10 Insider Bathroom Remodeling Tips for DIYers

Remodeling a bathroom is one of the most satisfying DIY jobs because it pays off: it’s your chance to combine all the practical features you need with a personal style you love – while creating a relaxing retreat.

If you’re taking on this project yourself (or even part of it, like laying tile), it’s helpful to have a go-to resource for hands-on guidance—and with their DIY project guides, how-to workshops, and project calculators to help you along the way to help you figure out how much stuff to order, The Home Depot is a smart choice. And when you’re ready to get started, you can shop for everything from tubs and vanities to showers, tiles and finishing touches in one place. (You can even rent the tools to install them.)

Looking for inspiration? Check out these clever ideas from interior designer Elaine Griffin to freshen up your bathroom.

Wake up your walls

The home depot

Patterned tiles or wallpaper can give your bathroom a premium, custom look — and you don’t have to put it on every wall to make a big impact. Sticking only to the area behind a vanity is also a striking look. (If you’re wallpapering an entire bathroom with a shower, look for moisture-resistant wallpaper, sometimes referred to as “splash-proof,” which repels water and steam.) Another option: Add texture instead of pattern by using a board-and-rail -Apply paneling to specific locations such as the wall behind the vanity. Installation is a fairly easy process if you have some DIY experience. You will need to use a miter saw to cut the trim boards to the correct length; Careful measuring and leveling is key, otherwise you will end up with slanted or crooked panels. All details on how to do this can be found here.

More of a painted wall person and just want to change the hue? Keep in mind that the color you choose will reflect off the walls onto your face. “You probably don’t want your skin to look seafoam green when you’re trying to put makeup on,” says Griffin. “Personally, I like a white bathroom, but not a stark, cold white. It should have a light brown or peach undertone to make the room feel warm and inviting.” To find your perfect color, check out The Home Depot’s ProjectColor color app – you can use it to match a hue find the closest thing to a piece of furniture or virtually any object and “try on” your choices in your own room.

Go big with Tile

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The home depot

“It sounds totally counterintuitive, but large shower tiles look great in all bathrooms, even very small ones,” says Griffin. “They make the room seem bigger. The secret is to avoid a contrasting grout color and keep the grout lines as narrow as possible, ideally 1/16 inch for the best look. To achieve those narrow grout lines, be sure to choose 1/16 inch tile spacers.

Make a strategic vanity swap

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The home depot

To keep your remodeled space looking as good as it did the day you finished the project, make it easy to control clutter — and that means building in plenty of space to hide beauty products and other small items. Look for a vanity with cabinets and drawers. “Today’s vanity tops are engineered within an inch of their lives, which I love,” says Griffin. “You can even choose one with a U-shaped center bank of drawers so they fit around the plumbing without wasting valuable space.” In a small bathroom, instead of a space-saving sink, Griffin recommends a floating vanity style that packs storage into a small space offers.

Add secret storage

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The home depot

Sure, you can hang a decorative mirror over the vanity and call it a day. But since you’re remodeling anyway, why not install a sleek medicine cabinet – and get the mirrored finish you need, plus extra storage space inside? (Always make sure you screw it into a wall stud so your new cabinet will stay securely in place.) You can even add your own frame to a simple medicine cabinet style with the help of a mirror frame kit.

Get your lighting just right

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The home depot

A remodel is a great opportunity to upgrade your bathroom lighting. “In a perfect world, you want light on both sides of the vanity mirror and above you so you’re illuminated from all directions,” says Griffin. In any case, she warns, it’s important to make sure ceiling fixtures — box or surface mount — don’t cast an unfavorable shadow on your face. “You don’t want a light source directly overhead when you’re standing in front of the mirror,” she says.

Go a little luxe

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The home depot

The best way to transform your bathroom into a pampering retreat is to provide it with the bath or shower experience you’ve always wanted. If you have the room, a freestanding bathtub is the pinnacle of boutique hotel luxury. But in rooms of any size, you can add a glass shower stall (instead of a shower curtain) for an upscale look. “The frameless models look the most stylish, but the more affordable options also look great,” says Greif.

The most important step is the right measurement. Most shower doors can easily be adjusted to accommodate less-than-perpendicular walls, but you’ll need to start with very accurate measurements for the height and width that the glass will cover and for appropriate door pivot clearance if you decide to model one that has one swing-out or pivoting door. Find out more about choosing the right shower door for your room and measuring correctly here.

Unify your hardware

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The home depot

Sometimes even a simple change can make a big impact in a bathroom – and that’s definitely the case when you have some mismatched finishes. Swapping out toilet and bathroom fixtures, towel rails, and other room accessories so that they all have the same metal finish will give the room a cleaner, more streamlined look. Griffin’s choice? Classic chrome. “I use chrome in about 75 percent of the bathrooms I design,” she says. “You don’t have to maintain it like real nickel – you just wipe it off and it’s ready to use.”

“If you don’t want to drill holes in your countertop, walls, or cabinets for a new faucet, towel rail, or cabinet hardware, consider replacing your outdated Centerset faucet with a new Centerset model, for example, or choose cabinet handles that are the same width as yours.” have old Tip: Bring your current outfit to the store so you can customize things.

Update the most functional function

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The home depot

It may be the least glamorous element in the room, but the toilet really makes a difference in the design and atmosphere of the room. Some good guidelines: For a small bathroom, choose a round bowl style. A comfort-height design can make getting up and sitting down easier, and a one-piece design has fewer nooks and crannies to clean.

Replacing a toilet is easier when you have a helper to help you remove the old model and lift the new model. But before you bring in the new toilet, don’t forget to inspect the flange that attaches the toilet to the drain pipe in the floor. You may be able to use the old flange, but if it’s cracked or in bad shape you’ll need a replacement. Not sure which replacement flange to buy? Snap a picture of the old one and use the image search feature on the Home Depot mobile app to find similar products.

Put your stamp on the room

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home depot

A bathroom feels more “finished” when you sprinkle in accessories that let your personality shine through: vases or artwork that inspire you, towels in your favorite color or small furnishings like a garden stool that can hold a stack of towels. (Just make sure you choose items that are easy to clean and can stand up to the fluctuating humidity in the room — it’s not the place for nice antique furniture that could warp or crack with exposure, for example.) Yourself surrounded by things you have love will make you feel good every time you walk through the door.

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