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Ideas for a successful bathroom remodeling project

From design inspiration to choosing the right materials and fixtures, here's how to complete the perfect bathroom renovation.

bathroom renovationRegardless of whether you live in an apartment or a house, the bathroom is one of the most important rooms in your home. A practical and modern bathroom can dramatically enhance the appeal of any home, so it’s important to get the details right if you’re planning a bathroom renovation.

Ready to transform that impractical bathroom into a relaxing and luxurious retreat? ? Use these tips and tricks for renovating a bathroom.

Getting started

Before you start thinking about design ideas, colors and choosing shower heads and tiles, you should sit down and work out exactly what aesthetic you’re going for with your bathroom renovation.

If you’re renovating an ensuite to create a peaceful space where you can unwind, warm tones and a modern free-standing bathtub might be high on your wish list. On the other hand, a bathroom being used by multiple family members will typically require durable materials and plenty of storage.

Before you start ripping your old bathroom to pieces, it’s important to figure out how your new bathroom will be used and what features are on your must-have list. Once that’s taken care of, you can get to the fun part — planning the finer details.

Design ideas for different projects

There are several features you’ll need to consider when planning your bathroom renovation:


Consider ambience, flow and practicality when creating a functional and comfortable bathroom. Though there are endless floorplan options available, you may be constrained by the location of your plumbing connections. Speak to an architect or a builder to achieve the most functional layout of the space.


The shower is one of the most used features in the bathroom and there are some crucial features to decide on — the shower curtain and shower head. You can choose a fixed or hand-held shower head, massage showers, waterfall showers and high- and low-pressure jets — it’s all about that water pressure. In terms of a curtain, you can go for a fun, playful design or something simple that matches the color and theme.


There’s a limitless range of beautiful bathtub designs to choose from. There are freestanding tubs that are statement pieces in their own right, recessed (or sunken) bathtub that use minimal space, easy-access baths for the elderly or those with a disability, as well as full jacuzzi setups for a touch of luxury. The amount of space available is going to have a big influence on the tub you select.

Vanity and sink

Every bathroom needs a sink, but if you’re usually getting ready at the same time as your partner, his and hers sinks could simplify the morning routine. Finding the right vanity unit will combine good looks and plenty of usable storage space. Your choices are endless, you could choose wall-mounted vanities to cabinet vanities and even minimalist vanities with a simple shelf system.

Fixtures and fittings

From taps and towel rails to frameless shower screens, the right fixtures and fittings are practical inclusions that complement the design of the rest of the bathroom. Taps come in an extensive selection of materials, including chrome, brass, gold and stainless steel, and there’s no limit to the styles available depending on the space available and the look you want to achieve. The sink, shower, bathtub and toilet should all serve a practical purpose but should also seamlessly integrate with their surrounds and complement one another perfectly.


From floor tiles to wall tiles, this feature can make your bathroom renovation pop. What ambience are you trying to create? Your color scheme, the size of tiles you want and how they’ll be laid out will all contribute to the feel of the space. Tiles come in ceramic, glass, natural stone, porcelain and clay, so research the looks and benefits of each option to make the right choice for your bathroom.
layout bathroom

Storage space

A bathroom with insufficient storage space is impractical and cluttered. Making sure you have enough room to store toiletries, towels and other odds and ends is a must. Vanity cabinets, shelves and drawers are the obvious places to keep your items, but there’s plenty more you can do to maximize storage space. A built-in shelf in the shower is great for storing shampoos, soaps and the rest — a ledge-style shelf can even help keep the vanity free of mess.


You want to be able to see clearly in your bathroom, so consider the lighting style you want in your initial renovation plan to create a welcoming and refreshing space. Your light fixtures will need to be moisture-proof and you may want to consider heat lamps if you live in a cold area. One other thing to remember when choosing lighting is energy usage — the right choices can make a noticeable difference to your power bill.

Renovating a small bathroom

When you’re renovating a bathroom, space is the biggest factor. If you have a limited area to work with, you need to take advantage of clever ideas and design solutions to make the most of your available space. These clever renovation ideas will help you use a small space efficiently:
Small bathroom

  • A sliding door instead of a hinged door
  • Wall-mounted toilets
  • Neutral color palettes with occasional bursts of color
  • Handy built-in storage nooks and crannies wherever possible
  • Towel racks and hooks

Renovating a small bathroom means you’ll also have to be more ruthless when deciding what belongs on your bathroom wish list. For example, while soaking in a hot bath might sound appealing, are you really willing to sacrifice such a large amount of floor space to include a tub?
Find out how much it really costs to renovate a bathroom

Do it yourself (DIY) or get the experts?

To save as much money as possible on your bathroom renovation, you may want to consider a DIY project. While this lets you take control of your bathroom renovation, you have to consider if it’s actually a job you can do yourself.

Some jobs are fairly simple for the DIY renovator, such as stripping down your old bathroom and prepping the space for a renovation. But for other jobs, like waterproofing and tiling, you’ll need to have the right experience under your belt.

Plumbing and electrical work will usually need to be done by professionals. A good contractor can help you through your renovation from start to finish, so finding a person you trust before you start knocking down walls or stripping out tiles is a must.

What can you DIY and what’s best left to experts?

Where to buy bathroom renovation supplies

From tiles to toilets, you have several options for where to stock up on the right supplies for your bathroom renovation. A good place to start your search is at a large store like Home Depot, Lowe’s or a local hardware store. You may find that your local hardware store has less of a selection than big box stores like Home Depot, however.

There’s a huge range of products to choose from for every aspect of your renovation, from the smallest of tiles to the largest of freestanding baths, so take the time to consider all the options available before making your decisions — don’t forget to compare prices!

Using a 0% interest credit card to buy supplies affords you the flexibility of not shelling out a large chunk of money at once, and instead let’s you make monthly payments to knock down the balance.

6 tips to help you save money on bathroom remodeling

Shopping for a shower head

  • Plan ahead. Don’t start your renovation with a plan from start-to-finish. Getting halfway through your project and then deciding that you don’t like the layout or want to make a change can be an expensive and stressful mistake.
  • Make a budget and stick to it. Sit down and work out the cost of material and labor for your project. Once you calculate how much your project should cost and how much you can afford, it’s time to start work.
  • Know what you can do — and what you can’t. While DIY renovations are great for saving money, it’s important that you don’t get ahead of yourself when choosing what jobs to take on. You’re much better off getting experts in order to avoid potential problems later down the road.
  • Take your time. While it can be frustrating having your bathroom out of order for a couple of weeks or more, it’s important not to rush things. Measure everything twice and be certain you’re doing the right thing before you cut, lay or install anything.
  • Plumbing costs. You might want to completely rearrange the fixtures and layout of your bathroom, but keep in mind that plumbing costs can be expensive. Moving plumbing pipes and outlets for sinks, toilets, showers and baths can cost thousands of dollars — so you may be better off leaving some fixtures where they are to lower your costs.
  • Do your research. Speak to building experts and bathroom renovation specialists to ensure that your renovation plan and budget is feasible. Source several quotes from different suppliers before deciding which company to go with.

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