• Plan your bathroom renovation with these 5 steps

    Plan your bathroom renovation with these 5 steps

    With a quite a few bathroom renovations under our belt, we thought we’d share some insight into what we’ve learnt along the way. One of the most common things we hear is: ‘I just don’t know where to start’. So here are 5 steps to help you plan your own bathroom renovation.

    Step 1: Plan the layout

    The layout is always the first place we start. You may have a tile in mind, or an idea of the bath you’re after, however it’s no good to you if your bath won’t fit in the space you’ve allocated. Consider what is important to you, for example, if planning an ensuite, and the room allows, would you prefer a double shower or a double basin? Draw an outline of the room you’re working with and experiment with layout options – don’t always settle for the first option. Allow yourself some time to think about the best layout for your lifestyle. Just a brief mention regarding the budget; keep in mind that moving plumbing will incur extra plumbing costs. If you’re on a tight budget, and the current layout is functional, you may want to leave things in their current position.

    Step 2: Decide on your style

    To ensure a cohesive look, work out the style you’re after. Industrial? Traditional? Black and white? Vintage? Natural? The best way to work this out is to collate inspirational pictures. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, Pinterest is the best! Collect pictures of bathrooms, colours, cabinetry and tapware you like. Hopefully, you should start to see a common theme which will help direct your focus. Sometimes something as simple as falling in love with a particular tap, for example, may be all it takes to assist in making style choices.

    Step 3: Choose your tiles

    If you’re after a bit of ‘wow factor’ in your bathroom, now is the time to think about what that will be. Is the bath the feature? If so, you may want to consider a large format tile on the walls behind the bath, so as not to distract from your feature.  Sometimes less is more! Ensure your choices don’t compete with one another. If you’ve found a mosaic tile you love, ensure that the remaining tiles don’t compete. Are you after a feature tile or did you want to keep the bathroom simple and streamlined? Remember that you don’t have to tile to the ceiling on every wall. For example, you could consider subway tiles to 1200mm, with the remainder wall painted a feature colour.

    Step 4: Work out your budget

    It may sound like common sense, but it all adds up! Excel spreadsheets are great for keeping a track of the budget. Before commencing work, make sure you have an idea of how much you’re willing to spend. With this in mind, more often than not, renovations don’t progress according to plan, and a contingency buffer is highly recommended. For example, gutting a bathroom may reveal timber that requires replacing. Obviously every bathroom is unique, however, having an extra 10% of the budget set aside is highly recommended.

    For the average bathroom, here is a list of things you need to budget for:


    • Carpentry work (e.g. demolition, framing of niches and fitting off accessories)
    • Plumbing
    • Electrical
    • Gyprocking
    • Waterproofing
    • Tiling labour
    • Painting materials and labour
    • Tapware (for sinks, bath & shower)
    • Bath
    • Drains (for shower & floor waste)
    • Tiles
    • Vanity, including basins, cabinetry, plugs & waste
    • Lighting and exhaust fans
    • Waste disposal


    Step 5: Be organised!

    Having a plan and being organized is crucial. To ensure your bathroom is cohesive and functional, it is important to have selections made and organized BEFORE you start. There is nothing worse than your plumber chasing you for tapware, and having to compromise on the overall look because the taps you wanted are not in stock, or you’ve made a rushed decision. It’s worth noting at this point, that bathrooms and kitchen are the most expensive rooms in the home. With that being said, they are the most used, and the most important to get right. Let’s face it, unlike a ‘media room’ or a ‘butler’s pantry’ they are a necessity!

    Finally, the 2 most important things we’ve learnt along the way are:


    • The age old saying ‘you get what you pay for’ is an overused cliché, but so true in our experience. Cheap tapware, may aesthetically look fine, however often pits, or requires plumbing maintenance down the track. 
    • Planning is everything to ensure you’re happy with the overall outcome. Beautiful, functional bathrooms don’t happen by accident, and pay dividends – whether you’re planning to live in and enjoy your home for years, or whether you’re planning to sell. The astute buyer can spot great design.




    About the author

    • Kyal and Kara

      Kyal and Kara became the public’s favourite couple of The Block Fans v Faves series and caught the positive attention of the judges – winning multiple rooms. Their down to earth and friendly nature has made them crowd favorites and their skill and design flair has ensured some beautiful renovation results. As a young, enthusiastic, fit and healthy couple, they have an exciting future ahead.  

      Since The Block, Kyal and Kara have gone on to launch their own business, Diverse Design and Construct, and are working on various design and build projects around the country including their own renovation projects.

      Kyal and Kara Demmrich

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    The information here is of a general nature only and is not intended to constitute financial or tax advice. You should consult your professional adviser, accountant or taxation expert for advice specific to your personal circumstances.

    The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of RAMS Financial Group Pty Ltd ABN 30 105 207 538 (RAMS),  Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 (Westpac) or their related bodies corporate. This article is strictly for information purposes only and neither RAMS, Westpac nor any of their related bodies corporate make any representation as to the accuracy or completeness of the information in this article or endorse the views expressed in it.