Tips for Bathroom Renovation

Tips for Bathroom Renovation
Laura Lochrin Interiors

Do you postpone renovating your bathroom even though it does need an upgrade? Do you feel anxious whenever you open the door and look at all the places that could be more functional? Is your bathroom one step away from being cluttered? If you’ve answered yes to more than one of these questions, you may be due for a bathroom renovation.

Bathroom renovations are an essential part of life for each homeowner, and if done right, the renovating process won’t cause you many headaches. You need to get organized, create a system, and choose people who will help you complete this project from start to finish. This guide will help you do just that. By combining style and function, you’ll end up with a bathroom that you’ll love for years to come, so let’s see what goes into a bathroom renovation.

Establish a Budget

Without a solid budget, renovating a bathroom can get expensive quickly. To keep track of all your expenses and make this daunting process less stressful, it’s best to start the project with the budgeting stage. By planning your costs, you’ll have a clear picture of how much money you want to spend in the beginning, so you know where to splurge and where to save to transform your old bathroom into your ideal bathroom. Think about whether you’re renovating to sell or renovating for yourself, and once you determine your budget, you’ll know how extensive of a renovation you can afford.

The most important aspect of planning a budget is to set a realistic budget for yourself and always have about 10% more for unexpected expenses. If you need help establishing a budget, check out our budget estimator.

Bathroom Types

Next, you need to figure out whether you want to completely transform your bathroom. If you have a large home, making these changes is possible; however, if you have a smaller home, there’s not much you can do to increase the size of your bathroom. In terms of the type of bathroom, you can choose between the following:

  • Full bath
  • Half bath
  • Wet bath

Full Bath

Full baths, or standard bathrooms, are designed with the all-in-one principle and contain a toilet, sink, bath or shower, or both. These bathrooms are either shared by everyone who lives in the home or are found in en-suites in the primary bedroom. The only difference between the en-suite bathroom and the full bath located at the center of the home is the number of people using it.

Half Bath

Half baths, also called powder rooms, are small spaces with only a toilet and sink. These bathrooms are helpful if you have a more prominent family, so multiple people can get ready at the same time in the morning. The half bath is great when you’re hosting and you don’t want guests to come in your personal bathroom. Even though you only need a small space for a half bath, it can significantly increase the quality of life in your home.

Wet Bath

Wet baths are very similar to full bathrooms, with the main difference being that the walls and floors are completely waterproof. This enables you to combine all of the elements of a bathroom in a much smaller space, as you won’t have to worry about your walls getting wet. What’s more, these bathrooms are perfect for people with limited abilities as there are fewer obstacles in the bathroom, and people can quickly get in and out of the shower. Even though these bathrooms cost a bit more upfront, their durability will be worth it.

Bathroom Layout

The next step when renovating your bathroom should be deciding on a layout. You can change the positions of your shower, sink, and toilet, or keep the existing layout. The variations in your bathroom layout generally depend on how big your bathroom is. Keep in mind that changing the plumbing fixtures significantly increases the renovation cost.


Since bathrooms are the rooms that get the most wear and tear due to temperature, humidity changes, water exposure, and harsh cleaning materials, you need to use quality materials that will last you for years. Porcelain is an excellent choice for tiles as it’s a non-porous material that won’t allow water to penetrate your walls. Other options include glass, natural stone, cement, and, of course, subway tile.

On the other hand, cabinets should be made of materials that are most resistant to water, so MDF cabinets aren’t the best idea for your bathroom. Fixtures should be made from brass, stainless steel, or zinc alloys to last a lifetime.

Bathtub vs Shower

If you have a large bathroom, you’ll probably be able to fit both a shower and a bathtub in there, however, for smaller bathrooms, you’ll need to choose one. Traditionally, bathtubs were the go-to for bathrooms, however, nowadays, due to us wanting to be in and out of the bathroom really fast and wanting to conserve water, we generally go with showers. But, if you’re a person who really enjoys taking baths, keep your bath and enjoy it.

The Importance of Lighting

Light plays a huge role in the atmosphere you have in your bathroom, and bad lighting can completely change how your bathroom looks. To get the perfect amount of light, combine artificial and natural lighting.

Natural Lighting

Good natural lighting can make your bathroom feel cozy, especially on a sunny day when the rays come in through your window. To increase the amount of light in your bathroom, incorporate windows and skylights and add windows opposite the window to reflect the light.

Artificial Lighting

Apart from natural lighting, you’ll also need artificial lighting to add more light during the day or ambient light at night. If you’re using the bathroom vanity to get ready, layer multiple types of light since overhead light casts shadows on your face, and you won’t be able to apply your makeup correctly. Opt for vertical fluorescent light fixtures on either side of the mirror for the perfect vanity setting. You can add lights to complement the overall design by incorporating strips of lights, spotlights, or even sconces.


As mentioned above, bathrooms are extremely humid, so adequate ventilation is necessary to keep your bathroom mold-free. One option is natural ventilation through windows and window vents if you have the option. Another option is exhaust fans, which are great for bathrooms with no windows, in cities where there’s a lot of traffic pollution, or during winter when you can’t just open a window due to the low temperatures outside.

Тhe Importance of Storage

A primary factor of a well-functioning bathroom is definitely storage, and to have an optimal amount of storage, you need to plan for it. Before thinking about storage, asses the items you generally store in your bathroom, and then start planning with the help of your designer or architect. Add towel bars, a couple of cabinets, an open shelving system, or just a basket on top of your tiny cabinet if you don’t have a lot of possessions.

Wall-Mounted Features

Smaller bathrooms that need more space can benefit from having washbasins, cabinets, and toilets mounted to the walls. Even a tiny change can make a huge difference and turn your small bathroom into a slightly bigger one.


When renovating a bathroom, this doesn’t always come to mind if we don’t have a disability. However, if you’re renovating a bathroom in a home where you plan to live your whole life, making it suitable for the times when you’re older and less mobile is a bright idea. And you don’t have to immediately add grab rails to make the bathroom more accessible, but you can add blocking behind the drywall to add grab rails in the future.

Another way to make your bathroom more accessible is to add slip-resistant tiles. You may also want to swap your bathtub for a shower, have light switches that can be accessed from a seating position, and have enough room for a wheelchair to rotate (a circle of about 150 cm). For more information, check out our article on renovating a bathroom and making it more accessible.

Tips for Bathroom Renovation That Add A Touch of Luxury

If you don’t want to make a full-scale renovation, there are some easy ways to upgrade your bathroom and make it more enjoyable without spending too much money.

Heated Floors

One element that can immediately increase the luxury in your bathroom are heated floors. Think about how good it would feel if you had a warm surface once your exit your shower. This isn’t only good for your comfort but also a good idea economically because, on average, radiant heat can save around 15% on heating bills.

Heated Towel Rail

Another element that makes your bathroom more luxurious is a heated towel rail. You can use it to pre-heat your towels so you can have warm towels after exiting the shower, but you can also use it to dry your towels.

Adding Color by Adding Plants

You can reduce the sterile environment of a bathroom by adding plants on shelves. Plants like Pothos, Aloe Vera, Calathea, Chinese Evergreen, and similar plants love humid conditions and will thrive in your bathroom.

Is It Time for a Renovation?

Lastly, if you’re unsure whether the timing is right for the renovation you have in mind, it may be time to schedule a meeting with an architect or a designer and discuss your ideas. Do a budget estimation and compare how much the renovation would cost to how much you’ve saved up and see if you actually have enough to start renovating. It’s also worth mentioning that you’ll need to have saved up about 10% in addition to your main budget. This is a ‘just in case budget’ if any unforeseen problems happen during construction.

Another factor to think about is the period you’re planning for a renovation. The summer period is often the busiest since the weather is nice and a lot of people are renovating, which means that it will be harder to find contractors compared to the winter period.

Last but not least, you should think about whether you actually feel like renovating. Often the previously agreed-upon timeline for the renovation is extended because of unforeseen events. So, you may be renovating for longer than you initially planned.

Regardless of whether you decide to proceed with the renovations, keep researching different bathrooms so that you have a clear idea about the upgrades and design when the time for renovations comes.