Bathroom Remodel Checklist: Step-By-Step Guide

Evelyn Long

May 9, 2023


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Home renovations can be overwhelming. There are many steps between culminating ideas and bringing them to life. Bathroom renovations are more intense than other rooms in the house since you must consider plumbing and other factors.  With so much to consider, a checklist can help you stay organized and make effective decisions. Use this bathroom remodel checklist to guide you through renovations with ease. 

Why You Should Remodel Your Bathroom 

Remodeling your bathroom is a big decision. It’s one of the most pricey renovations you’ll do in your home. However, it can also have one of the most significant benefits—the payoff. You can boost your home’s value with a bathroom remodel.  Upscale bathroom renovations can increase your return on investment (ROI) by 48.8% or 64.1% for a bathroom addition upscale. Maximizing your ROI can help you get one step closer to purchasing your forever home. 

Upgraded bathrooms can also improve safety in your home. If you have little ones, safety improvement can be enough to make the cost of renovations worth it. Remodeling your bathroom can also conserve energy. Choosing water-saving toilets, shower heads and faucets can save you money on your electricity bill. Additionally, energy-efficient lighting can save you significantly in utilities and reduce your carbon footprint. 

Bathroom Remodel Checklist 

Upgrading your bathroom can transform the entire vibe of your home. Whether you do an elaborate overhaul remodel or simply change the paint color and vanity, remodeling your bathroom can be daunting. Here is a bathroom remodel checklist to give you some inspiration and ideas to elevate your bathroom. 

1. Create a Budget 

A budget can help you effectively plan your renovations. Without a budget, you can easily overextend your funds. Parts and materials can add up so fast! Simply painting your bathroom can be pricey—from priming the walls to gathering paint supplies and allocating how many coats you’ll need. Painting is one of the most inexpensive ways to upgrade your bathroom, but even it can get out of hand without a budget. 

On average, small bathroom remodels with just basic upgrades cost around $3,00 to $7,000.  An estimate for a 35-square-foot mid-range bathroom is over $19,100 on average. Upscale bathrooms are much more.  Establishing a budget can ensure you can afford the work you want to be done and help you make adjustments as needed. 

2. Brainstorm Ideas

Once you have your budget ironed out, you can begin brainstorming ideas. Having a set budget can keep you organized and on track with your spending so you can generate ideas within your price range. Bathroom remodeling may seem like a straightforward task, but there are so many elements that go into your standard bathroom. You can choose elaborate upgrades like adding a television or installing an open shower or electric heater to your bathroom to create a luxurious space. 

An open shower can make your bathroom appear larger, feel more luxurious and increase ROI.  Or, you can choose only to focus on the necessities. A standard bathroom remodel will likely need new cabinets, a sink, faucets and fixtures or furniture. A completely new bathroom will need tile and grout, a tub, shower, toilet, floors, mirror, lights, exhaust fan and more. Brainstorm ideas to understand what you’ll need when designing the room. 

3. Choose a Cohesive Design

Take stock of what needs to be replaced and what you can improve without an overhaul. For example, some vanities can be transformed with a new sink or a fresh coat of paint. A new shower curtain and some good tile cleaner can elevate your shower without gutting it and installing a new one. You can choose every design element in your new bathroom from the knobs on the vanity and drawers to the light fixtures. 

When choosing your design, ensure you consider functionality and a cohesive design. You’ll want the room to flow with your home, but you also want it to be practical. For example, extended light fixtures will ensure you have adequate lighting in your bathroom. Fixtures on both sides of the mirror can also elevate your lighting on a budget. Adding crown molding can add luxury for a low cost and a curved shower curtain rod can give you more space and make your shower feel luxurious. 

4. Explore and Choose Materials

Explore materials that match your design vision for your bathroom. Start with walls and floors, then move on to bigger stuff like your vanity or shower. Ensure to choose quality over quantity regarding materials. From storage solutions to heating and ventilation, there are many materials you’ll need for your bathroom. 

Explore eco-friendly alternatives and ensure you’re getting moisture-resistant materials. Some materials and fixtures can be hard to find or take a while to deliver, so ensure you order your materials in advance. Try to gather as many materials as possible before you begin renovations so you don’t have to pause or halt the remodel during the process. 

5. Decide To Hire a Contractor or DIY

Luxurious additions like dimmer switches or smart mirrors require a professional. Tiling the floor, building cabinets or installing heated towel racks or floors may also require a contractor. However, there are many projects you can DIY in your bathroom remodel if you want to save some funds. You can paint the walls, furniture, and vanity, upgrade light fixtures and change the wall decor and rugs to change the vibe of your bathroom. 

Besides finding ways to DIY some of the renovations, there are other ways to save money while still following your bathroom remodel checklist. Whether you hire someone or DIY, ensure you pull the permits you need to make changes to your home and do the plumbing correctly. If you aren’t a licensed plumber, it might be best to hire someone to avoid any mishaps. Keeping the original plumbing in its current location can save you significantly. So, avoid moving it if possible.

The Best Bathroom Remodel Checklist 

Ensure to anticipate obstacles during your bathroom remodel. Obstacles almost always arise during renovations, regardless of how efficiently you plan. So, allow room in your timeline for hiccups and mishaps. Use this bathroom remodel checklist to stay organized and ensure your renovations go as smoothly as possible. 

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