Order of Remodeling a Bathroom


Bathroom remodeling often is a big project. It may be a complete makeover or just a partial change. In any case, you should know the best remodeling order to save yourself the time and expense of having to redo work. Typically, the best order involves making changes from the floor up.

Getting Started

  • The key to any successful bathroom remodeling project is to plan. Know what the building code for bathrooms is in your community and follow it. The center of the toilet must be in the middle of a space at least 30 inches wide. None of the other bathroom fixtures should be within 15 inches of the front center of the toilet. The wall in front of the toilet must be at least 18 inches away. In some municipalities this distance is 24 inches.

    You must also remove old fixtures as well as wall coverings and floorings. Salvage whatever materials you can. Properly dispose of the rest.

Plumbing and Electricity

  • Once the plan is in place, erect the walls for the bathroom. Install the water lines for the plumbing if the flooring is wood. For concrete flooring, install the plumbing lines and then pour the concrete. Add the walls last. Some municipalities only allow licensed plumbers to install the water supply and drain lines.

    Most bathtubs and showers set inside a wooden frame. When these two fixtures are in place, connect their supply and drain lines. Insulation placed in the wall studs on outside walls helps keep the bathroom warm in winter and helps keep pipes from freezing. A layer of insulation tucked underneath the bathtub helps retain heat in the water. Put a heavy tarp over these bathroom fixtures to protect them through the rest of the bathroom remodeling project.

    The last phase of plumbing and electricity is to install the heating and cooling ducts along with the piping for the ventilation fans. By the end of this phase, the rough wiring should also be in place.

Walls and Floors

  • Cement backerboard adds a layer of protection so moisture doesn't permeate into the walls. Attach cement board to the wall studs around the bath and shower area. Cover the walls with moisture-resistant drywall. Use regular drywall on the ceiling. Cover the floor with cement board if you are putting tile on the floor.

    Install the tiles or wall covering around the bathtub and shower. Lay the floor tile, or whatever flooring you chose, in place. Grout the tiles.

    The vanity goes in after the tile or flooring, which makes changing it at some point in the future easier. The same is true of the toilet. Hook up the water supply lines and drains for the sink and toilet.


  • A coat of primer and two coats of paint can go on the walls anytime the walls are finished. All of the bathroom fixtures need silicone caulking around the edges where they meet the wall, which keeps water from seeping into crevices and allowing mold to grow. Add trim around the windows and door and paint it. Finish the bathroom by hanging mirrors, towel racks and other accessories.

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