The main bathroom is often the crowning jewel of any home. As one of the most used rooms in a house, the main bathroom deserves special attention when it comes to design, functionality, and aesthetics. With the right elements, your main bathroom can become a relaxing oasis and spa-like retreat. This article will explore design ideas, remodeling tips, and decor inspiration to help you create the perfect main bathroom.

Choosing a Layout for Main Bathrooms

The layout of your main bathroom will dictate the flow, ambiance and overall functionality of the space. Carefully consider the following layout options when planning a main bathroom remodel or new construction.

Spacious and Open

For a luxurious spa-like feel, an open and spacious main bathroom layout is ideal. Removing walls and barriers creates a seamless flow between functional spaces like the tub, shower, vanity and toilet. Installing frameless glass doors around the shower and tub maintains privacy while contributing to the airy aesthetic. Ensure there is adequate space around each fixture and piece of furniture to allow easy movement.

Separate Tub and Shower

Having both a spacious soaking tub and large walk-in shower gives you the best of both bathing worlds. Designate clear zones for each, either placed side-by-side or at opposite ends of the bathroom. Include privacy partitions or curtains around the tub and opt for glass doors or partitions for the shower. Ensure each has proper ventilation.

En Suite Master Bath

For the ultimate convenience, connect your main bathroom directly to the master bedroom as an en suite bath. Place the vanity near the door for easy access when getting ready. Include a private water closet for the toilet separated from the rest of the space. Add a relaxing bathtub and/or large shower to complete the en suite.

Double Vanity

For busy family bathrooms or master suites shared by couples, a double vanity maximizes function. Opt for two identical vanities placed side-by-side or separated by the tub or shower area. Make sure there is adequate floor space around both sinks and sufficient lighting over each mirror.

Main Bathrooms with Soaking Tub

Few features exude luxury like a standalone soaking tub. Place it as a focal point in the main bathroom, allowing space to walk fully around it. Face the tub towards a window if possible and elevate it on a platform for spa flair. Install supply and drain lines below the floor for seamless aesthetics.

Main Bathrooms with Walk-in Shower

A large, luxurious walk-in shower makes a dramatic statement. Use frameless or semi-frameless glass enclosures and a tiled or stone surround. Include a bench and niche shelves for function. Multiple showerheads, a handheld sprayer and a rainshower fixture enhance the spa experience. Ensure proper ventilation to prevent mold.

Stylish Fixtures and Finishes for Main Bathrooms

The fixtures and finishes you choose for the main bathroom will define its overall style, function and durability. Consider the following options to elevate the aesthetics of your space.


Soaking tubs set the tone for relaxing spa baths. Timeless choices like clawfoot tubs, slipper tubs and roman tubs add vintage flair. Sleek, modern options include infinity tubs, Japanese soaking tubs and seamless molded tubs. For small spaces, corner tubs maximize functionality.


Frameless glass shower enclosures provide an uninhibited view of luxe shower materials. Multiple showerheads, Wi-Fi controls and a built-in bench increase enjoyment. Opt for stone, glass or marble tiles or slabs on walls and floors for a high-end look. Install a floor drain for easy maintenance.

Bathroom Vanities

The vanity anchors the functionality of the main bathroom. Floating vanities maintain an airier appearance. Opt for two sinks if space allows for convenience. Marble and granite countertops exude luxury but require sealing. Undermount rectangular sinks provide a sleek profile. Include plenty of drawers and storage cabinets.


Elongated bowl toilets take up more space but offer added comfort. Wall-mounted toilets with hidden tank storage maintain a streamlined look. Luxury options include self-closing lids, heated seats, bidet functions and hands-free flushing capabilities. Install a stylish privacy partition for separation.


Brushed metals like chrome, nickel and bronze provide a classic, subtle sheen while oil-rubbed options offer vintage appeal. For contemporary style, choose matte black or cutting-edge two-tone finishes. Opt for widespread faucets to control hot and cold handles separately. Add handheld sprayers and rainfall showerheads.


Proper illumination transforms a bathroom from purely functional to an inviting retreat. Install recessed can lights, attractive pendants and ample task lighting at the vanity. Undercabinet lights provide soft ambiance. Consider stylish sconces on walls and a dramatic chandelier as a focal point over a soaking tub.

Main Bathrooms Remodeling Tips

Remodeling a main bathroom requires strategic planning. Keep the following tips in mind for a successful project:

Hire Professional Contractors

Bathroom remodeling impacts plumbing and electrical systems. Hire licensed, insured and experienced contractors for all aspects of the project. Check reviews and inspect previous work thoroughly before signing a contract.

Plan a Realistic Budget

Factor in costs for labor, materials, permits, preparation, fixtures and contingency fees. Luxury materials like stone and tile can increase costs significantly. Create a reasonable project budget and stick to it.

Demolition and Preparation

Allow ample time and budget for proper demolition and prep work. Gutting the entire bathroom to the studs provides the ideal blank slate for remodels. Plan for potential issues hidden behind walls and under floors that could increase costs.

Update Plumbing and Electrical

While walls are open, take the opportunity to update plumbing lines and drain pipes as needed. Replace old galvanized pipes with copper or PEX for optimal water flow. Upgrade electrical wiring and install new circuits, outlets, switches and lighting.

Design for Accessibility

If aging at home is a priority, make the main bath universally accessible at remodel time. Include blocking in walls for future grab bars, curbless showers, comfort height toilets and easy-access vanities and controls. These details simplify future accessibility renovations.

Waterproof Properly

Prevent leaks and mold growth by installing waterproof membranes behind tub/shower surrounds and beneath bathroom floors. Seal all joints and seams and attach waterproof drywall or cement board in damp zones. Slope floors slightly towards drains.

Improve Ventilation

Today’s air-tight home constructions require supplemental ventilation to remove humidity and prevent mold. Install a bathroom exhaust fan sized to provide 1 cubic foot per minute of airflow for every 1 square foot of space. Duct fans fully to the exterior.

Choose Low-Maintenance Materials

Porcelain, ceramic, glass and natural stone tiles resist moisture damage and require minimal upkeep, making them ideal for bathrooms. Avoid grout for a seamless look. Solid surface vanity tops offer durability and maintain easy cleaning. Opt for flooring like luxury vinyl that is waterproof and slip-resistant.

Main Bathroom Decor and Design Ideas

The decor you choose will give your main bathroom its signature style. Implement these design ideas to create a beautiful and functional oasis-like retreat.

Spa Theme

Help guests feel pampered with decorative elements evoking luxury spas. Include wood accents, neutral colors, natural stone textures and abundant plants. Arrange fluffy towels and robes. Display candles, aromatherapy oils, and body care products.

All-White Palette

White color schemes feel fresh and clean in bathrooms. Use white tiles paired with marble veining and chrome finishes for contrast. Add texture with waffle weave towels and natural fiber rugs. Green plants prevent sterile overtones.

Vintage Details

Add character with vintage accessories like a clawfoot tub, retro tiles, charming wallpaper prints and antique-style faucets. Paint the vanity an accent color like mint or robin’s egg blue. Display collected silver grooming pieces.

Minimalist Style

Reduce visual clutter for a calming minimalist aesthetic. Use neutral wall and floor colors and frameless shower enclosures. Opt for wall-mounted vanities and toilets. Add warmth with wood accents and ample plants. Display decorative objects sparingly.

Bold Patterns and Colors

Make the main bathroom a statement space with vibrant colors, bold prints and dynamic patterns. Use floor-to-ceiling patterned tiles, brightly colored vanities and geometric area rugs. Layer in textures with baskets, linens and wall decor.

Hotel Chic

Recreate the indulgent feel of a resort with high-end elements. Install polished stone surfaces, frameless shower enclosures and designer fixtures. Use sconces for mood lighting and include fresh flowers and plush towels. Mount a smart TV for enjoyment.

Natural Elements

Bring the tranquility of nature indoors with organic decor. Add wood accents, fiber baskets, and rattan mats. Choose stone vessel sinks and travertine tile. Display dried botanicals and framed nature photography. Add a living wall for serenity.

Frequently Asked Questions About Main Bathroom Design and Remodeling

What size should a main bathroom be?

For two users, aim for at least 25-35 square feet which allows ample space for fixtures and cabinets. Larger families may require 50-60 square feet for a double vanity and separate tub and shower.

What layout works best for small main bathrooms?

Corner placement maximizes space in small baths. Install a corner pedestal sink, corner shower and corner toilet. Locate the shower and toilet diagonally across from each other. Use pocket doors and customized storage.

How much does it cost to remodel a main bathroom?

The national average is $10,000-$25,000 depending on the scope of work, finishes and labor costs in your region. Luxury remodels with high-end materials can cost $30,000-$50,000. Small refreshes may range from $2,000-$5,000.

Should I remodel in stages or all at once?

If budget allows, it is best to complete all demolition, structural improvements, material upgrades and fixture installations in one stage while walls are opened up. This prevents having to redo finished surfaces. However staged projects work for basic refresh projects.

How do I add storage to my main bathroom?

Take advantage of all possible storage nooks, including under pedestal sinks. Install tall double door cabinets, shelving in the tub/shower area and drawer stacks for ample concealed storage. Add over-the-toilet cabinets, medicine cabinets and under-sink pull-out cabinets.

Should I use a design expert for my main bathroom?

Investing in an hour or two of a professional designer’s time can provide valuable guidance on layout, material selection and design cohesion that prevents costly mistakes. Some provide free consultations. Architects offer in-depth structural and layout services.

What flooring works best in humid bathrooms?

Water-resistant materials like luxury vinyl, ceramic/porcelain tile and natural stone handle moisture best. Use slip-resistant matte finishes on shower floors. Ensure proper waterproofing and slope floors to drains to prevent puddles. Avoid wood which can warp.

How do I incorporate universal design?

Include 32+ inch doorways, ample knee space under vanities and curbless showers. Use comfort height, ADA compliant toilets. Install grab bars, handheld shower heads, adjustable height vanities and easy-grasp lever faucets/handles. Ensure adequate lighting and ventilation.

Should I install radiant heated floors?

Radiant heated floors provide luxurious comfort underfoot and assist with drying wet floors. Options include in-floor tubing or electric mats under materials like tile or vinyl. Locate the thermostat to avoid false readings from interior heat sources.

What technology features are useful in main baths?

Consider installing waterproof Bluetooth speakers for music, dimmable LED lighting, digital shower controls, Toto bidet seats, smart toilets, heated floors, motion sensor faucets, and anti-fog mirrors. These amenities enhance enjoyment.

Final Thoughts on Designing Your Ideal Main Bathroom

The main bathroom deserves careful attention to create a pampering space for relaxation and rejuvenation in your home. Focus first on maximizing functionality through a thoughtful layout and high-quality fixtures tailored to your needs. Then layer in elegant, spa-like finishes and decor elements that promote serenity and style. Take time to research inspiring design ideas online and in magazines. Invest wisely in durable, low-maintenance materials that will provide a beautiful backdrop for years to come. With strategic planning and professional support, your dream main bathroom oasis can become reality. Enjoy the process and comforts of your new space.


Your main bathroom is one of the most frequently used and enjoyed spaces in your home. By thoughtfully planning the layout, choosing high-quality fixtures and materials, implementing smart storage solutions, and decorating with style, you can create a main bathroom that is tailored to your needs and luxuriously designed. Invest time in the planning stages to maximize functionality and allow for a comprehensive remodel if needed. Whether implementing a full renovation or simple refresh, focus on low-maintenance, moisture-resistant materials that will withstand busy family life. Incorporate universal design elements to allow the space to gracefully adapt over your years at home. With clever touches like spa-inspired decor, smart technology integrations, and healing natural elements, your main bathroom can become a private sanctuary to relax and rejuvenate. Use the tips and ideas in this article as inspiration to begin creating your own personal bathroom oasis.