15 Bathroom Improvement Ideas for Your Remodel

Remodeling your bathroom can seem like a daunting task, but with careful planning and smart design choices it can be an attainable and rewarding project. There are many ways to update your bathroom’s look and functionality without breaking the bank. Here are 15 great ideas to consider for your next bathroom remodel.

Update the Lighting

Proper lighting is essential in a bathroom for safety, visibility and ambiance. Updating the lighting fixtures is one of the easiest ways to make a dramatic difference.

Replace outdated fixtures: Swap out old lighting fixtures like fluorescent tube lights with more modern LED lights. LEDs last longer and are more energy efficient.

Add more task lighting: Under the counter lighting, mirror sconces and ceiling lights all brighten up the space for daily routines.

Use stylish pendants: Hanging pendant lights over the vanity add a designer flair. Opt for glass or metal finishes.

Install a dimmer switch: A dimmer allows you to control the ambiance with bright light for tasks or a soft glow for relaxing.

Accent with sconces: Wall sconces flanking the mirror provide perfect accent lighting. Go for sleek metal or crystal-enhanced glass covers.

Highlight architectural details: Use directional lighting or rope lights to draw attention to special features like a tile backsplash.

Upgrade the Vanity

The vanity is the bathroom’s central furniture piece and focal point. Investing in a new vanity can make a huge visual impact in your remodeling plans.

Shop for contemporary styles: Choose a more modern vanity with clean lines and drawer storage to replace old-fashioned cabinet doors.

Select luxury materials: Natural stone, quartz and solid wood bring elegance. Stainless steel legs add modern appeal.

Change the color: A vanity in a bold tone contrasts nicely with neutral walls. Or try two contrasting colors on the cabinets and countertop.

Get creative with the sink: Undermount, vessel and floating sink styles open up counter space. Pick a unique material like glass or hammered copper.

Add personal touches: Knobs or pulls in an eye-catching shape give the vanity more personality.

Incorporate closed storage: Drawers, cabinets and a medicine chest keep toiletries organized but out of sight.

Install New Flooring

The flooring has a big visual impact and also needs to stand up to water and humidity. New floors can really freshen up the whole look of your bathroom.

Tile is timeless: Classic ceramic or stone tile is durable and water-resistant. Lay out in geometric patterns or decorative motifs.

Natural stone looks luxe: Marble, travertine and granite bring elegance. Mix different textures for contrast.

Pick waterproof LVT: Luxury vinyl tile replicating stone and wood looks high-end but is more affordable.

Use large-format tiles: Fewer grout lines makes for easier cleaning. 12″ x 24″ is a popular standard size.

Add radiant heat: Heated floors feel great on your feet and help reduce post-shower puddles.

Change just the bath surround: Use a complementary tile in a different size or texture to accent the tub area.

Install a New Shower

Updating an old shower or tub surround can give your bathroom a fresh new look. Today’s showers boast cool features and spa-like style.

Swap in a shower pan: For a tub-to-shower conversion, a ready-to-tile shower pan makes installation easier.

Open up with glass doors: Frameless glass shower doors enhance the feeling of spaciousness.

Go for multiple showerheads: Enjoy the luxury of overhead and side body sprays for a customizable experience.

Add a hand-held showerhead: Great for bathing kids or pets, and convenient for cleaning the shower walls.

Include a fold-down seat: A teak or tile bench provides a place to shave legs or rest when you need a break.

Upgrade the drainage: Linear drains run along the wall, keeping more of the floor clear.

Select non-porous surfaces: Materials like ceramic tile, metal panels or quartz resist mold and mildew.

Improve Ventilation

Proper airflow and moisture control keep the bathroom comfortable and prevent issues like mold growth. Here are some ventilation upgrades to consider:

Install a powerful exhaust fan: Look for units with sone ratings below 1.5 for quiet operation and CFM ratings above 80 for best moisture removal.

Add a humidistat control: This automatically adjusts fan speed based on the amount of humidity in the air.

Duct the fan to the outside: Venting to the exterior keeps moisture from recirculating into your home.

Seal gaps: Ensure tight ductwork connections for optimum airflow. Use caulk and weatherstripping to close any openings.

Add a make-up air duct: Bringing in fresh air from outside helps exhaust fans work as intended.

Install a heated fan: Units with an electric heating element help reduce condensation buildup.

Use a timer switch: Let the fan run for about 45 minutes after showering to fully clear residual humidity.

Expand the Footprint

For more spacious bathrooms, explore bumping out walls, converting unused spaces or borrowing area from adjacent rooms.

Steal space from a bedroom: Trading a few feet of a secondary bedroom for bathroom space can work well.

Take over a hall closet: If you have a closet convenient to the bathroom, convert it into extra square footage.

Utilize the attic above: Bump up the ceiling to make use of unused attic space overhead.

Shift or remove walls: You can potentially downsize hallways or rearrange walls to gain area.

Build an addition: For a significant increase in bathroom space, adding on an extension may make sense.

Just keep in mind when altering the footprint that relocating plumbing and electrical lines can really drive up project costs.

Refresh the Cabinets

If your bathroom cabinets are dated or showing wear, refacing or replacing them is a smart way to add style.

Refinish or reface: Giving existing cabinets a new look with paint, veneer or replacement doors costs less than all new cabinets.

Build in more storage: Take advantage of dead space with rollout trays, lazy susans and other storage solutions.

Add drawers: Drawers make finding stored items easier than with standard cabinet doors.

Incorporate open shelving: A few open shelves display towels attractively and makes them easy to access.

Install a medicine cabinet: Great for concealings toiletries and medications behind the mirror. Some feature charging stations.

Use wall-hung cabinets: Floating cabinets save space and create a lighter, more modern aesthetic.

Update the Countertops

New countertops can entirely transform the look of your vanity area. Today’s popular options include:

Quartz composite: Offers the look of stone without the maintenance. Resists stains, scratches and heat.

Solid surface: Brands like Corian and Avonite have seamless installation and durability.

Laminate: Most affordable option that mimics higher-end materials. Choose matte finishes to avoid glare.

Concrete: A bespoke look in any color. Can be stamped or inlaid to create designs.

Butcher block: Provides a nice wooden accent, but requires diligent sealing to prevent water damage.

Tile: Gives a timeless, patterned look. Use smaller grout lines for easier cleaning.

Add a Freestanding Tub

Nothing screams spa luxury quite like a freestanding soaking tub. Situate it by a window or as a room centerpiece.

Soak in comfort: Ergonomic styles provide ample room and lumbar support. Add jets for a home spa experience.

Make a statement: An exotic clawfoot or sculptural tub becomes a true focal point.

Maximize minimalism: Clean, contemporary designs complement modern decor.

Keep it simple: Opt for classic styles in glossy white for an elegant, enduring look.

Go for the extras: Look for tubs offering useful features like heated air jets, mood lighting and aromatherapy.

Install Stylish Fixtures

Updating your faucets, showerheads and other fixtures is a simple but impactful way to enhance the look of your bathroom.

Get the latest looks: New widespread faucets, shower systems and accessories like towel bars showcase clean lines and finishes like matte black, bronze and nickel.

Create a cohesive look: Coordinate cabinet hardware and fixtures by choosing complementary shapes and finishes.

Focus on function: Look for showerheads offering multiple spray settings. Hands-free faucets add convenience.

Highlight focal points: Statement-making fixtures like an oversized pendant faucet draw the eye.

Incorporate smart tech: Touch-free sensors, self-cleaning functions and temperature memory make using fixtures more enjoyable.

Add a Spa-Like Ambiance

Little touches can transform your bathroom into an at-home oasis for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Include soft lighting: Use dimmable fixtures, candle sconces and natural light sources.

Display living plants: Greenery enhances the spa vibe. Opt for plants that thrive in humid environments.

Use natural materials: Stone surfaces, woven baskets and wooden stools feel earthy.

Add calming music: Conceal a Bluetooth speaker to set the mood with tranquil tunes.

Introduce aromatherapy: Display essential oils or scented candles (safely!) for an indulgent scent.

Provide cozy textiles: Use lush bath mats, robes and towels you look forward to wrapping up in.

Improve Accessibility

Make your bathroom more comfortably usable for family members of all ages and abilities with smart accessibility upgrades:

Install grab bars: Properly secured grab bars help with balance and mobility. Look for contrasting colors to stand out against walls.

Use a raised toilet: The extra height makes sitting and standing easier. Select comfort height models 17-19 inches high.

Add a bidet seat: These reduce straining and increase hygiene. Many include useful features like a night light and slow-close lid.

Include a walk-in shower: Curbless showers with a fold-down seat enable easy access. strategic grab bar placement provides stability and security.

Ensure ample clearance: Remove obstacles and widen doorways to at least 32 inches for stress-free maneuvering of wheelchairs and walkers.

Install a handheld showerhead: The flexibility makes bathing and cleaning the shower easier for those with limited mobility.

Use lever handles: Lever-style faucets and shower/tub controls are easier to operate than knob versions.

Create More Storage

No one ever complains about having too much storage space in their bathroom. Try these tips to tuck items out of sight:

Add drawers: Use every bit of available space under a raised vanity or behind cabinet doors for deep drawers.

Build recessed niches: Useful for stashing toilet paper rolls and extra towels while keeping them out of view yet easily accessible.

Hang wall cabinets: Defy gravity by mounting cabinets vertically to take advantage of vertical wall space.

Use a medicine cabinet: Maximize hidden storage space behind the mirror. Some feature outlets and built-in charging stations.

Install floating shelves: Effective for stacking towels or displaying decorative items to limit countertop clutter.

Utilize stackable bins: Clear acrylic bins neatly corral toiletries on shelves. Labeling helps identify contents.

Hide a hamper: Conceal laundry bins in cabinetry or use wheeled versions that can roll out of sight.

Splurge on High-End Materials

Going with premium surfaces and finishes elevates the whole aesthetic of the bathroom and gives it a polished, upscale look.

Natural stone: Slate, travertine and marble make luxe statements in showers, floors and walls.

Metal accents: Matte black and bronze hardware, fixtures and towel rods add richness.

Custom tile designs: Make ordinary tile extraordinary by introducing custom patterns, creative shapes and decorative borders.

Wood elements: Teak benches, bamboo floors and solid wood vanities provide organic warmth.

Designer wallcoverings: From colorful prints to textured metallics, statement wallpaper livens up plain drywall.

Radiant heat floors: Nothing feels quite as luxurious as cushy heated floors on bare feet.

Freestanding tubs: Sculptural soaking tubs become artful focal points, especially in stone and metallic finishes.

Create a Unified Design

Tying your bathroom design elements together results in a cohesive, harmonious look. Here are some tips:

Repeat textures and materials: Use stone or wood on the floors, walls and counters for visual flow. Echo tile shapes or finishes from the shower to the floor.

Coordinate colors: Link the color scheme with complementing hues on walls, cabinetry, towels and accessories. Monochromatic palettes keep the look relaxed and spa-like.

Choose transitional fixtures: Mixing traditional and modern fixture styles can strike an appealing balance.

Maintain consistent finishes: Unify the metal finishes by selecting plumbing fixtures, lighting, hardware and accents in the same tone. Match the faucets and shower fixture finishes.

Incorporate natural greenery: Houseplants in attractive planters relate to elements like wooden stools and organic textiles.

Use same-style cabinets: Whether modern floating boxes, traditional framed fronts or sleek shaker style, cabinetry looks most cohesive when the same design flows throughout the bathroom.

Incorporate Universal Design

Universal design focuses on making bathrooms beautiful yet equally accessible and functional for all people, regardless of age or physical ability. Tactics include:

  • Curbless, low-threshold showers with grab bars and fold-down teak benches
  • Non-slip flooring that is smooth and easy for wheels
  • Doorways wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers
  • Open under-sink areas for comfortable wheeling up to sinks
  • Adjustable/handheld showerheads and lever faucet handles
  • Contrasting colors on fixtures for people with low vision
  • Bright, glare-free lighting
  • Ample floor space for maneuvering mobility aids
  • Sturdy and properly installed grab bars near toilets and in showers
  • Seating and assistive technology like bidets to ease toilet use

By thoughtfully incorporating universal elements, you can design a bathroom that looks beautiful yet caters to diverse accessibility needs. Focus on curbless transitional spaces, ergonomics, safety and easy adaptability.


With careful planning and innovative design choices, you can remodel your bathroom in style. Focus on elements that make the space more functional, accessible, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. By creatively updating lighting, surfaces, layout, storage and fixtures you can craft your dream bathroom retreat without breaking the budget. Use these remodeling ideas as inspiration when designing the refreshing bathroom revamp you’ve been envisioning.