Best Bathroom Planning Tips: Getting Your Bathroom the way you like

The perfect blend of materials, fixtures, flooring and wall coverings can transform a blah bathroom into a blissful paradise. Although combing through your product options may seem like a daunting task, establishing the basics of what you want will make the rest of the process a breeze. Read on to discover 24 tips that will simplify the bathroom planning process.

Planning Your Space

  1. Get inspired! Use resources such as Houzz, Pinterest, lifestyle magazines, or even a friend’s bathroom for design inspiration.
  2. Identify and work with your bathroom layout. Kohler offers a helpful floor plan options gallery.
  3. Determine your budget range, from your goal cost to your absolute maximum cost.
  4. Familiarize yourself with bathroom clearance guidelines to best envision a practical use of your space. You may want to read NKBA’s Kitchen & Bathroom Planning Guidelines Handbook. You can also access our free Bathroom Planning Guide, which covers virtually every aspect of planning your project.

Hiring a Trade Professional

  1. Select the right Trade Professional for your needs. General Contractors oversee the construction of your bathroom. Architects design the blueprints for your bathroom and may supervise construction, and Interior Designers plan out your bathroom according to design and space guidelines.
  2. Interview potential candidates thoroughly. Besides poring over their portfolios, ask them questions such as: “What is the timeframe for this project?” “When can you start?” “How long have you been in business?” and “How much experience do you have with this kind of project?”
  3. Always check the Trade Professional’s credentials, references and online reviews.
  4. Closely examine your contract for project details, pricing, start and finish dates, and warranties before signing.

Selecting Bathroom Products

Choosing the right bathroom products is essential for creating a relaxed atmosphere. Listed below are bathroom product facts, based on different categories:


  1. Bathtubs: Bathtubs come in a variety of colors, sizes, and shapes. Consult our previous blog post for further detail on the bathtub selection process.
  2. Toilets: Do you prefer a taller toilet (~16”) for easier access, or a standard height toilet (~14”)? One-piece or two-piece? Consider also a dual-flush feature to save on water bills.
  3. Faucets & Sinks: Faucets come in single-handle, widespread, center set and wall-mounted styles. Sinks may be installed in your vanity or on the counter, along your wall, or they may be separate on their own pedestals.
  4. Showers: Shower components include showerheads, handheld showers, shower enclosures, temperature controls, body sprays, and chromatherapy.


  1. Cabinet Styles: White cabinets provide a clean look; black cabinets complement a contemporary bathroom; and brown cabinets offer a rustic, countryside appearance.
  2. Storage: Consider space-saving features such as an in-drawer wastebasket, tiered storage, vanity hampers and pull-out trays.
  3. Countertops: Granite and marble are two of the most common vanity countertop materials, adding a touch of class to any bathroom.
  4. Mirror, Lighting, Cabinet Hardware: Jazz up your bathroom vanity with corresponding accessories.


  1. Storage Accessories: These are bathroom accessories that add convenience to your life, including robe hooks, towel holders, and toilet tissue holders.
  2. Safety Accessories: Items such as grab bars and shower seats help make your bathroom a safer place.
  3. Aim to integrate accessories with the rest of bathroom—stick to one finish and style, be it traditional, transitional, or contemporary.
  4. Don’t think of bathroom accessories as an afterthought. Map them out along with your plumbing fixtures, wall coverings, bathroom vanities, and flooring.


  1. Bathroom Ventilation: For bathrooms up to 100 sq ft in area, the Home Ventilation Institute recommends an exhaust fan that provides 1 CFM per sq ft. For larger bathrooms, add an extra 50 CFM for each toilet and bathtub, and 100 CFM for a jetted tub.
  2. Lighting: Consider what effect you want to achieve with the lighting—do you want to highlight certain areas (accent lighting), or cast the entire room in light (ambient lighting)?
  3. Wall Color: Certain colors evoke specific moods. Freshome has an informative article explaining how different colors impact your home atmosphere.
  4. Flooring: Stone tiles, ceramic tiles, hardwood, and laminate are popular flooring choices. Consider how the color and style of each would fit into your overall bathroom design.