The Bathroom Remodeling Process

Due to the wide variety of trades required, bathroom remodeling projects are more complex per square foot than nearly any other home renovation project. As such, rather than contract with several trade-specific companies, many homeowners prefer to hire one company to handle all aspects of the project from start to finish. Although some bathroom remodeling projects require moving walls, most do not. The project’s requirements therefore determine which construction steps are taken and in which order. Some common steps of the process include:

Demolition. Whereas many homeowners prefer untiled walls in dry areas, the tile in many older bathrooms extends to a height of four or five feet. Unfortunately, the older method of tiling a wall comprised attaching metal mesh to the wall studs, spreading cement on the mesh, and then attaching the tiles to the cement. The demolition process therefore involves removing not only the tile but also the concrete and metal mesh holding it to the wall.

Structural carpentry work. Next, a carpenter builds out the walls of the bathroom so that the finished wall is even with the existing plaster above. Additionally, any damaged floor joists are repaired, and the floor is built up if necessary.

Roughing out utilities. While the interiors of the walls are exposed and still easily accessible, water feed lines, drains, electrical outlets and switches, and heating and air conditioning system ductwork are installed or updated. Any one-piece premanufactured bathtubs, shower stalls, or shower pans may also be installed at this stage.

Installing sheetrock. Mildew-resistant sheetrock or green board should be installed on the walls that will remain dry in the bathroom. However, the contractor should install 100 percent waterproof backer board on the soon-to-be-tiled wet walls of the shower stall or bathtub.

Installing cabinets, fixtures, and countertops. The next step is to install and prepare for use the cabinets, countertops, toilets, sinks, faucets, and lighting. Carpenters, plumbers, and electricians are all involved in this part of the process.