Ultimate DIY Bathroom Remodel Checklist for Renovation Success

Ultimate DIY Bathroom Remodel Checklist for Renovation Success

You’ve moved into your new home, and now it’s time to tackle the projects on your to-do list. A bathroom remodel is probably right at the top of that list. But this can be a big job, especially if you’re doing most of the work yourself. That’s why it’s important to stay organized so you can prepare for the task ahead and have a beautiful bathroom when you’re finished.

Here’s a checklist that will help you plan and, ideally, make the remodeling process as smooth as possible:

Make a List of All the Changes You’d Like to Make

Take a good look at your bathroom to see what needs to be done (and what you’d like to do). The potential fixes could be necessary, or they could be purely cosmetic. Compile the list, prioritize, and then move to the next step.

bar graph with budget plan

Set Your Budget and Timeline

These are the most essential factors that will guide the rest of your project. If you’re tight on time and money, you may need to limit your initial remodel to new paint and bathroom fixtures. But if you have a bigger budget and great DIY skills, you may add items like new flooring and shower retiling into the mix. 

You’ll also need to price some of your materials so you can get an idea of what your expenses will be.

Choose a Style

This is where your creativity shines. Create a mood board with your bathroom design inspiration, paint swatches, and photos of textiles and accessories. You’ll want the style you choose to harmonize with the interior design of the rest of your house, too. 

Decide What to DIY

You’ve got your project budget, timeline, and style in mind. Now it’s time to take a realistic look and see what you can do yourself and what requires professional help. 

For instance, changing your bathroom plumbing to move a sink is a complex task best left to the experts. For these types of jobs, you’ll want to consult with experienced, licensed contractors or specialists. Because that can impact your timeline and budget. (And make sure to get multiple quotes while you’re at it.)

A contractor can also give you a good idea of how to schedule your bathroom remodel. An electrician will want to complete any rewiring before you install a new toilet or vanity, so you’ll need to plan accordingly. 

Finally, check with your chosen professionals about whether the scope of their work will require building permits and who will obtain them from the city.

a person measuring tile

Measure (and Measure Again)

Don’t rush through this important step. Precise measurements are crucial to a bathroom remodel. You don’t want to buy an expensive wall mirror only to find out it doesn’t fit the space above your sink or realize too late that you don’t have enough stone tiles to finish your floor. 

Factor in Enough Storage

Toilet paper, personal care items, cleaning supplies, towels, blow dryers, cosmetics, and grooming products—where does it go? When it comes to a bathroom, you can never have too much storage. You may need to update your storage options for your bathroom remodel. 

Here’s one of the best ways to do this: Install a bathroom vanity with plenty of cabinet shelves and drawers that give you easy access to toiletries and linens. Vanities come in many sizes, typically from 47” to 122”, and can have single or double sinks.

If you’re not replacing the vanity or have even more room for extra storage options, you can get a new medicine cabinet or other wall storage, baskets with lids, or under-the-sink organizers. Consider the size of your bathroom, how many people will be using it, and what needs to be stored there when choosing your storage solutions.

a person gathering renovation supplies in a bucket

Get Your Equipment Together

Time to start renovating! Make a list of all the tools and supplies you’ll need for the project so you can purchase or rent them. Be sure to buy backups of certain items, like tiles, so you have them already on hand if something breaks or you run out of something you need.

In addition to equipment for specific jobs, like paint rollers, a wet-dry vac, or caulk, you’ll need some common items, such as:

  • Safety goggles and/or mask
  • Work gloves
  • Drop cloths and rags
  • Extension cords for power tools
  • Buckets
  • Tape measure
  • Basic tools such as a hammer, adjustable wrench, chisel, flathead screwdriver, and stud finder

Remember: Make Your Bathroom a Special Space

You’ll be spending time in your bathroom every day, so you want to create an environment that’s warm, soothing, and peaceful—and, yes, practical, too. Design-wise, this space is smaller than a living room or bedroom, so you can experiment with trends and have some fun!

Your mood board can help you capture a lot of your favorite trends. If you’re not sure where to start, here’s some ideas for inspiration:

  • Vanity styles that match any interior design aesthetic, from traditional to modern
  • Mixing metals in bathroom fixtures and hardware
  • Going beyond just white and adding color, whether it’s bold paint, printed wallpaper, or simple pops of color with your bathroom rug and towels
  • Unique mirror shapes, such as a circle or an oval
  • Different lighting fixtures, such as pendants, sconces, or small chandeliers
  • Adding geometric patterns in floor tile or bathroom textiles
  • “Smart,” high-tech bathroom devices like toilets, showerheads, lighting, and scales

You’ve got the home of your dreams. Now, get started on the bathroom of your dreams. With careful planning, a DIY bathroom remodel delivers maximum style with minimal stress.

Ultimate DIY Bathroom Remodel Checklist for Renovation Success with picture of renovating shower


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