Designing A Beautiful, and Functional Bathroom

Remodeling a bathroom can be a daunting task. What is the first question you need to ask yourself before getting started? How many people will use this bathroom? How much space do you have to work with? What will need to be replaced? What is your budget? These are all questions to be considered, however, the most important question to ask yourself before getting started is:
What is the main function of this bathroom?
Do you want a retreat, a spa, a place to soak in a tub and read? Will you spend a couple hours a week with candles and soft music to unwind? Or, do you want a place to shower and run? The choice you pick can affect the materials and colors. Bathrooms are a more personal space than kitchens, according to

Having a working knowledge of what goes into a bathroom remodeling project, all the details, processes, and options, can make the difference between a pleasant experience with a happy ending and a months-long nightmare ending in a not-so-happy result.
  1. Balance your expectations with how much much you want to spend.
    Using a few high-end materials can increase your enjoyment of your
    bathroom and is a good investment.
  2. Research plumbing, flooring materials, lighting options. and bathroom
    fixtures to become knowledgeable about what is available and the cost.
    Knowing the size of a typical bathtub and space needed for a toilet will
    help in your planning.
  3. Consider the space you have and plan the layout of your bathroom. Do
    you want/need a tub and a shower? Would a corner sink help with traffic
    flow and space problems? Manufacturers are making tubs in smaller
    sizes to accommodate smaller bathrooms. Planning good use of your
    space would include not making the toilet the first thing you see when you
    open the door. Check your tile size because most tile is sold in millimeters
    which can affect your tile layout and plumbing.
  4. Plan to have more than one way of drying out your bathroom. Having a
    multifaceted approach to reduce mold and mildew can include a great fan
    that vents to the outside and an operable window.

Here are some other ideas to consider with your bathroom remodel, according to Forbes Magazine:
  • PLUMBING: Because so much gunk goes down your drain, the larger the drain, the less likely it is to clog. Consider upgrading to a 2-inch drain for your sink. The cost difference is negligible and unless the framing doesn't allow for it, increase the drain in your shower to 2 inches. Also, if you live in an area where temperatures drop below freezing during the winter, water supply lines should not be routed through an exterior wall.
  • LIGHTING: Recessed light fixtures throughout your ceiling can brighten up the room along with one or two in your shower. A dimmer switch will allow you to adjust the mood. Whether or not you'll be using the mirror in your bathroom close up, will determine if you want functional or aesthetic lighting.
  • MEDICINE CABINETS: Recessing your medicine cabinet can be a great way to save a few inches of space. If not, be sure that you have 4 to 5 inches at your vanity for the medicine cabinet.
  • SHOWER FLOORS: Larger tiles are sometimes more difficult to slope properly and if not textured, will be more slippery because the grout lines are further apart. Smaller tiles offer more traction and the options are limitless. Shower bases are now made out of acrylic or porcelain and for a clean modern look.
  • VANITIES: Vanities with drawer storage are easier to access and organize. Picking the right size is important. Getting one too big and it can mess up the traffic routes. Getting one too small and you may need more countertop space and storage. Your choice can depend on the space available and well as your storage needs. Wood vanities provide a natural feel but can be pricey. Medium Density Fiberboard or MDF is less expensive and more durable after its covered with laminate. Particleboard or plywood are good options for lower budget vanities but if not good quality you may need to replace it sooner than later.
Choosing the right materials for floors, vanities and showers can depend upon their durability, cost and looks. Bathroom countertop materials on the market combine beauty and strength.

Here are some of the most popular surfaces and their pros and cons according to
  • Granite: This is the most popular because of its beauty and endless choice of colors and patterns Granite is scratch resistant and requires a low amount of upkeep if it is properly sealed. It does not react to humidity or hot items such as curling irons and it lasts a long time. It can add resale value to your home. It is one of most expensive options and should be professionally installed. It is recyclable, but transport and minding require a large amount of energy resources. Prices range from $50 to $100 per square foot.
  • Quartz: Quartz is tougher than granite and doesn't require sealing and is one of nature's most abundant minerals. Is is moisture, stain and bacteria resistant and has a choice of edge treatments and installation options. Quartz can be as expensive as high-end granite and marble. Some finishes will show fingerprints and smudges requiring frequent wipe-downs. Prices range from $60 to $100 per square foot..
  • Marble: Marble has always been equated with wealth but because of improvements in production, it has become a bit more affordable. Marble is often white with streaks of grays, however, there are many color choices. Marble is long lasting and strong and will resist most chips and dents. It can be polished for a high shine or honed for a matte finish. Marble is expensive and because of its porous nature it is prone to stains, scratches and etching from acidic substances. It does require periodic sealing. Prices range from $125 to $150 per square foot.
  • Solid Surface: Solid-surface materials are made of acrylic resin and crushed stone and come in a wide range of solid colors and patterns often used with contemporary decor. It is extremely durable and resistant to water, bacteria and stains. Its appearance is virtually seamless and can rival natural stone .It requires professional installation and wear and scratches can be visible on darker colors. It can be damaged by intense heat or dropped objects. Prices range between $40 to $100 per linear foot.
  • Laminate: More commonly known as Formica, it is composed of a thin plastic surface pressure bonded to a particleboard or plywood base. Latest technologies are able to produce realistic stone-and wood-like finishes and an amazing choice of solid and graphic patterns. It is affordable, durable, water resistant and easy to clean. Presized products are usually available at home supply stores and are relatively easy to install. Laminate can thin or dull over time and damages can't be repaired. Prices range from $24 to $50 per linear foot.
  • Tile: Ceramic tiles are resistant to heat, stains, scratches and moisture. It is affordable and individual tiles can be replaced if damaged. The installation and pattern can be customized to fit a design. however, grout can attract mildew, stains and be hard to keep clean, and tiles can crack or chip. Prices range from $10 to $50 per square foot.
  • Concrete: Concrete has amazing shape-shifting abilities and a variety of looks. Most countertops are manufactured offsite for quality control. It is an organic material that can look like natural stone and has a vast choice of customized colors, textures and decorative inlays. It is extremely durable, eco-friendly and can be cast in exact shapes, dimensions and edges. Professional design and installation are usually needed. It is porous so countertops need to be waxed and sealed regularly. Prices range from $65 to $135 per square foot (not including installation).

Bathroom Sinks

​Bathroom sinks come in a combination of materials and Styles. Picking the right combination of sink, countertop and faucet can be a time-consuming process.
  • Cultured Marble: Many sinks come in a preformed sink and countertop combination made of cultured marble.
  • Porcelain-enameled over cast iron is heavy and durable. It can be made in a variety of shapes and colors but can be damaged by sharp impact and if the porcelain surface is damaged, the cast iron will corrode.
  • Plastic sinks com in different forms but even though they are low-cost, they are easily broken by hot or sharp objects. Acrylic is an option but they can also be damaged by hard objects.
  • Glass Sinks are now manufactured to be thicker and more durable and can handle stains, scratches and resists shocks from objects hitting it.
  • Ceramic Sinks are similar to porcelain-enameled over cast iron but without the porcelain over it. It is more durable in the long run, but can be scratched and will crack.​

Sink Styles

Sink styles include drop-in sink, wall-hung sink, corner sink and undermount sink.
  • Drop in sinks are inserted into the cut-out from the top of a counter and hang from an overlapping rim.
  • Wall hung sinks give greater flexibility to position the sink at whatever height needed, however, the piping's visible.
  • Corner sinks will conserve space in smaller bathrooms, but are also used in standard or larger-sized bathrooms, too.
  • Undermount sinks press up from the bottom of the countertop and lays equal with the surface. the faucets and handles are sunk from below as well.​

Bathroom Flooring Materials

Bathroom flooring material choices can also range from ceramic tile, cement, marble, laminate, and wood. The right choice is important because you want a material that will hold up under the demands of a wet and humid environment and heavy use.
Below are some of the most common types of flooring choices rated worst to best for bathrooms, according to
  • CARPET: Not a good choice because it is impossible to keep clean and will collect condensation and moisture down to the padding, resulting in a dank, musty smell.
  • SOLID WOOD: This may look great but is not a good choice for bathrooms because the excess moisture will cause the wood to warp and crack in the future.
  • LAMINATE FLOORING: This may seem like an OK choice for a bathroom, however, water can seep into the seams, causing the under layer of flooring to blister and warp.
  • ENGINEERED WOOD: This type of flooring can be better than laminate because it resists more water, however, it is not recommended for use in a frequently-used bathroom with a shower.
  • LINOLEUM TILE: This is an oil-based material so it will repel water, however, the seams can attract moisture causing warping or separation.
  • SHEET LINOLEUM: This is a better option than linoleum time because there are no seams.
  • VINYL TILE: This tile is simple to install and made from waterproof plastic. However, there are seams between tiles and there is no real way to seal them against moisture.
  • CERAMIC OR STONE TILE: These are excellent for use in showers, pools and bathtubs because they are durable, water-resistant and attractive. Grout seals the seams and some styles are available that are designed to repel water.
  • SHEET VINYL: This is a great choice for a heavily used bathroom because you get the durability of vinyl flooring without the seam issues.
  • CONCRETE: THIS in an increasingly popular choice because of its durability, water-resistance and availability in a wide choice of colors and tints.

As you can see from the length of this blog, a bathroom remodel involves an endless variety of decisions to be made involving materials to be used and the styles in which to use them. We hope this information is helpful in making these decisions.