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16 Steps of a Bathroom Remodel?

Homeowners are often unaware of all the different stages their bathroom will go through during the remodeling process. Bathroom remodels involve a lot of moving parts, which can make things feel complicated and overwhelming. However, hiring a great contractor and understanding the steps of a bathroom remodel will take much of that stress off your plate.

Due to the various different stages of a bathroom remodel, everyone’s project is going to be slightly different. Bathroom remodels tend to be more complicated and require many decisions. Therefore, the steps and complexity of each remodel will vary quite a bit depending on your choices, preferences, and square footage.

The goal of this article is to give you a step-by-step guide to help you be prepared going into your bathroom remodel. Understanding the steps of your bathroom remodel is crucial for level setting expectations and being prepared for each step of the process.

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Step 1: Get Your Plan and Hire a Designer

The first step of a bathroom remodel is hiring a designer and getting your layout finalized and creating a plan. Your bathroom remodel is going to move much smoother if you and your contractor know exactly how you want things built and where you want them.

Furthermore, your designer is going to be a useful resource when it comes to material selections. They will help you pick out paint colors, tile, countertops, trim, vanity designs, and more. Getting all your materials picked out at the beginning of your remodel is important for making sure your project stays on track.

Step 2: Demo Your Old Bathroom

The second step of your bathroom remodel is the demo. Depending on how in-depth your bathroom remodel is, this includes removing old plumbing, framing, electrical, trim, and tile. The purpose of this step is to give your contractor a blank slate.

Going into the demo portion of your project you want to make sure your contractor knows where your water shut-off is, that way when demoing plumbing you can prevent any water leaks. Next, you want to make sure your contractor is using temporary caps on all the old water lines.

Additionally, be prepared for dust. Even with plastic and tape blocking off openings, dust will escape. Therefore, just be prepared to cover or move anything you don’t want to get dirty.

Step 3: Frame Up All New Structures

The third step of your bathroom remodel is framing. This step involves building up any new walls or structures that you are adding to your bathroom. For example, during this step new doorways, your shower, shower niche, shower bench, and new walls will all be built in accordance with the plan you created with your designer.

Once the framing is done, it is important to let your contractor know if you want to make any modifications. Once plumbing, electrical, and sheetrock are done it is much harder to make changes to the structure of your bathroom without costing you much more money.

Step 4: Get Your Duct Work Ran

The next step of your remodel is HVAC. There might not be a whole lot to do HVAC-wise with your bathroom project. However, if you need to move any ductwork now is the time to do so. This will include moving around any registers, returns, or exhaust fans.

You typically want to move or run any new HVAC before doing plumbing and electrical because it is easier to run plumbing and electrical around HVAC.

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Step 5: Modify Your Plumbing

The fifth step of your bathroom remodel is to get all the plumbing moved and run. This includes installing new water lines, valves, and drains. If the locations of your toilet, shower, and vanity are moving, then the plumber will work on removing and re-routing your old drains, pipes, valves, and water lines.

If you aren’t relocating any of your current plumbing, then you might not have much plumbing to do. However, if you have older galvanized plumbing, it is recommended to switch that out with PVC and PEX, even if you aren’t relocating any of your plumbing.

Step 6: Get Everything Electrified

The next step is electrical. During the electrical phase, the electricians will work on moving switches and outlets. Next, they will work on moving and adding any can lights, exhaust fans, chandeliers, and sconces, which should be shown on the electrical plan.

Additionally, during this step, the electricians will run electrical for any special items like a heated floor circuit, light-up mirrors, and towel warmers.

Steps of a Bathroom Remodel?

Step 7: Add Insulation

Next, you will need to insulate everything. The amount of insulation needed is going to vary a lot depending on your project. If your project involves demoing your bathroom ceiling, then you will need to add back whatever insulation was lost in the attic. Additionally, you want to add insulation to any exterior cold walls.

Step 8: Install Sheetrock and Concrete Board

The eighth step of your bathroom remodel is sheetrock and concrete board. Sheetrock is going to be put up on all the walls that don’t have the potential for getting wet and that aren’t getting tile. Once the sheetrock is installed, then the drywall crew will start taping and mudding any imperfections and seams.

Concrete board is installed in wet areas and areas that are getting tile. Therefore, you will have the concrete board installed in your shower and on the bathroom floor if the floor is getting tile. You will use ½ inch concrete board on the shower walls and ¼ inch concrete board for the bathroom floor.

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Step 9: Finalize Cabinet Designs and Measurements

Once the sheetrock is done, you can schedule your cabinet company to come out for a final measure. At this point, you want to make any final changes to the size and design of your vanity and cabinets. You will need to make final decisions on door style, wood species, and design as far as door and drawer layout.

Step 10: Install Your Tile

The next step is tile installation. All the steps leading up to this will move much quicker than you think. Therefore, it is crucial to get your tile ordered early in the process. Additionally, make sure you have your install pattern, grout, and bullnose selections made by the time tile is starting.

Your tile guy should install the shower pan tile first. After that, they will move to the shower walls. Lastly, they will work on installing the solid surface material or tile on the top of the curb or pony wall, if applicable to your bathroom.

Last, the tile crew will install the main floor tile on your bathroom floor. If you are doing a heated floor, the tile crew will also run the heated floor warm wire and waffle board before installing the floor tile.

Step 11: Trim and Doors

This is when you will install all your base trim, base shoe, crown molding, casing, and doors. Additionally, during this step, the trim crew will work on installing any closet shelving or special trim requests.

Step 12: Install Cabinets and Countertop Template

Once your tile is complete, you will be ready for your vanity and any other cabinets to be installed. Right after your cabinets are installed the countertop company will come out and template, which essentially just them measuring.

Walnut Bathroom Vanity in Master.

Step 13: Start Painting

Once your vanity and cabinets are installed, the next step is to stain and paint. Make sure you have all your paint and stain colors prepared for your painting crew. You will need colors for the ceiling, walls, and trim. Additionally, you need to have a paint or stain color picked out for the cabinets.

It is important to be prepared for the painting step to smell. Primer and lacquer are going to be the beginning steps and they are going to smell. Therefore, you need to be prepared to leave the house or deal with the smell.

Step 14: Countertops

Once the paint is complete, your countertop company should be prepared and ready to install your countertops. Make sure you have your sink present so the countertop company can install the sink while they are there.

Furthermore, make sure you have your faucets present for the countertop install crew. This is important because they will be drilling the holes, so they need your faucets to make sure those holes are drilled accurately.

Master Bathroom Remodel

Step 15: Finish Plumbing, Electrical, and HVAC

Finally, you are ready to get all your fixtures installed. The plumber will come back to install your shower trim, faucets, toilet, tub, and any other final plumbing. Next, the electricians will come to install can lights, exhaust fans, heated floor thermostat, switches/ outlets, and any other electrical.

Step 16: Finishing Touches

The final step of your bathroom remodel is going to be hardware installation on cabinets and doors, paint touch-ups, final cleaning, and any other punch list items.

You should have a list prepared for your contractor so they can have any issues fixed with one trip out to your job, so you can get to enjoying your new bathroom.

Final Thoughts

A bathroom remodel may feel like an intimidating and time-consuming process. However, it doesn’t have to be. There are multiple ways to make your bathroom remodel a speedy process. What it all comes down to is being prepared and hiring the right people.

Related Article: How to Plan for a Bathroom Remodel?