How to plan a bathroom renovation or remodel

marble bathroom with white bathtub


Posted December 03, 2020

Top things to consider when planning a bathroom renovation.

Whether it’s a full demolition or a minor transformation, taking the time to plan your bathroom renovation and decide what and who you need for the project will help you build your dream bathroom.

Where to start?

The size of your renovation will determine how much help you need - for example, delegating jobs and liaising with tradies throughout the process. If it's a fresh coat of paint and new tapware, then all you may need is a plumber and painter. But for a complete bathroom overhaul, you're likely to need to find reliable builders, plumbers, waterproofers, electricians, tilers, painters, and more.

The first thing you should do is take some time to list out the changes you want for your bathroom. This will give you a great starting point for setting a renovation budget to stick to throughout the build.

If you’re planning on repositioning your shower, bath or toilet, they may mean plumbing and building changes that will increase the cost of your renovation. You can arrange an independent plumbing inspection to gain an understanding of your current pipe set-up, identify any potential issues, and guide your perfect bathroom design.

Have a clear plan

Do your research

Research prices for amenities like basins, tiles, vanities, and tapware. 

Get quotes

Get quotes from qualified local tradies. You may be able to negotiate a fixed price with some tradies so make sure to ask if this is an option when requesting a quote.

Know your budget

Carefully detail and cost every aspect of your project then add a contingency plan which will help you avoid unexpected costs and bill shock!


white bathroom with plants on counter and natural light

Choosing the right amenities is crucial when renovation a bathroom

How to choose the right bathroom amenities

Once you've laid the groundwork in the bathroom project, the next part is the fun part - choosing your amenities! These are some of the main components of a standard bathroom along with some important considerations:


Consider both aesthetics and functionality when choosing a new shower. A fixed shower has the showerhead attached to an arm either mounted on a wall or ceiling, while an adjustable one gives you more flexibility in controlling the water spray. Another option is the rain shower which, as the name implies, simulates standing in the rain but doesn’t allow for directional control. Think about your favourite shower and try to emulate it in your choice.

It’s not just the fixtures you need to consider, but your shower door too. While frameless and sliding doors are popular, you may consider a walk-in-shower as they’re easy clean and can make smaller bathrooms feel more open and spacious.


It’s important to select a bath that fits your bathroom’s style, size, and layout to simplify your bathtub installation. While you may want a separate bath and shower, if you have a compact bathroom, a shower-bath combo could be your best option to maximise space.

Freestanding baths don’t connect to a wall and while previously seen as a more traditional style, in recent years they have had a modern overhaul with manufacturers using a variety of materials and shapes. They are popular choices for large bathrooms and act as a focal point, giving the room a luxury hotel feel. 

Island baths is where the bathtub is elevated on an ‘island’, raising its height slightly. This option is a great way to let your bath become the centrepiece of the bathroom, and the island can double as storage space for soap and shampoo.

Recessed or inset baths are a common variety in Australian homes. These are built-in against a wall on at least two sides and often have showers over them. While the materials may vary from bath to bath, the design doesn’t vary much. 

Toilet suite

While shopping for a new toilet may not sound as glamorous as selecting a claw-foot bath, your toilet is arguably the most important, or at least the most utilised, amenity in your bathroom. Your bathroom style, plumbing layout and the space you have to work with are a good start when considering the different options available.

Back-to-wall toilets have the cistern visible and attached directly to the bathroom wall while wall-faced toilets, where the cistern is hidden inside the wall, are a great choice for optimising space and cleaner-looking aesthetics. Another modern option is a wall-hung toilet which also hides the cistern inside the wall but has space underneath it which can make a small bathroom feel larger.

Whatever your choice, it’s recommended to check the WELS rating before purchasing. The WELS (Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards) is a star-rating score to inform you about the water efficiency of your toilet which may help you reduce your water bills.

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