Renovating a Bathroom – Top Upgrades to Make

Nothing is better than walking into a freshly renovated bathroom in which you designed and picked each feature. If you have some extra funds and are looking for worthwhile home improvement, bathroom remodels should be at the top of your list. Next to a kitchen upgrade, a bathroom renovation is one of the best ways to enjoy more of your home.

There are many parts of a bathroom, which can sometimes seem overwhelming. This list will give you some highlights and things to consider when remodeling your bathroom.


Anytime you start doing work at your house, don’t let your eyes get bigger than your wallet. It may be easy to go online and look at the newest and nicest items and feel like you need them, but remember that labor and materials add up quickly!

The best way to get a good idea of what you can expect to spend is to first come up with a scope of work of what you would like done. After you have a list of items you want to be replaced, get some ideas on what styles you would like. A good resource for this is to go to Houzz.

This will help you figure out what style you prefer. Once you have a good scope of work, find a local contractor to give you a bid. You can use a general contractor to manage the whole project for you, or you can source each subcontractor and get individual quotes for each item on your list.

If you do not have much experience in home renovations, it might be a good idea to use a general contractor to ensure that your project is completed correctly.


Remember, if you are changing the location of any items, be mindful that the further you move any water or electrical, you will have the extra cost of moving water lines and electrical wires. To manage the costs as much as possible, keeping showers or sinks in the same general area may be more manageable.

Also, if your home is on a slab, it may be expensive to move showers or toilets because the contractor will have to break up concrete to move the plumbing pipes in the slab.

Niches or shelf storage

When installing a new shower, remember to add a niche to store any shower essentials like soap, shampoos, or conditioner. Look into installing a medicine cabinet that is recessed in the wall to get some extra storage. Check and ensure you have no wasted space inside the walls. Sometimes builders may not have utilized the entire space and may have framed up an empty void on the side of the shower or in the closet.


Local building codes now require new homes to install bathroom ventilation. If you have an older home, it may need a vent for the humid air in the bathroom. It will increase the life of your home by ensuring moisture is vented to the property’s exterior. Another upgrade to consider is adding a vent with a heat feature for those cold winter mornings.


Make sure you take your time and pick what type of flooring fits your style the best. Some great options are tile, luxury vinyl plank, or vinyl tile. It may seem like a good idea to go with a trendy style, and you certainly can, but remember that if you ever need to sell your home fast, it may be best to have a neutral design that the majority of prospective buyers will enjoy.


By painting a room, you can make it feel like it is more spacious than it is. Light or neutral colors will make the room feel larger, while dark colors could make it feel more claustrophobic. The most popular color for tubs and toilets is white.

One thing people often neglect when painting a bathroom is choosing the right paint sheen. For the walls, your decision will likely be eggshell vs satin sheen. Satin is more glossy and can feel more luxurious, while eggshell is better at hiding blemishes. You really can’t go wrong with either of these choices.

Door pulls

Likely the cheapest and easiest way to freshen up a bathroom would be by simply changing the cabinet door pulls. This is extremely simple and can be done in a couple of hours with some basic tools.


Great lighting is a crucial feature in a bathroom. You can stick with a standard vanity light above the mirror or add recessed can lights in the ceiling. Also, remember to add a waterproof light above the shower.

Bathtub & Shower

You will need to decide if you want to use a shower/tub combo or keep them separate. If you don’t want a bathtub, you can always just install a shower. However, one thing to keep in mind is that when you sell the home, the lack of a bathtub may turn some buyers away.

A tile shower with a glass door can be a tremendous upgrade. While you’re at it, you may want to consider a curbless shower. Also, a clawfoot tub is definitely in style right now and can add a huge wow factor to your bathroom.


You have a few options when it comes to choosing a vanity. You could buy a pre-made vanity or build a custom vanity by installing base cabinets with a granite or quartz countertop. Whichever vanity type you decide on, it is highly recommended to use undermount sinks as they are much sleeker looking and easier to clean.


Remember to add as much storage as possible. A good option is to install a tall cabinet with many shelves inside to add storage for towels and other large items you will need in the bathroom.

Hanging locations

A good option will be to add extra hooks to hang towels. The most common setup is to have at least one towel bar for bath towels and at least one towel ring next to the sink for hand towels. A robe hook can also be an excellent addition. Be mindful of where you install these pieces of hardware, as they could potentially clutter your bathroom, especially if placed in or near the walkway.

Sliding doors

A great way to save space is by adding sliding doors. You can add a pocket door if you have the walls opened up. Another option would be to add a sliding barn door, as they are currently in style and do not require any modifications to install inside the wall.


So remember, when you’re planning to renovate your bathroom, the possibilities are endless. Take your time planning the process and picking out the most important features for you. As your plan for your space evolves, remember to keep the end goal for your home in mind. If you plan on moving in the next 5-10 years, you should resist the urge to over-improve the area since you will likely only fetch what other homes in your neighborhood have recently sold for.

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