The choice of whether to do the work yourself or to hire pros (a general contractor or managing your own subcontractors) will, of course, depend on your assessment of your own skills, but also on your budget and your time schedule. If you have limited DIY skills and the small bathroom is the only bathroom you have, then getting the remodel done quickly and correctly is worth the extra cost of hiring pros—even if it means taking out a loan to do it.
You’ll spend $3,000 to $8,000 on the typical remodel. Anywhere from 40 to 65 percent of a bath upgrade cost comes from labor. However, doing any project yourself means no insurance and added fees if something goes wrong. Hire a professional for any work you’re not comfortable doing, such as the plumbing and electrical. Consider the pros and cons of DIY vs professional bathroom remodeling.
There is nothing better than getting into a hot shower at the end of a long day. My husband and I have been wanting to do some remodeling to our master bathroom and I would love to have any one of these designs. They look so functional for their size and I love the shower doors in some of these designs! These have given me some great ideas, thanks for sharing!
Preassemble the shower valve by soldering copper nipples and the shower supply pipe to male adapters and screwing them into the shower valve before fastening the valve to the blocking. That way you won’t damage the valve with heat from the soldering torch. Mount the valve 36 in. above the floor. You can mount the showerhead at any height, but plumbers typically mount them 6 ft. 6 in. above the floor.
A one-piece shower pan is the key to a leakproof shower. We opted for an easily installed fiberglass shower pan. Forty-eight inch wide pans are common and will work well; 60-in. units like we used must be special-ordered. The shower pan has to fit into the space left by the removed bathtub. Most bathtubs are 60 in. long, perfect for a 60-in. shower base.
Tile the walls first, then the floor. When tiling around the window, keep the tile about 1/8 in. away from the glass block. Tile the floor, starting by carefully snapping center lines to lay out border strips and field tile. Work from those lines to get evenly spaced tiles throughout the floor. Grout the walls and floors but caulk the inside corners between floors and walls and where walls meet.
Although this bath was done on a budget, its small footprint didn't require much flooring material, which provided the homeowners an opportunity to splurge a bit. This woven mosaic tile is a perfect complement to the bathroom's style and will wear well. To stretch your budget, surround decorative tile with more affordable plain tile around the perimeter of the room.
Tear out the existing piping (Photos 5 and 6). Then frame the 2×6 walls that will contain the new plumbing and the opposite end of the shower base (Photos 8, 9 and 14). It’s easiest to nail the bottom plate to the floor and the top plate to the ceiling, then fill in the studs one at a time by toenailing them in at the top and bottom. Stack the studs directly in front of the old ones wherever possible. Space the studs in the center of the shower about 12 in. apart to leave room for the shower valve and showerhead. The studs behind the toilet should be spaced exactly 19-3/4 in. apart for securing this toilet chair carrier (Photos 8 and 15).
Mixing modern with antique is the secret to this bathroom's signature look. Both the vanity and sink/faucet combination are simplistic but foster vintage and contemporary aesthetics. This single-lever faucet is easy to use, and the tall spout is the perfect height to deliver water to the vessel sink. A nickel finish on all the fixtures creates a cohesive look in this master bath.
Plumbing rough-in. The plumbing work is one area where DIYers should be cautious, as the results of a bad installation can be catastrophic. Very skilled DIYers can do their own plumbing (and save lots of money), but most DIY remodelers hire pros for the plumbing work. The plumber may make several visits over the course of the remodeling job—one reason why this is one of the more expensive components of the project. Two inspections are required: one at the rough-in phase, another after the final installation.
Planning. Both DIY and contractor remodeling jobs depend on good up-front planning in order to control costs and keep things speedy. Some of the key elements include drawing plans (essential if your remodel will involve layout changes to the bathroom), obtaining building permits, signing contracts with any pros you will use and scheduling their time, and sourcing and ordering materials. A general contractor will do most of this work for you (which is why he costs more), but to save money, you can do all the planning work yourself.