WORK OUT YOUR BUDGET
Assess your ﬁnances and decide how much you can afford to spend, then establish what you will be able to do with the money available. It is a good idea to build in a 10 percent contingency plan in case of unforeseen costs.
PLAN YOUR LAYOUT
Draw up a plan of your bathroom, including the positions of windows and doors and the locations of waste and supply pipes. Plan out what changes you will want to make, then call in a plumber to advise whether the plan will work and to give an estimate for the work required.
REVIEW ELECTRICAL NEEDS
Before the walls are patched or tiled, you need to decide where the lights and extractor fan will go, and where the switches will be positioned. Also, consider whether you want to install underﬂoor radiant heating or any heated towel racks.
Contact an electrician and tiler (unless you will be doing the tiling yourself) to get quotes for the jobs you have lined up. If you are happy with the quotes, and with the choice of tradespeople, sign them up, ensuring that each person knows when the other is coming to do his job. Ask each of them to advise at this stage if any of their work will impact what another tradesperson is doing.
PLACE YOUR ORDERS
Armed with your quotes, you should now know how much money is left to spend on ﬁxtures and supplies. Working to your budget, choose and order ﬁxtures, shower, tiles, and faucets. Note delivery dates for all the products and don’t schedule work to start until after everything has arrived.
RIP OUT THE OLD BATHROOM
Work can now begin on removing your old bathroom, tiles, ﬂooring, and lighting. Be prepared for unforeseen problems to emerge now, such as damp or rotten ﬂoors. This is where the 10 percent contingency in the budget is likely to come into play. Talk to your plumber and electrician to agree on a new schedule if there are going to be delayed.
BEGIN THE PLUMBING ROUGH-IN
The plumber will now begin the rough-in—the installation of the plumbing for the bathtub, sink, and toilet. Bear in mind that existing ﬁxtures will need to be removed to allow for tiling. The water supply might need to be turned off and the system drained at this stage, so be prepared to spend a few hours without running water.
The electrician’s rough-in will involve installing the wiring for all the electrical items in the room, such as electrical receptacles, lighting, and ventilation fan. He will also need to install the initial wiring for any heated towel racks or underﬂoor radiant heating at this point.
CLOSE THE WALLS
The walls can now be patched or closed. Fill any holes with sheetrock patches and skimcoat to prepare for paint. Be sure to use moisture-resistant tile backer board in wet tiled areas.
LAY THE FLOORING
Next, the ﬂoor can be laid. If you have decided to opt for underﬂoor heating, you can install it yourself, but it will need to be signed off by a certiﬁed electrician. If you are using porous tiles on the ﬂoor, remember to factor in time for sealing, as well as laying, the ﬂoor.
PREPARE THE SHOWER
If you are installing a shower stall, its walls may need to be waterproofed using a waterprooﬁng membrane before being tiled. Do this now, since the walls need time to dry out before the tiling and grouting can begin.
ORGANIZE THE FINAL INSTALL
At the ﬁnal install stage, the plumber will need to install the bathtub and shower. The electrician also needs to return to install the light ﬁxtures, switches, and GFI receptacles and connect everything.
TILE AND GROUT AND ORGANIZE THE FIXTURE INSTALL
You can now tile and grout. The work will need time to dry, so don’t expect to be able to do any more work in the bathroom for another two to three days. The plumber will then need to return to install the toilet and the sink.
Finally, tackle the rest of the decorating. After painting the room (using drop cloths in case there are splashes), install any last features, such as blinds or a toilet roll holder, and add the ﬁnishing touches to your decorating scheme.