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The Bathroom Renovation Checklist (s)

Everyone agrees that in home renovation nothing is more valuable than a checklist, just no one agrees on what it should include.    

Here are three lists developed by Habitar Design.  The first has the purpose of making our designers more efficient.  It lists all the things one needs to determine in designing a bathroom to the last detail.

It not only helps make sure our designers don't miss anything, it eliminates wiggle room for the contractor.  If you give the contractor a list and say this is what I want, when the contractor puts in ugly gray grout contrary to the grout color listed on your list, if you show him the list you will usually win the argument.   Most contractors welcome a list.   They want to get it right and not having to guess what you want or bother you makes their live's easier.  The list also gives the client an opportunity to consider every option and helps them do their home work. 

Some clients find all the choices baffling and appreciate our work as interior designers more while others will begin to look more closely at their friend's bathrooms and begin the process of discovering what they really like.   

As remarkably simple as checklist are they've been shown to be extremely important at completing complex tasks with better outcomes.

  Bathroom Design Worksheet
Items Fixtures
Tub Faucet/ Spout  
Shower Valve and Trim  
Lav Bowl  
Type (undermount, vessel etc…)  
Lav Faucet  
Cabinet Door Height  
Cabinet Door Style  
Wood Type  
Glass Insert  type of glass (ribbed, translucent etc.)
  Cabinetry Hardware
Cabinetry Pulls/Knobs  
Color Name  
Edge Type  
Edge Thickness  
Material 1  
Grout Color 1  
  Wall Tile Materials
Material 1  
Color Name  
Grout Color 1  
Material 2 -Accent  Drawing of pattern
Color Name  
Grout Color  2  
  Flooring Tile Materials
Material 1  
Color Name  
Grout Color 1  
Material 2 -Accent  Drawing of pattern
Color Name  
Grout Color  2  
Wall Sconces  location, type
Overhead Lighting/Fan  location, size, type, heating element?
Recessed Cans  Location, size, type
Color Name  which walls?

A completed checklist also helps a contractor price your bathroom more accurately and order materials more efficiently.  Everyone wins and it helps keep the peace.

The second list is a list of resources and questions we like our clients to explore to help them understand what they really like and want to achieve with their bathroom renovation.


1.  List three to five words that describe the bathroom you want.  (i.e.  contemporary, traditional, clean, open, light, modern, welcoming, etc.)

2.  List the major reasons you want to change your bathroom. (i.e. Out of date, don't like the way it looks, doesn't fit our current needs, too small, want to improve for resale, etc.)

3.  How is this bathroom going to be used?  By who?  What functions in the bathroom will make it more useful?  Consider:

  • More storage (medicine cabinets, drawers, additional vanities, linen closet.)
  • Hardware (more towel bars, towel warmer, shower bar for support, shower seat.)
  • Lighting and electrical (better lighting for make up, other lighting needs, additional outlets -- possibly inside cabinets, heating under the floor tiles, fan -- adequate ventilation, noise level)
  • Plumbing issues (water pressure, additional hardware like hand-held for shaving legs, body sprays, double shower heads, drainage problems, toilet flushing, freezing pipes, change a shower or bath tub.)
  • Mold and mildew.
  • Ease of cleaning.

4.  Aesthetics:  

  • What kind of materials do you like?  (tile, countertops, vanity)
  • What colors do you like?
  • What kind of tile patterns do you like?

5.  Budget

  • what would you like to spend and what is the maximum you can spend?

6.  Rate the following on a 1 to 7 scale, 7 being the most important.

  • Budget
  • Aesthetic
  • Function


We advise our clients to search the resourses and show us a number of bathrooms they love and particular elements they like.   It's best not to consider budget or whether it will work but rather take it as an open exploration.

The third list to consider regards practical aspects of the build out.

1. What bathroom will you use during construction as well as our workmen?

2. Where will the workmen enter the house?

3. Where will the waste be hauled out?  Is there a storage place for waste?  Is there a storage space for materials?

4. Is there a place for the tile cutting?

5. Is there a time you will be on vacation when this can take place?

6. When is the optimal time for this project to take place?

These checklists help us achieve optimal result in meeting our client’s need and in performing quick, efficient build outs. Good planning pays large dividends.  Good luck.




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