Bathroom Renovation


Big news for my little family! The Stanleys have decided it’s time to move to our first house on the northern beaches. Purchased about 18 months ago, I mentioned it on this blog post. We have been lucky enough to be renting it out to the loveliest family, who will be vacating it in the coming months. These few months are going to give me valuable time to think about the next steps for a mini renovation. It will be “mini” because we really want to live in the space before deciding where we want things, like a new kitchen etc. However, there are a few spaces that will be definitely staying put – and that’s the three bedrooms and the main bathroom. First cab off the rank will be ripping up carpet to expose the original floorboards, followed by a fresh coat of paint, updating the dated ceiling pendants and if budget permits, plantation shutters on all the timber windows.

Before_BathroomLet’s talk about the main bathroom and it’s lilac tiles. As you can imagine, I’m looking forward to replacing them. The bathroom renovation will be the most costly exercise, so it was with good timing when I came across People’s Choice Credit Union. As my family has grown and we’re making big life decisions like everyone else, such as upgrading the car and renovating, a small personal loan might just be the answer. I’ve had a play on their online calculator to calculate how much the loan repayments would be, and how long it will take to pay back the loan – so it’s all transparent.

Once we’ve got a clear idea of the budget and our finances sorted it’s on to the next stage for our bathroom renovation, which is when it really gets exciting. I’ve outlined the stages below, including a few images of bathrooms I am in love with.IMG_1894ONE – Research Stage / Draw Plans

It’s a good idea to get a design down on paper. Not only will this help you see the finished bathroom laid out, it will also make it easier for all your tradies  to quote and save confusion on-site when it comes to actually carrying out the works. You could even have a go on something like Sketch Up where you can draw plans up yourself.

IMG_1876TWO – Pricing and Quotes

Now that you have your plans, it’s time to start talking to people to work out how much it’s all going to cost you. It’s a good idea to break it down into two categories: 1. Fittings and fixtures and 2.Tradies

Choosing your fittings and fixtures can be difficult as there is so much out there! I would start with getting inspiration from Pinterest, to get a clear idea of the look you are going for, and then spend a little time online checking out tile and bathroom suppliers. Make sure you are able to dedicate a day or two to go and visit showrooms in person (with your measurements in -hand), and to make your selections I must admit, this is the stage my clients love me to get involved – and I love nothing more than a shopping spree in a tile showroom!

You then need to know what your tradies are going to charge, and try and go off recommendations from family and friends – there is nothing worse than a dodgy tiler!

IMG_1895THREE – Sort out a Timeline

I think it’s really important to have a timeline of works written out so you know exactly what’s happening on any certain date. In a nutshell, below is the order of how a bathroom renovation should progress –

  1. Protect any flooring to and from the bathroom, as things are going to get messy!

  2. Demolition, removal of all fittings and tiles

  3. Organise for the plumber and electrician visit to make any additions or relocations

  4. Check if the original concrete or timber floor needs repairing

  5. Update/patch up wall linings (brickwork or plastering)

  6. Waterproofing the space (needs two to three days drying time)

  7. Organise waterproofing inspections and certifications

  8. Wall and floor tiling (this is a great stage, as you can see your bathroom really come to life)

  9. Install bathroom cabinetry and shower screens

  10. Install plumbing and electrical fittings

  11. Update doors and windows, if needed (this could be as simple as updating a door handle)

  12. Paint

  13. The final stage should be installing things like mirrors towel rails and hooks – the finishing touches to make your bathroom pop!

 Obviously liaise with all your tradies regarding these stages, or even easier, if the budget allows – have a reliable builder look after all these steps.

FOUR – Construction

Hopefully everything is plain sailing (but let’s be honest, it rarely is). Providing you have reliable tradies, the process should be pretty stress free. I’d imagine you’d need 3-4 weeks for a full bathroom renovation, so it might be a good time to invest in a camping shower (assuming you only have one bathroom in the house).

It’s important to communicate with your tradies that you’d like to be able to contact them a few months post renovation should any defects arise. Make sure all your paperwork, warranties and receipts are kept in one organised folder should any problems come up.

I’ll make sure you to keep you updated on my personal bathroom renovation – now it’s just back to Pinterest for me, for more inspiration!

Briar x

This post was written in collaboration with People’s Choice Credit Union.


  • Bea

    Hi Briar! Thanks for posting all of this great info! We are currently thinking ( and Pinning ) about our next project which is our very sad looking 1980’s bathrooms in our house. It’s very daunting but would be so nice to have a beautiful space to enjoy one day!
    I love reading your blog and wondered if you could tell me what program you use to create your mood boards? Would love to do this for my home.
    Many thanks!

    • admin_briar

      Hi Bea,

      I originally studied graphic design for three years straight out of school, so still use the
      Adobe programs – my mood boards are created in InDesign, and I use Photoshop and Illustrator too.
      Good luck with the renovations and thanks for reading my blog! Briar

  • Alexandra

    Oh my goodness! You guys bought the house on Davison?!!! I know that bathroom anywhere :) I’ve been a long time follower of your blog so cool we will be neighbours!!

  • Nancy

    I hope the remodel has gone well, if it has already been started. Are you going to go with plantation shutters in the bathroom? I had some installed last summer. It is a much bigger window but I do like how easily I can control the natural light that comes in. What size tile did you decide to go with?

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