Where to start?

Bathrooms have gained an important status within the household, and instead of just being a functional room they are now as interesting and decorative as the other rooms within a household. To determine where to begin, answering some of the following questions may help.

  • Is it a powder room or a full bath?
  • Or is it a main bathroom that's used by guests and family, or a private master bath?
  • Do you feel that it is dated and showing its age?
  • Is your bathroom too small?
  • Do you find the arrangement of your current bathroom inconvenient?
  • Is the lighting inadequate?
  • Does your bathroom lack adequate storage?

The answers to these questions will greatly influence how minimal or extensive your bathroom remodeling will be, and give you some pointers for beginning your bathroom design.

Begin developing your bathroom design

1. Research

Evaluate your space, do some research online and in magazines, to help you develop your new bathroom design. Think about which fixtures you will want, and what style pleases you. Do you want a vintage vanity or something more contemporary? This will lend more clues to your final design. The vanity and your new bathroom flooring may have the most impact on your bath design. Don't be in a hurry, take the time needed to design a bathroom remodel that will be a pleasurable addition to your home for many years.

2. Make a list

Begin your bathroom remodeling plan by making a list of what currently does not please you about your bathroom. Then make a list of features you would like to add and any changes you would like to make in its arrangement when you begin remodeling.

3. Make a budget

Decide how much you can budget for your remodel. It may be possible to do some or all of the remodeling on a do-it-yourself basis. This will depend on your level of skill.

Remodeling a bathroom will increase the dollar value of your home, and this is one home improvement that will be a good investment. Aside from the pleasure your new bathroom will give you, having remodeled your bathroom will both increase your home's value and its selling appeal should you decide to sell. 

You may need electrical, plumbing and building permits depending on the size of your project.


Shower curtain: Changing your shower curtain is the easiest step in remodeling your bathroom. It can set the new tone and is a jumping off point for further ideas and colors for your bathroom.

Paint: This is another easy way to transform your bathroom. It gives your bathroom a fresh look and is a good stepping stone to further remodeling.

Ventilation: As long as you are updating the aesthetics of your bathroom you should update your ventilation. An updated exhaust fan in your bathroom is important whether you have one of the newer air tight homes or an older home. Having bathroom ventilation will keep your bathroom smelling fresh, will help reduce the damaging effects of moisture, and make it a more healthy environment by reducing the possibility of mold and mildew.

CFM (cubic feet per minute) and RPM (revolutions per minute or speed at which the blades turn) are the two most important things to look for in a fan. You will need to take measurements of your bathroom to calculate CFM requirements. Click here for more information about how to calculate the CFM of a bathroom fan.

Second to RPM and CFM measurement is noise level or decibel rating, followed by the next qualification of vibration. Look for fan noise levels rated in sones or decibels. Check these if the CFM or RPM still leave you undecided about your fan choice.

Tiles: Moldy grout? Tiles dating back to the initial construction of your house? Then you might want to retile. You can retile the floor or shower/tub area. Tiles can cost from $3-30 per square foot. Check out your local home improvement store for tiling classes.

Vanity/Sinks/hardware: Replacing one of these is a simple step in improving the look of your bathroom. It is as easy as going to a store and picking out what you like the most.

Toilet: Your bathroom toilet may or may not need replacing during a bathroom remodel. Toilets are very durable, and usually inexpensive to repair. If you are replacing a bathroom floor and your toilet will have to be temporarily removed, this is an opportune time to replace your toilet.

Most older toilets require more water for flushing. In a household with several people that is a lot of flushes, and a lot of water. Newer toilets don’t use as much water as the old ones.

There are also low-flow options and dual-flush options. Before making a decision, read reviews on each type to make a comparison.