6 Bathroom Renovations You Can Tackle Without a Contractor

6 Bathroom Renovations You Can Tackle Without a Contractor

When you watch remodeling shows on TV, you can get the impression that anything’s possible. A shower big enough for a farm animal, an increase in home value that’s higher than some lottery payouts, a window-​facing jacuzzi tub with “Best House on the Block” printed on the side in diamonds. All of that is potentially achievable—and probably the reason you want to renovate your bathroom—but you should be aware that a gut renovation is a big, ugly job. The bathroom may take up the smallest footprint, but it’s the most complex room in your home, served by vents, water lines, waste lines, and electricity lines—most of which will try to kill you if you don’t know what you’re doing. (The vents are probably safe.)

If you want to tackle a bathroom reno, you’ve got two options. OK, three, if you’re a professional plumber, or a home flipper with a television show: Put a dumpster on the lawn and have at it. Otherwise, you can buy your new bathroom by hiring a contractor. Or, you can dramatically improve the appearance and function of your bathroom by cleaning, repainting, or focusing on key projects that require only basic plumbing and electrical skills. Here’s how.



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1. Regrout and Recaulk

DIFFICULTY: ●○○○○

Tools and Materials

  • Grout saw
  • Carbide-tip scoring tool
  • Grout Grout float
  • Grout and tile sealer
  • Plastic brush
  • Sponge
  • Tub and tile caulk
  • Caulk gun
  • Utility knife
  1. Thin pry bar Hammer
  2. Painter's tape Shims
  3. Mirror adhesive
  4. Caulk gun
  5. Mirror clips
  6. Utility knife Chisel putty knife
  7. Fishtail pry bar
  8. Wide, flat knife
  9. Hammer
  10. Miter saw
  11. Wood filler
  12. Nail sets
  13. Primer
  14. Topcoat
  15. Combination square
  16. Sconce Screwdriver
  17. Non-contact voltage detector
  18. Side-cutting pliers Wire connectors
  19. Wire strippers
  20. Faucet
  21. Drain assembly
  22. Pop-up assembly
  23. Plumber’s putty Thread tape or thread sealant
  24. Tongue-and-groove pliers Screwdriver
  25. Basin wrench
  26. Adjustable wrench
  27. Putty knife
  28. Flooring
  29. Pull bar Wet/dry vacuum
  30. Mallet Tapping block
  31. Tape measure
  32. Utility knife
  33. Combination square
  34. Straightedge