9 Ways To Kickstart Your Bathroom Remodel

You don't need to be a certified bathroom designer, contractor, or plumber to remodel a bathroom. It just takes knowledge--and a bit of bravado and moxie--and you'll pound out that remodel in no time at all.

Here are some articles about bathroom remodeling from this site that I think constitute a "toolkit" of sorts, a way to kick off this transforming process.

  • 01 of 09
    Is the cost the only thing holding you back? Get a rough idea for how much your bathroom remodel might cost.
    • At least $16,000 for a decent bathroom remodel.
    • Locality matters: urban or suburban?
    • It's possible to scale down the cost of remodeling a bathroom.
  • 02 of 09
    American Olean
    Now that we've roughed out the price of bathroom remodeling, it's time to find out ways to mitigate those costs.
    • Sweat equity saves on contractor costs.
    • Even when using a contractor, you can purchase some of your own materials.
    • Learn to question the contractor about costs.
  • 03 of 09
    Luxurious modern home bathroom
    ML Harris/Photolibrary/Getty Images
    Not sure of the basic steps involved with bathroom remodeling? Follow this overview of what's involved with bathroom remodeling.
    • Finances first. Remodeling a bathroom is second to kitchens in terms of cost.
    • DIY or hire a pro? With the electrical and plumbing, it may be a good idea to hire a professional remodeler (but this is your call).
    • Bathroom flooring needs serious consideration; moisture is the big problem in bathrooms.
  • 04 of 09

    Bathroom Code Made Easy With These Highlights

    If you're hiring a bathroom remodeling contractor, you won't have to worry about bathroom building code. But if you're DIY'ing the project--even the slightest--you'll need to have a basic awareness of bathroom code.
    • Bathroom building code concerns your personal safety, but also is geared toward public safety and sanitation.  
    • Bathroom code even dictates things such as the distance between toilet, sink, and shower.
    • Bathroom code may be different in each municipality.  
    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09
    American Olean

    Moisture and traffic can really wear on bathroom floors, so you'll need to deal with flooring issues.

    • Ceramic tile is great; carpet and laminate flooring the worst.
    • Solid hardwood is a horrible bathroom flooring material.
    • Despite its aesthetic flaws, sheet vinyl flooring ranks #1 for bathroom flooring, at least in terms of practicality.
  • 06 of 09
    Bathtub and Shower Refinishing
    Bathtub and shower refinishing has become a huge industry lately. With this technique, professional refinishers sand down and paint your tub or shower back to an (almost) new surface.
    • A great mid-range price option--cheaper than new, more expensive than spot repair.
    • Tub and shower refinishing is basically a paint job, though a very professionally done paint job.
    • It's nearly impossible for a homeowner to DIY tub/shower refinishing. The pros have all the right tools needed to make refinishing...MORE work.
  • 07 of 09
    Frameless Shower

    Sometimes, your bathtub or shower aren't bad enough to warrant a complete reintall or even a liner or refinishing job. For this, you'll just need to do a spot repair.

    • Spot-repairing your tub or shower only extends the time before you need to replace.
    • Your spot repair will never blend in with the original surface.
    • Still, spot repair is the absolutely cheapest way to deal with tub/shower flaws.
  • 08 of 09

    You're misguided if you believe that it takes a plumber to install a toilet.  It doesn't.  Homeowners can do this.  It's not that hard.

    What is hard is lugging that porcelain beast back from the home improvement store and setting it in place in your bathroom.  Plumbing-related hookups are limited to only:

    • Finger-tightening the water supply onto the base of the toilet.
    • Putting a wax ring on the bottom of the toilet to connect the commode to the sewer pipe.

    And that's about it.  I...MORE can't say much more, other than that you must be super careful about moving the new toilet around.  While you may think, "Well, duh, of course," unless you've purposely tried to shatter a toilet into little pieces, you don't know just how easy it is to do.  Even an errant swing against a wall will be enough to snap off a piece of toilet porcelain like a potato chip.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Remove Your Toilet...In 20 Minutes (Very Little Mess, Too)


    Toilet removal is all about water management.  The toilet itself is easy to remove, because it's held in place by only 2 bolts (crazy, huh?) and a sticky wax ring and maybe a bead of caulk.  

    A bucket, as shown, a few full-sized towels, pliers (like a Channel-Lock) and waterproof gloves are the only tools you need.

    First, unhook the water supply and drain water from the supply tube into the bucket.  Then flush the toilet, suck out remaining water from the bowl and tank with a wet/dry vac, and...MORE take off those two critical bolts on the floor.