How to Design a Bathroom

Bathroom Renovation Reality:

3 months before you start the renovation – create a to do list!

  • 5  Things to do to begin….
  • 12 things to do…. 25 things to do …

How do you begin? What are the priorities? Where do you start?

When designing a bathroom, the first thing you need to do is to have a jumping off point.  It is important to keep an open mind – it can be anything that inspires you, from a decorative mosaic tile to a beautiful onyx, or a room photo that inspires you to begin the design of your bathroom.

Questions you need to ask yourself:

What colors are adjacent to the bathroom?  How does your idea correlate with the overall feel of the home?

What textures/finishes are in the remainder of the home and are directly related?  Is this a timeless style that you will enjoy for years? This color scheme/style should be current for over 15 years, so make sure it’s not entirely trendy.


For instance you can begin with an onyx countertop and a colorful glass sink.

Onyx Countertops

These steps will help to guide you through the process.  The first selection should be the flooring.  The most common flooring material in a bathroom is tile or marble.


Design a Floorplan:

  • Establish your needs, do you need two sinks? A Bidet? Tub or Shower only? Accessible Shower? What are your desires?

  • Start with a floor plan first – layout all fixtures:

  • Shower location – will the size remain or will it be enlarged?

  • Tub location and size

  • Vanity location and size

  • Toilet location (privacy)

  •  Note: Some restrictions may apply – ask your contractor


Bathroom Design Layout
Bathroom Design Layout
  • Select Floor Tile:

    • Choose a tile/marble
    • Draw floor tile designs/select decorative accents if applicable

HZ Gulfshore-18

  • Design the Shower:

    • Find the main tile for the shower and review application (vertical/horizontal)
    • Possibly find an inspirational tile which complements the main tile – where will you use it? Back wall? Maybe just an accent. (It can be glass/stone/metal in a mosaic form or otherwise)
    • Select shower floor tile – slip resistance might be important here
    • Choose a shape for corner seat/bench and surface such as quartz
    • Choose location/size for the soap niches (indented into walls)
    • Choose Frameless glass shower doors and applicable hardware and shower door handle (choose finish: stainless/polished nickel, etc. )
    • Choose Shower Hardware and finish (brushed nickel/gold/polished)
      • shower head and type
      • add handheld attachment if applicable
      • shower control and type
      • Draw shower designs considering chosen materials and its application
Tile Design
Tile Design

Read More…

  • Cabinetry: Choose a finish

    • Choose standard vanities if space allows
    • Or Select custom cabinetry from a Kitchen/Bath retailer
    • Select a door profile – is maintenance important or does style prevail?
    • Choose finish – is it a wood tone, painted, glazed or distressed? If glazed, the glaze must catch some crevices (meaning a flatter door does not glaze well)
    • Choose countertop material and edge detail (more on countertops – READ MORE…
    • Choose Cabinetry hardware & finish (coordinate with other finishes)

Cabinetry Finishes

  • Choose Plumbing -Sinks, Faucets, etc:

    • Select sink style and color (under mount, or vessel or other )
    • Choose sink shape (round, rectangular, abstract, oval)
    • Find faucets Single Handle/Dual/(Coordinate finish)


  • Select Mirrors:

    • Custom Framed mirrors
    • Or Wall hung standard in exact sizing
    • Alternate to use medicine cabinets as mirrors (such as below)


  • Address Lighting and Electrical:

    • Choose ceiling lighting
    • Bath Lighting – inserted into mirrors, or above (if bath is small, to instantly enlarge the space make the mirrors as large as possible and frame them in).
    • Choose electrical location – height/size & determine size – 2 or 3 light fixtures?)
    • Or Optional – vertical lights built into the mirror (choose location and height)
    • Exhaust fan and light/heat light in bathroom
    •  Exhaust fan and light/heat light in shower

HZ Longshore-91

  • Choose Your Plumbing

    • Hands free faucets? Try out the function for comfort.
    • Select a toilet and color – is it wall hung – this requires more serious plumbing
    • Bath – Jacuzzi? Freestanding? Built-in?
    •  Explore your showering requirements: Body sprays showering systems by Kohler? Rainhead? Hand-held showering?
Shower Plumbing
Shower Plumbing

Read More……

  • Bathroom Decorative Hardware – Select style to complement plumbing fixtures:

    • Towel bars – determine size and placement
    • Towel Rings/Hooks
    • Toilet paper holder


  • Wall Finish

    • Don’t forget the finishing details, as the walls are the glue to the entire design.
    • Choose/finalize the exact shade of the paint color
    • Or Select a Faux finish or Wall-covering (consider humidity levels)


  • Architectural Features:

  • Window Treatment:

    • Choose water resistant window solution – Shutters or Glass art?
    • Ceiling Treatments


  • Other Considerations:

    • Instant hot water heater
    • Heated floors
    • Towel warmers


No Slip Mat
No Slip Mat

NOTE: Now that we have a plan of action, first of all you will need to draw any shower and floor tile designs, using the decorative tiles chosen (Click here to read more…..).


READ MORE for more details on our bathroom budgeting…..