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Bathroom Remodeling Ideas & Tips

Following are some remodeling ideas for the three basic types of baths: the half bath/powder room, the full bath/master bathroom, and the extended bath.


If you are removing the ceiling drywall you are probably exposing your exhaust fan, ventilation duct. Now is the time to verify that its discharge route has an open and unobstructed channel. Most fan units do require coverage by drywall so replacing the exhaust fan with one that moves ample CFM may make sense at this time.

Walls / Vanities

Most bathroom projects require the removal of drywall from the wall framing. Since the tub mount flange does run under the drywall, and reinstallation requires a re-drywall anyway, it might be wise to inspect the concealed tub/shower parts while exposed.

Any areas exposed to wetness or heavy moisture should receive greenboard. For finishing, prime and two finish coats with an eggshell or greater sheen paint finish.
Wallpaper can be hung in baths but use extra care and caution in the application, because moisture can result in lifting or separation from the surface. Be sure there is adequate ventilation to let out the moisture, to help minimize the effect.

If storage space is a concern, due to dimensions confined by the walls, consider adjoining the bathroom with a connected bedroom closet.


Stone and tile can seem to find a natural element in the bath, adding an element of permanence. Some of the higher grade vinyls have their points, especially when it comes to maintenance and care. However, whichever floor type you decide on – consider that the surface should offer some grip to it for walking barefoot, one that is slip resistant.

Laying out the floor design, or at least reviewing this with your tile contractor or remodeling contractor, whoever is performing work, can mean a huge difference in the finished appearance. Setting the pattern on the diagonal can break up the monotony of a more confined area, as can many custom designs. As an extra tip, and to many homeowners' surprise, setting larger floor squares can actually create the illusion of having a broadened floor area, more so than having many smaller tiles, depending on other factors. Sketch this out and see for yourself prior to committing.

Too, and as a word of caution, remember that when any old flooring or tile is removed - it is not uncommon to have to replace the subfloor underneath in spots from rotting or deterioration, especially around the toilet or supply-line area.

Windows and Lighting

Bathroom lighting and window alternatives may seem scant in many situations, certainly with the half bath or powder room dimensions. Here, abundant use of mirrors and combination wall/ ceiling fixtures may be the best overall bet. But, another idea is to carry a variation of room themes into the bath. This can create a “connective atmosphere” and help blur any sharply defined borders.

Screened windows and angular boxed skylights can give a sense of added dimensional space, and may add a needed ventilation option. Many skylights now offer remote openers.

Half Baths and Powder Rooms: MAXIMIZING SPACE

Additional ideas may be structural – if cramped for space you may want to investigate the chances of moving a common wall outward (if you are in a position to compromise space).

With permanent fixtures – set back any obstructions back from the usable space wherever possible. Recessed can lighting, even toilet paper holders can be sunk back into cabinets and walls. Medicine cabinets can go into wall cavities if the framing was placed to accommodate this, centered over the sink.

Anything that commits unused space, you may want to consider. Typical swinging doors vs pocket doors; this will require that the wall be opened to frame for the pocket door, but opening to some extent could be needed anyway. Shower doors need not always swing but many can be fitted with a slider and thus conserve space.

More ideas for maximizing the use of your square footage include: eliminating sharp edges, notable on vanity counters which can obstruct the flow of traffic. There is a decent change these edges can be radiused. And freestanding sink tables in place of vanities can supply a source of readily accessible items, again eliminating the outward swing of doors.


Taking the proactive approach of planning an organized progress schedule for the remodeling of your bathroom is important. Taking the proper time before the start of project and working in cooperation with your remodeler cannot only make this a bearable experience it can make a key difference in the time to completion, and the way the remodeling project progresses and finishes.


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