DIY Bathroom Renovations

Renovating any room in the home can become an expensive task. For some, the cost of bathroom renovations was made easier due to government tax credits for things like low-flow toilets. Today, those same tax credits may not be available, so anything that is being added will need to come out of your own pocket.

The good thing with a bathroom renovation is that those looking to do them are typically not looking to completely redo the room. Most of the time, the reason behind a bathroom renovation is a change in theme. With that in mind, what are some options that you can take?


Bathroom floors can be a tricky subject. One easy DIY method to get around the old floors is simply not to worry about them. No, that does not mean you should leave the old floors as they are, but rather that you should just cover them over with new tile.

Because they sell thin, self-adhering tiles, you can easily just install this new tile directly over the old tile. Before doing this, make sure to clean the floor thoroughly first. Sweep up any dirt or dust and mop the floor so it looks as good as it possibly can. Once this is done, simply lay the new tile and cut around as needed. This will save you a lot of money, and perhaps more important, a lot of time.

Wallpaper or Tile?

Depending on the theme of your bathroom, you may want to install wallpaper or you may want to just put in new tile. Unfortunately, the walls may not be as easy as the floors. If you can find a complimentary, self-adhering tile for your walls, you do have the option of following the same process as you did for the ground. If not, removing the wall tiles in a bathroom can be a pain.

The pain with bathroom walls really comes into play when you do want new wallpaper though. This is because old bathrooms often had tiles that we installed with grout, which makes them have indentations around every tile. If you’re looking to install wallpaper over the tile, this can be real struggle, and often compromise your wallpaper installation.

One way around this is to buy the thinnest drywall you can find and install that over the exposed tile. Because you are working in a bathroom, make sure that you get something resistant to water. Once the drywall is installed over the tile, simply put the wallpaper over the drywall. This will be a smooth surface and will not even have to be cleaned or prepped.


There are usually only a few cabinets and drawers in the bathroom, but buying completely new ones can still be expensive. With this in mind, perhaps you can look at the idea of simply repainting the cabinets. For this, all you need are: new fixtures, sandpaper for smoothing, primer and paint. This may take a bit more time to install than completely new cabinets, but it can add an artistic and unique look to your bathroom. If it will fit the theme you are working on, it is definitely worth considering.

Working with Water

As you already know, if you do decide to get a new sink or toilet, remember to turn off the water. Rather than having to turn off each individual item, you may want to go outside to the main water source and turn it off from there. Tell your family that they will not have water for a couple of hours and maybe have them go out while you work. Always double check that you have done this, because the last thing you want to do while working on a project is to open up a pipe and find that you have released the flood gates. You’ll also want to check your home insurance policy as most will require any DIY plumbing work to be inspected and certified by a master plumber. Same applies for any electrical work you do yourself.