Are you considering a bathroom renovation? It’s an exciting project, but it can also seem daunting. Don’t worry!

This step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of transforming your bathroom into the space of your dreams, specifically tailored for the Australian market.

Understanding Australian Building Regulations and Standards

Before you begin, it’s crucial to familiarise yourself with the building regulations and standards in Australia. These are in place to ensure the safety, functionality, and sustainability of your bathroom.

Key Australian Building Codes and Standards for Bathroom Renovations

The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) and Standards Australia regulate the construction and renovation industry.

They set out requirements for waterproofing, plumbing, ventilation, and more. For instance, one key standard is AS 3740-2010, which pertains to waterproofing in domestic wet areas.

Consult these resources or a professional to ensure compliance.

Two people looking over legal documents to ensure they are following regulations.

Getting Approval for Your Bathroom Renovation

Depending on the scale of your renovation, you may need approval from your local council or a private certifier.

Smaller changes like fixture replacements may not need approval, but structural changes often do. It’s best to confirm before you start, to avoid any legal trouble down the line.

Planning Your Bathroom Renovation

Once you have a solid understanding of the regulations, you can begin planning your renovation.

This step is all about determining what you want from your renovation, setting a budget, and establishing a timeline.

Setting Your Renovation Goals

Start by identifying your goals for the renovation. Do you need more storage? Better lighting? Or are you going for a complete makeover?

Having clear objectives will guide your decisions throughout the process.

Defining Your Budget

Next, set a budget. Remember to account for labour, materials, fixtures, and unexpected costs. It’s always a good idea to have a contingency plan in case of unforeseen expenses.

Creating a Timeline

Establish a realistic timeline. Consider factors like the availability of contractors, delivery of materials, and potential disruptions to your daily routine. This will help you plan accordingly and set expectations.

Designing Your New Bathroom

With your goals, budget, and timeline in place, the fun part begins – designing your new bathroom.

In this phase, you will be deciding how to use the space, the theme and colour scheme, and the type of fixtures and fittings you want.

A floor plan in progress for a renovation project.

Space Utilisation

Consider the layout of your current bathroom and how you’d like to change it. Maximising space can involve installing wall-mounted fixtures or using mirrors to give an illusion of more room.

Remember, your design should balance aesthetics and functionality.

Selecting a Theme and Colour Scheme

Choose a theme and colour scheme that reflects your taste and the overall style of your home. Popular bathroom styles include modern, minimalistic, rustic, and traditional.

Your colour scheme can set the mood – light colours often make a room feel bigger and brighter, while darker shades can add a sense of luxury.

Choosing Fixtures and Fittings

The right fixtures and fittings can elevate the look of your bathroom. Think about the bathtub, shower, sink, toilet, taps, and lighting fixtures.

These should not only look good but also be durable and fit within your budget.

Sourcing Materials and Contractors

Once your design is ready, it’s time to source the materials and hire a contractor. Be sure to do your research to ensure you’re getting the best quality for your budget and working with a reliable contractor.

Finding the Right Contractor

Renovating a bathroom requires a variety of skills, from plumbing to tiling, which is why a reliable contractor is essential.

Check reviews, ask for recommendations, and get quotes from several contractors before making your choice.

A man doing renovations while wearing proper personal protective equipment.

Selecting Quality Bathroom Materials

Choosing quality materials is vital for the durability and longevity of your bathroom.

From tiles to the paint, quality materials will withstand wear and tear, reducing the need for repairs and maintenance in the future.

Comparing Quotes and Estimations

Before finalising your decision, compare quotes from different suppliers and contractors. Make sure you understand what’s included in the quote to avoid unexpected costs later on.

Pre-renovation Checklist

Before the renovation work begins, it’s important to double-check everything. This pre-renovation checklist will ensure you’re fully prepared for the transformation of your bathroom.

Ensure you’ve finalised your design, secured your materials, confirmed with your contractor, and obtained necessary permissions.

Also, prepare your home for the renovation work. This may involve clearing out the bathroom, setting up a temporary bathroom station elsewhere, and protecting nearby areas from dust and debris.

The Renovation Process

Now that everything is in place, the renovation can begin.

This typically involves several stages: demolition, construction and plumbing, electrical wiring, tiling and painting, installation of fixtures, and final touches.

Demolishing the Old Bathroom

The first step is to safely remove the existing fixtures, fittings, tiles, and walls as needed. This process should be handled with care to avoid damaging any plumbing or electrical systems.

Renovator chiseling tiles off a shower wall.

Initial Construction and Plumbing

Once the old bathroom is removed, any necessary construction can commence. This may involve moving walls or building new ones, rerouting plumbing, or adding new water and waste lines.

It’s crucial to have this done correctly, as it lays the groundwork for the rest of the renovation. Also, you need to be mindful of storing construction materials safely during your renovation.

Electrical Wiring

Next is the electrical work. This step involves installing new wiring for lights, outlets, and any electrical appliances. All electrical work must adhere to Australian standards for safety and efficiency.

Tiling and Painting

Once the construction and electrical work are complete, the walls and floors can be tiled or painted.

It’s essential to waterproof areas that will be exposed to water, such as the shower and bath areas, to prevent water damage.

Installation of Fixtures and Fittings

After the tiling and painting, fixtures and fittings are installed. This includes the toilet, shower, bathtub, sink, faucets, and lighting fixtures.

Each installation should be tested to ensure everything is working correctly.

An uninstalled faucet on a bathroom sink.

Final Touches and Cleanup

Finally, any last touches are added, such as shower screens, mirrors, and bathroom accessories. After everything is in place, the area is thoroughly cleaned and ready for use.

Post-renovation Evaluation

Once the dust has settled, it’s time to review the final product.

This post-renovation evaluation is essential to ensure that everything has been done to your satisfaction and that the renovation meets all the required standards and regulations.

Inspection of Work

Inspect the completed work thoroughly. Look out for any imperfections in the tiling, painting, or fixture installation.

Check that all the plumbing and electrical fittings work as they should. If you find any issues, make a list and discuss them with your contractor immediately.

Providing Feedback to Your Contractor

Feedback is an essential part of any project. Share your thoughts with your contractor. Praise what you liked about their work, and constructively discuss any areas that could have been better.

This feedback not only helps the contractor to improve, but it can also be helpful for other homeowners who are looking for reliable renovation services.

View of entire bathroom. Window is closed and has a blue tinge. Walls are tiled over the bath

Maintenance Tips for Your Newly Renovated Bathroom

Now that your beautiful new bathroom is complete, you’ll want to keep it looking its best. Here are some tips on how to maintain your bathroom so it continues to shine for years to come.

Regular cleaning is essential to keep your bathroom looking fresh. Use non-abrasive cleaners to protect your tiles and fixtures.

Regularly check the grout and sealant around your bath and shower to ensure they’re in good condition. If your bathroom has windows, ensure they’re opened regularly to let out steam and prevent mould.

Lastly, fix any leaks as soon as they appear to prevent water damage.


Renovating a bathroom may seem like a daunting task, but with careful planning, the right team, and a clear vision, you can transform your bathroom into a personal oasis.

By understanding Australian building regulations, setting clear goals, sourcing quality materials, and working with reliable contractors, you’ll be well on your way to creating a bathroom that not only looks fantastic but also adds value to your home.

Good luck with your renovation project!

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