Brightly lit white and recently remodeled bathroom.

The 16 Best Bathroom Remodel Ideas

Kaitlin Davis11-Minute Read
UPDATED: May 31, 2023

Various home renovations can help you create the house you always wanted or add value to the house you’re ready to sell. One popular option for homeowners and home sellers alike is remodeling the bathroom (whether it’s a half bath or the primary bedroom).

With so many bathroom remodel ideas out there, your project can quickly become overwhelming. But by making even just a few of the changes listed below, you can completely transform the look and feel of your bathroom design.

Bathroom Remodeling And Renovation Ideas

Whether you’re hiring a contractor or taking the DIY approach, the updates you make to your home should make you happy. Do you want more storage? An aesthetic update? Reorganization? Pinpointing your wants and needs will help you achieve the best bathroom makeover for you and your home.

1. Choose Colorful And Fun

Pop art inspired bathroom with bright and saturated colors.

It’s easy to forget that part of what makes homeownership fun is the opportunity to express ourselves. Your home’s interior design should be a reflection of yourself, so don’t shy away from eye-catching colors or bold patterns.

Don’t want to commit to a showier wall color or tile? Statement pieces, like ornate or uniquely shaped mirrors and sconces, are a less permanent way to personalize your bathroom. If functionality is your priority, consider mirrors that double as a medicine cabinet or come with attached shelving. Mirrors are also a great way to make a small bathroom feel bigger.

Textiles are another low-effort way to update your bathroom. Replace worn-out towels with plush, new linens. Add a new bathmat or rug. Dress up the windows with soft, flowing curtains.

If you’re nervous about where to start, themed bathrooms are a great way to provide some cohesion while still meeting your needs and maintaining your personal tastes. Want to reduce clutter? Try a minimalist style with some funky wallpaper or a coastal palette that can keep your bathroom feeling light and fresh.

Whatever style you choose, make sure it meets your goals of the room and shows off your personality. The small things will contribute to the overall feel of the interior design, so be sure to take your time and choose wisely.

2. Take A Minimalist Approach

White, minimalist bathroom.

Minimalism has become a popular lifestyle in recent years. If you’re tired of the bold, vibrant, bulky palettes and textures attributed to maximalist living, minimalist interior design are heavily reliant on a neutral color pallet and sleek fixtures.

Contrary to popular belief, minimalism does not have to be boring and bland. In fact, remodeling your bathroom using this approach can result in a stunning, cost-effective and sustainable space in the end. There are several ways to remodel your bathroom to fit the minimalist standard of living while making it noble, the spa bathroom being a prime example.

3. Replace The Countertops

Rolled up white towel next to a small succulent plant on a white bathroom countertop.

Instead of replacing your entire vanity or sink, swapping your countertops could change the entire ambiance of a room for an affordable price. Like most things confined in a moist, warm, muggy space, bathroom countertops are prone to cracking, peeling, becoming scratched or stained, and even developing mold and mildew. If your countertop is showing its age, it might be time to swap it with something fresh. Depending on the size and materials, this repair could be done at an affordable price.

4. Improve The Faucets

Modern bathroom sink with a black faucet.

Rather than changing your entire sink, shower or bathtub, consider swapping out the old faucets with something more modern. While this may seem like a small feat, faucets can help define the look of your space.

Not only is this option budget- and DIY-friendly, but improving your faucets could also save you money down the line. Older bathroom faucets are said to be less efficient than newer models, as they waste water and run your utility bill up in the process. Instead of buying a new vanity, save yourself the time and money, and pour some TLC into your older one by swapping out the countertop instead.

5. Change The Entire Sink

White vessel sink in bathroom on wooden counter.

From handwashing to brushing your teeth, bathroom sinks play an important role in your daily routine. The type of sink you choose will depend on how much storage you need and what kind of look you want out of your bathroom renovation.

Here are some different types of sinks to consider:

  • Pedestal sink: This individual, free-standing unit includes the sink and pedestal – no storage or counter space. Best for small bathrooms, pedestal sinks take up minimal space.
  • Wall-mounted sink: Wall-mounted sinks also feature just the sink, no counter space or storage. However, it does provide plenty of space below to store items in baskets or bins. Some homeowners even wrap fabric around it, like a skirt, to hide stored items.
  • Under-mount sink: This sink is built into a vanity, connected under the countertop. With a clean look on top, under-mount sinks do eat into valuable storage space in your vanity below.
  • Drop-in sink: True to its name, drop-in sinks are placed into a hole cut into the top of the vanity, with the rim of the sink resting on the surface.
  • Vessel sink: Perhaps the most decorative sink type, vessel sinks may even be considered a statement piece. Vessel sinks are entirely visible, as they sit on top of the vanity, and may be challenging to swap out down the road.

6. Swap The Vanity

Large gray and white bathroom with large vanity mirror.

A good vanity can provide you with more storage, countertop and cabinetry space to stow away clutter and personal items. Since vanities will also be left for the next owner should you move, upgrading the bathroom vanity is an easy way to add value to the home.

Vanities can also be easily modified for increased storage or updated with new hardware or different sinks to better complement your bathroom design. For smaller bathrooms, consider a floating vanity to open the space. A double vanity is a great solution for shared or guest bathrooms.

7. Focus On Flooring

White contemporary bathroom with marble tile flooring and subway wall tiling.

Not only can new flooring replace broken or moldy tiles and better protect your walls and floors from moisture – different types of flooring can also transform the look and feel of your bathroom.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing new bathroom flooring:

  • To keep your space feeling open, avoid busy floor-to-ceiling tile.
  • Use lighter colors in small bathrooms.
  • Consider pops of color or a mosaic to distinguish smaller areas, like the shower.
  • Smaller tiles are more tedious to install, so use them sparingly.
  • Stay away from slippery surfaces when it comes to your flooring of choice – especially in the shower.
  • Remember that tiles are waterproof – use them in areas that may face frequent water exposure.
  • Consider the rest of your bathroom design – the color and style of your vanity, cabinetry, shower, tub and other bathroom accessories.
  • Ceramic is the least expensive tiling option and one of the easiest to DIY.

If you’re thinking about having your bathroom floors redone, remember that there are many different floor tiles, patterns and materials to choose from. You can also have unique features and benefits by upgrading to smart flooring, heated flooring or some other unique flooring option.

8. Improve The Lighting

Spacious modern black and gray bathroom with white flowers on the countertop.

Simply switching out your bathroom lights is an effective way to upgrade with minimal effort. While there’s an abundance of lighting options out there, you’ll want one that doesn’t take up much space while still creating a well-lit space – especially around your vanity.

Here are a few different lighting fixtures:

  • Sconces: These wall-mounted fixtures are a stylish way to create a focal point in your bathroom, like around your vanity. Usually mounted in pairs, sconces also provide symmetry on top of ample lighting.
  • Vanity bar lights: These single rows of light sit just above the vanity mirror and make for a clean, traditional look with minimal space required. For an extra polished look, make sure the bar of lights is no more than three-quarters the length of your mirror.
  • Uplighting: This dramatic effect can create a relaxing ambience to a low-lit bath or highlight special pieces in the bathroom. Uplighting is achieved by putting light fixtures on the ground and pointing them up the wall.
  • Chandelier: This striking piece offers a certain elegance to a bathroom and provides a regal feel perfect for your (porcelain) throne room.
  • Statement Piece: A bold light fixture can create a focal point for the bathroom and complete the look of your design style, without overwhelming the eye.

9. Use Built-Ins

Elegant farmhouse bathroom with built in cupboard storage.

Bathrooms are typically some of the smallest rooms in the home, so it’s no secret that clutter is a common problem. To combat disorganization, you may have to get creative when it comes to effective storage solutions. One of these solutions may be utilizing built-in storage options.

Ideas of built-in storage options include:

  • Floating shelves where floor storage is not an option.
  • Shelves or cubbies built into the walls of your bathroom and shower.
  • A shelving unit separating the toilet from the rest of the bathroom.
  • Small ladders, which can double as decor and functional towel racks.
  • Wall or door hooks.

Also consider choosing a bathroom vanity that provides ample counter and shelf space to maximize your storage options.

10. Enhance The Shower

White bathroom with subway wall tiling.

There are plenty of small bathroom updates to refresh your bathroom shower, including:

  • Retiling your shower
  • Installing a new showerhead
  • Adding a decorative mosaic design
  • Building shelving into the shower wall
  • Adding a bench
  • Installing or removing shower doors
  • Expanding the shower stall for more space

If you’re looking for a complete shower overhaul, be sure to compare quotes from bathroom remodelers for a better sense of just how much this type of renovation will cost.

11. Replace The Tub

Square shaped bathroom tub with a shower head faucet.

One way to update your bathroom’s look and feel is to separate the tub and shower. This departure from the typical tub-shower combination can give you more bathtub options, including:

  • Freestanding tub: These unmounted tubs are typically accessible from all sides and can be a beautiful centerpiece to a bathroom. Perfect for a deep soak, freestanding tubs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with faucets coming from the floor or attached to the wall directly over the tub.
  • Corner tub: These tubs fit into the corner of the bathroom and can be great to maximize vacant corner space. Due to their shape, these tubs are often wider than normal tubs, and take on a hot tub-like shape.
  • Alcove tub: These recessed tubs are most commonly found in bathtub-shower combinations. Connected to the wall and fitted into a space carved out for them, alcove tubs show just one finished side.
  • Walk-in tub: A great option for homeowners with mobility issues, walk-in tubs allow the bather to enter through a water-tight door rather than climb over a threshold.

For homeowners who never take baths, you could remove the bathtub altogether and open up even more space. Just be sure to take the time to really consider what type of bathtub will replace the current one, especially if you have small children who may prefer baths over showers.

12. Refinish The Tub

Contemporary gray and white bathroom with blue towels.

If your bathtub is in working, good condition, refinishing it is an affordable alternative to replacing it entirely. Whether you love it because it is original to the house, has just enough space for your children to enjoy bath time, or can’t afford to replace it, bathtub refinishing is a safe and effective way to remove surface imperfections.

The reglazing process is so quick and simple that scratches, shallow divots and stains can be patched up by an enthusiastic, budget conscious DIYer at any time. If you have 4 – 6 hours to work, proper PPE and simple hand tools, you could tackle this repair in a weekend at the most. You could also use a bathtub liner as an alternative; however, it would not be as longstanding as a glazing.

13. Add Wallpaper

Blue and white bathroom with blue wallpaper and a blue and white striped shower curtain.

Adding wallpaper in the bathroom is a cost-effective, often renter-friendly way to add colors and textures to a bathroom. Not only does wallpaper come in all types of colors, patterns and textures, but also happens to be budget friendly and easy to install. Rather you’re a renter who wants to make a few changed to their space, or a homeowner who’s not looking to paint, wallpaper is a quick, nonpermanent drastic option to look at.

14. Upgrade The Toilet

Modern bathroom with marble tile flooring and wooden panel accent wall.

Replacing your toilet may seem unnecessary, but if you have an older model, doing so can help save you money in the long run. Modern toilets use up to five fewer gallons of water than older models, and many provide the eco-conscious dual flush system. This system allows you to choose between two flushes depending on how much water – and power – you need. This also reduces the amount of water you use.

Replacing your toilet also allows you to find one that better fits your needs, including height and seat shape. You can also customize your toilet to include such features as:

  • Hands-free, no-touch flushing
  • Heated seats
  • Built-in lights
  • Self-cleaning features
  • Motion-activated seats

If you’re replacing your bathroom flooring, now is the perfect time to replace the toilet since you may have to remove it anyway to install the new floor.

15. Expand With Mirrors

Large bathroom with a free standing tub and wooden accent wall with a large mirror.

Incorporating new or larger mirrors in a smaller bathroom space can make the room feel bigger. Incorporating large mirrors in small bathroom remodels is one way to create the illusion of space without tearing down a wall. Just like many of the tips we’ve listed, expanding a space with mirrors is as budget friendly as it is renter friendly.

Instead of spending thousands on having walls torn down, reframing your bathroom and building out extra space, consider adding mirrors during your bathroom remodel. Permanent or removable, this small step can create a world’s difference in the feel of your bathroom.

16. Install Windows

White bathroom with a single plantation shutter style window.

Installing or replacing windows to a bathroom allows for more natural light. If you’re looking to brighten up your space without running up a higher utility bill, installing windows could be the perfect route for you. Not only would you receive natural light from a bathroom window, but they also provide extra ventilation to let out steam and fight mold and mildew from spurring.

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What Is A Realistic Budget For A Bathroom Remodel?

The average cost of bathroom renovations can range from $5,000 – $20,000 or more, but the exact amount depends on an array of factors. Bathroom remodels can mean making small changes like switching the hardware, changing the paint color and bringing in new linens, which might only cost a few hundred dollars instead. Remodels can also mean major renovations, including replacing your sink or retiling the walls and floor. Whatever you choose, make sure you create and stick to a budget and consider how it will affect the value of your home.

If you can’t afford to pay for your remodel out of pocket, no worries. There are financing options such as a home improvement loan or a cash-out refinance to help cover the cost of larger projects. Whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring an expert, consider talking to our friends at Rocket Mortgage® to discuss financing options for the bathroom remodel of your dreams.

The Bottom Line

When doing any remodel in your home, you need to be careful and cautious about revamping your bathroom. Bathroom remodels take time, thought and perseverance, so be sure this is a task you’re ready to take on at this time. Can you afford the cost of supplies and labor at this time? Is there another bathroom nearby that your family can use while yours is under construction? Have you thought about exactly what you want out of a remodel? These are all things to consider before diving straight into the deep end, so be sure to take your time and plan accordingly.

Also keep in mind that despite popular beliefs, you can remodel your bathroom on a budget. There are plenty of DIY and renter friendly tasks that could entirely change the look and feel of your space, so don’t feel down if you live in an apartment or can’t afford a pricey contractor right now. While you may not be able to create your dream bathroom now, you can still create a comfortable, gorgeous space – quickly and affordably.

If you’re looking to get a loan for your bathroom remodel, get started on a cash-out refinance application today to see which renovations can be funded by unlocking the equity in your home.

Fund your renovations with a cash-out refinance.

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Kaitlin Davis

Kaitlin Davis is a senior at Wayne State University studying Journalism.