Plan the new bathroom. Decide what issues you want to resolve with this remodel. Maybe you want a new look, maybe you need to update an outdated style, or maybe you need more storage space. Identify what items you need to keep in the bathroom and where you will put them. If your goal is to make the room look larger, choose slim fixtures with sleek lines, such as a pedestal sink. However, if you need storage, a vanity beneath the sink is probably a must-have option. The easiest way to redo a bathroom is to leave the existing fixtures, or, if they must be replaced, to put their replacements in the same location. This minimizes plumbing and electrical work, but may not be feasible if you are starting with an inconvenient layout or are adding a tub or shower to what was formerly a half bath. Look at pictures of bathrooms to get layout and decor ideas.
Planning a redo of a small bathroom can be a challenge. There is a lot going on in this small space. You may want to give it a stylish appearance, or you may be more concerned with gaining some storage space.
Things You'll Need
- Sheetrock installation supplies
- Flooring installation supplies
- Sink and toilet and plumbing supplies, optional
- Mirror or medicine cabinet
- Tub or shower, optional
- Cabinets and/or vanity, optional
- Painting supplies
Gut the bathroom. If you are completely redoing the room, you need to take out everything. If you are leaving some items, you don't have to remove them unless you need to do so to put in new flooring. You can completely remove the wall board, or just remove it in places where you need to get behind it for plumbing and electrical work.
Complete the plumbing and electric work. Many do-it-yourselfers pay a licensed plumber and electrician to do this kind of work rather than risk making a costly mistake. If you choose this option, look for someone who is fully insured in case of an accident. If you do it yourself, you may need to get the work inspected, especially electrical work that requires new circuits. Make sure the plumbing and electrical work are complete and tested before you put in the sheetrock.
Install the sheetrock on the walls and ceiling. If you are replacing the sheetrock, choose moisture-resistant sheetrock for best results. If you will be tiling, use cement board behind where the tile will go, and choose cement board that is the same thickness as the sheetrock. Finish the walls by taping and sanding.
Install the flooring. This varies depending on what type you have chosen, and you should follow the manufacturer's recommendations on how to do it.
Install the fixtures and cabinets. Again, there are a lot of variables depending on what type of fixtures you have chosen. If you hired an electrician, you may want him to install the lighting. A plumber may install your sink, tub or shower, and toilet, or you can do it yourself.
Paint the ceiling, walls and trim. If applicable, paint the cabinets, too. Painting existing cabinets is a good way to give the room a face-lift if you can't afford to replace them. Paint them a different color from the wall to make them stand out, or the same color to make them blend in. This is an individual decision based on what your are trying to emphasize and accomplish with your redo.
Complete finishing touches. These could include towel bars or hooks, accent shelves or other items on the walls or counter tops. A basket to hold extra hand towels or toiletries. There are many options, and you are only limited by your budget and your imagination.
Tips & Warnings
- One way to make a small bathroom look bigger is to use one or more mirrors to give the space a deeper, roomier feeling. Strategies to use space more efficiently include using the walls and corners for storage, continuing the counter top over the back of the toilet tank, and installing an over-the-toilet cabinet. Don't overlook the medicine cabinet and the vanity as storage locations. Use the walls, all the way up to the ceiling for shelf space, if necessary.
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