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).
The remodel preserved and enhanced the classic details while updating the functionality of the space. The blue floor tiles inspired the addition of sophisticated navy and-gray damask-print wallpaper, which the homeowners hung themselves. New beaded-board wainscoting painted bright white restored some of the room’s architectural detail and proved to be more cost-effective than taking the wallpaper to the floor.
Interior bathroom demolition costs $1,000 to $2,300. Prices can go higher if you’re removing and moving walls to create a different footprint. For the experienced DIYer, this is a good place to save money by doing it yourself or assisting the contractor. However, demo can get expensive quickly if you take out a load bearing wall, cut electrical lines or break a water pipe. Avoid the risk by hiring a pro.
If your room is wider than the shower base, fur in the walls as needed to butt against the ends of the shower base (see Photo 14). Our bathroom is 6 ft. wide, so we added a floor-to-ceiling 2×6 wall at the showerhead end and a shorter 2×6 wall at the opposite end. We made that wall only 43 in. above the floor so we could use the top of the wall to hold shampoo and other shower supplies. The shower base usually comes with a special 2-in. drain fitting that you connect to the drain line (Fig. B).
Follow Fig. B, for the new drain/vent plan. The new shower drain is vented separately into the main stack (Photos 10, 12 and 13). Most bathrooms have the main stack positioned directly behind the toilet. The wall-mounted toilet shown here cannot be positioned directly behind the stack because there’s not room for the necessary elbows. If your stack is more than 12 in. to the side of the existing toilet, you can keep the same location for the wall-hung toilet. But if it’s directly behind it, you’ll need to swap the sink and toilet locations like we did.
A DIY bathroom remodel is a big project. If you can only work weekends, your bathroom will be out of commission for two months or more. You’ll need all your expertise as an experienced do-it-yourselfer because you’ll have to tackle electrical, plumbing, tiling, drywalling, taping and even exterior siding. In this DIY shower remodel article, we’ll deal mostly with the nuts and bolts of ripping out existing plumbing and replacing it correctly with new, easily installed PVC piping.
Demolition. All remodeling jobs start with tearing out and removing elements that will be replaced. Depending on the level of your remodeling job, this can be a simple matter of removing old fixtures and flooring, or as complicated as removing everything down to the wall studs and floor joists. Either way, this can be hard work but it is not difficult, and most homeowners can do this work themselves to save money. Most demolition can be done in a weekend. You will need to rent a roll-off dumpster or arrange for a disposal company to take away a pile of demolition debris.
Guest bathroom: This is a full-service bathroom, with sink, toilet, and shower or shower/tub combination, but one that is used sporadically when guests visit. In empty-nest homes, a kids' full bathroom might be converted to a guest bath. Because guest baths get only occasional use, many people choose to use economy fixtures and materials, which can greatly cut costs. And because this is a secondary bathroom, you can take your time remodeling it, which also saves cost.
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Nail the bottom plate to the floor and the top plate to the ceiling. Then mark the positions of the shower base, toilet and sink. Lay out and toenail the wall studs into position (Fig. B) and the top plate for the low wall. On the opposite end of the shower, frame a matching 35-in. wide wall (see Photo 14) 60-1/4 in. (or the length of your shower base plus 1/4 in.) away from the first wall.