Guide to Renovating Your Bathroom

Understanding that a bathroom remodel will cost money and time is important. According to HomeAdvisor, the price ranges from a few thousand dollars to renovate an existing bathroom to six figures to gut-renovate a master bath. The investment is worth it if you are smart about your spending.

It’s important to pick upgrades that fit your lifestyle and habits. A tub is a must if you want to bathe daily. A wall niche is a good option if you don’t have a place to store shampoo. Two sinks are a must as teeth brushing shouldn’t be an elbow battle. Our interior design team says that they ask lots of questions about your daily routine and storage requirements and then put emphasis on function. Happiness is the ultimate goal. According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2019 remodeling report, 70% of homeowners “have a greater desire for being home” after a bathroom remodel. So read on to learn the secrets.

Ask questions before you start

Before you start mood-boarding or fall in love with a bathroom design that you like, ask yourself some boring questions. They can have a significant impact on your bathroom. These are the things that any designer worth their time would ask clients to review before they start. Talk to your designer and get ready for your answers. Then, start collecting inspiration photos.

What is your daily routine? It will determine the layout.
What is your budget? It’s better to plan now than regret it later.
How much storage are you able to store? It’s easy to add storage now, but it can be difficult to add storage later.
What number of people will use the room? Decide whether you want to have mirrors and double sinks in the bathroom or one. What are you unhappy about in your current space? It’s important that the space you are currently using is not duplicated in the new one.

Understanding the basics of the Shower or Tub

If you have the space, a freestanding tub is a great option for increasing resale values in a child-friendly area. If your space doesn’t allow for a large walk-in bath and a tub (or you don’t have children to bathe), then a combo shower/tub is the best option. Jacuzzi-style bathtubs were popular in McMansion times, but showers are becoming more common in master bathrooms. While a soaking tub might be available at the higher end, the main priority is the walk-in bathtub.

Let’s now focus on the showers. Even though it may seem small, the right enclosure will make all the difference in your shower/tub combination. These are the key players.


Curtains: Curtains are better for combos of shower and tub. A soft, flexible curtain is easier than a glass door to allow children to bathe. You can easily swap it out if you change your style.
Glass doors: They can make a shower seem larger and add warmth to the shower with finishes such as metal grids, pretty hardware, or a framing detail at the entrance.
No Doors: A shower enclosure that does not have doors is the most liberating. You won’t need to worry about splashing if you choose waterproof surfaces and a central drain.

Last but not least, make sure that your shower is equipped with the correct fixtures. There are many gadgets you can add to your bathroom that will allow it to be upgraded without having to renovate. These two are our favorites.

  • Thermostatic shower valve: Although it sounds complicated, this is what maintains the perfect bathwater temperature. Installing a thermostatic valve for your shower may increase the cost of your plumbing. It automatically adjusts the temperature of the hot and cold water to prevent scalding when pressure changes occur. We recommend it!

  • Upgraded Showerhead: You don’t need to remodel? A handheld showerhead is still possible. This Grohe handheld showerhead is our choice for something high-end but still very hackable. It is easy to install (and remove, if necessary). It does not require any major plumbing modifications.

Know your Materials

  • Natural stone: This is the most popular bathroom surface. Any natural stone can be used in a damp environment if it is sealed properly.

  • Subway tiles: These are the classic choice, but you also have the option to go for something more unique and handmade like zellige. Don’t underestimate the tiny tiles such as penny and hex. These small round tiles are still very affordable, even though they were created over a century ago. You can get them for as low as $5 per square foot and you can use them everywhere. They are a great option for expensive bathroom materials such as natural stone due to their affordability and resistance in wet environments.

  • Wallpaper: You can put wallpaper in your bathroom. It’s important to keep wallpaper out of the splashing zone and to install adequate ventilation to prevent moisture buildup. This is a great way of getting a variety of looks without having to commit to a particular pattern.

Keep storage top of mind

  • In the Shower: Bathrooms are limited on storage space so a shower niche with a built-in is a must. You can either slot one between the studs or purchase a precast niche that you can tile over. Make sure the niche is large enough to store your essential shower products.

  • The Vanity: There are two choices for your next bathroom vanity. You can either go with one custom and select materials that will thrive in high-moisture environments. A designer-contractor team will execute the project, or you can buy it pre-made to save yourself the hassle. Don’t tear up your plumbing if it’s not necessary. You can conceal your mess with cabinet doors, or make a curtain and rod to give it a cottage-inspired look.

  • Walls: You can use floating shelves, mirror cabinets, towel racks, and hooks as well as a built-in linen closet to decorate your walls. It all depends on what you like and how much space is available.