A full bath requires a minimum of 36 to 40 sq. ft. The finished room must measure at least 5 ft. in one direction to accommodate a tub. Building codes typically require 32x32 in. (finished dimensions) for a shower; if you have the space, larger is better. Just make sure the shower is large enough so you can comfortably raise your arms and bend over in the space.
A full bath requires a minimum of 36 to 40 sq. ft. The finished room must measure at least 5 ft. in one direction to accommodate a tub. Building codes typically require 32x32 in. (finished dimensions) for a shower; if you have the space, larger is better. Just make sure the shower is large enough so you can comfortably raise your arms and bend over in the space.
When thinking about selling, many homeowners consider areas in their home that might need a little pre-listing TLC, and bathrooms are commonly on the list. In fact, 26 percent of sellers make some sort of improvement to a bathroom before selling, according to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2018. Remodeling a bathroom before resale can help attract more buyers, but getting every dollar invested back at the time of resale is not guaranteed.
For your remodeled bathroom to operate well, it’s critical to install vent and drain lines of the proper size and slope. Use a 2-in. line to drain the shower and 1-1/2-in. line to drain the sink. The vents for the sink and shower can be 1-1/2-in. pipes, but a toilet should be vented with at least 2-in. material. Make sure that the drain lines drop 1/4 in. for every foot of travel toward the main stack.
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).
With the rough plumbing complete and the toilet chair carrier in position, finish the electrical and add blocks as needed to support the sink (Photo 15), towel bars, grab bars, etc. Then close up the walls. We recommend cement board for durable tile walls and floors, but other tile backers are available at tile shops. Here are key installation tips:
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.

Turn off the main water supply to the house, and in a convenient location, cut the hot and cold water supply pipes for the bathroom. Also cut out and remove all the existing water lines and fittings in the bathroom. Finally, cut out and remove the vent section leading to the sink and the main stack 5 in. below the vent tee. Stuff rags into open drain lines to keep sewer gas out of the house.
The special-order fixtures, fittings, shower pan, tile and glass block panel can take weeks to get in hand, so do the necessary legwork and ordering well in advance. Before gutting the bathroom, check to make sure that there are shutoffs for all the fixtures or a master shutoff for the entire bathroom. If not, buy ball valve shutoffs sized to fit your pipes. Then turn off the main water supply line where it comes into the house from outside, cut the pipes feeding the bathroom and install the new shutoffs right away (see Photo 7).
Renovating a bathroom is no small undertaking. So before you start tearing up the tiles and picking out the tub, get a little advice from the people who make bathroom makeovers their bread and butter. We polled contractors, designers, and other pros for their top tips and insider tricks for getting every detail right. Follow these DIY bathroom remodeling tips and you're sure to create the bathroom you always wanted.
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.
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