Starting a Bathroom Remodel

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


By: Kristen Hampshire

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

See All Photos

Contemporary Bathroom: Combine Old & New

A Touch of Romance in the Bathroom

Feng Shui Bathroom

Photo By: Designer, Gail Drury

Luxurious Master Bath

Simple Yet Luxurious Style

Beach House Bathroom

Simple Elegance in the Bathroom

Photo By: Designer, Lisa LaPorta

French-Style Bathroom

It’s All Black in the Bathroom

Moroccan-Style Bathroom

Photo By: Designer, Chris Barrett

Country-Chic Bathroom

A Touch of Tuscany Style

Photo By: Designer, Thom Oppelt

Elegant Bathroom With a Tuscan Touch

Photo By: Designer, Jackie Glisson

Romanesque-Style Bathroom

Photo By: 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

See All Photos

Attention to Detail

Room to Lounge

Photo By: Designer, Chris Barrett

High-End Bathroom Materials


Heated Floors

Photo By: Warlmy Yours

Cozy Fireplace

Photo By: Olson Photographic LLC

Walk-Thru Shower

Photo By: Photo Credit: HDR Homes

Chromatherapy Bathtub

Toasty Towels and a TV

Photo By: HOWARD TUCKER 216-696-4616

Spa-Style Bath

Morning Bar

High-Tech Traditional Bathroom

Photo By: 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

See All Photos

Family-Friendly Bathroom

From: Drury Design

Space-Saving Shower

Tons of Tile

Bright Idea

Functional Elegance

Vibrant Kid's Bathroom

Photo By: Eric

Classic Meets Contemporary

From: 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

See All Photos

Add Interesting Yet Subtle Texture

Photo By: Designer, Lauren Jacobsen

Bathroom Shelves for Open Space

Photo By: Designer, Erica Islas

Add Classy Details for Character

Photo By: Designer, Kenneth Brown

Use Complementary Tiles for a Striking Space

Photo By: Designer, Shane Inman

Refreshing Bathroom Colors

Photo By: Designer, Celia Berliner

Tie Together Different Patterns

Photo By: Designer, Amy Bubier

Upscale Finishes Add Luxury

Photo By: Designer, Velvet Hammerschmidt

Small Space, Spa-Like Feel

Photo By: Designer, Linda Maglia

Use Patterns for Modern Space

Photo By: Designer, Vanessa DeLeon

Elegant Prints

Photo By: 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

See All Photos

Bold Wallpaper Patterns

Powder Room Stripes

Photo By: Designer, Loretta Willis

Simple Elegance

Minimum Color Palette

Photo By: Designer, Lauren Jacobsen

Small Space, Big Design

Photo By: ERICC BB

Mediterranean-Style Powder Room

Photo By: Designer, Bonnie Sachs

Regal Accents

Photo By: Designer, Thomas A. Conway

Tile Wall Powder Rooms

Photo By: Designer, Andreea Avram Rusu

Beautifully Aged Powder Room

Photo By: Designer, Joseph Pubillones

The Element of Surprise

Photo By: Designer, Kim Smart

Organic Colors

Photo By: Designer, Lori Dennis

Mirrored Walls

Photo By: Designer, Andreas Charalambous

Wood-Paneled Powder Room

Photo By: Designer, Gail Drury

Vanity Appeal

From: Kathy Geissler Best

Photo By: Matthew Millman

African-Inspired Details

Photo By: 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

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.