Remodeling a bathroom can be expensive and time-consuming. Proper planning is the best way to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible. One important facet to consider before undertaking a bathroom renovation is making sure you know exactly what you'll need for the entire process.
For every bathroom remodel, there are likely some more-specific items you'll need. Plan through all of the various tasks your bathroom remodel will comprise and think about the tools you'll need for them. Making a list of the tools required for each job will help ensure you don't have to pause your remodeling project before it's complete.
Bathroom Remodeling Safety
It's also important to remember that many DIY tasks require safety gear. Make sure you have the correct items before undertaking any bathroom remodeling task. You'll need safety gloves, goggles, and a multipurpose respirator for much of the process.
Bathroom Demolition and Building Tools
If you're undertaking a DIY bathroom remodel, you'll need a standard set of hand tools, like a hammer, pliers, screwdrivers, tape measure, utility knife and an adjustable wrench, plus a few basic carpentry tools, including a level, a square and a wood saw (a jigsaw is the most versatile type, but you can also use a circular saw or even a basic handsaw).
A few specialty tools can make quick work of the demolition process. A reciprocating saw cuts through almost any material: plywood subflooring, wall studs, iron pipe, drywall, even a shower surround. For precise cuts in tight spaces, you can't beat an oscillating multi-tool, which can be fitted with different blades to cut a wide range of materials. And one of the handiest demo tools of all is a basic flat pry bar.
Tools for Plumbing Rough-In
The next stage of a bathroom remodel is sorting out the plumbing. Any new drain or vent piping you install will almost surely be PVC, so you'll need supplies for working with plastic pipe, such as a PVC pipe cutter (or a standard hacksaw), a torpedo level and PVC primer and cement.
For water piping, tools and materials can vary widely based on the type of pipe and fittings you'd like to use. While traditional soldered copper is still the standard for plumbing pros, there are plenty of DIY-friendly options, such as PEX tubing and push-in pipe fittings, which require no soldering.
Basic plumbing tools, such as tongue-and-groove pliers, a pipe wrench, a hacksaw, and a basin wrench will all be useful when completing your plumbing rough-ins and installing fixtures. You may also need additional plumbing materials, such as water line extensions.
Electrical Bathroom Remodeling
Rewiring your bathroom can be a good idea during the remodeling process. Chances are, at least some of the wiring will need updating to meet current codes. You may wish to install extra outlets, plus add new light switches so they better line up with your new bathroom layout. If you're thinking of moving or installing a new vent fan, now's the time for that too. And don't forget to include a lot of lighting, from vanity lights to shower fixtures to accent lighting.
Bathroom Building Materials
You'll also need to purchase the new items you need to re-create your bathroom. Cement board is the recommended wall material to go behind tile, especially in wet areas like shower walls or tub surrounds. For dry walls and the ceiling, you can use standard drywall or moisture-resistant drywall. If you make changes to your floor plan or relocate the toilet or shower, you'll probably need to replace some of the subflooring.
There is a huge range of options in terms of the materials you choose for your bathroom. There's no right or wrong answer to the materials you choose for your bathroom, but make sure you've planned what best suits you and bought enough of them ahead of time.
Fixtures for a Bathroom
For a full bathroom renovation, you may also wish to replace some or all of your plumbing fixtures. If that's the case, you'll need to purchase new ones, including a toilet, sink, bathtub, or shower plus any surrounds. It's important to consider any extra storage, such as a vanity or a medicine cabinet. You'll also need to think about the types of faucets and showerhead you want.
Bathroom Accessories and Decor
- Bob Vila: Planning Guide: Bathroom Remodeling
- Bob Vila: 7 Mistakes Not to Make in Your Bathroom Remodel
- Family Handyman: How to Remodel a Small Bathroom
- Family Handyman: 10 Ways to Save Money During Your Bathroom Renovation
- Home Depot: How to Remodel a Bathroom
- Popular Mechanics: The 20 Tools You Need For Remodeling
- PlumbingSupply.com: 8 Tools Every DIY Plumber Needs