You want to renovate your bathroom, but you’re not sure where to start.

I’m going to take you through a step-by-step guide to renovating your bathroom and how to create a bathroom renovation timeline for your bathroom.

But first, let’s get to understand what’s involved in a bathroom renovation.

Planning a bathroom renovation:
There may be a million questions going through your head.

  • How long does a bathroom renovation take?
  • What is the bathroom renovation order of trades?
  • How much does it cost to completely renovate a bathroom?
  • Do you need a builders Licence to renovate bathrooms?

Whether you are undertaking a DIY bathroom project or looking to find a bathroom renovator in your area, it helps if you have a basic knowledge of the process for a bathroom renovation.

Before embarking on your bathroom renovation, I recommend you familiarise yourself with the bathroom tips below, including the bathroom renovation timeline and my favourite bathroom renovation ideas.

Prior planning and preparation could save you a lot of headaches further down the track.

griffith bathroom bella vie interiors orig unsmushed 1
Design by Bella Vie Interiors

Bathroom Renovation Tips

Kitchens and Bathrooms sell houses. Bathroom renovations are just behind kitchen renovations in home improvement popularity. How much does a bathroom renovation cost? A simple bathroom makeover can be inexpensive, but a full bathroom renovation can be expensive. So what type of bathroom renovation do you need?

Types of Bathroom Renovations

A bathroom renovation can be anything from a simple facelift to a major renovation.

More often now, clients are asking me to join two or three spaces together to make a larger, more luxurious bathroom. This allows the luxury of a freestanding bath and options like two basins in a vanity unit or inclusion of a wet room.

A wet room is a fully waterproofed a shower and bath together and the same floor level as the rest of the bathroom. It usually requires less cleaning and maintenance due to its larger area and is a great option for a family.

Master bedrooms with large ensuites are also increasing in popularity with space even being taken from adjoining rooms to increase the size from the typical small ensuite in many older homes.
Single bathroom family homes have different needs to dual bathroom homes. Peak times for bathroom usage mean it may be better to have a separate toilet or even shower.

Bathroom renovations come in all shapes and sizes. A bathroom designer can help you with your bathroom design and is able to suggest ways to achieve your dream bathroom and help you with your budget.

Image via The Design Duo
Image via The Design Duo

How much does it cost to completely renovate a bathroom?

​You need to factor everything into how much it costs to renovate a bathroom.  It’s very easy to watch renovation shows on television and become complacent about the time it takes to renovate a bathroom along with how much it costs to renovate a bathroom in Australia.

How much does it cost to renovate a bathroom? Expect bathroom renovations to cost anywhere from $6,000 for a cosmetic renovation of a small bathroom to upwards of $25,000+ for a luxury or premium bathroom renovation depending on the size, as well as the fittings and materials you choose.  An average bathroom renovation with modest fittings in the existing footprint can cost anywhere from $15,000+.

Structural changes, repair of water damage and expensive fixtures and fittings all increase the cost of a bathroom renovation.

There are cheaper options and more expensive options for everything you need in your bathroom.  For example,

  • Off the shelf vanity units are very cost effective but are limited in both colour and design making a custom vanity unit highly appealing. 
  • Stone benchtops are more expensive than laminate options. 
  • Toilet suites are available in basic models to back to wall, wall hung, in-wall cistern and luxury toilets with heated seats and bidet inbuilt.
  • Taps can range from $80 to $500.
  • Tiles can range from $15m2 to mosaics at over $100 per small sheet

A well-detailed plan and specifications allows you to determine exactly where you will spend your renovation money.

Bathroom renovations on a budget

With bathroom renovations costing an average of $1600 per square metre it’s a good idea to hire a bathroom designer or find a bathroom renovator in your area to assist you with planning a bathroom renovation.

A bathroom designer will recommend inclusions you may not have considered and bathroom renovation tips that can save you both time and money. If you are on a tight budget, keep in mind that moving plumbing will incur extra plumbing costs. You may need to consider keeping the current layout and can explore ways to update the functionality of your bathroom that better suit your lifestyle like the addition of a shower niche or hand shower to make hair washing and bathroom cleaning easier.

Once you have your bathroom design, you may consider buying your products ahead of time. This can assist with securing the best price for your bathroom renovation and also avoid lengthy delays if an item is out of stock.

Do you need a builders Licence to renovate bathrooms?

Each state varies, however if you are looking at bathroom renovations Brisbane, then you need to refer to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission. In Queensland the QBCC regulates tradespersons, partnerships and companies who carry out building works.
If a project exceeds $3,300 in cost (labour and materials) they must have a ‘Builder Restricted Licence’ for the type of building activity they engage in. Their licence should also state that they are authorised to carry out ‘kitchen, bathroom or laundry’ work. This applies to bathroom renovations Brisbane Northside and Southside.
Mosaic tiles in bathroom by Bella Vie Interiors

DIY bathroom renovation

Even if you are planning on undertaking a DIY bathroom renovation, it is recommended that you engage a bathroom designer to complete the bathroom layout and specifications.  A bathroom designer can help you with your bathroom design ideas and budget and make going through the council approval process easier for you if required. 

If you are undertaking a DIY bathroom renovation, you will need to get quotes from each of the trades involved in the process, including:

  • A builder (if you need structural work)
  • A carpenter
  • A cabinetmaker
  • An electrician
  • A plumber
  • A water-proofer
  • A tiler
  • A painter
  • A glazier

Having a detailed specification schedule allows you to source two or three quotes for exactly the same scope of works and inclusions.  This allows you to be better informed when making a decision on which tradies to engage. Need help getting started with planning your bathroom renovation?

When you read the bathroom renovation timeline, you’ll see that everything needs to be completed in order and there are a number of trades involved in bathroom renovations. If one of them cannot do their job on a specified day, you will also have to reschedule the trades that follow. Starting with a well documented plan from the outset can minimise unforeseen delays and cost blow-outs.

Bathroom renovation timeline

Whether you engage a bathroom renovation specialist for your project or undertake a DIY bathroom renovation and hire the trades yourself, it helps to know your bathroom renovation timeline.

How long does a bathroom renovation take?

Before the builders actually start work on the project there is a significant amount of work to be completed in order to achieve a quality bathroom renovation.

Stage 1 - Planning and preparation – up to six months

1. Research ideas

Start by collecting bathroom ideas from magazines or online. This will help you to work out your style and the types of inclusions for your bathroom renovation.

I love Pinterest for this. Pin pictures of bathrooms, colours, tiles, tapware and lighting that you like onto a board. I like to save new pins of bathroom ideas that inspire me to this Pinterest board so I can refer back to them at a later date. If you need a starting point for your bathroom renovation ideas, check it out.

You may also like scouring Houzz or Instagram when you start planning a bathroom renovation. Once you start collecting a few images, you should start to see a common theme, which will assist later when selecting tiles and tapware.

2. Engage a designer

Engaging a specialist interior designer or bathroom designer is an essential step towards a successful bathroom renovation. When it comes time to select materials, fittings, styles, finishes, layout and function, the up-to-date knowledge and well-honed skills of a professional designer will prove invaluable. Choose a designer who works on CAD (Computer aided design) software to provide professional and accurate drawings for your bathroom project.​

3. Work with the designer to draw up plans

Once you have a collection of bathroom design ideas you need to plan the layout. A good bathroom design is crucial particularly if you find yourself asking “how much does it cost to renovate a bathroom?” A detailed bathroom plan with an itemised list of inclusions allows you to find a bathroom renovator to provide a detailed quote prior to commencing the job. Rather than estimating the cost of renovating a bathroom, a proper quote will be provided for the items you would like to see in your bathroom renovation. Once you are confident with your bathroom design you can start to get quotes.

4. Apply for a building permit (if required)

If you plan to do structural work or make significant changes to the house a building permit may be required. A building permit can only be submitted by a registered building practitioner – this includes architects, registered builders and licensed building designers.

5. Engage a building contractor

Your designer can organise a contractor on your behalf or you can use a builder you have an existing relationship with or trusted referral

5. Select your builder and sign a contract

It is essential to choose a builder who is licenced and has experience in bathroom renovations. The contractor will organise sub-trades including a cabinetmaker, plumber, painter, electrician and tiler as necessary for the bathroom.

bella vie interiors bathroom 1 orig unsmushed 1
Design by Bella Vie Interiors

Bathroom renovation order of trades

Once you are ready to proceed with work, you can expect your bathroom renovation to take about one month but it can take as long as two months. Your builder should provide you with a timeline for the project.

Stage 2 - Install – one to two months

1. Disconnect services

This must be done by a licensed plumber and electrician.

2. Demolition - two or three days

Removal of any bathroom items you don’t plan to keep. If there is asbestos in your existing bathroom your builder will arrange its safe removal and disposal.

3. New building work – time varies to suit work required

A builder and or carpenter will do any repair or structural work and modifications.

4. Rough in – one or two days depending on if you are moving plumbing

A plumber roughs in the pipes and drainage and an electrician roughs in the wiring to suit the room layout.

5. Installation of floor, wall and ceiling lining – one or two days

The tiler will commence surface preparation prior to tiling. A good tiler will spend time on tile set outs to work out details for joins, lining up tiles with vanity or mirror etc.

6. Waterproofing – up to five days

A licensed tradesperson installs waterproofing. This is a very important step to be completed with a high level of accuracy and competency to avoid future leaks.

6. Finishing and fit off


  • A built in bath is installed after waterproofing.
  • Plastering and cornices are installed, if needed.
  • Tiling, grouting and painting is done – up to a week.
  • The shower screen installer check measures the site.
  • Cabinetry is installed by the cabinetmaker – one to three days. A stone bench top will require a site check measure and up to two-week delay.
  • A plumber and electrician fit-off lighting, appliances and tap ware. A freestanding bath is installed at this stage – up to three days.
  • Shower screen, mirrors and accessories are installed – one day.
  • Final clean and inspection.

Each step in the bathroom renovation timeline must be done in order. If you decide to make changes once your bathroom renovation is underway, this may result in delays and increase costs.

Here’s five reasons why updating your bathroom should be at the top of your renovation wishlist

1. To improve the functionality of your bathroom

You’ll be amazed at how much easier bathing can be when you start to explore the options available. It could be as simple as leveling out the floor to remove the shower hob and the step into the shower or creating a wet room to increase the size of your shower. Perhaps it’s power points in all the right places to make using the hair dryer or straightener easier or double basins or showerheads to minimise queuing. Whatever your current bathroom gripes, there is sure to be a solution.

2. To create a sense of luxury

Tiles, fixtures and fittings can all help create a sense of luxury in your bathroom. The right combination of larger tiles and feature tiles will enhance your bathroom and add that wow factor. Finish it off with feature lighting, beautiful towels and accessories and you’ll feel like you’re at a resort everyday.

3. To make the space feel bigger

Wall mounted vanities, in-wall toilet cisterns, walk in showers, frameless glass and freestanding baths all add to creating a sense of space in a bathroom. Getting the layout right at the design stage and clever tile selection and setout can also enhance the appearance of more space.

4. To create more storage

Vanities with easily accessible drawers and mirrors with eye level storage are two must haves in your new bathroom. Both these fixtures make accessing all your toiletries easier. Remember, towel storage and a laundry drawer can compensate for limited storage throughout the rest of the house and make keeping the floor tidy a breeze.

5. To add value to your home

Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes! You may not be planning to sell but you never know what’s around the corner. A home with a bathroom that doesn’t need renovating will tick a box for many buyers. Remember as you embark on your bathroom renovation while it’s really important to create a space you love, it’s equally as important to seek advice from a professional to ensure your bathroom renovation is a success.

You’ve read the bathroom renovation timeline and checked out the bathroom renovation tips on how to deliver a timely and cost effective bathroom renovation. Inspired by my top five reasons to renovate your bathroom you are now ready to take the next step towards planning your bathroom renovation.

Image via Pinterest source unknown
Image via Pinterest source unknown

Getting Ready for a New Design or Renovation Project?

A new home design or renovation is not something you do on a whim, it requires planning.

Whether you are renovating a bedroom or a whole house there’s a few essential steps that will help as you embark on this exciting and ​sometimes daunting journey.

Need More Information?

If you have any questions or would like help with your bulding or renovation projects, feel free to contact us for a no obligation discussion.

We help busy families and individuals achieve their ideal version of luxury living, blending it seamlessly with practicality to suit their lifestyle perfectly.

If you are building or renovating, we’d love to hear from you to discuss creating a beautiful interior that fits your dream of luxury living.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Pingback: How to create a functional and beautiful new bathroom | Bella Vie Interiors

Leave a Reply