Transform your bathroom in a weekend and give it a fresh new look without any major reconstruction by replacing worn out cabinets and adding a few new fixtures and fittings.   With a little clever planning and a few creative ideas you can design and fit out your bathroom to look like new.  In this article we will show you step by step how to go about remodeling a bathroom in a couple of days, and a few tips on how to save time and money by speeding up the job.

This 70's-era bathroom was outdated and needed a radical change without costing too much.  At Home Depot or Lowe's, we found a range of suitable cabinets and fixtures that were modern, easy to install and reasonably priced.  For an added touch of luxury, we spent a few hundred dollars on glass tiles.  The overall cost for the project came to $1,300.

Before you start shopping for a cabinet to use for your project, you want to make sure that the existing flooring extends all the way to the wall under the basin.  If you have a vanity cabinet, you may need to get down on the floor and inspect the intersection between the wall and the cabinet.  If there is no flooring, you will have to find a cabinet with the same or larger size than the existing one, or find a matching floor patch, which is highly unlikely.  If all else fails, you may have to replace the flooring.

Step 1 - Remove the old vanity cabinet.

Turn off the shut-off valves for the water supply to the faucet and disconnect the plumbing.  Pry off the old top and remove the old cabinet.

Because every bathroom is different, this stage may be easy and quick to accomplish, or you may come across a few challenges.

-    If the vanity top is plastic laminate, the screws underneath the top will have to be removed first.

-    Cultured marble tops are held on by caulk which needs to be pried off first before removing the vanity top.

-    If there are tiles surrounding the vanity top they will have to be removed as well.

-    If the plumbing is of the old steel type, you will save yourself a lot of problems by replacing the trap assembly with the modern PVC parts that are available now.  A standard 1 and 1/4 inch PVC trap kit can be purchased at a hardware store or your local home center.  

-    Remove all the screws that hold the cabinet to the wall and remove the cabinet from the wall.  

-    If there is a mirror or medicine cabinet above the basin, complete the tear out by removing it all.

-    If there are light fittings above the basin, turn off the power for the bathroom lights on the main electrical panel.  Use a voltage sniffer to double check that the power is off before disconnecting the light fittings.

Steps 3 and 4 will continue in the next blog.  See you there.