How to Remodel a Bathroom

How to Remodel a Bathroom

Remodelling your bathroom is an exciting endeavour, one that often doesn’t require building regulations approval. However, that’s not to say that this project won’t demand an ample amount of planning.

This guide has been created to help support your bathroom transformation project. We’ll take you step-by-step through the process and point out the factors you need to consider.

If you require advice from a building surveyor in Cornwall or would like more information about various renovation projects, you can visit our website or contact our team of experts here at Martin Perry Associates.

A bright open spaced bathroom

How Much Does It Cost to Remodel a Bathroom?

Bathroom renovation costs will vary depending on several factors.

When planning to remodel your bathroom, you should base your costs on the five main factors below. This will give you a good estimate of the project’s expenditures.

To estimate your bathroom renovation cost you should take into account:

  • Plumbing costs – water, heating and drainpipes
  • Electrical costs – wiring, lighting and ventilation
  • Bathroom fittings – sanitary fixtures
  • Walls – tiles and paints
  • Labour – preparation and installation

Other factors that can influence the costs of the project include:

  • The size of the bathroom
  • Structural changes
  • The quality of the materials and fittings
  • The aesthetic you’re aiming to achieve

On average, a bathroom renovation can cost about £3,000 and above. For a full bathroom renovation you should usually expect to pay around £7,000, but again, this can vary. A DIY bathroom renovation can cost substantially less, in some cases the price can be as little as £1,000.

A sink basin in a green tiled bathroom

What to Do First When Renovating a Bathroom

As exciting as the project is, it can be a little confusing when deciding where to start. Below, we have created a step-by-step outline which will indicate where to start and what to expect over the course of the project.

How to Plan a Bathroom Remodel

Before you start dismantling the bathroom and fitting in the new fixtures, the best thing to do is start with a plan.

It’s important to draw plans of the existing bathroom as well as your remodelled bathroom. By drawing up plans, you will be able to see what changes you will need to make throughout the renovation, such as plumbing and electrical wiring.

The plans should demonstrate:

  • The positions of the fixtures
  • The current plumbing system
  • The current electrical system
  • Plumbing alterations such as relocated, removed or planned hot and cold water, and the drain-pipes
  • Electrical wiring alterations such as cables and sockets

Dismantle the Old Bathroom

Bathrooms are made up of electrical supplies and water, so to ensure the job is done safely it’s important to be mindful when dismantling.

It is best to start with the electrical appliances. After that has been done you can then remove the furniture and then finally any items or fixtures that are connected to the plumbing.

Electrical appliances in bathrooms usually consist of radiators or towel warmers. To remove these, you will need to make sure the power has been turned off at the mains.

If there are any exposed wires, you should fit a quick connector or terminal block to ensure maximum safety. The same process should be used to remove light fittings.

The next step is to remove the furniture, this includes (but is not limited to) shelves, mirrors, towel racks and cabinets.

Removing Bathroom Fixtures

Once all of the furniture has been removed, you can start dismantling the bathroom fixtures such as the toilet, shower, bath and basin.

To effectively remove these features, you will first need the water supply of each fixture to be turned off at the mains. The drains and pipes can be left untouched for the time being.

Once the bathroom fixtures and features have been successfully removed, the next item on the list should be the tiles. Tiles aren’t entirely difficult to remove, but they do require a suitable tool and protective clothing to get the job done safely.

Modify the Plumbing

Depending on how stark the contrast is between the layout of the original bathroom and its new design, you may need to modify the plumbing. We recommend that this is done by a hired professional.

It is worth noting that water supplies and drains have different requirements. Old pipes cannot be reused for a different procedure – for example, a basin cannot be replaced with a toilet.

Modifying the plumbing can involve:

  • Altering the drainage points
  • Altering the water supply points.
  • Creating new drainage channels

To modify the water supply, it will first need to be turned off at the mains. You can remove any of the supply pipes you will no longer need by using a multi-purpose tool.

Keep referring back to your plan to map out the exact areas where you will need to install the new drains. You should relocate and remove old drain pipes with a PVC pipe cutter.

To modify the drainage channels, the water supply will need to be turned off at the mains. You can remove the old supply pipes that are no longer needed with a multi-purpose tool.

Adjust the Electrical Wiring

Before you start to modify the electrical wiring we recommend that this is done by an electrician to ensure the electrical wiring is safely adjusted.

If you would like to do this yourself then you should ensure the power is disconnected from the mains. You will also need to check if the electrical system has a circuit breaker, earth connection and if there are any exposed wires.

When renovating a bathroom, the existing electrical system should always be checked to ensure that they conform to the relevant standards, including sockets and wiring that you intend to leave as is.

Once you have checked over the condition of the old and new electrics, you can then move onto adapting the circuits for the new sockets, switches and light fittings.

Prepare the Walls

When deciding what to cover your newly-refurbished bathroom walls with, you should ask yourself what covering is suitable for its environment. The material will need to withstand high humidity and direct contact with water. This will leave you with two main options:

  • Waterproof paint
  • Wall tiles

The preparation of your bathroom walls will depend on your chosen wall covering. If you decide to paint the walls then any slight blemish will be highlighted, so the surface will need to be almost immaculate, whereas tiles can hide blemishes and slightly uneven surfaces.


Before the flooring has been installed, you should ensure that all of the plumbing and electrical modifications have been made. This includes important features, such as the new drainage points and low-profile trays.

The surface will need to be solid, clean and flat before any of the floor tilings can be installed. The ground preparation can also include a levelling compound depending on the chosen covering.

Install the Fixtures

Once you have made sure that the flooring is laid down and dried, you can start to install your new sanitary fixtures, such as the bath or toilet.

We hope this article will help you to transform your bathroom. If you are embarking on a renovation project and need the help of structural engineers or chartered surveyors, get in touch with our team at Martin Perry Associates.

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