We've always followed the top down rule. Start with the ceiling, then walls, then floors- then whatever goes on top of floors.

That said we've not done a full gut job on a bathroom yet so that has only been for bedrooms/living rooms.

  • Electrical and plumbing.
  • Drywall Ceiling.
  • Drywall Top half of wall. If doing tile for tub/shower, use cement-board.
  • Tub/Shower pan install.
  • Drywall remainder (or cement board as noted above), tape and mud. Texture if applicable.
  • If doing tile for surround, redguard(or similar) for waterproofing.
  • Prime and Paint.
  • Shower/tub surround & Flooring.
  • Entry door (if applicable).
  • Vanity, Baseboard & Trim.
  • Toilet.
  • Misc. (towel racks, TP holder, etc.)

Do baseboard before your vanity is "furniture" style (has legs, and doesn't go flush to wall) rather than "cabinet" style (Flush to wall, looks like a built in similar to kitchen cabinets).