December 16


What Trades do You Need to Renovate a Bathroom?

To renovate your bathroom, the chances are you will need a plumber and a tiler. But, every project is different. The specific circumstances of your project will determine whether you need more trades to get the job done.


2 Main Trades for Your Bathroom Renovation 

1. Plumber

Generally, for complete renovations, one trade will take the lead. They’ll likely oversee your entire renovating project. 

For your bathroom, the plumber is the star of the show. This will be the case, whether you're remodeling a small bathroom or a master bathroom.

They’re responsible for all the pipe modification and/or relocation. This is the initial sub-level of services which need to be in place before you're ready for finishes like tiles to be added.

Your plumber will be more involved if your new design plan involves a different layout for the bath or toilet, given the extent of plumbing installation or relocation required. Larger bathroom renovations, like a master bath, typically involves a separate tub and shower installation, which will also increase your plumber's workload.

2. Tiler

Your bathroom probably has tiles.

The amount of involvement you’ll want from a tiler for your bathroom remodel will vary depending on how much tiling you have, and how complex it is. 

The time and cost of your tiler will be determined by several factors. 

Tile Size

Medium sized tiles are generally the quickest and easiest to install. 

Mosaics and very small tiles take longer to install. Similarly, large tiles in a small bathroom remodel can require a number of cuts, making installation harder and slower.


Ceramic tiles are fairly simple and easy to cut. 

Porcelain, glass or other material can be very fragile to cut, and need a lot of additional work to neaten edges after cutting.


A simple pattern is quickest to install in your bathroom.

Herringbone or other complex patterns usually require more cuts and time to set out.

Number of Corners

The easiest space to tile is a flat wall or floor of your bathroom.

The more steps, windows or niches there are in your room, the more cutting and edging trim required.

Sometimes A One-Man-Band Is All You Need

If the works are small enough and the project is a standard bathroom renovation, your “lead trade” (in this case, your plumber) can take over all the works for your whole project. Or, they can arrange for the works to be done by other trades and manage and coordinate for you. 

One man to take care of every stage of your bathroom installation.

Sounds nice, doesn’t it? 

It can be, but the complexities of your project might exceed the abilities of even the best plumber.

If that’s the case, you will need more trade specialists on your team.

**caution** This one-man-band route can be really tempting, but there’s another big catch to it that I’ll get too soon. (It’s worth knowing before you make a decision.)

To renovate your bathroom, the chances are you'll need a plumber and a tiler. Beyond that, you may need an electrician, builder, painter, plasterer or window specialist. Your specific plan will determine if you need more trades to get the job done.

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Trades Your Renovation Might Need

Your bathroom is unique to all others. In order to get it right, there may be other trades you need to hire.

A general rule of thumb: the more complex the renovation, the more trades are generally required.

There are many different trades out there to suit your plan. The following are some of the more common trades for bathroom renovations.


An electrician is also a usual suspect on your average bathroom trade list. 

Many bathroom remodels deal with a shower water pressure issue. The solution - a pump installation - will require the expertise of both a plumber and electrician, to get it going. 

An electrician will also be necessary for lighting or electrical wiring changes to your bathroom.

However, if you’re planning a very simple bathroom makeover, with no lighting or electrical changes, you can probably do without hiring an electrician.


At the start of your remodel, you’ll require a partial or full rip out of your old bathroom. Unless your plumber can take care of this for you, you’ll need a builder. 

This is a relatively easy job, but it’s important you have an experienced contractor, because it doesn’t end there. They’ll need to survey the bathroom shell after rip out and decide what remedial works are required.

Water. Bathrooms deal with a lot of it. Water damage to walls or floors is inevitable, and it’ll be one of the first things your builder will spot after rip out, because it’ll have to be made good.

Then, they’ll assess what minor building works or small modifications are required to prepare the bathroom for the new layout.

Your builder must know the new layout, fixtures and fittings, because those details will impact what construction works should be done and how. For example, if your new bathroom plan entails a wall-hung toilet being fitted, there will have to be a sufficiently strong wall to support the weight. Your builder will spot that necessity and take care of it for you.


You’ll have to hire a plasterer if your bathroom has had structural changes or it’s been damaged by rip out. 

It’s also a good idea if you’re planning to do any painting, because a great finish will require some plaster work. 

You won’t need to include a plasterer on your team if you tile your bathroom wall to ceiling and leave the roof intact.


It’s quite possible you don’t have to hire a painter for your bathroom remodel, as many bathrooms are primarily tiled. 

But, you might have partial walls or your ceiling that needs painting.

Window Specialist

If you have a bathroom window you need to replace, you should add a window specialist to the team. 

Be sure to ask for Fensa or other required accreditation, when you’re hiring your window specialist.

How many tradesmen will you need to hire for your bathroom renovation? General rule of thumb: the more complex the renovation, the more trades are generally required. 

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Picking the Right Man for Your Bathroom Renovation Job

You don’t need good tradesmen. 

You need expert tradesmen. 

What’s the difference? 

A good tradesmen will be properly licensed and will follow their trade’s general guidelines for best practice. That will probably get the job done…

Under nearly perfect conditions. 

The problem is, I’ve never seen a renovation with perfect conditions. 

All bathroom renovations encounter unexpected challenges. 

The gradient on a waste pipe might be too shallow or, as sometimes discovered, running uphill! You might be able to “get away with it” for a few years, but if not, it can be a major headache. The tiles may have to be broken out. The required matching tiles are no longer available. The replacement grout doesn’t match anymore… 

I could keep going. 

An expert tradesmen will catch snags and have the expertise to deal with them in stride to avoid any further headaches for you and your family during your remodel.

They’ll also know their trade legal requirements for council approval should building control approval be required. If they don’t, and something is missed, your bathroom work could be stalled until the proper permits are granted. 

While it’s not usually required for most bathroom renovations, the council approval process can be a frustrating thing to try to manage for multiple trades. Even if you think you know what you’re doing, it’s just too easy to miss something and see your bathroom renovation stalled until permission is granted. 

This is why it’s crucial that you hire the best expert for each trade of your remodel.

Jack of All Trades… or Master of None?

If your bathroom renovation is standard and not too complex for one man to handle, then you might be in the market for a jack of all trades plumber.

This is where you need to be thorough in your vetting process. A plumber might say he can take care of all of the works, but the reality is, sometimes a specialist is the better way to go. 

How can you know? 

Ask them to show you previous work, references, reviews/testimonials. Make sure they can prove that they are capable of all the necessary works and managing a complete project for you.

Otherwise, you’ll need to look elsewhere for someone to manage your project.

For your bathroom renovation, you don't need good tradesmen. You need expert tradesmen. What's the difference? An expert tradesman will catch snags and have the expertise to deal with them in stride to avoid any further headaches for you.

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Timing is Everything

You’ve hired your trade experts. Now you can sit back and relax, right?

If only that were true.

Through each stage of your bathroom renovation, make sure you’re scheduling the right tradesmen at exactly the right time. 

This is not as simple as it sounds. 

Even if you know the general order of works for a bathroom, your renovation might have special circumstances you aren’t aware of, that would require an additional trade.

Then there’s those snags. Some are small and easily fixed. Others might be a bigger deal, requiring further expertise, time and money. 

When snags pop up during your bathroom remodeling, and they will, schedule management and coordination is paramount to saving you extra costs.

If a job is taking longer than expected due to one snag or another, but you failed to reschedule the next guy and he shows up to your home to work on your bathroom?

That’ll cost you.

It might seem like an easy thing to avoid. But when you're renovating a bathroom and you have a thousand other things to worry about, it’s really easy to forget something like that. 

So make sure you’re prepared to manage and coordinate all of your tradespeople.  

You've hired your trades. Now you can sit back and relax, right? If only... Through each stage of your bathroom renovation, you need to be scheduling and coordinating the trades at exactly the right time, or it'll cost you. But, there is way around this...

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Recap: Trades for Your Bathroom Renovation

  • Know the different trades your complete bathroom renovation will need
    • The essentials:  plumber and tiler
    • You might need: electrician, builder, plasterer, painter, window specialist
    • ***It’s possible you’ll need to hire more tradesmen - make sure you find out
  • Hire expert tradesmen for a smooth bathroom remodeling experience 
  • Manage and coordinate your tradesmen at all times to avoid costly snags

Does All of This Sound Overwhelming?

That’s because it is. 

While some bathroom remodeling projects might be no problem for a DIYer, a full bathroom renovation has a lot of moving parts. The odds are, you aren’t an expert in all the areas you need to be to manage it alone. 

This is why people hire a project manager - It can, and often does, save you money. It also takes the stress out of the equation for you. 

When you hire Renovation Planner to manage your project, we handle all of this for you… 

  • Provide you a single point of contact for all works
  • Hire the best experts for each stage of your project
  • Schedule/coordinate the trades constantly and efficiently
  • Ensure your bathroom comes out looking exactly how you dreamed

If you have any questions about what trades you need to renovate your bathroom, or what we can do to help you, send us a quick message today

We’ll get back to you right away. We’d love to help.

If you found this useful, and I hope you did, please don’t forget to share it!

Why hire a project manager? A bathroom renovation has a lot of moving parts. The odds are, you aren't an expert in all the areas you need to be to manage it alone. It can, and often does, save you money and takes the stress out of the equation for you.

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