of the room. The trim provides the last bit of detail your new bathroom needs to look and feel complete.

After using your favorite cleaning solution to make it all shiny and spic and span, add the finishing touches to your new bathroom. Hang pictures or other wallhangings that will complement the space.

Depending on the size of your bath, green plants or artificial flower arrangements on the vanity can add a beautiful and colorful touch to the room.

New linens in complementary colors can really boost the appearance of the room. If you have decided to choose a more neutral palette for your new space, add cheerful, colorful towels to brighten it up.

Gold and metallic accents can also dress up the vanity. Use a soap dispenser or holder, toothbrush holder, or other accents in gold or metallics to give the room a more sophisticated and chic feel.

But the last thing needed for a bathroom makeover is for you to try out your new space by enjoying a long hot shower. Or perhaps a bubble bath with your favorite soap or salts. You have worked hard to make this come about for yourself and your family. You deserve to use it first!

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