Small Bathroom Remodeling

A Small Bathroom Renovation can Provided Increased Value and Functionality to your Home

By Mark J. Donovan

Over the years I have done numerous small bathroom remodeling projects in my homes. Most recently I completed a small bathroom renovation project in my master bedroom. As with any home remodeling project, a small bathroom remodeling project requires upfront budgeting and planning. In my most recent bathroom remodeling project, I decided to replace the shower stall, the bathroom vanity and sink, the bathroom flooring, medicine chest, and towel bars. I did almost all of the work myself, and spent about $4,500 on materials and labor.

The only item I subcontracted out was the plumbing in of the new shower fixtures. That alone cost about $1,000 dollars due to the fact that we wanted a shower fixture with multiple shower heads.

As with any bathroom renovation project, I started out my small bathroom remodeling project by first removing the old bathroom vanity and toilet. I did save the toilet as it still looked brand new and worked perfectly well. I also removed all of the old baseboard trim and vinyl flooring. Since the home was built after 1979 I was not worried about asbestos in the vinyl flooring material.

At the heart of my small bathroom remodeling project was the installation of a new custom ceramic tile shower. Prior to installing the new ceramic tile shower, I removed all of the old tile and cement backer backerboard from the shower area. I also removed the fiberglass shower pan base. I then had the new plumbing fixtures installed and then reinstalled new cementer backerboard and a new mortar shower pan.

Finally I tiled the shower stall and added a glass shower door to finish it off. See my Ebooks on “Installing a Mortar Shower Pan” and “Installing a Ceramic Custom Tile Shower” to learn more about tackling these types of projects on your own.

Bathroom remodeling

Once I completed the custom ceramic tiled shower I moved on to the floor for the next step in my small bathroom remodeling project. I elected to install 12”x12” ceramic tiles with a slight textured surface. I also chose a sandy earthy tone type tile. As with the ceramic tile shower, I used a thinset mortar to install the ceramic floor tiles.

After tiling and grouting the bathroom floor I Installed a new custom built bathroom vanity and sink. I chose a bathroom vanity top that had a sink already integrated into it and that had a color that was similar to the bathroom ceramic tile flooring.

When installing a bathroom vanity and sink, always install the faucet fixtures onto the sink/countertop prior to mounting the sink/countertop on to the bathroom vanity. This way you limit the amount of crawling around inside the bathroom vanity. All you need to do to complete the bathroom faucet plumbing is to make three simple connections to tie in the supply lines and drain line to the base of the faucet. After making all the connections, simply turn the supply line valves back on to put your bathroom vanity back in business.

Bathroom Remodeling Bid Sheet

Next on my small bathroom remodeling list was to reinstall the old toilet.

Prior to mounting the toilet onto the toilet flange I installed a new wax ring to the base of the toilet. After placing the toilet over and onto the toilet flange I slightly rotated it back and forth and pressed it flush with the bathroom flooring. I then gently tightened up the toilet anchor bolts and connected the plumbing supply line to the base of the toilet tank. Finally I turned the water back on to the toilet.

To wrap up my small bathroom remodeling project I installed a new bathroom medicine chest and new towel racks. In addition, I installed new baseboard trim to complete my bathroom renovation project.

My small bathroom renovation project took about 5 weekends to complete and required the occasional extra pair of hands for some of the heavy lifting. Though I spent $4,500 dollars to renovate my bathroom, I am sure I increased the value of the bathroom by at least 50% above my expenditures, due to the fact that I did almost all the work myself. In addition, my newly remodeled bathroom looks fantastic and is more functional than it was before.

For help on your bathroom remodeling project, see my Bathroom Remodeling Bid Sheet. The Bathroom Remodeling Bid Sheet provides a request for quote checklist section that you can provide to prospective bathroom remodeling contractors. It also includes a comprehensive bathroom remodeling cost breakdown table, in Microsoft Excel format, that allows the contractor to include his projected remodeling costs for every phase of the project.

Related Information

Additional Bathroom Remodeling Design Resources

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