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2023 Bathroom Remodeling Checklist: How to Start Renovating & Avoid Mistakes

Are you dreaming of a brand-new bathroom but feeling overwhelmed by the thought of how to get started?

Relax, we’re here to help!

This comprehensive checklist will guide you through every step of the remodeling process so that you can avoid costly and time-consuming mistakes. Follow these simple tips, and you’ll know how to remodel a bathroom and build your dream space!

1. Assess your needs

When planning a bathroom renovation, the first step is to assess your needs. What do you want the new bathroom to be able to do? How will it be used? What features are essential to you? Answer these questions before starting to plan your renovation, and you’ll be able to create a blueprint for the perfect bathroom.

Some things to consider:

Once you have a good idea of your needs, you can start planning the details of your renovation
how to start remodeling a bathroom

2. Upgrades Checklist: Elevate Your Bathroom with These Essential Changes

Ready to transform your bathroom? Make sure you cover all the bases with this upgrades checklist for a successful renovation project.

Item Considerations
Budget Set a realistic budget for the entire project, including materials, labor, and unexpected expenses.
Design Plan the layout, style, and aesthetics of the new bathroom design. Consider functionality and personal preferences.
Permits Check local regulations and obtain necessary permits before starting any construction work.
Demolition Decide which existing fixtures, tiles, and materials will be removed. Ensure proper disposal.
Plumbing Inspect and update plumbing systems if needed. Consider repositioning fixtures for better functionality.
Electrical Evaluate electrical wiring, outlets, and lighting. Incorporate energy-efficient fixtures and proper ventilation.
Flooring Choose durable and water-resistant flooring options suitable for bathrooms.
Wall Surfaces Select moisture-resistant materials for walls. Decide on paint, tiles, or other finishes.
Fixtures & Furniture Upgrade or replace fixtures, cabinets, countertops, and vanities according to the new design.
Storage Plan adequate storage solutions to keep the bathroom organized and clutter-free.
Ventilation Ensure proper ventilation to prevent mold and maintain air quality.
Finishing Touches Add decorative elements, mirrors, accessories, and final details that complement the overall design.
Inspection Thoroughly inspect the completed project to address any remaining issues before finalizing the renovation.

By following this comprehensive checklist, you can embark on your bathroom remodeling project with confidence, knowing that you've considered every important aspect.

3. Gather inspiration

Before starting your bathroom remodel, it can be helpful to gather inspiration from other bathrooms that you like. This will give you a good idea of the types of features and finishes that you want in your own bathroom.

There are many ways to find inspiration, from browsing online photos and magazines to taking trips to local home stores and showrooms.

When gathering inspiration, be sure to keep your needs in mind. If you’re looking for more storage space, for example, make sure to find inspiration photos that show how other homeowners have created additional storage in their bathrooms.

Once you have a good idea of the overall look and feel that you want for your bathroom, you can start planning other details of your renovation.

4. Think About Your Budget

If you’re planning on renovating your bathroom, one of the first things you need to do is figure out how much you want to spend. Having a budget in mind will help guide you as you make decisions about what to include in the remodel.

Once you’ve figured out what you can spend and subtracted the amount allocated to labor, you’ll have a clearer sense of what you can spend on floor tile, light fixtures, shower walls, shower door, bathroom fixtures, electrical wiring, and existing plumbing.

Knowing how much you want to spend from the outset will help ensure that your bathroom renovation stays on track and doesn’t blow your budget.

minimalist bathroom

5. Choose a contractor

When choosing a contractor for your old bathroom remodel, it’s important to do your research and ask for referrals from friends and family. It’s also a good idea to visit the home repair contractor’s website and read reviews from previous clients.

When meeting with potential contractors, be sure to ask them the following questions:

Once you’ve chosen a contractor that you feel comfortable with, you can start working on the details of your renovation.

6. Order materials and fixtures

Once you’ve finalized your plans and chosen a contractor, it’s time to start ordering materials and fixtures. This can be a daunting task, but luckily there are many resources available to help make the process easier.

First, decide what materials and fixtures you want for your bathroom. Do you want new towel racks or a new shower head for your walk-in shower? This can be done by browsing online retailers, visiting home stores, or looking through magazines and design books. Once you’ve decided on the materials and fixtures you want, it’s time to start ordering them.

If you’re working with a contractor, they may be able to help you order the materials and fixtures for your bathroom. Otherwise, many online retailers sell bathroom materials and fixtures like ceiling lights and bath mats.

Most home improvement stores have the basic things you need for your bathroom design. You can even hang some plants on your bathroom walls if you’re feeling extra.

When ordering materials and fixtures, keep your budget in mind. Once you’ve placed all of your orders, it’s time to start working on the renovation.

marble modern bathroom

7. Take Time Into Consideration

Many homeowners assume that remodeling a small bathroom will be quick and easy. However, there are many factors that can contribute to a lengthy renovation. For example, depending on the scope of the project, your contractor may need to complete all the same steps as they would for a larger bathroom.

Additionally, it is important to factor in time for planning and ordering materials. If you only have one bathroom in your home, you will also need to make arrangements for alternative shower and toilet facilities while the renovation is taking place.

By taking all of these factors into account, you can ensure that your small bathroom remodel goes as smoothly as possible.

8. Think About The Work Sequence

The bathroom is one of the most important rooms in your home, so it’s no surprise that many people choose to renovate this space. When planning a bathroom renovation, it’s important to think about the order in which you will complete the work. 

Starting at the top of the room and working your way down will save you time and effort in the long run. By renovating your ceiling first, you can avoid damage to your new walls and floors.

Once the ceiling is complete, move on to the walls. This will allow you to avoid any potential problems with paint drips or other damage. Finally, finish up by renovating your floors. This sequence will help you create a beautiful, functional bathroom without unnecessary hassle.

elegant brown bath

Bathroom Remodeling FAQs

When embarking on a bathroom renovation, a systematic approach ensures success. Begin with meticulous planning and design, envisioning the layout, fixtures, and aesthetics.

Following this, the demolition phase removes existing elements, making way for plumbing and electrical work. Structural changes, if needed, come next, followed by installing water-resistant flooring and moisture-resistant wall materials.

Then, fixtures, cabinets, and vanities are set in place, complemented by paint and finishes. Adding details like mirrors and lighting adds depth. Before concluding, a final inspection addresses any lingering concerns.

Initiating a bathroom remodel involves thorough planning and research. Understand your desires, set a feasible budget, and envisage the bathroom’s desired appearance and functionality.

Collaborate with professionals to refine ideas and craft a detailed design that will guide the entire renovation process.

In the midst of a bathroom remodel, pivotal factors shouldn’t be overlooked. Proper ventilation is essential to thwart mold and maintain air quality. Adequate storage solutions prevent clutter, while strategic lighting illuminates the space.

Employing water-resistant materials and waterproofing techniques prevents damage, and considering accessibility features like grab bars accounts for future needs. Lastly, adhering to local regulations and securing necessary permits is crucial.

A comprehensive bathroom renovation demands careful consideration of several elements. Start with a detailed design plan encompassing layout and style. Set a reasonable budget that accounts for materials, labor, and unforeseen expenses.

Engage skilled professionals such as designers, plumbers, electricians, and contractors. Gather essential materials, spanning tiles, fixtures, cabinets, countertops, paint, and finishes.

Acquire the necessary tools for demolition, installation, and construction tasks. Secure any required permits or approvals from local authorities. Map out a realistic timeline for the project, accounting for potential delays.

Design plans for ventilation and lighting systems, and remember to incorporate decorative accessories like mirrors, hardware, and towel racks for the finishing touch.


Starting a bathroom remodeling project can be a daunting task, but if you take it one step at a time and plan ahead, the process can be smooth and stress-free. For more design ideas you can check NKBA’s website and if you have any questions or need help getting started, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’d be happy to walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have.