Home renovations made simple
As one of the most-used spaces in any home, you want to keep your bathrooms up to date and in good working order. Whether you envision a stylish makeover or a more functional setup (or both!) there’s a wide array of bathroom renovation ideas you can explore.
Compared to open-concept spaces, bathrooms’ small and enclosed nature make it easier to have fun with décor and embrace creative design. Use these 12 ideas to help plan your next bathroom remodel, whether you’re working with a small powder room or ensuite.
1. Plastered finishes
Tired of white tiles everywhere? Turn to plaster or microcement for an easy bathroom makeover that brings a sense of luxury to any space. Used in steam baths for centuries, plaster adds a subtle stone-like texture, and its modern counterpart microcement offers that same elevated aesthetic with the bonus of added durability.
Since microcement can be applied over existing tile, this bathroom renovation idea is especially handy if you want to minimize demolition and time spent without washroom access. Conveniently, you can add this finish almost anywhere in your bathroom, from flooring to wash basins to walls – and even shower walls when it’s finished with a sealant.
2. Updated shower design
One of our favourite new bathroom ideas is to switch from a metal-frame shower to a fresh frameless design. Made with sturdy tempered glass that doesn’t need metal supports, options include a door-free walk-in shower enclosure or a setup with a swinging frameless door. Without the metal borders, frameless showers tend to be easier to clean, and you can easily add metallic accents with a contrast handle and hinges (try black or brass for a stylish statement). Plus, the all-glass look lends openness to the room, which makes it a particularly clever small bathroom renovation idea.
If you prefer the sturdiness of a metal frame, you can still renovate your bathroom shower by switching to a black steel frame. This chic look is a stylish choice — especially with industrial-inspired grids through the centre.
3. Bohemian Style
Whether you’re planning a mini-makeover or are looking for full bathroom remodel ideas, it’s easy to hop on the bohemian trend. Create an eclectic vibe with natural elements, an earthy or washed-pastels palette, and travel-inspired textiles. For a light lift, load up on plants (bonus points for hanging greenery), woven baskets, Turkish towels and Moroccan rugs.
If you have the budget and time for a larger renovation project, update your cabinetry to suit the Bohemian theme. Wood tones or warm pinks and peaches are perfect neutrals for a California-cool beach bathroom, while teal is a great pick for a bolder colour statement. Have fun with tile too, whether you choose a patterned clay style or playful hues or shapes.
4. White and wood
If neutral is more your style, warm up an all-white bathroom by adding wooden touches to the space. Try a wood-finished accent wall to contrast the cool vibe of marbled materials, or switch up your cabinetry to feature your favourite wood finish.
Want to update your flooring? White oak is a trendy design choice, and it also tends to resist humidity better than other hardwoods. Make sure it’s sealed to help prevent water damage, and add minimalist bath mats to match your décor. Vinyl flooring with a faux-wood finish is a practical alternative to explore with your contractor, especially if you’ve got little ones who splash about during tub time.
5. Statement-making wallpaper
Eye-catching wallpaper, one of our favourite upgrades for small bathroom renovations, works especially well in a powder room. If you’re working in a larger space, pick one accent wall or break up the design with wainscotting below.
For a modern look, pick wallpaper that has a larger print instead of a small repeating pattern. Think: big bold florals, wide stripes, watercolour strokes, or woodland scenes. These interesting designs add character to any bathroom, and also offer the opportunity to get more creative with other elements. Try an ornate brass mirror, bright curtains, and a pair of vintage sconces to tie the whole look together.
6. Smart storage
For small bathroom renovations, maximize space with clever storage solutions that give you plenty of room to stow linens and tuck away medicine and toiletries. A vanity with a combination of drawers and cupboards makes it easy to keep the family’s essentials tidy (add organizer inserts inside!).
If you’re dealing with a smaller footprint, install a wall-mounted medicine cabinet above the toilet. You can even ask your contractor about recessing it into the wall for a built-in look. A linen cabinet can help keep spare towels easily accessible, but if you’re strapped for space, roll them up and place them in a woven basket near the shower.
7. Wall-mounted toilets and bidets
The toilet itself is often overlooked when it comes to planning a stunning bathroom makeover. For a stylish upgrade, choose a wall-mounted model. These fixtures nod to European design (especially when paired with a wall-mounted bidet), where the porcelain is securely hung on the wall instead of sitting on the floor. In this style, the tank and all plumbing are hidden behind the drywall for an ultra-sleek look.
The benefits of wall-mounted toilets and bidets go beyond the visuals. They make cleaning easier, with no floor pan to mop around and no odd angles that collect dust. Having the cistern behind the wall also means the toilet doesn’t project as far into the room, making wall-mounts a smart small bathroom idea.
8. Non-traditional fixtures
When brainstorming bathroom remodel ideas, consider your space’s larger silhouettes. The tub, toilet, and sink are all key pieces that can make a big impact, which is why we’re seeing a rise in unexpected shapes for each.
Spherical toilets add modern edge to any design, while a curved freestanding tub conveys luxury. Instead of the usual drop-in or undermount sink, vessel sinks that sit above the countertop are a growing trend. Choose a square or rounded shape, and don’t be afraid to veer away from classic white. Working with a larger shared washroom? Try an elongated trough style with multiple wall-mounted faucets above.
9. Creative tiling
New tile is one of the most versatile bathroom renovation ideas. It can work in rooms of any size, across a range of budgets, and with any design aesthetic. A playful tile floor (whether it’s a bold colour or fun Portuguese or Moroccan print) has long been favoured by designers as a way to spice up a space, but the newest trend is floors, walls, and ceilings all decked out in coordinated tile.
You can also use tile to create an accent wall behind your sink, which doubles perfectly as a backsplash. Another great spot for tile: a shower niche. Pick something that contrasts with the rest of your shower, either by mixing dark against light, changing from large tiles to a smaller hexagon inset, or, if you’re using subway tile, simply by switching the tile direction inside the niche.
10. Integrated mirrors
Large mirrors can make a small bathroom seem larger, and there’s no need to shrink your reflective surface to accommodate fixtures. Make the most of your space with a wide counter-to-ceiling mirror and inset wall-mounted sink faucet. This may mean cleaning up more splash marks, but you can work with your contractor to select a faucet and positioning to minimize any mess.
These look especially great when the metal pops against the mirror, so choose black, gold, or brass over standard silver. If you want to add lighting without compromising mirror size, try mirror-mounted sconces.
11. Wet room
Wet rooms have become one of the most popular small bathroom ideas in recent years. To create a wet room, a large area is built with waterproof materials and typically there’s both a shower and bath behind a larger glass wall or enclosure. For tighter bathrooms, especially layouts that are long and narrow, this can allow you to include separate fixtures without taking up too much space.
To create a stunning wet room, choose tiles or stone to suit your style — marble slab can create a luxurious feel, while encaustic tile mixed with penny tiles on the floor offers an eclectic vibe. This setup also works great for a hotel-worthy shower, such as a rain shower head with separate body sprays.
12. Raised-platform bathtub
Make a gorgeous tub the focal point of your bathroom by building it on a raised platform. This can be a great condo bathroom renovation idea, because the platform can hide old drains and plumbing that are too difficult to move.
Your platform might be one level up or need a couple steps, and you can pick tile, stone, or treated wood to give it a beautiful finish. This style looks especially great with a freestanding tub and floor-mounted faucet. Along with the spa-like look, a raised platform makes bath time feel like a true escape from your usual routine.
Whether you’re looking for a major remodel, new bathroom ideas, or smaller tweaks to your space, there’s a wide variety of improvements you can choose from to suit your budget, timelines, and goals. The best part? Bathroom renovations tend to increase your home’s value, so you’ll benefit in more ways than one.
Get a bathroom renovation quote
With their high traffic, humid environment, and crucial plumbing, most bathroom makeovers are best left to skilled and experienced contractors. To get started, Smart Reno can help you find the right contractor for your bathroom renovation project. Get 3 free bathroom renovation quotes, and talk to an expert about renovation financing.
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