You've been on Pinterest and found the bathroom design of your dreams — you can't wait to start renovations to make it come to life. We know how exciting that feeling can be, but we also know that the most successful bathroom renovations are the result of careful and thorough planning.
We've created a list of questions to ask when remodeling a bathroom so that you can go into your renovations knowing exactly what your goals are.
1. What Is Your Favorite Thing About Your Bathroom?
It's easy to look at your bathroom and see all the things you want to fix, but it can be helpful to start the renovation process by identifying what you already like about your bathroom. If you know what aspects of your bathroom are working, you can ensure they're included or enhanced in the remodeled design. This will also help you to keep your budget down, as you won't find yourself making unnecessary changes.
If you're a bit stuck, consider the following:
- Space: You may enjoy how much wide open space there is in your bathroom. Keep this in mind when you're coming up with bathroom layout options. You won't want to add too much extra furniture, choose dark colors or buy a larger bath, as these will make the space feel smaller.
- Light: Your bathroom may be well-lit or have large windows that provide a lot of light during the day. If this is your favorite part of your bathroom, make sure you don't reduce your light fixtures or cover the windows with large curtains.
- Materials: Do you currently have a specific material in your bathroom that you wouldn't change? Think tiles, natural wood, metal or glass. If a material stands out to you, you could incorporate it more in your new design.
- Features: Do you have an open shower, a comfy bath, underfloor heating or two sinks that you can't imagine living without? Jot these down and bring them up so they're not left out of the new design.
2. What Do You Want to Improve in Your Bathroom?
Now that you know what you love about your bathroom, you can shift your attention toward things that you want to fix or improve. After all, something must have spurred on the need to renovate your bathroom, and these are the most important things to address.
Some common reasons for bathroom renovations include:
- Not enough counter space or not enough space in general.
- Lack of storage space.
- Old or poor-quality tubs, sinks or faucets.
- Outdated look and feel.
- Too much clutter.
As you brainstorm, create a bathroom renovation checklist, making note of your favorite and least favorite things. This is a fantastic thing to have at the ready if you plan on hiring professionals to design and implement your new bathroom, as they'll understand your exact goals for the space.
3. Do You Want to Make Any Structural Changes to Your Bathroom?
Structural bathroom changes are an important consideration, and they can greatly impact the cost and timeline of your renovation. A structural change includes any major work to the bones of your bathroom, such as the walls, ceiling, floor and fixtures. There are four main types of structural changes:
- Functionality: This involves changing the use or purpose of a bathroom. You may want to convert a powder room into a larger bathroom with a shower or add a walk-in closet to your main bathroom.
- Size: Making a bathroom bigger or smaller involves a lot of structural changes to both the bathroom and adjacent rooms. You may need to move internal walls, remove them completely or build new ones.
- Layout: Changing the layout of a bathroom mostly means moving the sink, bath, toilet or shower into a different location. Moving fixtures requires extensive plumbing changes.
- Location: This involves moving your bathroom to another part of your house.
Once you've determined what structural changes you need, you can add this to your renovation plan to account for the extra budget and time it'll require.
4. How Would You Describe the Style of Your Dream Bathroom?
Your bathroom style influences the colors you'll use, the materials you'll select and the decorations you'll purchase. Looking at bathroom inspiration pictures is a great way to find bathroom remodel ideas and identify a style that resonates with you. Start by looking at pictures of all types of bathroom styles and then begin to narrow it down. You may find that you're drawn to certain design elements or like the overall feel of a bathroom design.
A few popular bathroom styles include:
- Transitional (a mixture of modern and traditional)
- Art deco
Do a quick search of all these styles to find one that fits your vision and the rest of your home.
5. What Colors Would You Like to See in Your Home?
Colors are an essential part of bathroom renovations, as they can dramatically alter the feel and style of the room. Painting your bathroom a new color is also one of the easiest renovations you can do. The most challenging thing is choosing a color!
Choosing a Color
A good place to start is to examine the colors throughout your home. Do you want to incorporate these in your bathroom or pick something different? You may have a favorite color that you'd like to use or a color you've always loved but never used in your home. If not, your chosen bathroom style can also help point you in the direction of certain color groups.
A color wheel can help you narrow down color options, especially if you have one color in mind but need to find secondary colors for decor. Look into the types of color schemes to see what other colors will go with your chosen color. As an example, monochromatic schemes use varying shades of the same color, while complementary color schemes use colors opposite each other on the wheel.
Color psychology is another way you can choose colors for your bathroom. To evoke feelings of calmness and relaxation, for example, use greens, blues, purples or grays. Your bathroom will feel like a sanctuary perfect for getting ready or winding down.
The 60-30-10 Rule
When you have an idea of the colors you want in your bathroom, the 60-30-10 rule will help you distribute them. The main color should make up 60% of the room, like on the walls. Your next color should be 30% of the room, such as on cabinets and curtains. The third color — your accent color — is only used in 10% of the room. Think artwork, towels and rugs.
6. How Many People May Need to Access the Bathroom at Once?
Understanding how many people will need to use the bathroom at once can impact the choices you make regarding its design and functionality.
If you're looking at primary bathroom remodel ideas, you'll notice they often include a double vanity so that two people can use the bathroom at once. Children's bathrooms generally have a bathtub and lots of space so that parents and their children can be together during bathtime. If you want to access a bathroom from two sides — such as between two kid's rooms — you could create a Jack and Jill layout with two doors. If you only need the bathroom for one person, you can make it smaller and include fewer fixtures.
7. What Plumbing Fixtures Are You Planning For?
Another thing to consider when renovating a bathroom is the fixtures that require plumbing. Installing anything related to plumbing can get costly, and certain structural renovations — like altering the layout of your bathroom — will also require some plumbing work.
A few plumbing-related fixtures that would require careful consideration are:
- Multiple sinks.
- Mounted vanities.
- Bathtubs, especially walk-ins and jacuzzi tubs.
Start by understanding the plumbing in your current bathroom. Make a note of where your pipe outlets are, and try to determine if the pipes run in the walls or the floor. These are all factors that can have an impact on your renovation. You may also need to replace your pipes if they are too narrow for your new fixtures or if they are old.
8. What Lighting Fixtures Are You Planning For?
Lighting can transform your bathroom and make it a place you're happy to spend time in. When you're deciding on how to renovate your space, you'll need to determine what lighting you need.
Most people install bright ceiling lights in their bathrooms, but there are other lighting fixtures you can choose. If you'd like to see yourself in the mirror better at night, you can add some lighting around or above your mirror. Wall sconces can add light to dark parts of the room, and accent lights can bring attention to certain design features, such as paintings and mirrors. You could also consider installing dimmable lights so that you can make your room feel dark and moody while taking a bath or bright and happy while doing your hair.
9. What Activities Do You Need Space For?
A bathroom's function will inform the design and construction of the room, so you'll want to think about it early on. Most bathrooms are used for personal care, but you should think about the other activities you'll need room for.
Here are a few bathroom functions that you would need to design and budget for:
- Relaxation: A bathroom can be the perfect place for self-care and meditation. To make your bathroom feel like a spa, your design should incorporate calming colors and minimal clutter. You could add a sauna, purchase a luxurious showerhead or add speakers to the ceiling.
- Privacy: A water closet — a small room with a toilet — has increased in popularity in recent years. They are perfect for those who prefer more privacy. If this is something you'd like to implement in your bathroom, you'll need to consider construction costs for the extra walls and possibly change the layout of your bathroom to accommodate it.
- Makeup application: If you do your makeup every day and have a large collection of products, a separate makeup vanity will be a perfect addition to your bathroom. You can add it to a larger built-in vanity or have it free-standing so that you can move it around.
- Laundry: A bathroom is the perfect place for your washing and drying machines if you don't have room in other parts of your house. You can incorporate your machines into your bathroom cabinetry or create a separate area with shelves and cupboards.
10. What Bathroom Storage Will You Need?
Bathroom storage is an essential consideration during a bathroom remodel, especially if you are currently struggling with a lack of storage space. A bathroom with sufficient storage can go a long way in keeping your home clean and tidy.
To determine what storage you'll need in your ideal bathroom, think of the things you often reach for, as well as those you need less frequent access to, like extra toilet paper. As always, it's a good idea to make a list. To help you get started, here are some common items that people store in their bathrooms:
- Makeup products
- Towels, mats and washcloths
- Bulk and excess toiletries
- Cleaning supplies
- Shaving tools
- Hair styling tools
- Facial care tools
- Health care equipment
You'll also need to factor in how much space you have for storage. With smaller bathrooms, you'll have to get savvy with shelves and optimized wall-mounted cabinets. Larger bathrooms have the flexibility for free-standing cupboards and larger vanities.
Here are a few bathroom storage ideas for your renovation:
- Wider vanities: If you have the space for it and need a lot of storage, a large, wide vanity will provide ample space for drawers and cupboards.
- Drawer organizers: Optimize your drawer storage by using drawer dividers to create sections. These will help you keep everything tidy and organized. If you want a more permanent option, purchase custom drawers with dividers in them.
- Corner cabinets: Awkward empty corners in bathrooms are perfect for corner cabinets. These are efficient storage options that will utilize the space better — you can also choose a cabinet with glass doors if you want a more decorative piece.
Complete Wellborn Cabinet's Bathroom Goals Worksheet
Wellborn Cabinet is a family-owned cabinet and cabinet accessories manufacturer. We've been the leading cabinet maker in the United States for more than 50 years, and we are proud to supply heirloom quality cabinets that last.
If you're planning a bathroom renovation, we can help you create a bathroom that meets your functional and aesthetic needs. Our Bathroom Goals Worksheet will guide you through all of the questions in this article and more so you can start your planning process. Upon completion, a Wellborn Cabinet designer will contact you to help bring your project to life. We have a wide range of cabinet styles and finishes to fit any bathroom design and can customize them to fit your specific needs.
Fill in our worksheet or find a dealer to start your journey today!