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18 Steps: How to design and plan for a new bathroom

A new bathroom provides so much possibility to transform your bathroom into the oasis you always wished for. Here are some helpful tips to better help you design a new bathroom so that you can avoid some common hurdles with this project. 

Planning your new bathroom 

Remodeling your bathroom can be quite overwhelming without proper planning.

Before you begin this step, here are a few things you should consider:

1. Knowing what you want in the bathroom

Knowing what you want for your bathroom will save you time and money. For example, knowing which type of bathtub you want, either freestanding or drop-in, can allow you to appropriately plan the space and ensure that the rest of the bathroom can accommodate it.

Be sure to draw up a plan or compile a list of what you want in your bathroom.

Addressing these questions will ultimately allow you to better plan and choose the bathroom elements that only you need, thus trimming anything unnecessary. 

bathroom mock up and design.

2. Know your budget for planning your new bathroom 

Bathroom remodels can be quite an expensive undertaking so it is key that you plan your budget accordingly. Choose items to prioritize, allowing you to spend more money on these items while cutting costs on fewer priority items. For example, the bathtub, shower, and sink will be the most expensive items for your bathroom.

However, it is important that you have enough in your budget for wall and floor designs. After accounting for all of the above, your remaining budget can be allocated to more luxury or aesthetic choices for your bathroom. Without a proper budget, you can easily overspend and have your bathroom cost much more than you expected. 

3. Do your research and find inspiration

Researching different bathrooms will help you better understand how to remodel or organize yours. Be sure to draw inspiration from multiple sources and figure out the ideal setup for your home. Bathrooms come in all shapes and sizes, so it is key to understand how much space you have available to you so that you can plan accordingly. 

4. Layouts – Bathroom floor plan 

Having the right floor plan will alleviate headaches in the future. A bathroom floor plan guarantees that you have accurately measured your available space and you know what your space limits are. Floor plans come in a wide range of sizes ranging from small to large and provide a basic layout for you to build on. Floor plans are available in full, half, ¾, and powder rooms which provides a great starting point for any bathroom size. 

5. Selecting Flooring 

The correct flooring can make a world of difference for your bathroom. Do you want wool carpet? Or wooden tile? What about ceramic tile? Your floor will see heavy use in your bathroom so it is important to choose a material that is comfortable, easy to clean, and won’t absorb moisture. In addition to different types, flooring also comes in heated and non-heated options to provide additional comfort on cold nights.

Your floor is an extension of your bathroom, so remember that different materials can drastically change the feel of your bathroom. If your floor is cold tile, your bathroom might seem like an unwelcome place whereas wooden paneling creates a more homely environment, so it is best to explore options to see which is the right fit. 

6. Understand plumbing

Plumbing is an integral part of any bathroom despite it usually being hidden from view. When designing your bathroom, you must understand your plumbing and determine your overall water flow. Aside from hooking your bathroom to your mainline, you must also ensure that all your amenities such as your bathtub, sink, and toilet are routed to the correct lines.

It is crucial that plumbing is sorted early as it is easy to fix your plumbing concerns when you are constructing your bathroom and more of a hassle when your bathroom is complete and you have to demolish or rip out areas to access the plumbing. 

7. Windows and Veniltations 

Your bathroom needs proper ventilation for both your health as well as your bathroom. Without proper ventilation, your bathroom will grow damp which can lead to mold and other unpleasant odors. A large window or several smaller windows can provide a pleasant view while bathing. Windows can also make a bathroom appear more attractive with natural light that enters into the area as well as provides extra airflow. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you design your bathroom with as much ventilation as possible. 

8. Selecting your Ideal Bathtub

The right bathtub can greatly impact how the rest of your bathroom feels to you and your guests. When choosing the ideal bathtub, understand the shape, size, and material you want. More comfortable and heat retentive materials will be more costly, but the trade-off is that you get a quality bathtub.

finding the best bathtub.

The color of your bathtub will also depend largely on your material choice, so your options may be limited depending on which you choose. When selecting the right bathtub, you should determine who is using it and how often it is used. Your space will also affect this decision as smaller bathtubs will have limited options in choosing the size of their bathtub. 

9. Finding the best bathroom tiles

Bathroom tiles are a versatile addition to any bathroom. Easy to clean, straightforward to install and they are aesthetically pleasing to look at-they can provide a luxury feel without breaking the bank. Selecting the right bathroom tiles can help change the look of your average bathroom and elevate it to a more eye-catching space. Tiles come in a wide variety of styles, constructed from a wide range of materials from marble to ceramic. The flexibility in materials extends to its use as well as tile is great for vanity tops, walls, and flooring. 

10. Sinks & Fixtures 

Like bathtubs, sinks and fixtures come in a wide variety of styles and designs. Choosing the right sink will come down to your sensibilities and your available space. The two main install options are freestanding and wall-mounted sinks. For sinks, you have a traditional drop-in or basin style.

Drop-in sinks are better for those that are shorter in height, whereas basin or raised sinks are better for those that are taller as they don’t have to bend down as much to use the sink. When choosing a sink, you want to look for good quality material such as stainless steel or brass as these fixtures will see heavy use and you want a material that can withstand the test of time. 

11. Storage & Vanities

Storage is an integral part of any bathroom, providing a larger space to store cleaning supplies and other bathroom necessities. Vanities provide a great answer to this by providing an aesthetic anchor point while having an adequate amount of space. For bathrooms that are much smaller, storage bins or containers are also a great option by providing a way to organize items. Since small bathrooms are always on the hunt for additional space, storage bins and cubbies provide a great solution to help with a smaller sized bathroom. 

12. Bathroom Lighting Considerations

The proper lighting can heavily impact the mood and feel of your bathroom. From hanging lights, scones or more pointed and directed lighting, there are many options available. Depending on the lighting you choose, you can create a warm and comforting environment, ideal for a bath or an energetic space for a quick shower.

Lighting can also amplify and highlight areas of your bathroom that you wish to show off, perhaps a vanity, mirror or bathtub. In addition to providing illumination, the proper lighting can greatly influence the atmosphere of your bathroom. 

13. Finding the Best Decor

Choosing the right decor can transform a mediocre bathroom into a warm and comforting retreat. When it comes to your bathroom, you have many options in how you choose to accent and compliment the space. A comfortable bathmat or rug can be a great way for guests to feel welcome, as plants offer brightness and accents can make the space feel more luxurious and modern. Towels can also provide a creative way to style your bathroom with a wide variety of designs that are appropriate for both children and adults. 

14. Selecting Bathroom Color 

Bathrooms are available in a wide array of different styles and color options. These color options can elevate a plain-looking bathroom into a more elegant and refined space. When selecting colors, it is important to choose the right colors that compliment the various aspects of your bathroom.

Darker colors create a more modern color scheme whereas brighter colors create a classic bathroom feel. Don’t be afraid to experiment-try to play off the colors of your sink, your bathtub, or perhaps your vanity to create either a complimenting color scheme or a contrasting one. 

15. Find your experts

While it may seem appealing to DIY this project, it is quite easy to damage your home or injure yourself without proper knowledge of your home. Locating an expert is key to any successful project. You are paying for their knowledge and experience which will assist when it comes to your installation jobs such as bathtubs and sinks.

finding a professional.

Additionally, an expert knows how to work with both plumbing and electricity which is potentially very dangerous for those who are inexperienced. Regardless of how confident you are in your skills, a professional is highly recommended for almost any project.

16. Know this project may take a while 

Remember that a remodel is not an overnight affair. At a minimum, you are looking at at least a month, so it is important to take things slow and carefully. Large projects such as these will likely encounter issues such as budget, space management, and material concerns. Unexpected costs are common on any project, so it is best to overestimate your cost and leave space in your budget to avoid any large headaches. 

17. Keep safety considerations in mind 

With any construction project, safety should be the top priority. Before starting on any project, ensure that all proper safety precautions are taken. If you are inexperienced with a project, it is best to consult and hire a professional rather than attempting a DIY. Many aspects of this project can be dangerous for inexperienced users, so it is best to consult a professional’s assistance. With COVID-19, proper distance should also be maintained for the health of your household and others.  

Designing a new bathroom is an exciting and rewarding project. It may be time-consuming, but so long as you consider the steps above, you can avoid the headaches and design the bathroom of your dreams. 

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