Taking on a bathroom remodeling project is a big step for most people. Some people dive right in and realize that they’re in over their heads. Other people spend years planning and organizing and never actually get the work started. We’ve each been both of these types of people at some point in time with one project or another. In creating this website, we hope to help you find a happy balance between those two extremes – to be the person who has adequately planned their renovation and gets to work as soon as possible.

The Bathroom Renovation Checklist

Let’s get right to the point, here. The best way to approach your bathroom renovation in an organized manner, without going so overboard with planning that you never actually get to work, is to come up with a checklist before you actually begin. You’re in luck, here, because we’ve already done this for you.

Simply go through the following checklist, step by step, and you will find yourself with all the ideas, specifications, and possible products you will need to complete your renovation quickly and easily.

Inspirational Remodeling Ideas

It’s okay if you’re beginning this process with absolutely no idea what you are doing or what your end goal is. Maybe you don’t know what interior décor style you want for your bathroom space; maybe you do. Either way, it’s always good to get a little inspiration before you begin – it gives you a jumping-off point.

One thing I like to remind people about their bathrooms is that bathrooms are a rather separate piece of the house. With the movement toward large, open, connected spaces, people have found that it is important to carry the same colors throughout their entire homes. Your bathroom, however, is usually tucked away behind walls and closed doors.

You can be a little adventurous in this design, straying somewhat from the design in the rest of your home. However, I still caution people against creating a futuristic, modern bathroom if the rest of their home is Victorian. What I mean by “adventurous” is that you can change your color palette slightly. For example, most of our home has a country contemporary feel and is made up mostly of olive greens, deep browns, dark woods, and beiges. Our bathroom, on the other hand, infuses some cool whites, beachy blues, and seafoam greens into the overall color palette.

Contemporary and Beach

The contemporary style is, by far, the most popular in the current design world. It is a wonderfully eclectic style which allows you to put together the crisp, clean feel of a modern space and the warm, comforting feel of a country or cottage home. Color options are almost endless with this style, as are patterns and textures.

Click here for more information on the contemporary style and how to infuse it into your bathroom.

Country Farmhouse, French Country, and Shabby Chic

I have a special place in my heart for these three similar styles. I promise, though, that I won’t inundate you with only this style on this website. Instead, I’ve carved out a special place for it. The country farmhouse, French country, and shabby chic styles are all about making the old new and embracing the mishmash of colors and textures for which the old world of re-purposing was known.

Click here for more information on the country farmhouse, French country, and shabby chic styles and how to infuse them into your bathroom.

Industrial and Steampunk

If you live in an urban space, this is probably the style which will best match your condo or loft unit. Instead of trying to hide the elements which make these homes so unique, the industrial and steampunk styles expose and celebrate those elements. The industrial style has a cool, clean, slightly futuristic feel, while the steampunk style takes things in a different direction, celebrating the inventiveness of the industrial revolution.

Click here for more information on the industrial and steampunk styles and how to infuse them into your bathroom.

Luxe Spa and Hollywood Glam

If you want to create a place that makes you feel like royalty without going overboard on intricate woodwork and patterns, the luxe spa and Hollywood glam styles allow you to do just that.

Click here for more information on the luxe spa and Hollywood glam styles and how to infuse them into your bathroom.

Modern and Modular

These two similar styles are inspired partly by the futuristic visions of the same kinds of minds that brought us the Jetsons and partly by the minimalist Scandinavian style. They make use of very clean lines, crisp colors, and storage which allows you to keep your floors and countertops clear of clutter.

Click here for more information on the modern and modular styles and how to infuse them into your bathroom.

Plan Your Layout

Now that you have an idea of how you want your space to look, it’s a perfect time to figure out which elements you can actually incorporate into your space based on the size of your space and the location of your plumbing and electrical outlets.

Some pieces you may want to consider include a toilet, shower stall, bathtub, shower/tub combo, bidet, sink, vanity, a mirror or medicine cabinet, and a steam shower. The list can go on and on and can even include things such as additional cabinets and toilet paper holders. For the most part, though, try to begin by focusing only on the largest items. Pay attention to whether or not you may need to move any plumbing or electrical components to accommodate your layout.

Something I like to do is to hand-draw the basic shape of a room on graph paper, allowing one or two squares per foot. In all honesty, it’s a lot like making a map. I am always sure to include the location of any doors, windows, plumbing and electrical outlets in this drawing. I then go ahead and use a different sheet of graph paper to create a toilet, shower stall, bathtub and other pieces to proper scale. I like to get creative and color these pieces in with a highlighter or pencil crayon so that they stand out better when I place them onto the sheet.

This process allows me to envision what the room will look like and to ensure that my pieces will fit in the space I have. It also allows me to figure out if I need a small shower stall and/or vanity or if I can fit a large one. If you are working inside a bathroom which has already been gutted, you can make things easier on yourself by going in with green painter’s tape and taping off squares to represent your pieces. I believe that you can also download computer programs and cell phone/tablet applications which will allow you to work through a very similar process.

There’s one additional tip I’d like to give here: don’t forget about storage. It can be so easy for people to get caught up in designing an aesthetically pleasing bathroom space with all the function of a spa that they forget all about their storage needs. Consider shelving, cabinetry, cabinet mirrors, over-the-toilet storage, and vanity storage for all your personal care and cleaning items.

Explore Options and Budget

Other than reaping the actual benefits of looking at and using your bathroom once it’s complete, this is one of the most fun parts of the entire process. You can now begin to look through what options are available on the current market which meet your needs and desires in terms of function and style. Keep your overall décor goals in mind here.

Most importantly, though, keep your budget in mind. If your budget isn’t as large as you need to fulfill your desires, you may need to shave off some of the special features you are hoping to install, such as a steam shower or something which will require you to move plumbing. Knowing your budget now allows you to skip over things which are obviously outside of it. A modest budget, for example, may be able to cover a granite countertop but probably won’t be enough to allow you to purchase one made from the finest Carrara marble.

I like to keep three options in mind for each piece in my bathroom, all at different price points. Once I’ve finished writing down options for each piece (don’t forget tile) I go through and add up the prices of all my top choices (which are usually the most expensive ones on my list). I get that number and add tax (and shipping, if applicable) to the equation. Now I can see how far over or under my budget I am. If I’m under budget, I hold onto the extra money in case something gets broken – I never decide to find extra items. If I am over budget, I can then go through over and over again, downgrading to my second and third choices on certain items until I am able to operate within (or preferably under) my budget.

Plumbing and Electricity

There is no better advice I could ever offer anyone undertaking a renovation than to know your abilities and where they cease. If you aren’t familiar with the tools and processes necessary for a specific project you would like to complete in your bathroom space, I strongly suggest taking some time to find a qualified professional to complete the work.

Not all professionals are equally qualified and experienced, however, so be sure to do your homework first. The accrediting bodies in different places require different types of credentials and education to be given the title plumber or electrician. Some places require hardly anything at all, allowing almost anyone to walk around claiming that they know what they are doing when, in fact, they haven’t a clue.

In fact, my wife and I live in an area where home inspectors do not need any sort of education whatsoever and there is no governing body ensuring that they aren’t ripping off their customers. As people who use inspectors every time we purchase a new flip home, we’ve learned a thing or two about researching them.

Here is a quick list of what we suggest you do to find a good, reliable plumber or electrician:

– Make a list of possible choices from your local phone book or from an online search.

– Research each of these choices online.

– Pay attention to how many advertisements you find for each option. More advertisements usually mean more capital, which also means that these companies are probably doing quite well.

– Try typing the company name and the word “news” in a search engine to see if they’ve been in any newspaper or magazine articles. These articles may be positive or negative, so take some time to actually read any you find.

– Try typing the company name and the word “reviews” in the search bar. Take the time to go through and read the reviews customers have written about this company. Be careful with what you take away from any you find on the person’s own website, as they will only have positive comments posted on their own pages. Sometimes, those statements aren’t even written by actual customers but are, instead, crafted by professional writers. That being said, it is a good idea to check and see if any well-known companies have used this particular company’s services before.


We actually debated about making this last bit here an item on the checklist listed above. The most important part of the entire process is taking some time to enjoy your new space. Whether you’ve built it for yourself or for a home you are going to sell, take some time to stand back and admire your work.