Starting a Bathroom Remodel

Learn about bath types, choosing a layout, budgeting, space planning and hiring contractors


By: Kristen Hampshire

  1. Remodeling

It's a spa getaway, a calming retreat, a small slice of serenity where you can shut out the world and exhale. We're not talking about an exotic resort, here. The bathroom—that room with a toilet, bathtub, sink and shower—is an ideal space to create a happy place you can visit a few times each day without ever leaving your home.

In fact, the bathroom might be the only room in the house where you safely can lock yourself inside for a half-hour to escape the noise of life, stress of the day, and potentially the hubbub that's happening right outside that door (ahem, parents of small children).

That said, "bathroom" seems a misnomer for a space where such quality time can be spent. And beyond the master bath, there are functional family bathrooms—the full bath—and convenient three-quarter bath layouts with toilet-sink-shower amenities. The tiniest space of all, the powder room, or half bathroom, can be a pint-sized showcase of your personal style. And you can really play up the drama in a guest bath.

When it comes to the bathroom, there's a whole lot going on in a relatively small space. "Bathrooms are becoming so much more than a room that takes care of a function," says Brian Johnson, principal, Collaborative Design Architects, Billings, Mt. "I compare it to how a TV room has evolved into a home theater with surround sound."

Amazing Bathroom Renovations

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Contemporary Bathroom: Combine Old & New

A Touch of Romance in the Bathroom

Feng Shui Bathroom

Designer, Gail Drury

Luxurious Master Bath

Simple Yet Luxurious Style

Beach House Bathroom

Simple Elegance in the Bathroom

Designer, Lisa LaPorta

French-Style Bathroom

It’s All Black in the Bathroom

Moroccan-Style Bathroom

Designer, Chris Barrett

Country-Chic Bathroom

A Touch of Tuscany Style

Designer, Thom Oppelt

Elegant Bathroom With a Tuscan Touch

Designer, Jackie Glisson

Romanesque-Style Bathroom

Designer, Alan Hilsabeck Jr.

Despite its importance, the bathroom is still often the smallest space in a home. "But the bathroom is the second most vital and expensive part of the house," Johnson says, noting that the kitchen is the largest investment. Johnson says most of his clients spend between $175 to $225 per square foot, and the cost of remodeling goes up from there depending on the appliances, fixtures and finishes you choose. Splurging for a flat-screen television that hides behind a two-way mirror? You'll pay for the luxury, but it could make your morning rush-hour in the bath feel less harried. Coffee makers, fireplaces and furniture are also finding their way into master baths. There are seemingly no limits.

Bathrooms With Luxury Features

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Attention to Detail

Room to Lounge

Designer, Chris Barrett

High-End Bathroom Materials

Heated Floors

Warlmy Yours

Cozy Fireplace

Walk-Thru Shower

Photo Credit: HDR Homes

Chromatherapy Bathtub

Toasty Towels and a TV

Spa-Style Bath

Morning Bar

High-Tech Traditional Bathroom

Designer, Amy Levine-Hammer

Destination Wall Murals

Adjacent Dressing Room

Walk-In Shower

Two-Person Jacuzzi

There are certainly parameters to your budget and expectations for return-on-investment. That's where this Bathroom Planning Guide comes into play.

Full Bathrooms

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Family-Friendly Bathroom

McShane Fleming Studios

Space-Saving Shower

Tons of Tile

Bright Idea

Functional Elegance

Vibrant Kid's Bathroom

Classic Meets Contemporary


Cindy Aplanalp

Space-Saving Features

Classic Kid's Bath

Spa-Like Appeal

"We are finding with people's requirement for customization and ways to experience spa-like benefits in their home, they are willing to pay for those benefits if it increases the value of their home or if it contributes to their well-being," says Diana Schrage, senior designer for Kohler.

Three-Quarter Bathrooms

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Add Interesting Yet Subtle Texture

Designer, Lauren Jacobsen

Bathroom Shelves for Open Space

Designer, Erica Islas

Add Classy Details for Character

Designer, Kenneth Brown

Use Complementary Tiles for a Striking Space

Designer, Shane Inman View original photo.

Refreshing Bathroom Colors

Designer, Celia Berliner

Tie Together Different Patterns

Designer, Amy Bubier

Upscale Finishes Add Luxury

Designer, Velvet Hammerschmidt

Small Space, Spa-Like Feel

Designer, Linda Maglia

Use Patterns for Modern Space

Designer, Vanessa DeLeon

Elegant Prints

Designer, Trish Beaudet

We'll help you set goals for your bathroom remodel, personalize the space to suit your needs and inspire you with designs that appeal to all tastes. With any bathroom remodel, budgeting and space planning are critical first steps: developing a financial plan and a design blueprint for the bathroom. Learn how to deal with ventilation, conserve water, organize the layout and make decisions on the vast array of fixtures. We'll walk you through the process step-by-step in this guide.

Half Baths and Powder Rooms

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Bold Wallpaper Patterns

Powder Room Stripes

Designer, Loretta Willis

Simple Elegance

Minimum Color Palette

Designer, Lauren Jacobsen

Small Space, Big Design

Mediterranean-Style Powder Room

Designer, Bonnie Sachs

Regal Accents

Designer, Thomas A. Conway

Tile Wall Powder Rooms

Designer, Andreea Avram Rusu

Beautifully Aged Powder Room

Designer, Joseph Pubillones

The Element of Surprise

Designer, Kim Smart

Organic Colors

Designer, Lori Dennis

Mirrored Walls

Designer, Andreas Charalambous

Wood-Paneled Powder Room

Designer, Gail Drury

Vanity Appeal


Kathy Greissler Best

African-Inspired Details

Photo Credit: Suki Medencevic

Next Up

Bath Remodeling: What to Consider

From the room's size to your budget, keep in mind these important factors

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