Getting the kind of bathroom you want starts with a list of good bath design ideas. Sometimes it's hard to know exactly what it is you want until you actually see it or are somehow presented with the idea. But while perusing through a list of bathroom design ideas is certainly helpful, it's only one piece of the puzzle.
Bathrooms are high on the pecking order relative to room functionality and to get one that fits your home, your needs and your budget takes some forethought.
It also depends on your starting point: you might be designing a new bathroom for a new home or an addition or maybe you're remodeling an existing bathroom. Your particular scenario will help shape and define your bathroom. You'll need to marry those constraints along with your wish list of bath design ideas to end up with a bathroom that works for you and your house.
The following bath design ideas on this page are aimed at giving you a good head start on crystallizing a plan for your new or remodeled bathroom. No such list is ever complete and you may even dream up some ideas on your own. Choose the ones that resonate with how you live and you'll be one step closer to your new bathroom.
There's a lot of information on this web page so if you're short on time click on this Quick Fix link. It'll show you the key points to keep in mind when it comes to bath design ideas. Make sure to come back later when you have more time because there's lots of good detail on this page.
Planning and forethought about your needs and wants is the first step
Bath design ideas should be thought of in two groups: Must-Have (Essential) and Discretionary
Must-have bath design ideas should be incorporated in all bathrooms
Discretionary ideas are those that aren't essential but offer convenience, luxury and preferential details
Much more detail and examples of good bath design ideas are featured in the information below.
Any resource about bath design ideas would be incomplete if it didn't include the most important part which is careful planning. Your first task when thinking about remodeling your bathroom or designing a new one is to carefully consider how you live in your home and how that situation may change in the future.
For example, if you currently have no children but are planning on starting a family, your considerations for a bathroom design might be different than if you already have kids who will enter their teenage years soon. By the same token, if you're planning a master bath suite, you'll probably lean toward bath design ideas that focus on comfort and perhaps a bit of indulgence rather than countertops that can take the beating that kids dish out.
Functionality plays a key role because the bathroom is by nature a highly functional room. In other words, you want your bathroom to work effectively and reliably and that means choosing fixtures and products that work well and serve your specific needs.
Durability may seem like a given but when you consider the environment of a full bathroom, with all the water and humidity that's present, plus the daily use it gets, poor choices can cause problems later on. You'll want furniture like bath vanities to be able to withstand the moist environment. Choose bathroom faucets of high quality so you don't end up with deteriorating finishes and drips later on.
Comfort is something you'll also want to consider since we are talking about the bathroom here. There are fixtures that are more comfortable than others, whether we're talking toilets, vanity height or floor temperature. If you're looking for bath design ideas for a master bathroom, comfort might be a top priority that can include things like a jetted tub, steam shower or spa shower.
The point here is this: as you put together your wish list of bathroom design ideas ask yourself how they will make your bathroom highly functional, durable and comfortable as well.
|- Will that kind of countertop stand up to toothpaste, nail polish and harsh cleaners?|
|- Those great looking bath faucets are a steal -- but are they made to last?|
|- You love the look of a wood floor -- but is that a wise choice in a full bathroom complete with a tub and shower?|
|- Would radiant floor heat in the bathroom make those frigid Montreal winter mornings more bearable?|
Get specific about what you like and don't like about your existing bathroom and why you need to change it so that you'll be more focused on which bath design ideas apply to your situation. Unless you have unlimited funds and space you'll probably have to prioritize which bathroom ideas to go ahead with and which ones won't make the cut. Asking yourself these kinds of questions will help you zero in on the most effective and satisfying bathroom design.
Bath design ideas can conceivably be grouped into two categories: those that are 'must haves' and the ones that are 'discretionary'. The must-haves are those elements that every bathroom should possess, aside from the basic essentials like a toilet and sink.
Here's a hint too: they're not the most glamorous ideas on the planet. Your guests won't go wild over them like they might for a walk-in spa shower.Rather, these types of bathroom design ideas are really not "ideas" at all but design elements that could otherwise be called "peace of mind" details. They help maintain your bathroom's durability and longevity and can prevent ugly problems down the road.
To that end here are the bath design ideas that you should not do without:
Remember that bathroom countertops have their share of challenges too. They're exposed to chemicals like nail polish remover, alcohol and harsh cleansers. Surfaces like engineered stone (quartz), solid surface and laminate are good choices here.
Choosing the right bathroom flooring is also essential to ensure it lasts and won't be a problem in a wet environment. Tile is an obvious choice as is linoleum or vinyl. If you do go with vinyl, use sheet stock rather than tiles to eliminate seams that could ultimately allow water to get to the subfloor.
Wood and laminate would not be the best choices simply because of they don't stand up to water very well.
To do this you need to ensure your bathroom's design incorporates moisture barriers like waterproof membranes. These kinds of materials come by the names of Lacticrete and the products made by Schluter Systems. They provide sealing surfaces for areas like the bathroom floor and shower pans.
Other provisions include using the right substrate materials in tub and shower surrounds. Those areas will normally be covered by materials that are, for the most part, impervious to water, like tile or some plastic or solid surface material. However the material behind these surfaces needs to rated for wet areas. Avoid using water-resistant drywall, often referred to as "green board". It's not allowed by some building codes and you'll be much better served using a cement board or similar wet-rated backer board.
Whether you build your bathroom or you have a contractor do it be knowledgeable about proper leak prevention so you're sure you won't have any problems when the job is all done.
To do this you can buy faucets and toilets that are designed to use less water than previous generations of products. The U.S. EPA developed its WaterSense program which establishes criteria that governs water-saving fixtures. Products that meet WaterSense specifications use less water than standard fixtures.
Products include showerheads, toilets and bathroom faucets. WaterSense products are clearly labeled so they can be distinguished from non-WaterSense products.
And saving water doesn't mean a less-satisfying shower either. Manufacturers have developed technologies that can reduce water consumption while offering the sensation of a shower that's similar to a higher-flow showerhead.
You can learn more about the benefits of using less water in the article on the EPA WaterSense program.
Good home lighting design uses a technique called layered lighting where fixtures provide ambient, task and in some cases, even decorative lighting. The larger your bathroom will be the more important this concept becomes.
If at all possible try and use as much daylighting as you can, making use of windows and/or sun tubes. A sun tube is a device that captures the light from the rooftop and channels it into the inside of your home using reflective technology. Daylighting is a good way to reduce daytime energy consumption.
And when it comes down to the all-important bathroom mirror try to use a combination of overhead and side lighting. Overhead lighting alone casts unappealing shadows on a person's face. The addition of side lighting alleviates those shadows and provides a more flattering appearance.
Once you've baked the 'must-have' design elements into your plan it's time to think about some of fun bath design ideas. These are the 'discretionary' bath ideas that you can choose depending on your wants, needs, budget and the physical constraints of your bathroom.
The information below contains a list of bath design ideas to get your creative juices flowing on how to get that bathroom you've always wanted.
Rather than one big list they're divided into categories to make things a bit more helpful.
Some are simply suggestions to help you consider concepts you might not have thought about while others could be considered 'reminders' -- things to keep in mind as you firm up your design so that you make the best of the space you have.
Standalone sinks include pedestal sinks, console sinks (supported in front by two legs) and wall-mounted sinks. Although you may forego some storage space by not using a vanity the amount of space that's lost typically isn't that much and can be supplemented using open shelves or a storage cabinet on the wall.
Rather than using a bathroom vanity that sits flush on the floor like a base cabinet does, choose a vanity that has legs and some space underneath. That open area around the base gives the perception of more space in a small bathroom.
This particular vanity shown at right is more like a table than a vanity but you can find furniture-style vanities and antique vanities (reproduction or real) with shorter legs and possibly a drawer or two.
If you're unsure, do a mock layout on your bathroom floor or in an area that will approximate the size of your bathroom. Use pieces of cardboard (different colors helps) or simply draw the tile size you want on large brown wrapping paper. This way you can get a feel for whether a particular tile size is too large for the size of your floor.
Be careful with colors however because bold colors have some effect on visual impact. If you mock up your floor using a bland cardboard color but then go out and buy alternating black and white tiles, the bold-colored tile may look very different than your mockup from a size perspective.
There's nothing like stepping out of the tub or shower and into the warmth of a heated towel. Heated towel warming racks come in wall mounted as well as free-standing styles. They can be hard-wired into your bathroom's circuitry or you can buy the plug-in variety. There are also swing-out towel warmers that make it a bit easier to hang the towels on the rack.
Photo Courtesy Of Séura
The traditional place for a towel rack is against the wall but that means they stick out a bit and take up some room. If your design allows it, incorporate towel racks in a built-in recess between the wall studs. You can also use the same design concept for shelving too.
You or your contractor will have to frame the wall correctly to do this which includes a bit more work when installing the drywall too. The benefit is that it provides more room by eliminating these items that stick out into the open space which can be a hindrance in a small bathroom.
They're available for small shower stalls as mentioned above as well as longer tub-showers. A curved shower rod extends out beyond the edge of the tub while keeping the bottom portion of the shower curtain inside the tub. This gives you some noticeable shoulder room in the shower that you wouldn't otherwise have with a standard straight curtain rod. It's a simple design idea but one that offers tangible benefits.
Keep in mind that better sound insulation products will only minimize sounds that emanate from inside the bathroom such as running water from a faucet or back into a toilet tank. Any pipes behind the walls (outside of the soundproofing envelope) won't be isolated and you'll still hear running water unless you insulate those cavities as well.
Depending on your family's situation it might make sense to plan for universal design features in your bathroom. Provisions that aid aging or less mobile individuals will make the bath design that much more usable and convenient. Things like taller toilets, better lighting, appropriately placed grab bars, lever door and cabinet handles and adjustable height shower heads are just a few examples of the design features to consider.
Doing it now will avoid will avoid having to cut into the walls later on to install these anchors, which would necessitate patching or re-tiling affected areas.
Introducing a lot of natural daylight into your bathroom is a good idea but maintaining privacy is difficult to do with clear windows. Instead, use acrylic or glass block windows to let in the light but keep the requisite level of privacy. You can also use them as privacy dividers between portions of your bathroom.
One benefit of acrylic block windows is their lighter weight. This allows windows to be made with the same look as glass block but light enough so that the windows can be opened, unlike glass block windows that are too heavy to be opened.
The benefits of acrylic and glass block don't end with windows however. They're great for shower enclosures too plus there are many other uses as well. The article on how to choose and use acrylic and glass block around your home has many more ideas on these versatile building materials.
The first project I tackled after moving into our home was to completely remodel the main level powder room. I had never done anything like it before. From a DIY perspective, I would have rated myself at the time as "handy" but by no means an accomplished remodeler. I had never gutted walls, re-installed sheetrock, installed fixtures or laid tile.
I'm happy to say that the entire project was a success. I even laid a real 'traditional' mud floor under the tile. I ripped out the old vanity and replaced it with a pedestal sink, installed new drywall and also replaced the toilet and faucet. The only thing I didn't do (nor needed to) was relocate any plumbing.
Moral -- consider your own talents but don't be afraid to take on some of the work yourself. After understanding what a paid professional service costs when we embarked on our home remodeling project some years later, I'm sure I saved a few thousand dollars doing our small bathroom myself.
Use the product search capabilities at the various search engines to quickly compare the prices at various online retailers for a specific product you're interested in. Use sites like Overstock.com or search using the keyword "closeout" after your main search term like "sink" or "faucet".
Remember to choose wisely however. Don't compromise on quality. Use the other articles here at HomeStyleChoices.com to learn how to choose various products.
Also consider using sheet vinyl flooring as an alternative. It's durable, impervious to water (provided it's sealed well at the edges) and it's economical.
To be sure you're saving money, have a bath refinisher provide a quote to do the job and then compare that to what it would cost for a new tub. Just remember that getting an old tub out of your bathroom is quite an undertaking so factor that into your consideration.
Need help finding someone who can help make your new bathroom a reality and can provide a free quote to boot? If that's something you'd like help with, simply fill in the form below.
Qualified local bathroom remodeling experts will contact you at your convenience and provide you with a free quote on your specific project. Having them come to you takes a good chunk of the hassle out of finding who can do your project.
As far as I'm concerned there are lots of bath design ideas that you could gin up if you thought hard enough or looked long enough. The ideas provided above should give you a good head start.
But remember that above all, even when considering a budget bath upgrade, to plan well, think about what ideas fit with your lifestyle and to do things right. It's why these bath ideas are grouped into two categories -- "must haves" and "discretionary". Don't overlook the must-haves.
Choosing A Bathroom Sink - Bathroom sinks come in all shapes and sizes. Find out what you should consider when choosing your next bathroom sink.
Choosing The Right Bathroom Faucet - Need help choosing bathroom faucets? Learn what's important and what's available so that you can make good decisions.
Choosing A Bathtub - A bathtub can be simple and useful or elegant and spa-like. Find out what's available and how to choose the right one for your bathroom.