A Step-by-Step Guide for a Serene Retreat

Starting a bathroom renovation can be like finding the perfect shower temperature—a little tricky at first, but oh so good when you get it just right! 

Beyond just looking nicer and being more enjoyable to use, a well-planned renovation can really boost your home's value, which we all appreciate!

But where do you even begin? Trying to figure out how to renovate a bathroom can feel overwhelming, right? That's where we come in! Think of us as your bathroom renovation guides, here to help you through every step, from finding inspiration and choosing the best upgrades to understanding the renovation flow.

Let's turn that old, tired bathroom into the relaxing retreat you deserve!



Understanding the Scope of Your Renovation

Before diving headfirst into Pinterest boards and researching how to renovate a bathroom, it's important to get clear on the scope of your renovation. 

This means thinking about the following:

  • Space and layout: Take a critical look at your bathroom's existing footprint. Do you want to overhaul the layout completely for better flow? Or will a refresh of surfaces and fixtures do the trick? Understanding your spatial needs is the first step.
  • Setting a realistic budget: Dream bathrooms are great, but a realistic budget is a must. Decide on a budget you're comfortable with. This will influence everything from the scale of the renovation to the materials and fixtures you choose. Don't forget to factor in trade hire costs if needed and a little extra for unexpected surprises.
  • Project timeline: How long do you envision the renovation taking? Setting a timeline keeps you on track and minimises disruptions. Be flexible, as construction rarely goes exactly to plan, but having a timeline helps manage expectations for everyone involved

Why Is Planning Important? 

Having a clear plan from the start prevents budget blowouts and major headaches down the line. Think of it as the blueprint for your dream bathroom – a clear plan results in a space that's both beautiful and within your means.


Designing Your Ideal Bathroom

Now for the fun part: imagining how your bathroom will look and feel! Start by defining your dream look. Do you envision a sleek, modern space? A tranquil, spa-inspired retreat? Or a classic bathroom with timeless elegance?  

Let your personal style guide you, but also think about how well your bathroom will blend with the rest of your home's overall design.

Once you have a general theme in mind, it's time to think about colours and textures. Choose a palette that brings out the mood you want to create. Do you want calming neutrals, energising brights, or a touch of drama with dark accents? 

Don't forget to get inspired by the latest bathroom trends!



Selecting Materials and Fixtures

It's time to bring your bathroom vision to life! That 'wow' factor comes from choosing the right materials and fixtures. Let's explore options that can turn your outdated space into a bathroom you'll love for years to come.

First up are materials. Tiles play a huge role in a bathroom's design, so choose carefully. 

From classic subway tiles to bold geometric patterns, the options are endless! 

  • Marble is a classic choice that exudes luxury. However, because marble is porous, regular sealing is needed to prevent staining.
  • Porelain is incredibly versatile and durable. Porcelain tiles come in a huge range of styles, including realistic imitations of marble, wood, and stone.
  • Ceramic is a popular and budget-friendly choice. Choose glazed ceramic for greater water resistance and less chipping.
  • Natural stone options like travertine and limestone offer unique beauty and patterns. While durable, some stone types require sealing, just like marble.
  • Mosaic tiles are small and intricate and are perfect for adding accents and borders or creating feature walls.

If you want to create an illusion of more space, consider large-format tiles. These make a small bathroom feel larger because there's less grout line interruption.



Okay, after the big decisions about tiles, it's time for the fun stuff! Fixtures are the hard working heroes of your bathroom. They need to be practical, reliable and look good while doing it. 

Here's what to think about:

  • How do you use it? Does your bathroom get chaotic with everyone getting ready at once? Then, a double-sink vanity is a lifesaver. Love long showers? A luxe rain showerhead makes a big difference.
  • The style factor: Your fixtures should work with your overall bathroom design. Do you prefer sleek and modern or more classic and timeless looks? There are options out there to suit every taste.
  • Don't skimp on quality: You don't want to be replacing leaky taps a year from now. Invest in quality fixtures from brands known for reliability. It pays off in the long run!
  • Save water (and money): Water-efficient fixtures are the way to go. You're doing your part for the environment and saving on your water bills – win-win!
  • Let there be light: Good lighting is essential in a bathroom. Think about task lighting (like around the mirror) for makeup and shaving and softer light to create a relaxing atmosphere while you soak in the tub.

A Few Specifics

  • Showerheads: Are you all about that gentle rainfall feeling, or do you prefer a power? Think about height options and if you want the flexibility of a handheld.
  • Vanities: Storage, counter space, sink style—these are your priorities. Wall-mounted vanities can make a small bathroom feel bigger. Do you want one sink or two?
  • Toilets: Dual-flush toilets are the norm now, and they save water. However, the size and shape of the toilet itself impact the overall feel of the space.
  • Baths: Freestanding tub? Or a functional built-in? It all comes down to your bathroom style and if you have the space and the budget!
  • Taps: The finishing touch! Chrome, brass, matte black—there's a finish for every design style. Taps are like the jewellery of your bathroom, so have fun with them! 

Essential Elements of Bathroom Renovation

While choosing the perfect tiles and fixtures is exciting, there's some behind-the-scenes work that's just as important. Think of this as the foundation for a bathroom you'll enjoy for years.

  • Plumbing considerations: Your pipes are the lifeline of your bathroom, and you need to get them right! You'll need to re-run plumbing if you're moving fixtures around (like relocating a shower or toilet). Always hire a licensed plumber for this – incorrect plumbing can lead to costly water damage later.
  • Electrical work and lighting: Remember safety first! Wiring for new fixtures or updating outlets requires a qualified electrician. Lighting is also more than just overhead bulbs. Think about:
    • Mirrors: Backlit mirrors or vanity lighting makes a difference.
    • Showers: You might want recessed lighting in the shower zone - talk with an electrician for placement and installation.
    • Mood lighting: Dimmer switches can help transition the bathroom into spa mode at night.
  • Ventilation: A well-ventilated bathroom is a happy (and mold-free) one! Exhaust fans remove steam and moisture, keeping your space fresh. If you install one, ensure it's powerful enough for your bathroom's size.

Other Trades You May Need

Depending on the scope and budget of your bathroom renovation, you may also want to think about:

  • Waterproofer: Think of them as your bathroom's invisible shield! A proper waterproofing job stops water from going where it shouldn't and prevents leaks and mould. This is especially important in your shower and around the tub.
  • Tiler: Tilers are artists in their own way. They make sure those tiles you picked out look absolutely perfect – no wonky lines or uneven spacing! A good tiler turns your bathroom into a showcase.
  • Carpenter: If you dream of custom built-ins, need to relocate a window, or are changing the layout, a carpenter is your best friend. If you haven't got the time or know-how, they're the ones who can build your bathroom vision from the ground up.


Installation Process 

Before you grab a sledgehammer and begin your renovation, remember that professional installation is key. 

Licensed plumbers, builders, electricians, and tilers are your renovation dream team. These pros will plan the entire process and ensure that everything meets safety standards and looks amazing, saving you time, money, and future headaches.

Renovations typically follow a flow:

  • Demo day (or two): Out with the old!
  • Rough-in: Plumbing and electrical work gets sorted behind the scenes (a few days).
  • Waterproofing: This crucial step takes a day or so to make sure your bathroom stays leak-free.
  • Tiling: Walls come first, then floors. This can take a few days or longer, depending on size.
  • Finishing touches: Fixtures, cabinets, mirrors – these additions usually wrap up in a couple of days.

Tips for a Smooth Renovation Process

Chatting regularly with your contractor is a must – don't be afraid to ask questions, raise any worries, and get updates on how things are going. The more you communicate, the better the end result will be.

Also, if this is your first time, know that renovations can get a bit messy, so expect some dust and changes to your daily routine. The best thing to do is stay flexible! 

Things rarely go exactly as planned with renovations, so a bit of extra time and an easygoing attitude make the process less stressful.


Create Your Dream Bathroom Today

Planning a bathroom renovation takes you from "Ugh" to "Wow" faster than you think. A beautiful, functional bathroom adds a little bit of excitement to your everyday routine and adds serious value to your home.

Trying to figure out how to renovate a bathroom on your own can be daunting. Let Amber help with your next bathroom renovation. We offer expert advice, top-quality supplies, and the inspiration to make your vision a reality.

  • Explore endless possibilities on our inspiration page
  • Find inspiration from completed projects using Amber products
  • Book a design consultation and turn your dream into a plan
  • Visit a showroom and experience quality firsthand

Your dream bathroom is just a renovation away. Contact us and get started today!



FAQs About How To Renovate a Bathroom

  •  In What Order Should You Renovate a Bathroom?

    A typical bathroom renovation follows this general order: demolition of the existing bathroom, plumbing and electrical rough-in, waterproofing of wet areas, tiling the walls followed by the floors, installation of fixtures, and finally, finishing touches such as painting, grouting, and hanging mirrors.
  • Can You Renovate a Bathroom by Yourself?

    It depends on your skills and the project's scope. A skilled DIY homeowner might be able to make simple cosmetic changes like painting, replacing minor fixtures, or even basic tiling. 

    However, a licensed tradesman is best able to handle complex plumbing, electrical work, or structural changes. This ensures that the work is safe and complies with building regulations.

  • Do You Install Flooring Before a Shower?

    Typically, you install the shower base or bathtub before laying the bathroom floor tiles. This allows the floor tiles to slide slightly underneath the edges of the shower or tub, creating a seamless look and helping with waterproofing. 

    There are some exceptions, such as certain freestanding bathtub installations, where the order might be reversed.