Bathroom Renovation planning guide

When it comes to DIY, bathroom renovation is one of the trickiest ones in the house. It involves more work and thought than other rooms in the house. It can also be one of the most expensive projects to complete, while you will have to live with the design you’ve decided on for a long time. (Did you know that in UK bathrooms are renovated average every 15 to 20 years?) Bathroom is also one of the most used (and abused) rooms while usually being the smallest space in the house. It can also significantly increase (or decrease!) the value of the property. It all might sound a bit serious and daunting… oh the amount of work that is involved and thousands of things to think about… But fear not! I’ve put together for you a simple guide to take you through the process.

Bathroom renovation is our next big project in the house, so I thought it is a perfect opportunity for me to share few articles where I will be covering different angles of bathroom renovation process starting with how to plan it, following with design ideas and solutions, tips where you can save money and how to achieve your perfect look while having a good quality, functional bathroom. I will also share with you the outcome of my refurb, all the highs and lows of the project and how the finished bathroom compares to the design ideas/plans.


It all starts with an idea. Collect inspirations and pictures of styles, colours and finishes.

Pinterest or Houzz apps are perfect for collecting your ideas.

Here are few of my favourite designs:


My bathroom won’t look exactly look as on those pictures but you get the gist of what I’m going for. It will be white and bright, Victorian with some coastal influence.

Measure your bathroom and double check all sizes. Draw a plan/ layout. You can either do it on paper or use a plan drawing up or a website such as where you can draw a plan easily using existing products and it’s free. When designing the layout think about functionality.

Research all finishes, fixtures and materials. Shop around for best price and offers. Mix and match items from different sources to match your style and budget. Think about functionality and style that will meet the needs of you/ your family and which will complement the character of your house. It’s a good idea to create a mood board illustrating your ideas and letting you see how all items, finishes and colours will go together.

Shortlist all fixtures and materials and calculate items budget.

Make a shopping list and buy/order all parts and materials in advance/ ahead of time.


Budget & Scope of Work

How much would you like to spend? From here you need to look into what exactly needs doing.

Make a list of what exactly needs to be done. Is this a total gutting and refurb or just a small makeover with partial updates? New layout and repositioning of bath/ toilet/ shower/ basin etc.?  Adjusting the layout to the plumbing/ can plumbing be adjusted to the layout?

Be prepared for some unexpected spending/ jobs and problems appearing – with various DIY projects and house renovations throughout the years I’ve learned pretty quickly that it’s best to expect the ‘unexpected’ than have a shock with an unpleasant surprise – I could say that the older the house, the more problems you are likely to find, but actually this is not always the case. For example a Victorian house which is 160 year old will be a solid build where a quality of a 70’s or 80’s house might leave a lot to wish for…

Unexpected surprises might not only chip into your budget but also cause time delays, so this is something to bare in mind.

When gutting our bathroom I will be expecting to find some serious problems such as rotten floor joists that will need replacing, floor boards or leaking pipes or bad electrics. I would rather be nicely surprised finding that there is nothing sinister going on under the floor than to come across unexpected expenses or extra labour.

Builders or DIY?

Who will do the work? DIY/ builder/ handyman/ plumber? Are there any jobs which can be can be done by you/ you would like to do yourself?

Find reliable/ contractor – if not doing the job yourself. Ask friends and family for builders/ plumbers recommendations. It’ also worth asking around on the neighbourhood network websites such as or kahuti. is good to find a contractor where you can see them being rated by their true customers. It’s also good to obtain various quotes which you then can compare.

Clear communication with the contractors is the key. Personally I prefer phone or face to face conversation but then I always follow by email to have a record of what’s been discussed/ agreed.

Don’t forget about waste disposal. Depending on the volume you might have to order a skip ahead of time but this is rather costly so it’s another that will add to your budget. If it’s a total DIY refurb then you might just get away with few trips to your local tip which would be free.

Set a date to start work.

Plan for the inconvenience if this is the only bathroom in your house.

Looks like you are ready to go! Happy renovation!

6 thoughts on “Bathroom Renovation planning guide

  1. Great article with helpful tips. I like how you make what sounds to me a bit complicated, come across do-able. I will have to print your chart and stick in on my fridge as a motivation to start my project !

  2. Great informative article. Already feeling more confident about our bathroom makeover! B&Q here we come!

    1. Thank you. It’s so nice to hear that my blog posts can inspire people to be more confident with their DIY. I love B&Q! Enjoy!

    1. I think this one is my favourite as well. I just got the tiles delivered this week – exactly as on this picture but I’m still searching for similar wallpaper… having said that I’m having second thoughts about the wallpaper in the bathroom as I don’t want it to start coming off on the seams from all the moisture and steam from showers etc… wallpaper in bathroom will be definitely a topic worth researching 

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