bathroom renovation

Your master plan for an easier bathroom renovation

We share everything you need to know to help you through the renovation process from start to finish.

Our bathrooms have evolved from being a place to get clean and wash up to a space where you can escape to feel pampered, relaxed, and reinvigorated. As such, the bathroom has become one of the most highly renovated rooms in the home. A majority of the bathroom renovation projects that we’ve executed have embraced luxurious trends, successfully recreating the look of day spa bathrooms and five-star hotel room bathrooms.

Are you planning to renovate your bathroom this year? If so, continue reading this guide! It is packed full of expert advice to guide you through your bathroom renovation from start to finish through every stage of the process. 

To manage your bathroom renovation better, take advantage of Dreamspace’s project dashboard. Get professional tips, find design and construction professionals, plan your bathroom renovation project within your budget, and monitor your project’s progress from one convenient dashboard that’s accessible from your PC, tablet, and phone.

Get started here.

bathroom renovation
Image credit: Tiento Tiles

Assess your needs and wants

Establish a clear design brief before commencing any work on your bathroom renovation project. Your design brief is similar to a wish list; it includes all your needs and wants but is detailed and technical. 

Below are some guideline questions to help you get started: 

  • What kind of bathroom renovation would you like to undertake? Is this a regular bathroom, a powder room, or an en suite?
  • What do you like and dislike about your current bathroom?
  • Who and how many people will use this bathroom?
  • How old are the people using the bathroom?
  • How do you want to feel while using the bathroom?
  • Is your current bathroom well-ventilated?
  • Does your bathroom receive natural light?
  • Would you like to have a shower, or bathtub, or both?
  • Do you prefer a built-in bathtub or a freestanding one?
  • Is your ideal bathroom fully tiled or tiled and painted?
  • How many basins do you want in the vanity?

Think of questions that a designer might ask you during the design consultation, and answer them in advance. 

bathroom renovation
Image credit: Meir

Others will ask you to differentiate your needs from your wants because these two are not the same thing. 

That is true, but that often leads to one thing getting sacrificed in favour of the other. It is better to understand your reasons for having both. 

When you know the purpose of each one, you will be more flexible with your design solutions and be able to fulfil both.

bathroom renovation
Image credit: Meir

Measure your space

Measure your bathroom before commencing any design planning or demolition work. Knowing the measurements will help you decide exactly what you want in your new bathroom and how you will fit the upgraded fixtures and features in there.

You will need a tape measure, pen, and paper (ideally graph paper) for this task. 

Take note of the following measurements: 


  • Distance from wall to wall, at your chest height
  • Measure from wall to wall, at a height above a window and door
  • Measure from the corner to the window and door opening
  • Measure the size of window and door openings from trim edge to trim edge
  • Measure from the edge of the trim to the far wall 
  • Mark the exact location of the toilet, vanity, basins, tub, shower, water pipes, drain, electrical outlets, and switches.


  • Measure from the floor to the window sill (if there’s any)
  • Measure the height of the window
  • Measure the top of the window to the ceiling
  • Measure the floor to ceiling height

Record these measurements and try to sketch a floor plan of your bathroom on your graph paper. You will send these measurements to your building designer later.

Refer to our DIY Site Measure Guide for more information. 

For a more accurate measurement of your space, ask our Project Consultants about our 3D scanning technology. 

With our 3D scanning technology, you will be able to measure your space from the onset accurately. Your chosen designer will also get a copy of these measurements for the drafting and documentation phase. 

Take it to the next level when you decide to plan the fixtures and finishes of your new bathroom in photorealistic 3D. 

Get inspirational bathroom photos

Now that you know the dimensions of your space, it’s easier to collect inspirational images of bathrooms online.

Go check out photos of stunning bathrooms on the inspiration gallery. Save the images that you like and the ones that reflect your style. Keep as many photos that you like here too! Your chosen designer will have access to your collection of images later and use it to collaborate on the project with you.

Getting bathroom design inspiration and solidifying your vision is just the beginning. As you move forward, you are going to need more personalised advice from design and construction professionals. 

You can sign up to get started on your project or request a callback from one of our Project Consultants, who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

bathroom renovation
Image credit: Tiento Tiles

Plan your bathroom renovation

Designing to a budget is the best way to plan a bathroom renovation. Your budget will dictate the level of renovation that you will undertake. 

Here at Dreamspace, we categorise it into four levels: 

  1. Cosmetic or surface bathroom makeover
  2. Budget bathroom renovation
  3. Mid-range bathroom renovation
  4. Luxury, high-end bathroom renovation
bathroom renovation
Image credit: Tiento Tiles

Plan a cosmetic or surface bathroom makeover 

As the name suggests, this project is a simple spruce up of the bathroom interiors using inexpensive building materials. No demolitions will happen, but there will be repairs, cleaning, and many DIY projects. Surface bathroom makeovers like this cost around $5,000 to $7,000.

bathroom renovation
Image credit: Stormtech

Plan a budget bathroom renovation 

A budget renovation costs a little more, roughly around $10,000 to $15,000. It is often done in small bathrooms and makes use of low-cost but decent-quality building materials. 

Often, a bathroom reno of this level is a part of a more significant home renovation project, and the customer needs to stretch the funds a little. 

bathroom renovation
Image credit: Project Floors and Design

Plan a mid-range bathroom renovation

A mid-range renovation costs around $15,000 to $25,000; often done in standard-sized bathrooms and makes use of mid-range, moderately priced materials and fittings.

Plan a luxury, high-end bathroom renovation

A luxury renovation costs around $25,000 to more than $30,000; often very extensive, requires a lot of work, and makes use of high-end building materials, finishes, and fittings. 

A high-end bathroom reno typically involves luxury upgrades such as marble features, underfloor heating, heated towel rails, smart toilets, smart shower, and motion sensor buttons.

bathroom renovation
Image credit: Tiento Tiles

Nowadays, it is normal for homes to have more than two bathrooms. You can build one on every floor of the house. Here are your options:

  • Shared bathrooms
  • Powder room or a toilet with a vanity area, ideally built near entertainment areas
  • En suites or bedrooms with private baths, often the master bedroom and/or guest bedroom

Many homeowners who renovate and rebuild their homes choose to build one of each and strategically plot them in the floor plan. 

To learn more about your options, consider booking a virtual design service with a designer. A building design professional will be able to help you plan a bathroom that will work for your family and address and rectify the problems you have in your current bathroom.

en suite
Image credit: Meir

Talk about the layout

Many mid-range to high-end bathroom renovation projects typically involve changing the bathroom layout to make it more ergonomic and functional. 

Here are some pro designer tips to remember when you decide to follow a better layout:

  1. Mind how your doors open. Swing doors take up valuable floor space. Cavity sliding doors or pocket doors are an excellent option for small bathrooms. 
  2. Make ample space for the bathtub. Regular bathtubs measure 1400-1800mm by850mm wide; however, you need to allot more than that because they look better with breathing space around them. 
  3. Make your bathtub the focal point of the space. The bath is a nice feature that looks best under a window or right in front of you as you walk into a bathroom. 
  4. Choose the right shower size. Check the space available and choose the one that fits in your space. There are double showers, single showers, walk-in showers, a wet room, and shower over the bath options. 
  5. Locate the toilet out of sight. You don’t want it to be the first thing you see upon entering the room. Tuck it away wherever possible. 
  6. Choose your tapware carefully. Ensure the projection of your tap is long enough to reach nicely into the bath or basin. 
  7. Build a vanity that fits the space. A vanity is generally 800-900mm high and 500mm deep. The length depends on the number of basins (single or double basins) and how much storage you need. Whether yours is a small or extra long vanity, make sure it suits your needs and fits in the available space.
  8. Install windows or skylights. The best bathrooms are light-filled spaces, not dark cabins.
bathroom renovation
Image credit: Project Floors and Design

Budgeting and financing your bathroom renovation

Here at Dreamspace, we can help you create a realistic budget from the onset. It helps set your expectations and assures you that you can build your project. 

If you’re asking, the average cost of building a bathroom in Australia is $17,000. 

  • a budget renovation costs around $10,000 to $15,000
  • a mid-range renovation costs around $15,000 to $25,000
  • a luxury renovation costs around $25,000 to more than $30,000

Knowing these price ranges will help you finance your project.

bathroom renovation
Image credit: Tiento Tiles

You also need to factor in the fees of the professionals that you will engage in your renovation.

Here at Dreamspace, you can find the following professionals and get a quotation immediately:

  • building designer
  • draftsman 
  • builders

You will need the following tradespeople. Here are their hourly rates:

  • Plumber – costs $69-$80 per hour 
  • Tiler – costs $45-$120 per hour or may charge by per metre
  • Electrician – costs $80-$100 per hour
  • Carpenter or cabinet maker – costs $45-$100 per hour or higher depending on experience level
  • Handyman – costs $40-$55 per hour

Also, be mindful to set aside a contingency amount of around 10-15% of your budget for any unexpected costs. 

Bathroom renovation projects are full of ‘surprises’. You might discover these problems late in the process (e.g. mold, damp floors, waterproofing, plumbing, asbestos, venting, etc.). 

Use the contingency fund to fix these unforeseen issues.

bathroom renovation
Image credit: Stormtech

Cut costs and save money on your bathroom renovation

One of the best ways to avoid going over budget is to try and cut costs without skimping on the essentials. 

Here at Dreamspace, we provide our customers with valuable tips to save money on a bathroom renovation. 

We also have a guide to lower the total costs of your project and how to create a luxury bathroom for less.

Of course, it’s better to save money by doing things the right way. So take time to read these renovation tips from the experts, or discover how to avoid bathroom renovation mistakes that others had to learn the hard way. Time is money and fixing construction errors is costly.

bathroom renovation
Image credit: Paul Raeside

Building your dream bathroom space

Building your dream bathroom space is easier with Dreamspace. Talk to our Project Consultants and ask about our build tender services. 

Dreamspace’s build tender service takes the stress out of the end-to-end process of sourcing build quotes. Our Project Consultants communicate with multiple builders to get fixed costs, then vet the quotes on your behalf, and work to understand the outcomes and differences of each — ultimately saving you time and money.

Once you have your builder quotes, all you need to do is set a timeline for your construction and follow through. When you opt for the build tender service, rest assured that the Dreamspace’s Support team is there for you from start to finish.

bathroom renovation
Image credit: Kristina Soljo

Decorating and styling your bathroom

After the builders turn over your project, it’s time to style your bathroom and bring the interiors altogether. 

Engage interior stylists who can help you style and accessorise your bathroom. Interior designers can also help you with storage solutions and give you tips on how to avoid clutter.

bathroom design
Image credit: Homes to Love Australia

Using real and living plants as decoration makes the bathrooms more pleasant and creates a sense of well-being. Our personal favourites include: 

  • Boston ferns
  • Maidenhair ferns
  • Devil’s ivy
  • Montsera deliciosa
  • Fiddle leaf fig trees
  • Peace lilies
  • Birds of paradise

Big and small, these indoor plants are perfect in your new bathroom!

bathroom renovation
Image credit: MyStyle Homes QLD and Kim Duffin Design

Get ready for your bathroom renovation

Use Dreamspace’s  project coordination platform for your upcoming bathroom renovation project. From one simple dashboard we make it super easy to:  

  • Plan a successful outdoor renovation
  • Find inspiration
  • Monitor the progress of your project
  • Coordinate with the professionals onboard
  • Get quotes 
  • Manage your project from design through to build.

Sign up here.

Start planning now for free

Find more articles, guides and inspiration in the planning dashboard. Save them to your dream board, and start planning your dream space today.