Bathroom Remodel Checklist: What You Need to Know

Rose Morrison

Dec 30, 2022


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A bathroom remodel can transform the space. Since the bathroom receives frequent activity, having a functional area is essential. Updating the bathroom can increase a property’s resale value. Kitchens and bathrooms are one of the first rooms buyers check out. However, there is a lot of planning that goes into a renovation. Here is a bathroom remodel checklist to have a successful renovation. 

1. Set Goals 

Before starting the renovation project, it’s important homeowners have a plan. What is their big-picture goal? Maybe it’s to increase the function of the space, or make it more eco-friendly. If the room is often used as a guest bathroom, perhaps they want to make cosmetic updates. 

Another important thing to consider is when the project needs to be completed. For example, homeowners may want to finish a project before the holiday season. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that unexpected issues can arise. So, homeowners should be flexible with their expected timeline. 

2. Come Up With a Budget 

To help set the budget, research the general cost of bathroom remodels. The average cost of a bathroom renovation is $10,946. However, the price will depend on other factors, like room size. Another thing that will determine cost is the scale of the project. For example, additions or a brand shower could raise expenses. 

Some homeowners may only want to make minor changes, such as updated fixtures and new paint. These upgrades are on the cheaper side. Remember to budget for cabinet hardware and light switch covers as well. 

3. Decide on a Color Palette and Design Style

It’s important to stick to a consistent color palette and style throughout the bathroom. It will help make the space flow and feel more relaxing. Picking the style can be one of the fun parts of the bathroom remodel checklist. 

Colors like tan, white, and gray work well for homeowners who want a more natural look. Plus, then a homeowner can decorate with brighter tones. For those wishing to add some color, blues, lavenders, or greens are excellent options. 

Another area to be consistent in is the materials. For example, cabinet hardware should have a similar finish throughout the space. Matte black and brass finishes are popular trends for cabinetry. It’s also a good idea to match the bathroom style to other areas of the home. It gives the house a more cohesive layout. 

4. Gather Materials and Proper Permits 

Homeowners should talk with their contractors to determine the materials. Tile is commonly used in bathrooms for its water-resistant properties. It works well for flooring and shower backsplashes. 

When selecting supplies, consider looking into eco-friendly materials, such as glass or bamboo. Also, adding low-flow showerheads and faucets can help conserve water. In fact, a household could save about 2,900 gallons of water a year by installing a low-flow showerhead. 

​​Also, try to find paints with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These can pollute indoor air and can irritate the eyes or lungs. Another thing to consider is making functional updates. Suppose homeowners live in a colder area. Underfloor heating can make the space feel more comfortable. Once the materials are gathered, contractors must obtain the necessary permits.  

5. Stay On Top of Details 

There are multiple factors that come into play during a renovation. It’s not all about planning the design. Homeowners should figure out if they will need to reroute any plumbing. This is especially important if a new toilet or shower is being installed. 

Another thing to keep an eye out for is the shipping dates for the materials. Delayed items can slow down the remodeling project. Make sure to line up a contractor as early as possible. Ask for referrals from friends and family. Check the builder’s license and online reviews before hiring them. 

Once construction starts, homeowners need to prepare their houses. Take out any personal items in the bathroom, such as toothbrushes. Also, seal the air vents to prevent dust from spreading to other rooms. If the construction is extensive, residents may need to seal off nearby rooms as well. 

6. Be Prepared for Obstacles 

During a renovation, things can come up unexpectedly. For example, a subfloor may need to be replaced, or the tub might not fit through the door. Another obstacle may be having to rewire systems like the electrical. If a homeowner notices frayed or bent wires, then it may be time for an update. 

One of the most common problems to look out for is water damage. Signs of this may include structural issues in the floor framing. These problems should be taken care of before the new construction can begin. The most important thing is to be flexible during the remodeling process. 

7. Have a Timeline in Place

This is often one of the forgotten items on the bathroom remodel checklist. Make a list of all the projects that need to be done and ensure they follow the proper timeline. For example, homeowners should not repaint before caulking. It’s also important to remodel your ceiling and walls first before the floors. That way, there’s less damage to the new components. Following the right order prevents costly mistakes. 

It’s also important to have a general timeline for the overall project. Residents want to talk with the contractor to understand how long the project will take. A small bathroom remodel takes an average of 23 days. In addition, they should check on the progress of the project regularly. 

8. Be Creative With Decorations

Many homeowners like to follow trends but consider thinking outside the box. Adding shiplap walls can create a unique focal point. Also, consider creating an accent wall by painting one wall a different color. Adding plants or oversized artwork can also enhance the space. 

Homeowners can shop at antique stores to find lighting and furniture. A vintage mirror can also make the space stand out. Displaying antique containers can even be a great way to increase storage. 

9. Take Proper Measurements 

Before starting the renovation carefully measure the bathroom. Homeowners want to know the size of their space to determine the number of new features they can add. Also, suppose a homeowner is doing part of the project themselves. 

They will want to know the standard dimensions of typical bathroom fixtures. For example, an alcove bathtub is about ​​60 inches long and is 30 to 32 inches wide. Having the proper measurements ensures they buy the right things at the store. This then saves them money and stress.

10. Update Fixtures 

Repairing or replacing fixtures is an important bathroom remodel checklist item. This includes features such as the shower, bathtub, toilet, and faucets. Homeowners may also want to update their mirrors and shower doors. Swapping out the shower doors hardware can be an affordable way to enhance the space. If there is room in the budget, then consider replacing the entire door. Sliding glass doors are popular among homeowners. 

Along with fixtures, remodeling is a great chance to update the lighting. One easy way is to add larger windows to bring in natural light. Add sconce lights on either side of the mirror to help with grooming tasks. For homeowners who have the budget, a chandelier can create an elegant style.

Also, adding farm-house style lighting over the sink can create a rustic appearance. Suppose a homeowner wants a more traditional look. Hanging pendant lights are a good alternative. Once the fixtures are updated, homeowners can focus on adding a few accessories. These may include new towels, racks, or bath mats. 

11. Plan Storage Solutions

Having plenty of storage space is essential to the modern homeowner. Planning this ahead of time can save stress. Consider adding some additional cabinets or floating shelves to the space. 

Adding cabinets above the toilet or vanity are good options. In addition, place wall-mounted hooks in the shower. Then a homeowner can easily hang a shower caddy or towel. Another strategy is to use baskets to store excess items, like extra shampoos.

12. Ensure There Is Proper Ventilation 

Since the bathroom is prone to moisture, it’s important that the room has a proper venting system. Homeowners want to pick a quality fan and install it in the right place. They want to hang it over the spot that gets the most moisture, such as the shower or tub. Without proper ventilation, a bathroom can become damp and moldy. Homeowners can also install an exhaust fan in the window. 

Popular Bathroom Trends 

One of the challenging parts of a renovation is getting design inspiration. When it comes to styling a bathroom, there are so many decisions to make. Many homeowners can look at pictures online to get ideas of what they like. They might also get inspiration from a friend’s house. Here are a few of the current bathroom trends for some more inspiration. 

1. Matte Black Finishes

While neutral colors are still in style, darker finishes are growing in popularity. Matte black light fixtures, flooring, and tile can make a space feel more modern. Matte black finishes allow homeowners to go brighter in other areas, like wall colors. There are even tubs and toilets available in this darker tone.

2. Advanced Technology

Technology is starting to take over many areas of the home. Smart devices are common in kitchens and are now entering bathrooms. For example, there are automatic sinks, built-in Bluetooth speakers, and smart showers. There are even heated toilet seats and integrated deodorizers. With smart devices, homeowners can automatically control lighting and temperature features. 

3. Industrial Design 

Industrial styles can create a unique bathroom layout. The design includes metal finishes, wooden beams, and brick. Adding Eddison light bulbs can further enhance this style. 

Here are some more ways to create an industrial look:

  • Black ceiling
  • Shades of gray
  • Glassdoors
  • Graphic tile
  • Cement walls

4. Incorporating Nature 

Natural elements can make people feel more relaxed and distressed. Bringing nature indoors is a common design trend. Decorating with plants is an easy way to do this. 

Here are some plants that work well in a bathroom:

  • Asparagus Fern
  • Bamboo
  • Begonia
  • Bromeliads 
  • Chinese Evergreen 

Other options include bringing in more light and using organic materials like wood. Painting with colors like blues and greens can also create a feeling of nature. Some homeowners also add an entryway to the outside directly from the bathroom. 

5. Floating Bathroom Sink

Wall Mounted vanities are popular for homeowners, especially in smaller spaces. They provide a sleek and tidy look and make the bathroom feel larger. Plus, they provide more storage opportunities. Homeowners can place extra cabinets or baskets underneath the sink. 

Adding a matt black or brass faucet can help elevate the look. A curved-shaped sink can add some character as well. Also, consider adding a bold patterned tile under the sink to make the room stand out even more. Above the vanity, add a mirror with a fancy frame to create a stunning focal point. 

The Ultimate Bathroom Remodeling Checklist 

Remodeling a bathroom can be fun and a little stressful. There is alot to consider. It’s important homeowners have a plan of what they want and prepare a budget. Also, bathroom renovations are good times to update old fixtures and upgrade lighting. As homeowners start their renovation, they want to follow this bathroom remodel checklist. 

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