DIY Network

How to Reroute Electricity in a Bathroom

Proper lighting is especially important in a bathroom, and in some older baths, light fixtures might need to be relocated. Learn how to reroute electricity in a bathroom with these easy steps.

More in Remodeling

reroute electricity in a bathroom
  • Time


  • Price Range

    $50 - $100

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate


Step 1: Cut Out the Holes for the New Light Boxes

Since the light fixtures should be directly over the drains, take measurements over the drains so you transfer them to the new light boxes that will be installed above on the wall.

Mark a spot for the holes where the boxes will go. Then trace around the boxes.

Cut the box holes out by using a spiral cut saw.

Note: Electrical code varies from city to city and county to county, so before you begin any rewiring, it's a good idea to check with your local building inspectors.

cut out holes for new light boxes

Step 2: Fish the Main Wire Through the Wall

With a little effort and some patience, take the main electrical line and fish it through one of the new holes for the boxes. Take another piece of non-metallic building electrical wire and fish it through the wall along with the main line over to the other new cutout (Image 1).

Tip: Use a wire hanger and electrical tape to help fish the lines through the wall. Simply tape the lines together to create a stronger line in which to pull.

Once the lines are pulled, feed them through the new boxes and set and screw the boxes into place (Image 2).

Step 3: Repair the Drywall

Now that the rewiring and cutout boxes are installed, it's time to make any necessary drywall repairs. For this particular project, there was a hole in the center of the wall that was left by the old fixture that had to be patched with drywall. Apply a thick layer of joint compound all around the edges of the patch. Then fill in all the areas with compound where the glue from the mirror (if this applies with your particular project) pulled the paper from the drywall.

Expert advice: A good mud job (applying compound) has several steps, and a common mistake is applying too much compound at one time, so be patient and give yourself a couple of days.

Step 4: Prepare to Lay New Tile

Next, begin working on the floor by removing the original flooring (vinyl in this case).

Measure the floor area and cut out the cement board (Image 1).

Apply the adhesive to the floor with a notched trowel.

Lay the cement board in place and secure it with screws (Image 2).

Dry fit the tiles, using spacers. Measure the width you'll need to make the tiles, which will have to be cut to size, along the wall. Use a tile cutter to pre-cut all the tiles.

After the tiles have been cut, scratch coat the area with some thinset.

Step 5: Lay the Tiles

Begin laying the tiles from the center of the room over to the wall.

Expert advice: Using spacers in the grout joints of a tile layout helps to ensure consistency throughout the entire job.

Once all the tiles have been installed, all you have to do at the end of day one of this project is to grout the tile.