Remodeling a bathroom can completely transform the look and feel of your home. With some thoughtful planning and design choices, you can create a bathroom that is both beautiful and functional for years to come. Here are some tips for planning and executing a successful modern bathroom remodel.

Planning Your Bathroom Remodel

Before gutting your existing bathroom, take some time to think about how you want the new space to look and function. Consider the following:

Determine Your Budget

Bathroom remodels can range greatly in price. Create a reasonable budget upfront so you can plan accordingly. Factor in costs for materials, fixtures, labor, permits and any unexpected expenses.

Decide on a Layout

Look at the existing footprint and determine if you want to keep the same layout or make structural changes like removing walls or adding windows. Measure carefully and create a detailed drawing of your plans.

Choose Fixtures and Finishes

Select durable and easy-to-clean materials like porcelain tile floors and natural stone countertops. Pick energy efficient LED lighting and water saving toilets and faucets. Choose finishes that match your home’s aesthetic.

Create a Wish List

Make a list of must-haves like double sinks, a soaking tub, or heated floors. List the nice-to-have items too. This will help you prioritize as you balance wants and budget.

Key Elements of a Modern Bathroom

Here are some of the most important design elements to focus on for a contemporary look and feel:

Clean Lines

Minimal ornamentation and straight, simple lines give a modern aesthetic. Floating vanities, boxy cabinets and rectangular tiles all help create this streamlined look.

Neutral Color Palette

Black, white and grey make classic modern color choices. Pops of color can be added through fixtures, tile accents and decor. Keep the palette neutral for flexibility.

Sleek Fixtures

Choose faucets, lights, cabinet hardware and other accents with a brushed metal or matte black finish. Look for clean, geometric shapes. Stay away from ornate styles.

Natural Materials

Natural stone, wood and concrete add organic texture. Marble or quartz countertops and ceramic or porcelain tiles are design go-tos. Wood shelving brings warmth.

Smart Storage

Integrate customized storage like built-in shelving, hidden cabinets and drawer organizers. This keeps necessities accessible but out of sight.

Bathroom Remodel Steps

Follow these key steps when tackling a bathroom remodel project:

Demo the Existing Bathroom

Remove old finishes, fixtures, cabinets etc. Architectural changes like removing walls go here too. Protect existing areas from dust and debris.

Install New Plumbing

Update supply lines and drain pipes as needed. This may involve moving pipes to accommodate the new layout. Add shut off valves for each fixture.

Waterproof Surfaces

Apply a water barrier to shower walls and floors. This prevents leaks and moisture damage. Use materials like liquid membranes or cement board.

Tile the Surfaces

Lay the substrate and begin tiling floors, then walls and finally the shower. Use spacers for even grout lines. Allow time for grout and mortar to cure before sealing.

Install Fixtures and Cabinets

Mount sinks, toilets, lights, mirrors and other fixtures securely. Install cabinets and drawers level and plumb. Make sure doors and drawers open and close smoothly.

Finish Details

Caulk along countertops, floors and joints. Paint or finish accent walls. Install accessories like towel bars, toilet paper holders and mirrors. Add final touches.

Design Ideas for a Modern Bathroom

There are endless possibilities when designing a modern bathroom. Consider implementing some of these ideas:

  • Frameless glass shower enclosure – Promotes an airy, open aesthetic.
  • Wall-mounted faucets – Saves space on the vanity and easy to keep clean.
  • Wood accent wall – Warms up the space and provides natural texture.
  • Undermount rectangular sink – Maintains clean lines compared to top-mount sinks.
  • Rain showerhead – Provides a soothing soaking experience. Choose a handheld option too.
  • Heated floors – Keeps bare feet warm on cold mornings. Great for tile and stone.
  • Smart tech – Include dimmable LEDs, touch-activated faucets and digital displays.
  • Floating vanity – Minimizes visual clutter since cabinet feet are hidden.
  • Barn door slider – Saves space in a small bathroom. Provides easy access.
  • Trough sink – Creates an industrial feel with a long rectangular basin.
  • Vessel sink – Unconventional modern look with sink sitting atop the vanity.

FAQs About Modern Bathroom Remodels

What is the average cost of remodeling a bathroom?

The average bathroom remodel costs $10,000-$20,000 but can vary greatly based on the scope of work, materials and finishes chosen and your location. Small refreshes may cost just a few thousand while extensive gut renovations are $25,000+.

How long does it take to remodel a bathroom?

The project timeline can range from 1-4 weeks depending on the size of the bathroom and the extent of the remodel work. Simple facelifts can take just a few days while full gut renovations typically span 3-4 weeks.

Should I remodel in stages or all at once?

If you have access to a secondary bathroom, it is best to remodel all at once since you will only have to demo, clean up dust, hire contractors, get permits etc once. If the bathroom is your only one, stage the project, doing cosmetic updates first.

How do I add storage to my bathroom during a remodel?

Creative storage solutions include built-in wall cabinets, under-sink drawers, walled off shelving between studs, medicine cabinets and freestanding furniture pieces that can hold towels, toiletries and other necessities.

Should I upgrade my plumbing during a bathroom remodel?

It is wise to upgrade supply lines and drain pipes to resolve any issues and accommodate new layouts or fixtures. Installing shut off valves at each fixture also allows you to easily turn off water when needed.

What maintenance is required for a newly remodeled bathroom?

Seal grout and caulk annually. Wipe away water after showering. Disinfect surfaces. Use mold resistant paint. Clean shower doors and tile using squeegees and non-abrasive cleaners. Treat natural stone.


Remodeling a bathroom is a complex project but also an extremely rewarding one. With good planning and design, you can create a beautiful, spa-like space tailored to your unique style and needs. Focus on choosing durable surfaces and materials along with smart storage and space-saving solutions. With the right prep work and professional help when needed, you will have a stunning bathroom you can enjoy for many years to come.