Bathroom Updates with Major Impact

After kitchens (check out our recent blog post on the topic here), most homeowners will say updating bathrooms is at the top of their list. As a member of the National Kitchen & Bath Association, we are uniquely qualified to provide clients with everything they need to tackle a bathroom remodel or build out. No matter the budget, big or small, here is our guide to bathroom updates.

Take stock.

Before you start, think about who will use the space and what changes could improve functionality and storage capabilities. Two adults? Consider two sinks or vanities. Young kids? A bathtub is a must. Nowhere to store back stock? Focus on closet space and under-the-sink storage. Toiletries need a home in the shower? Add a shower niche and ledge to the list.


Make a plan. 

The scale of the project can be determined after taking inventory of your needs. If structural changes are required – such as the removal of a load-bearing wall or a change to the footprint requiring electrical or plumbing work – it’s a design-build job. If no structural or footprint changes are needed, the options are likely a full gut and remodel or a cosmetic facelift. Check out more information about the options here, and as always, give us a call to schedule a complimentary consultation to learn more.


Update the vanity. 

Changes to the vanity at any budget point can make a huge impact, both in terms of functionality and style. On the lower end, new paint and hardware can transform existing cabinetry. A step up from that, new cabinet fronts or semi-custom cabinetry can achieve the look of custom cabinetry at half the expense. Prefabricated vanities or even a piece of furniture converted into a vanity can up the ante as well. And on the higher end, all new custom cabinetry makes a huge difference. For countertops, quartz is easier to care for than marble and achieves a similar high-end look. Porcelain and soapstone are also great options. No matter what you do, keeping the vanity clutter free can go a long way to bring order and calm to the bath.


Elevate hardware and fixtures.

Updating hardware and fixtures – faucets, showerheads, fittings, sconces, cabinet hardware, towel bars, bath tissue holders, etc. – can do wonders to transform the bath. Matching metals is the gold standard, but some like to mix and match. For a modern yet timeless look, opt for polished metals like chrome or nickel over anything brushed that tends to go in and out of style. Aged brass is always a classic choice as well and looks great in older homes.


Replace or refinish bathtubs, sinks and toilets.

When in need and budget allows, a new bathtub, sink and toilet make a huge impact. But there are ways to refresh without completely replacing existing pieces. A deep clean and new paint can do wonders to transform an old and dated bathtub or sink.


Go for timeless tile. 

Nothing can give away the age of a bathroom quite like dated tile, despite some articles claiming tile trends from the past are back. Tile can be a huge investment, so we always suggest something classic and timeless if it cannot be salvaged with fresh caulk and grout. Consider ceramic, porcelain or stone tile in a timeless color and pattern like subway, petite hexagon or basketweave. White and light gray marble will never go out of style.


Refresh with new paint or wallpaper. 

Bathrooms can be the perfect place to have fun and experiment with paint or wallpaper since mistakes are easier – and less costly – to fix. If opting for a fresh coat of paint, be sure to use one with a satin finish as it holds up well to moisture. For wallpaper, make sure it’s placed out of splashing range and install proper ventilation to prevent moisture buildup.


Go light and bright. 

Lighting is everything in a bathroom. Brighter is always better, and when possible, bring in natural daylight with a window or skylight. Assess any weak points in overhead, vanity, shower, tub or closet lighting and consider installing new fixtures – or any that are dated or mismatched. It’s amazing how transformative some new sconces can be.


Update textiles.

For an easy update that packs a big punch, consider new window treatments. Shower curtains can also go a long way. White is classic (and easy to clean) but hanging one in a lush fabric like velvet from floor to ceiling can add drama and luxury to the space.


Elevate the essentials.

Everything stands out in a bathroom, so keep the essentials coordinated and in line with the overall style of the room. This includes mirrors, trash cans, tissue boxes, soap dispensers, toothbrush holders, and bath and hand towels.


Get organized. 

Reorganization requires a small monetary investment but can totally transform the functionality of a bathroom. First, go through everything and divide items into keep, fix, donate or toss. Once you know what needs to stay, determine the best home for each item (vanity drawer? closet?) and what is needed to store it suitable. We are always inspired by The Home Edit’s website and Instagram when tackling an organization project.


Interested in making some updates to your bathroom? Reach out to us at or (615) 292-7354 to schedule a complimentary consultation and to learn about our three bathroom services to fit any budget– Express Kitchen & Bath, Design/Build and Trace Electrical.