Things To Consider When Doing A Bathroom Remodel

Things to consider when doing a bathroom remodel:

Bathrooms are the smallest rooms in the house, but they pack a lot of utility into every square inch, so they can be complicated — and expensive to remodel. I thought it would be fun haha to compile a list of every element of a bathroom remodel for which you need to plan, budget and spend. I am going to take a first run at the list based on my experience with several bathroom renovations — but welcome your additions, as I may not have been hit with every possible expense. Here goes:


Contractor bags
Dumpster, if required
Disposal fees
Surcharges for lead abatement, if required
Asbestos abatement, if required
Unexpected expenses
Wood rot
Old plumbing
Bad wiring
Bug infestations (we just found a nest of carpenter ants while the walls were open on my office renovation — $350 exterminator, cha ching)
Anything that’s not to code that you weren’t anticipating.
Framing and prep
Wood for framing
Vapor barriers
Energy efficiency sealants
Window(s), if required
Door, if required
Greenboard/concreteboard for under tile
Plumbing work
I always use professionals who give me a bid, who bring the stuff, and give me a bill when it’s all done. Their costs usually include cost of permit and inspections. If you move your plumbing, costs are higher than if you keep your plumbing where it is. Also, if you have an old house, it’s probably wise to bring in a licensed plumbing contractor in any case — now that you have the walls open, have them take a look at everything and if it’s necessary to repair and replace so that the house is good for another… 50 years … well, suck it up and do it.
Electrical work
I always use professionals who give me a bid, who bring the stuff, and give me a bill when it’s all done. Their costs usually include cost of permit and inspections. If you move your electric, costs are higher than if you keep your electric where it is. Also, in old houses, you may need to do some rewiring or upgrading to the wiring anyway — see plumbing section above regarding doing a complete inspection and any necessary maintenance/repairs now that you have the walls open…. Actual electric thingies to consider include:
Lighting around sink
Lighting center of ceiling
Lighting above tub/shower
Exhaust fan (In a tiny bathroom I like combo lighting/exhaust fan above tub/shower).
Timer for exhaust fan on its own switch.
Electrical outlets and switches.
Bathroom fixtures (finally, we get to the fun stuff)
Sink legs or vanity and vanity top
Different hardware for vanity, if required
Repaint vanity, if required
Faucet and associated parts
Toilet innards
Toilet seat
Tub or shower pan
Tub/shower faucet set
Towel bar in tub/shower, if required
Shower curtain rod, or shower door
I always like to add a diverter to a handheld shower head
Handheld shower head
Towel bar for bath towels
Towel bar, ring or hook for wash towels
Towel bar or hook inside tub/shower for washcloth
Robe hook for back of bathroom door and maybe also by tub/shower
Soap dish in tub/shower
Toilet paper holder
Medicine cabinet
Tile and finishing

Floor tile or other flooring material
Grout for floor tile, or adhesive for a resilient floor.
Wall tile
Grout for wall tile
Shower pan tile (if less slippery surface is desired)
Grout for shower pan tile
Mortar to apply tile
Sealer for floor tile. Some ambition people also seal their wall tile
Liner strip, if desired
Bullnose in same or contrasting color
Tile-in soap dish and/or toothbrush holder for above sink, if required
Different floor tile for shower pan, if required
Recessed shelving forms, such as Tile Redi (there are other brands, too) and any unique tile pieces required to edge them
Marble threshold for shower pan, if required
Marble or other type threshold for bathroom door, as required
Wood trim for windows and doors
Wood trim for floor if wall is not going to be tiled
Primer for drywall
Primer for wood trim (if trim is to be painted)
Conditioner, stain, finish for wood trim (if trim is to be stained)
New cover for heat and air conditioning vent?
Paint for walls and trim
Wall size, if wallpaper is used
Window treatments
Shower curtain or doors
Shower curtain rings
Coordinating towels and rugs
Soap dish for vanity
Shelving and artwork for walls, as required