How to Plan a Bathroom Renovation


To plan your dream bathroom, you'll need to take both practical and design considerations into account. By creating and sticking to a budget, learning more about current trends in bathroom renovations and planning useful added features, you'll be able to transform your bathroom in just a couple of weeks.

Things You'll Need

  • Sketch pad
  • Measuring tape
  • Contractor
  • Plan a timeline. You should allow about two days to demolish the old bathroom and two days each for carpentry, plumbing, flooring and drywall. Tiling usually takes the longest, about three days, and elements such as cabinets, fixtures, insulation, drywall and electrical work usually don't take more than a day.

  • Allow for contingencies. Add two to three days for extra time allowance on top of everything else. Expect the unexpected.

  • Consider how many people are going to be using the bathroom on a regular, daily basis. For example, if you're renovating your en-suite bathroom in your master bedroom, which both you and your spouse use, you might consider adding his and hers sinks. This will allow you to use the bathroom in the morning simultaneously to finish up grooming and get out the door faster.

  • Plan for ample cabinet space because having enough storage space is absolutely essential to keeping your bathroom clean and free of clutter. If you consider all the products that accumulate in a bathroom over time--cleaning products, toiletries, grooming products, and so on--you can see that the more storage space you have, the easier it will be to keep everything neat and organized.

  • Decide on tiling and wallpaper styles, as well as a color scheme. Whites and grays can give bathrooms a sleek, sterile appearance that some people find appealing. Others, meanwhile, enjoy bathrooms with richer colors, like shades of red and lavender.

  • Draw a sketch. Consider the placements of lights and mirrors you want to add, take accurate measurements of your bathroom space and draw your plan to scale. If you're going to perform the renovations yourself, you'll need to go into extreme detail in your sketching, but you can just keep it rough if you only need to show it to a contractor to communicate basic ideas.

Tips & Warnings

  • Plan your renovation with estimated costs in mind. At, you can find examples of low-, mid- and high-range costs of common bathroom-renovation projects (see Resources below).
  • If you're going to retain the services of a contractor, plan your renovation with his input.

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