Soft, neutral toned bathroom with a covered chair for applying makeup

How to get the most out of your bathroom renovation

It's the beginning of the year, and many people are planning to remodel their bathrooms, so we put together this guide to show you how it's done. You'll find all the information needed for a successful renovation from start to finish and even some design ideas for those looking! Find out where to find the best components, learn which type of material holds up better over time, everything there is to know before starting your renovation. Keep reading because I'm sharing all my secrets about remodeling your bathroom. Yep, even what it costs.

Plan your renovation carefully

Plan everything out in advance. This includes the layout of the room, the type and placement of fixtures, and the materials you'll use. A good contractor will lead you in the right direction. They should help you understand what is possible, what type of materials will be needed, and make sure you don't miss anything.

Once you've made all your plans, you can finalize your budget. Avoid making changes once construction has started. If you decide to change your mind in the middle of the project, it's ok, your contractor should be very flexible in helping you achieve your new goal, but it could mean additional labor costs; therefore, the price may need to be adjusted. As long as everyone can be flexible, changes to the plan will be a breeze.

Choose high-quality materials that will last

This is especially important for bathrooms, which can take much abuse over time. If you're working with a contractor, they should be able to tell you the best places in Birmingham to shop so you'll find high-quality tile, paint, vanities, and fixtures. We recommend Alabama Cabinets for vanities and the V&W Showroom for tubs, sinks, faucets, and other plumbing fixtures.

A good bathroom vanity is functional, provides storage, and has a timeless design. It's also essential to look for vanities made from all-plywood construction and avoid cabinets made of pressboard which can easily break down in a high humidity environment like a steamy bathroom.

A good toilet will be stylish and powerful enough to flush everything down. No one likes a commode that must be flushed several times to get the job done. 

A good faucet will have a full metal body. Some of the inside components will be made of plastic or nylon, which is fine but avoid any plastic body fixtures.

Avoid going to tile superstores with exceptionally cheap tile. There's a reason it's so cheap. Tiles at these places usually don't make the first cut on quality control which can lead to imperfect and crooked grout lines. Robert F. Henry is a great place to find high-quality tile. They're located in downtown Birmingham, AL.

Be sure to get good paint. High-quality paint costs about $15 to $20 more a gallon but will perform much better and last much longer. Check out our painting article to find out the best colors to use in 2022

Don't be afraid to get creative with your design 

There are many ways to make a bathroom look stylish and luxurious. A good start is to pick your color palette. Once you have an idea of what your walls will look like, you can start making other design choices like tile and fixtures. 

There are many places to find bathroom design ideas. Some people look online on sites like Instagram by searching hashtags like #BathroomDesign or #GreenBathrooms, in magazines like Birmingham Home & Garden, or even in other people's homes for inspiration. Going to the Birmingham Parade of Homes or the Birmingham Home Show is also a great way to get inspired. It's essential to focus on your taste, style, room size, and layout when gathering ideas. If you see a bathroom you like, save the picture and note the specific elements you want to incorporate into your design. Creating a vision board can be a huge help when describing your goals to a contractor.

Ask for help if you don't know how to do something

Many people are asking the same question. Should I remodel my bathroom myself or hire a contractor? Well, the answer depends on a few factors.

Some people are handy and enjoy doing home renovations themselves. If you're one of those people, it can be a great way to save money on the remodel cost because the labor cost is one of the main elements of a contractor's quote. However, it's critical to be realistic about your skills and what you can accomplish yourself. There's a lot that goes into a successful bathroom remodel. You'll need to be skilled at 

  • Demo and proper disposal
  • Framing and structural support
  • Mechanical rough-ins like Electrical, Plumbing, and HVAC.
  • Sheetrock hanging and finishing
  • Installing doors and trim
  • Painting
  • Shower pan installation and proper leak testing
  • Concrete pouring with the appropriate slope for the shower floor
  • Tile installation
  • Cabinet installation
  • Installing the final fixtures like faucets, toilets, and shower trim
  • Shower glass installation

If you're not confident in your ability to do the work yourself, it's best to hire a contractor even if you only need them to complete a few of the phases. They'll have the experience and expertise to get the job done right, and they'll likely be more affordable than trying to do it all yourself. Plus, it will be their responsibility to make it right if done improperly.

Make sure the bathroom is functional for your needs 

So many people make the mistake of overlooking this detail. When designing your bathroom, it's necessary to consider all of your needs. Don't forget about things like storage, lighting, and ventilation.

Storage is critical, especially if you have a small bathroom. You'll want to choose cabinets and shelves that offer plenty of storage space. Be sure to include a vanity cabinet with lots of drawers, and a medicine cabinet is always handy if you can incorporate it into your design.

You'll want to choose fixtures that provide good task lighting. A ceiling light is usually the best option. Make sure there is enough ambient light in the room so that it's not too dark. Our rule of thumb is to provide multiple light sources - from can lights on the ceiling to vanity lights on the wall. Too much light in the bathroom isn't a thing. If separate switches turn on the ceiling lights and wall lights, you can choose the perfect amount of light for every situation. 

Ventilation is also imperative. Not only is it a code requirement, but you'll be glad it's there when trying to remove all the steam after your shower. Choose a ventilation fan that can adequately remove all the moisture. We recommend using a can light style fan. A can-fan combo gives you all the ventilation you need but looks like the rest of the lighting on the ceiling. 

Pro Tip: Install the light on the same circuit as the rest of the ceiling lights and install the fan on a separate switch. It's always nice to turn the fan off once the humidity in the room normalizes.

Dark charcoal bathroom with soft brass accents

Be prepared to make decisions

Renovations can be time-consuming, so have a clear idea of what you want. Even if you think you have planned everything for your bathroom remodel, there may be a surprise that changes a minor detail. For example, the plumbing may be different from what was expected, requiring a change in the design or causing a fixture to be reordered. Be prepared to make last-minute decisions quickly so that the remodel can continue smoothly. A good contractor will communicate openly about these things and remain flexible in helping you achieve your bathroom vision. They should recommend options to point you in the right direction.

Don't forget about the little details

Most people forget about the little details that give every bathroom its finished look.

  • Robe hooks
  • Towel bars
  • Towel rings
  • Toilet paper holders
  • Mirrors
  • Artwork
  • Any other decor you like to complete the design.

Also, adding a tile backsplash or putting up some new wallpaper can make a difference.

White bathroom with black and gold accents

Renovating your bathroom can be a fun, exciting project – as long as you plan carefully and choose high-quality materials that will last. Don't be afraid to get creative with your design, but make sure the finished product is functional for your needs. And don't forget about the little details – they can make a difference in the overall look and feel of your new bathroom. If you need help with any part of your renovation, our team is here to help. Let us know how we can assist you in making your dream bathroom a reality.


How long does a bathroom renovation take?

It depends on the size of the project. A small bathroom renovation, which might involve just painting and new flooring, could take as little as two weeks or less. A more extensive renovation, including removing walls or changing the room's layout, could take anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks.

Keep in mind that these times are just estimates. If you're working with a contractor, be sure to get an estimate of how long the project will take before you start. That way, there won't be any surprises down the road. A good contractor will provide you with a duration schedule that outlines each phase of the project. A good plan will help you stay on track and help you know deadlines for ordering materials like tile, vanities, and light fixtures.

How do I replace my bathtub? I only need a new tub.  

Replacing a bathtub can be challenging, but it can be done relatively quickly with the correct tools and knowledge. The first step is to remove the old tub and any related plumbing. Disconnect the pipes and remove the screws that hold the tub in place. Remove the old tub and measure the space to determine the replacement tub you will need.

Once you have selected your new tub, install it following the manufacturer's instructions. Be sure to use appropriate caulk and sealants to ensure a watertight seal between the tub and floor. Connect the plumbing and test for leaks before reattaching any coverings or trim. There may be a small amount of sheetrock work that will need to be done around the new tub walls. If that's the case, you may want to plan on painting the whole bathroom for a fresh, appealing look.

How much for a small bathroom?

Small bathroom remodels generally cost between $5,000 and $12,000. That price range includes everything from the initial design consultation to the finished product. However, it's important to remember that those prices are just estimates and that the final cost may vary depending on the specific materials and finishes chosen by the homeowner.

For example, suppose you want to add luxurious features like a heated floor or marble tiles. In that case, your renovation will be more expensive than if you stick with more budget-friendly materials like vinyl flooring or a fiberglass tub. Additionally, smaller bathrooms may require less labor time than larger ones, so they'll usually be less expensive to renovate. 

How much does it cost to renovate a large bathroom?

Depending on the size and level of detail, a bathroom renovation can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $80,000. Most projects fall somewhere in the middle and lower, costing around $25,000. However, large or very detailed bathrooms can easily surpass $30,000

There are many ways you can cut costs if you're trying to stick to a budget. A few methods are to avoid moving walls or the plumbing. You can paint the bathroom yourself. Choose a fiberglass tub and surround to save money on tile installation. You can also choose to do any part of the remodel yourself if you have the time and the skills. A good contractor will be more than willing to work with you to get the project done.

Keep in mind that these are just ballpark estimates; the final price will depend on many factors, such as the materials used and the level of labor required. Be sure you choose a professional capable of achieving your goals before starting any project, so you know what you'll know what to expect.

Who do I hire for a bathroom remodel?

When considering a bathroom remodel, hiring an experienced and qualified contractor in the specific type of remodeling you want to be done is essential. For example, some contractors may specialize in tiled showers, while others may only do simple upgrades like installing a new vanity.

It would be best if you looked at reviews from past clients to make sure your community has good experiences with the company you choose, but the most important thing to look for is an actual company with a real business address and phone number. Many homeowners make the mistake of trying to "save money" by hiring the "one contractor in a van" type only to have a problem down the road. Suddenly, when they need help the most, they get ghosted. Here's where I make a shameless plug for Home Repair Service. We're here to stay, and we'd love to help you remodel your bathroom if you need us. Fill out a contact form on this website so we can call and talk details.

What are the steps to a full bathroom remodel?

Typical remodeling phases include:

  • Demo
  • Framing
  • Mechanical rough-ins like plumbing, electrical, and HVAC
  • Sheetrock
  • Doors and trim
  • Paint
  • Tile
  • Final installation of plumbing and electrical fixtures
  • Touch-ups (sheetrock and paint improvements)
  • Install any wall hangings like towel bars, hooks, and mirrors
  • Finally, relax and enjoy your new bathroom

How much does a bathroom remodel add to my home's value?

Remodeling your bathroom can add more value to your home than you spend on it. You're probably thinking, "Yeah, but…", stick with me here.

Being one of the most popular home improvement projects, remodeling your bathroom can be a great way to add value to your home. In general, you can expect to recoup about 80% of the cost of a bathroom remodel if you sell your home right away. That sounds terrible, and it's why I never suggest remodeling your bathroom only to get a better sale price for your home. 

The value of a home is determined by several factors, including its location, the property's condition, and the amenities it offers. Over time, these factors tend to increase, which drives up the value of homes in that area. So, if you can wait just 2 or 3 years to sell, you can earn serious returns for your efforts.

This phenomenon is referred to as "market appreciation". When demand for homes in a particular area exceeds the available supply, it drives prices up as people compete for limited housing inventory. In some cases, market appreciation can be quite dramatic, with values increasing by hundreds or even thousands of percent over a period of just a few years.

There are a few things to keep in mind when planning a bathroom remodel that will help you earn a higher value when it comes time to sell: be sure to choose high-quality materials that will stand up to wear and tear, and make sure the design is timeless so it won't go out of style in a few years. Please don't make the mistake of being too cheap with your bathroom project. It won't last and isn't worth the time and effort of renovating. Remodeling is time-consuming and stressful. You don't want to find out all your effort went for nothing because the vanity is already falling apart or the faucet was made of plastic and looks worse for wear. Again, making repairs before you sell your house will only net you a loss. If you take on a remodel project, don't do it for them, do it for you!

We get it. Your bathroom is outdated, and you're embarrassed to have guests over. 

It's hard to keep up with the Joneses when your bathroom looks like it's from the 1970s. You're not alone. Most people have at least one room in their home that they would love to remodel but don't have the required time or skills.

Home Repair Service offers a full range of bathroom remodeling services so you can finally have the dream bathroom you've always wanted. We'll take care of everything for you, from design and construction to fixtures and finishes. Plus, our team of experts will work with you every step of the way to make sure your new bathroom is exactly what you want. Fill out our contact form or call us today to get started building your new space. 205-671-2913