Bathroom remodeling is an exciting project, especially if you have a dream bathroom in mind. Not only will it make your home feel like new, but it can also increase its value. 

Whether you plan to do a partial or a full bathroom remodel, renovating a bathroom can be an overwhelming and time-consuming task. With all the planning, budget, materials, and other details you need to deal with, it’s better to outline what you need or may want out of your bathroom remodel.

Preparing in advance will not only help your project go more smoothly, but it can also help you control costs. Here is a checklist to help you plan and stay on track as well as avoid problems when remodeling your bathroom.


1. Project Details
2. Materials
3. Permits and other Requirements

Project Details


Before you start planning for your bathroom remodel project, it is recommended to have a design in mind. You can look for inspiration from Pinterest, Instagram, and other websites. It can be as simple as choosing a color palette, one that will complement the rest of your home’s. There’s nothing wrong with having a beautiful bathroom, but you don’t want it to look too different from the entire house. (Related: Top Bathroom Remodel Trends of 2020)

If you don’t have a design preference or need help, you can hire a bathroom or interior designer. The important thing is to have a big-picture goal so that your bathroom remodel will turn out great.


The next thing you can decide is the budget. You should set a budget on how much you’re willing to invest in your new bathroom so you can easily decide the rest of the details. This will determine whether you can spend on high-end or custom fixtures and hardware, or if you need to focus on the important upgrades.

To set a budget, you will need to learn more about the different costs of a bathroom remodel. Whether you’re doing minor improvements or a complete renovation, creating a budget will help you determine if your bathroom concept can be turned into a reality.

Scope of Work

If you prefer setting your budget based on your needs, then you should first determine what features or aspects of your bathroom you want to work on. There are many improvements you can do to your bathroom.

The most basic one is repairing. Sometimes, it doesn’t require a complete renovation such as fixing a leaky faucet or replacing a broken shower head. Homeowners also often repair damaged features or areas that they want to keep during a major renovation. On the other hand, you may opt to replace most, if not all, fixtures and hardware in your bathroom, especially the outdated ones.

If you don’t have anything to repair or replace, you can also just add new features. Maybe a new shower in the tub area or an extra vanity table. Some also prefer to just give their bathroom a new look by repainting the walls, changing the flooring, and other minor cosmetic changes.

For a complete overhaul, you can completely scratch your old bathroom and change everything. Another major renovation would be adding more square footage, perfect for those who find that their bathrooms lack space.


Another important project detail to settle is the schedule. Determine when you want your bathroom remodel to be finished. It’s better to create a timeline, from the design planning up to the actual work.

You can ask a professional for assistance when it comes to outlining the work timeline so that it would be logical. You don’t want to create a schedule where you complete the flooring before installing the tub or shower - it won't make sense.

It’s also recommended to set the schedule for the daily work. This way, your lifestyle won’t be disrupted (if you’re not going to be the one working on the project) and the contractor will know the best time they can work on your bathroom. This will take into consideration who will be home when they are working, what time of the day they can start, and when they should pack up.

Prep Work

Before you get started with the bathroom remodel, you will need to have the current status of your bathroom’s structure, plumbing, and wiring. Check if your existing subfloor doesn’t have to be replaced, if you will need new wiring, or if the current pipes are still usable. Other things you need to watch out for are mold, wood rot, and pest infestations.

Bathroom Remodel Contractor

If you don’t plan to do the work yourself, then you will need a contractor. It’s also recommended to hire a professional since bathroom remodels involve difficult tasks.

For those who want to easily and quickly compare estimates of trusted and reliable contractors in your area, I recommend Networx. All contractors need to be licensed and insured to join this platform. (Related: 7 Details You Need to Clarify with Your Bathroom Remodeling Contractor)

Other Considerations

A bathroom remodeling project can disrupt your current lifestyle. That’s why there are many considerations you need to think about before getting one. If you plan to fully remodel your bathroom, then you will have to have an alternative one for your daily needs. Do you have an extra fully-functioning bathroom, and if not, what’s your plan for your bathroom needs?

Another thing you need to check is how will this affect the rooms adjacent to the bathroom being renovated. If you will need to add space and knock down a wall, then you will have to find a new place for the furniture and other items in those rooms. If not, you have to check if you will need to check adjacent walls for painting, shelves, and other hanging items. You may also want to cover furniture near the construction area that may get dust during this project.

You should anticipate any problems and obstacles. Whether it’s the schedule, prep work, or something as simple as a new shower or tub fitting through the door.

Related: Bathroom Remodel FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)


You may not need all the materials listed here, especially those who don’t plan to completely renovate for their bathrooms. After deciding on which features and aspects of the bathroom you want to get done, you can check the materials for each category to see what you may need.

Fixtures and Hardware

  • Bathtub
  • Shower & showerhead
  • Toilet & toilet paper holder
  • Sink/s
  • Faucets
  • Vanities
  • Countertops
  • Plumbing fittings
  • Mirrors
  • Doors
  • Windows

Furniture and Accessories

  • Chairs
  • Paintings
  • Grab bars
  • Heated towel rack
  • Television
  • Smart mirror


  • Cabinets
  • Shelves
  • Knobs

Walls and Flooring

  • Flooring material
  • Walling material
  • Paint
  • Primer
  • Tile
  • Grout
  • Cement board
  • Tile adhesive
  • Drywall
  • Vapor barrier
  • Caulk
  • Ceiling texture


  • Light fixtures
  • Shower lights
  • Sconces
  • Dimmer switches
  • Light switch covers

Heating, Ventilation, and Cooling

  • Exhaust fan
  • Electric heater
  • Radiant heated floors

Permits and other Requirements

Most bathroom remodels require a permit. As a general rule, any bathroom renovation that involves structural, plumbing, or electrical changes require one. The permits usually involved when remodeling a bathroom are a building peppermint, a plumbing permit, an electrical permit, and if required, an asbestos testing or a lead testing.

There are also other minor renovations that may need a permit. To be sure, it is recommended to check with local regulations since they vary per state. Learn more about these permits and their costs so you can avoid problems and account them into the budget.

If you want to know what happens when you didn’t have the required permit for your bathroom remodel, you can check out my recent post on this topic, as well as why permits are important and what are the usual renovations that may or may not need a permit.


You may also like