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Bathroom Remodeling Basics

Everywhere you look right now, you see something about washing your hands, among other safety precautions. We think you should not only enjoy your time washing your hands, but all the time you spend in the bathroom refreshing and rejuvenating. Designing or redesigning a bathroom can sound like an exciting, yet daunting, task. With over 30 years of experience in remodeling and building bathrooms, we have plenty of tips, tricks, and planning tools to guide you from the beginning idea phase to the completed and enjoyed final product. If you are considering adding on a bathroom or redesigning your current one, check out this guide for our key planning questions, first steps in designing, and a few more of the things we ensure each of our bathroom remodel clients consider to achieve their dream space.

As always, we highly recommend calling and scheduling an appointment with one of our design consultants if you are interested in a bathroom remodel or addition for your home. They can guide you on your specific situation and provide a free, no obligation quote.

Use and User

The most important thing in design is function. A space can look great, but if you cannot utilize it easily, it’s just a pretty space. Knowing who your design is intended for and how it will be used is essential in guiding your planning process. A master bathroom remodel intended for two adults to get ready during their morning rush will have different functional goals than a half bath used for occasional guests. Some other important things to consider in the use and user category include if children needing assistance will be the primary users (allow room in front of the tub to kneel or sit), if separation of areas is needed for privacy in a shared space (think Jack and Jill bathrooms), if a space is desired to sit and apply makeup or style hair, or if the room will have any other purposes (such as a guest bathroom doubling as a utility room).


Determining the needs and wants in your bathroom’s features will play a huge role in the design. Is there a need for a vanity with two sinks, or will one be sufficient? Do you need a separate shower and tub, or would a combination or just a shower serve the room’s purpose? Should there be a separate linen or bathroom closet, or will there be enough cabinet and shelf space for storage? Should the shower or toilet be enclosed or separate for privacy purposes? The needed components will begin to shape your design, while the wanted components will fit in as much as possible within size and budget constraints.


Once you have identified the user, use, and features, these will begin to shape the layout chosen to achieve the functional needs of your space. Determining the layout of your bathroom relies on two main elements, space and plumbing. Your current bathroom’s layout will help you to see where plumbing is already routed in the room. If you intend on expanding or redoing the layout, plumbing must be configured based on where it currently is and where it needs to go. Most bathrooms are designed with one-wall, two-wall, or three-wall plumbing. The number of walls of plumbing added increases the extent and complexity of the remodel. The amount of space available also dictates what can feasibly be fit in. Building codes require designated amounts of space around many bathroom features for accessibility that have to be factored in.

Depending on your budget, you may find it to be a better solution in your remodel to keep the current layout but to update to more modern or better designed features. If the primary issue you are having is more related to the function of the layout, the bulk of your budget may be best spent in the movement of plumbing while opting for more budget-friendly features.


When it comes to design, much of this will be based on your personal style preferences and ensuring the bathroom incorporates well with the rest of your home. We typically suggest more neutral designs for customers to ensure they withstand the trends of time and provide a good resale value in the future. There are many elements that can be incorporated if you want to add trends or personal touches. We recommend you do so with things like rugs, towels, artwork, curtains, and other removable accessories. This ensures you won't grow tired of a trendy tile color that sounded like a good idea a year ago. Instead, you can opt to replace a set of towels you select in that color in an easier and more affordable way to incorporate the trend.

Finding pictures of bathrooms you like and identifying common themes between them will help you get an idea for the design styles you want to further explore. There are a lot of design decisions, so we recommend keeping your own records or pictures of the things you pick out to ensure you can keep track of the overall design and cohesion of your selections. These decisions may include things like tile, flooring, cabinetry, lighting, paint colors, windows, doors, and fixtures.

In the grand scheme of things, this is just the beginning of the bathroom remodeling process. While it may seem like an extensive and long process mostly filled with selections and ordering as you wait for the actual in-home work to begin, the reward will make you wish you would have done it years ago. Please feel free to contact one of our design consultants with any questions you may have regarding your future bathroom remodel!


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