A Practical Guide To Small Bathroom Remodeling

Remodeling Your Bathroom: Inspiration and Planning

There are plenty of reasons to renovate your home’s bathroom, whether you’re creating a new master bathroom with his and her sinks or crafting a beautiful guest bathroom for your family and friends to use. Maybe you’ve been saving up for a while to make your bathroom dreams come true, or perhaps you’ve encountered a drainage problem that makes your bathroom redesign a necessity.

Regardless of your motivations, when you’re finally ready to renovate that bathroom you’ll need to be prepared for the ins and outs of bathroom remodel planning. This home improvement project can be quite the undertaking, but with a little bit of project planning, you can get the most out of your bathroom budget.

Before demolition begins, check out our guide below. We’ll cover project planning, inspiration techniques, project ideas, and tips for surviving the renovation process. Keep these tips in mind as you plan your renovation and learn how to redesign a bathroom to suit your needs.

Project Planning for Your Bathroom Renovation

Consider Your Motivations

Before you start looking at materials and getting bids from contractors, take a step back and consider your motivations for your new and improved bathroom. If you can pinpoint your reasons for remodeling, you’re more likely to get a room that captures your vision. Just like if you’re packing for a trip, knowing what you’re doing on that trip helps determine what is important to pack.

Modern updates: Does your bathroom look like a well-preserved relic of the 1980s? It may be time to add some modern touches. From new cabinetry, flooring, counters, to a fresh coat of paint, there are plenty of ways to bring your bathroom up-to-date.

Accessibility: If you have an aging relative living in the home, you may need to make changes in the bathroom to better accommodate them. This could mean adding rails next to the toilet or a walk-in bathtub.

Fixing a plumbing problem: Some plumbing problems are minimal, and can be taken care of quickly with some minor work. However, if there are issues that require you to demolish walls or rip up the floor, it might be the right time do some remodeling.

Water efficiency: There are endless ways to save water in the bathroom, from low-flow toilets to greywater system installations. Reduce water use (and potentially your water bill) with the right bathroom improvements.

Energy savings: Conserving water is wonderful, but the utility savings don’t have to stop there. Improve the energy efficiency of your bathroom with new light bulbs and energy-efficient ventilation features, and you may save on your electricity bill.

Adding a bathroom: Maybe your single bathroom just isn’t cutting it anymore. Adding another bathroom is a big undertaking that comes in a variety of forms: perhaps you want to create a new master bathroom suite, or turn a closet downstairs into a half-bath for guests. If your bathroom location is far from the plumbing connections, this can be an expensive project, so be sure to budget accordingly.

Functionality: Create a bathroom that works well for your family. Perhaps it’s a tub for your children’s baths, or added storage if you frequently entertain guests. Regardless, consider your wants and needs and what would help make your family’s lives easier.


Is your bathroom seriously dated? Is the layout awkward and unnatural? If so, it may be time to invest in a bathroom renovation. Whether you’re just moving into your home or preparing to put it on the market, there can be a significant upside to remodeling or renovating your bathroom.

set a realistic bathroom renovation budget

Build, average bathroom renovation cost for a small bathroom or powder room/half bath tends to be between $7,000 to $8,000, and the average bathroom renovation cost for a full bathroom is usually $18,000 to $25,000. Master bathroom renovations are typically $40,000 and up.

know your bathroom renovation project scope & timeline

The big question on everyone’s mind is “how long does it take to renovate a bathroom?” It’s important to take into consideration that the scope of your bathroom renovation project will determine your timeline. There’s more than meets the eye when planning a bathroom renovation. A simple bathroom design refresh is more cosmetic in nature and will take less time, while a full bathroom renovation or remodel can take several weeks.

Small bathroom design refresh: Approximately 30 days

Replace vanity or faucet

Update shower plumbing

Replace vanity wall sconces and light fixtures

Wallpaper, paint, or add new decorative finishes

Add extra, decorative storage

Full bathroom renovation or remodel: 6-12 weeks (sometimes longer depending on customization). A full bathroom renovation could require mechanical, plumbing, and cosmetic work.

Possibly move plumbing, electrical, etc.

Enlarge the space and/or move walls

Replace bathroom floor tile (field and decorative)

Upgrade tub or shower

Add heated floors or specialized shower features

Incorporate seamless glass and other luxury features

A Simple Guide to the Different Types of Bathroom Remodels

Types of bathroom remodels

Homeowners remodel bathrooms for a plethora of reasons. Our customers have told us they want to do cosmetic updates because the home is 20 years old.  Some say they don’t need a tub and want a larger shower. Others have expressed the need to add a bathroom because their families have gotten larger.  Whatever your reason to renovate your bathroom, one thing is for sure, bathroom remodels have one of the highest rates of return on any home renovation.

Cosmetic Bathroom Remodels

Simple bathroom remodels that are updated for cosmetic reasons can make a huge difference in the space. A simple bathroom remodel may include updating counter-tops, vanities, and sinks. Many times in a bathroom upgrade homeowners will re-tile the walls, re-paint the walls, and change the flooring. Most homeowners will take the opportunity to upgrade their faucets and fixtures when remodeling their bathroom. Simple bathroom remodels do not include floor plan changes.

Remodeling Bathroom Sinks

Some customers elect to add a sink for their spouse or change a shower into a tub for a young child. Many times homeowners will re-arrange the footprint of the space to add a vanity, change the toilet location, or add a closet.

Floor Plan Changes

homeowners are requesting floor plan changes in their bathrooms. They have found that the large roman tub in the master bathroom is not being used frequently. So, they change the tub into a shower.

Bathroom Addition

Another type of bathroom remodel is the addition of a bathroom. Many times homeowners add a new bathroom because their family has expanded and they need to reduce the stress of one bathroom in the house


The bathroom could be the most-often overhauled room in the house. Done right, it’s a model of simplicity and small-space efficiency. But we know that it’s easy to get overwhelmed by choices.

Your bathroom should work for every member of the family—and for guests as well. Of course, you want durable and easily cleaned surfaces. But, just as in any room of your home, you also want beauty and comfort.

Our mission is to help you navigate the choices; we’ve searched far and wide for the best-in-class fixtures and fittings, from stylish towel bars to luxurious soaking tubs to up-to-the minute toilets.

For inspiration, we present our favorite projects, from budget DIYS to lavish spa baths. You’ll find design ideas and bathroom accessories in a range of styles, from modern to rustic to minimalist. As one of our readers put it, “I love when pragmatic choices beget stunning aesthetics.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Improvements to Consider for Your Next Bathroom Remodel

A renovated bathroom adds value to your home, updates its style, and makes it better adapted to your current needs. Renovations are the best time to introduce improvements that will serve you and your family for years to come.

If you’re spending money for a bathroom remodel this year, consider making one or several of these essential changes to improve the functionality, storage, and comfort of your bathroom.

Toilets with hidden tanks—in which the water storage vessel is mounted inside the wall—have several benefits. They are worth considering if you are remodeling a bathroom, especially a smaller bathroom, where the design can save space.

Hidden-tank toilets (sometimes called hidden cistern toilets) save you precious space, and low-flow models help save water every time you flush. It’s a smart choice that increases the value of your home after the remodel. These are appropriate for all bathrooms styles, but they fit especially well in modern and contemporary decors. But be aware that routine maintenance can be difficult since there is usually no easy access to the tank if the inner workings need attention.

Another style of tankless toilet uses a pressure valve, such as those often found in commercial settings or public bathrooms. These are also options, although such toilets are noisy and tend to give a bathroom a somewhat industrial feel.