This bathroom remodel ideas post is sponsored by Sears Home Services.
In our last house, we thought we were in our forever house. We bought it when the wee ones were almost 3 and not quite one. At the time, we planned to live there until they graduated high school or longer, and we treated the house that way. We replaced all the windows, we made an amazing front walk and redid all the landscaping. My favorite project included a gut of the master bathroom, and a complete kitchen remodel was next on our list.
Plans change, and we sold that house five years ago now. This house is now our forever house, except that forever is definitely a much shorter horizon. We built the new garage last year and just finished a roof replacement on Monday. I met with the house painter yesterday, and a completely redone basement (needed due to water issues that we’ve since fixed). Are you surprised that our master bath is on the list again?
We learned from our last house, and I have a ton of bathroom remodel ideas, both ideas we incorporated as well as some new trends that have sprouted. Our new bathroom won’t happen overnight, but even small changes can make a difference. I pulled out the brass and chrome fixtures from throughout my bathroom already. Just that little thing helped make our bathroom (built in 2005) feel less dated.
9 Bathroom Remodel Ideas
Add heated floors.
This was the best thing we did in our remodel. Hands down it was the best idea we had. Since we ripped out (all three layers of) the old flooring, we laid heating coils under the new floor. Nine months of the year, we used this floor and loved it. There is nothing worse than a cold Chicago morning and dancing from rug to rug to avoid frostbite on your feet.
We set it up to include a programmable switch. It turned on ten minutes before we headed to the bathroom each morning, so it was beautifully warm every time. It turned off by itself, and oh my word it was worth the investment. This is hands down the best of my bathroom remodel ideas ever. I’ll never do a remodel without one again.
Create a point of interest in your bathroom.
As much time as we spend in bathrooms, you want to enjoy the look. In our old bathroom, the towel rack hung over the far end of the bathtub. We had to walk from the shower over and climb in the tub or carefully reach over it to get our towel. That towel rack went away in the remodel, but initially we had no idea what to do with that blank wall. There was an identical blank wall on the other side of the tub.
Fortunately, my contractor came up with a fantastic bathroom remodel idea. I knew I wanted a window from my shower to make it feel bigger since we couldn’t increase the size of the shower itself. We chose an arched design, and our contractor suggested a tiled arch shelf built into the wall to hold some knick knacks and bath oils, etc. It turned out gorgeous. A shelf like this may not be the best fit for every bathroom, but it created a great point of interest on an otherwise boring wall. How can you give personality to your bathroom?
Make sure you have enough storage.
Our current second floor has no linen closet. In fact, there’s nowhere to really store towels and sheets and other items in general. There is some wasted space behind the bathroom door, and we purchased a wooden shelf that we painted white to act as a temporary closet. It isn’t the prettiest, but it’s functional. For now.
When thinking about bathroom remodel ideas, don’t forget about storage. Do you have enough with your current setup? In our last house, we added a storage tower between the two sinks. We had a large bathroom and a long sink area, so this worked well. It separated my husband’s stuff from mine, and all our “things” stayed out of sight.
When we remodel our current bathroom, we won’t put a tower between the sinks because our bathroom is narrower. On the far edge of our vanity, we have wasted space there, and we’ll extend the cabinet up to create storage for towels and sheets and add some vertical interest with a change in heights.
And yes, we’ll build in a real linen closet where that space is currently wasted.
Choose the right sink.
Growing up, sinks were all the same. They were slightly oval and mounted into the counter. Now? Oh my word, the options! In so many bathrooms, a vessel sink looks amazing. It’s so sophisticated and so many have the personality many bathrooms lack.
They can be pretty expensive, however. A more traditional sink now comes in a variety of shapes. We chose a rectangular sink that gave me more room to presoak laundry in the “extra” sink since we had a second floor laundry and no laundry sink. It was large and gorgeous. An undermount sink worked great for us there because it minimized dirt that got stuck around the seal of the sink. In our current bathroom – because storage is at a premium – we know we’ll do a top mount sink that gives us more room in the vanity, but that doesn’t mean we won’t find one with the right look for our bathroom.
Choose the right fixtures.
Now that you have your sink, make sure your fixtures fit the aesthetic of your bathroom as much as you sink does. If you have a vessel sink or pedestal sink, make sure your faucets have enough room for you to wash your hands and more.
When it comes to the shower, it’s easy to find a showerhead in the same family as your sink faucet without it being identical. Do you want a showerhead you can move easily? Do you want an overhead shower for a more spa like experience? One of the bathroom remodel ideas I nixed last time was a steam shower. I didn’t think it was worth the money. Once we were done, I regretted it. Now there are smart showerheads that create that spa-like experience.
More and more fixtures provide great spray while still saving water. I miss the days in my old Chicago apartment where my shower beat on me. When I think of all the water wasted, I cringe. I can regain that experience with many showerheads now available without the need to hang my head in shame for the excess water.
Build a niche into your shower.
I am not a fan of the shower surrounds. When I do my bathroom, I want tile everywhere, which allows a ton of customization. My current bathroom? Yep, it’s a surround. And there’s nowhere to put shampoo or soap or anything. Shaving my legs? I’m balancing with a foot on the wall, and it isn’t pretty.
Another of those great bathroom remodel ideas? Build your shower to fit your needs. You can find a place to create a niche in a wall to hold your bath products. Make sure your contractor tilts it so water doesn’t stay in it. This is not only a functional addition, but it looks cool, too. We flipped the direction of the tiles we used elsewhere in the shower so they were diamonds instead of squares, and it looked fabulous. Major custom look without a major custom price. That inset? It’s a prefab option so my contractor didn’t have to build it by hand.
Create a bench, too, if you have room. We were able to have enough room for a bench so I could sit while shaving without feeling cramped in our last shower. Barely. Not every shower has that ability, but even in a standard size shower, you can build a foot rest into the tile so you have a secure place to rest your foot or booty while shaving. As with the inset for shampoo, just be sure your contractor angles it to avoid water pooling.
Don’t go too trendy.
Full bathroom remodels aren’t cheap. It isn’t the most expensive home renovation you can do, and it provides a great return on investment relatively, but you don’t want to go super trendy so that someone walks in and says, “Oh, yeah, this bathroom was done in 2016.”
That doesn’t mean you want to be blah or avoid any trends at all, but think about what has a longer term appeal. The pink tiles in my old master bathroom? I know they were from 1993. By 1996, I knew that. Avoid those traps.
If you plan to live in your house long term, create a bathroom that is your haven. You live there, not the person who’ll buy your house in 15 years. If it fits with the rest of your house design, go for it. What works in my 1925 more traditional home doesn’t work in an Italian villa style or in an ultra modern home. The overarching philosophy behind my bathroom remodel ideas is what matters.
Honestly, I can look even now at our bathroom remodel from five years ago and know that we chose too trendy a color wood that is too dark, especially with the granite countertop (which I do still love). This is where an expert designer comes in handy to help ensure you love your bathroom today and in 10 years. They have so many bathroom remodel ideas to make it fit you without being so trendy you’ll regret it.
Look for flooring with personality.
We chose rough stone tiles. Smooth is not your friend in the bathroom. The rough surface wasn’t uncomfortable to walk on, and we never had to worry about falls. Even better, the crags and such in the flooring meant we never had puddles when leaving the shower. We actually removed rugs from the bathroom entirely, which I loved. Why? The water that doesn’t evaporate quickly enough in a humid bathroom? Yuck.
While we love stone, that isn’t the choice for everyone. There are so many neat options out there today. Porcelain and ceramic tile come in so many neat patterns and textures now. Don’t do wood, as wood and moisture don’t get along. There are now wood looking porcelain tiles, however. Whatever you choose, find something that complements the entire style of your bathroom.
Update your counter surfaces.
We honestly may update our countertops in the master bathroom and in the guest bath on the main floor before we do a complete redo of the master bath because we have so many other major projects on our list with this house. Right now, they are a very cheap laminate countertop that doesn’t go with the aesthetic of the house. It bothers me every time I look at them.
Countertops aren’t as expensive as you might think, especially as bathroom counters tend to be a fairly limited area. Quartz is a great alternative because it requires no maintenance. You can find great designs with this. I love granite, personally. The uniqueness of granite and the personality it can bring to your bathroom make it worth the investment in my book.
Ready to Implement These Bathroom Remodel Ideas?
Just writing this, I’m excited to redo three of our bathrooms whether just a little countertop change or a full remodel. I’m not quite ready, but when I am, I know what I’ll do. Sears, of course, offers everything you need, whether you’re looking at a quick change like refacing your cabinets or a complete overhaul of your space.
Taking these bathroom remodel ideas and doing the whole thing? Sears has a savings of $500 on bathroom remodels of $1,500 or more through 11/30/2016.
Replacing or refacing your cabinets? Get $500 off a project of $1,500 or more through 11/30/2016, too.
Changing up your countertops? You can save $250 off a countertop purchase of $1,500 or more through 11/30/2016.
And of course, Sears offers free consultations on your projects so you can easily figure out what exactly you want to do and how much it will cost. Just know that if you’re anything like me, you’ll end up increasing the scope of the project as you go along, so make sure you budget for some changes!
What are your best bathroom remodel ideas?