Are you ready to give your bathroom a fresh new look? Before you can start the renovation process, you’ll need to demolish the existing bathroom. But don’t worry, it’s not as intimidating as it sounds! With the right tools and a step-by-step plan, you can easily demolish your bathroom and make way for the new and improved space you’ve been dreaming of.

Demolishing a bathroom may seem like a daunting task, but it can also be an exciting opportunity for a fresh start. By carefully following the proper techniques and precautions, you can ensure a smooth and successful demolition process. In this article, I’ll guide you through the necessary steps to demolish your bathroom and prepare it for renovation.

So grab your safety goggles and a sledgehammer, and let’s get started on transforming your bathroom into the space of your dreams!

Required tools

When it comes to demolishing a bathroom for renovation, having the right tools is essential. Here is a list of the tools you will need for this project:

With these essential tools, you’ll be prepared to tackle any bathroom demolition project and pave the way for a successful renovation. Remember to always prioritize safety and take necessary precautions while working.

Doing A Bathroom Demolition: Step By Step

Demolishing a bathroom is an essential step in the renovation process, allowing you to start with a clean slate and create a brand-new space. Before beginning the demolition, it’s important to gather the necessary tools such as pliers, chisels, jigsaws, and pry bars, as well as safety gear like goggles, gloves, and a face mask. By following these step-by-step instructions, you can effectively and safely demolish your bathroom:

Step 1: Prepare the space

To begin your bathroom demolition, it’s crucial to properly prepare the space. The first step is to remove everything from the bathroom, including the vanity, linen cupboard, shower, and any other storage spaces. If you plan on reusing any shelves or cabinets, carefully store them in a safe place. This is also a great opportunity to declutter and get rid of any items you no longer need.

Next, clear the walls by removing the mirror to avoid any potential damage. If there are any shelves or cabinets that you plan on using in your new bathroom design, take them down as well and store them safely.

Before starting the demolition process, it’s important to shut down the utilities. Turn off the power to the bathroom at the breaker box by flipping the switch to the “off” position. If you’re not sure which switch controls the bathroom, you may need to do some trial and error or consult a professional.

To turn off the water supply, the method will depend on the type of piping in your bathroom. If you have a manifold supply system, locate the manifold lines next to your main water supply line. Label each line and turn the valve on the bathroom’s line to the “off” position using a manifold key. If you have a copper piping system, turn off the sink valve under the vanity, the toilet valve located behind the toilet on the wall or floor, and the valve behind the shower line access panel. If you can’t access these valves or face any issues, turn off the main water supply to your building.

Step 2: Removing the Vanity

To start the bathroom demolition process, you’ll need a bucket, an adjustable wrench, and a utility knife. If you have a full-sized vanity, it’s best to have a friend assist you due to its weight. Here are the steps to remove the vanity:

  1. Place a bucket or bowl beneath the sink drain to catch any liquid in the drain trap.
  2. Use an adjustable wrench to unscrew the nuts surrounding the u-shaped segment of pipe known as the P-trap located under the sink. This will release any water that has accumulated in the trap.
  3. Fill your bucket with the water collected in the P-trap.
  4. Unscrew the nuts that connect the sink’s water supply lines to the wall.
  5. Check the area under the sink for any bolts or brackets that attach it to the wall. Remove any bolts or brackets you find.
  6. Lift the sink out. If the sink is attached to the vanity, you may need the assistance of a helper as sinks can be heavy.
  7. Unscrew the bolts that hold the vanity to the wall, or if the vanity is caulked to the wall, use a utility knife to cut through the caulk.
  8. Remove the vanity from the bathroom.

Dispose of the waste material in a suitable receptacle to prepare for the next steps in your bathroom renovation.

Step 3: Remove the Toilet

Removing a toilet is an essential part of bathroom demolition. With the right tools, such as an adjustable wrench and a utility knife, it can be a relatively straightforward process. Here’s how to remove the toilet:

  1. Locate the intake supply pipe, which is a threaded pipe positioned beneath the toilet tank. Unscrew the pipe from the tank and also remove the supply line valve located on the floor or wall behind the toilet.
  2. If you have a two-piece toilet, separate the tank from the base and set it aside.
  3. Use your adjustable wrench to remove the nuts and bolts that hold the toilet base to the floor tile. If the nuts and bolts are stuck, you may need to apply some WD-40 and use a socket wrench to ratchet them loose.
  4. Carefully cut through any caulk that may be present around the toilet base using a utility knife. This will allow you to easily remove the toilet from the flange bolts.
  5. With the toilet base free from the floor, use your utility knife to scrape away any wax residue from the drain flange on the floor. Unscrew the flange to completely remove it.
  6. To prevent sewage gases from flooding the bathroom, it’s important to fill the drain hole with rags or cover it securely.
  7. Dispose of the toilet and all related parts properly, ensuring they are placed in the trash for removal.

By following these steps, you can successfully remove the toilet as part of your bathroom demolition process, making way for the next stage of your renovation project.

Step 4: Removing Wall Tiles

Removing wall tiles is a crucial step in any bathroom demolition project. Follow these steps to safely and efficiently remove the tiles:

  1. Start with the round tiles on the edge of your shower. Use a hammer and chisel to chip away a straight section, creating an opening to work with.
  2. Continue this process along the top of your shower where there are tiles. Again, use the hammer and chisel to chip away small sections and create a starting point for removing the tiles.
  3. Carefully cut through the exposed drywall using a reciprocating saw. Take caution not to damage the studs behind the wall. This will help loosen the tiles and make removal easier.
  4. Insert a pry bar into the seams of the tiles and start pulling down sections of the tile and backing. Work your way from one tiled area to the next, ensuring that you are always on solid ground.
  5. Prioritize safety and be aware of the location of any helpers before swinging the hammer or using any tools. Communicate and ensure a safe working environment.

By following these steps, you can effectively remove wall tiles during your bathroom demolition project. Remember to take breaks as needed and stay focused on the task at hand.

Step 5: Remove the shower or bathtub fixtures and cut the shower walls and tub into manageable pieces.

To begin, use a screwdriver to remove the shower door’s hinges and set it aside. Then, remove any screws or levers that hold the door frame in place and pull the frame off.

Next, use a utility knife to cut through the caulk around the shower fixtures such as the showerhead, water control knobs or levers, drain covers, soap holders, and towel racks. This will allow you to disconnect and remove these fixtures.

To make the shower walls easier to handle, use a reciprocating saw or jigsaw to cut them into smaller pieces. If you have a tile shower, you can pry off rows of tiles to create a starting point for cutting the walls in half. For fiberglass showers, cut each wall at the corner and the bottom, resulting in three pieces and a separate floor.

For removing a bathtub, you will need a utility knife, drywall saw, pry bars, screwdriver, and jigsaw. If the drywall around the tub didn’t come down during the wall tile removal, use a drywall saw to cut through it to a height of about 8 inches, being careful not to damage the studs.

Remove the screws that secure the tub to the wall studs. Use a utility knife to cut through any caulk between the tub and the floor. Pull the tub a few centimeters away from the wall.

To make the tub easier to handle, cut it in half using a jigsaw. This step is optional, but it will make the tub lighter and safer to carry, especially if it needs to be transported through narrow doorways.

Errors During Bathroom Demolition To Avoid

When it comes to bathroom demolition, it’s important to avoid certain errors that can lead to costly mistakes and unnecessary delays. Here are some common errors to avoid during the demolition process:

  1. Rushing: Take the time to properly plan and prepare before starting the demolition. Rushing into the project without a clear blueprint and design can lead to costly changes later on.
  2. Lack of Communication: Ensure clear and open communication with your contractor or renovation company. Provide a detailed scope of work and discuss your expectations to avoid misunderstandings and potential issues during the demolition.
  3. Choosing Based on Price Alone: Don’t make the mistake of solely focusing on the lowest price when selecting a contractor. Consider factors such as their experience, project management skills, and customer service to ensure a smooth and successful renovation process.
  4. Ignoring Measurements and Functionality: It’s crucial to take precise measurements and analyze the functionality of the space before starting the demolition. Ignoring these aspects can result in design flaws and layout issues that may require costly modifications later on.
  5. Changing Plans Midway: Avoid making major design changes once the demolition has begun. Changing your mind halfway through the project can lead to delays, additional costs, and potential rework. Stick to your initial plan to keep the project on track.

By avoiding these common errors during bathroom demolition, you can ensure a smoother renovation process, minimize unnecessary costs, and achieve the desired results for your space.

Clean Up

After successfully demolishing your bathroom for renovation, the final step is to clean up the mess. To ensure a smooth and functional work area, it’s important to properly clean and dispose of debris.

Start by using a broom and dustpan to sweep up any big chunks of material that may be left behind. Gather these items and dispose of them in appropriate trash bags or containers.

Next, tackle the fine dust and smaller particles using a dry vacuum cleaner. This will help remove the remaining debris and create a cleaner environment.

Throughout the demolition process, it’s beneficial to clean as you go. This means regularly tidying up the work area and disposing of debris so it doesn’t accumulate. Not only does this keep your workspace more functional, but it also prevents you from tracking debris throughout the rest of your home.

By taking the time to properly clean and organize your work area, you can ensure a more efficient renovation process and a cleaner end result. Don’t forget to properly dispose of all materials and debris according to local regulations.

Disposing of Materials When You Demo a Bathroom

When demolishing a bathroom for renovation, it’s important to have a plan for disposing of the materials. Instead of simply throwing everything in your trash can or letting debris accumulate in your garage, consider getting a dumpster rental specifically for the bathroom demo.

A dumpster rental provides a convenient and efficient way to handle the waste from your demolition project. You can easily carry debris into the dumpster by opening the door at the back end of the rental. This allows you to safely and quickly dispose of materials such as shower walls, floor tile, bathroom fixtures, and more.

If you have larger items like a bathroom vanity or toilet base, you can toss them over the low wall of the dumpster. This ensures that everything is contained and properly disposed of.

Once you have finished the bathroom demolition work, a driver will pick up the dumpster rental and take it to the dump. This takes the hassle out of dealing with the waste and ensures that it is handled in an environmentally friendly manner.


How do I safely demolish a bathroom?

Start by turning off all water supply lines and shutting off the valve. Wear safety gear such as goggles and gloves, and use tools like a utility knife and adjustable wrench to remove fixtures and hardware. Proceed with caution and avoid damaging the underlying plumbing or electrical systems. 

How do I dispose of the waste from bathroom demolition?

Rent a dumpster to properly dispose of all the debris. Ensure that hazardous materials like chemicals or paint are separated and disposed of in appropriate containers following local regulations. Additionally, consider recycling or donating materials that are still in good condition.

Can I undertake a bathroom demolition project on my own?

While it’s possible to do it yourself, bathroom demolition can be labor-intensive and potentially hazardous. Hiring professionals ensures the job is done correctly, saving you time and minimizing the risk of accidents or damage.

How long does a bathroom demolition project take?

The timeframe depends on the size and complexity of the project, as well as any unforeseen issues. However, a typical bathroom demolition can be completed within a few days to a week. 


Demolishing a bathroom for renovation may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools, preparation, and mindset, it can be an exciting and rewarding project. Remember to prioritize safety, take your time, and seek professional help if needed.

Soon enough, you’ll be well on your way to creating the bathroom of your dreams. So grab that sledgehammer and let the demolition begin!