How to Pick the Best Materials for Your Next Bathroom Remodel

Bath Design

How to Pick the Best Materials for Your Next Bathroom Remodel

Planning a bathroom remodel is a fun and challenging experience. It’s important to know what materials you need to make your remodel a success. Picking the best materials for your bathroom remodel comes down to a few key criteria. Choose materials that enhance the functionality of your bathroom while considering your budget and creating a design that reflects your personality. The goal is to make your bathroom a beautiful space to enjoy! 

Let’s look at the materials you’ll need for your bathroom renovation.

What Materials Do You Need for Your Bathroom Remodel?

The materials for your remodel should improve your bathroom’s aesthetic, usefulness and efficiency. 

These include:

  • Flooring, grout and/or caulk
  • Paint
  • Shower wall, flooring and curtain/screen
  • Bathtub, toilet, sink and vanity
  • Countertop and cabinets
  • Lighting fixtures, mirrors and decorative accents

When choosing materials, consider opportunities to incorporate stylish materials that enhance the beauty of your space and functional materials that are easy to use and clean. 


Finding the Best Materials for a Bathroom Remodel

Choosing the best bathroom materials begins with your bathroom design. When beginning your bathroom renovation, first develop your style, then consider what will create the most efficient and luxurious space.

The Best Flooring

The best types of flooring to choose from are tile (natural stone or ceramic), vinyl, hardwood or cork. 

Natural stone tile is great for traction and water-resistance. Ceramic tile is easy to clean and protects against leaking and mildew. 

Hardwood and vinyl floors are also easy to clean, and the right sealant prevents moisture damage. Cork is the most environmentally friendly choice, bark-based and wonderfully water-resistant. 

Along with choosing the best flooring, you also must select the best type of caulk and grout. Caulk is used to seal gaps between tile and other surfaces, and it comes in latex, acrylic or silicone; grout is used to fill in the gaps between tiles, and it’s usually made from water, cement, and sand.

The Best Countertops

When choosing a countertop, consider your personal tastes, cost, durability, and ease of maintenance. The most common countertop materials include glass, granite, marble, quartzite, recycled glass, soapstone, and zinc.

Pick glass for luxurious colors that won’t fade with time. Choose granite, marble, or quartzite for something sturdy but elegant. Recycled glass, soapstone, or zinc are great options if your design is all about flair.

The Best Toilets

When you’re choosing the toilet in your bathroom makeover, pick one that looks elegant, saves water, and supplies a powerful flush to eliminate waste. 

There are a few options to consider when choosing a toilet:

  • Style. You can pick a one-piece or two-piece toilet. They effectively work the same, but two-piece models are typically more affordable.
  • Bowl. Round bowls are more space-efficient, but elongated bowls are often more comfortable.
  • Flush. Keep an eye on valve size and trigger type. A larger valve means a stronger flush, and certain triggers allow you to save water when a smaller flush will suffice.

After choosing your toilet, ensure you have a comfortable seat (many models don’t come with a seat), a wax ring to prevent leakage, and the necessary flange bolts with caps.

How Do You Budget for Materials in Your Bathroom Remodel?

While budgeting for materials in a remodel, consider the costs of the materials themselves and the installation costs. Identify areas to save money by maximizing small fixes. 

The Bathroom Remodel Cost

The cost of a bathroom remodel can be anything you want it to be. It depends on your vision, materials, and budget. The cost also varies depending on the extent of your remodel. Based on the size of your bathroom, you can expect the following price ranges:

  • Powder room: $6,500–$12,000+
  • Average master bath: $65,000–$80,000+
  • Large master bath: $80,000–$100,000+

For a large master bath, a facelift (updating flooring, drywall, fixtures, vanity, lighting, etc.) usually runs upward of $70,000. A complete remodel with new layout, custom configuration, high-quality fixtures, and additional storage could be over $80,000.

Typical bathroom renovation costs include:

  • Materials, such as flooring, countertops, paint, walls, and cabinets
  • Features, such as toilet, sink, vanity, bathtub, and shower
  • Accessories, such as a mirror, light fixture, and faucet
  • Plumbing and electrical services
  • Expertise of contractors, designers, and tradespeople
  • Installation and applicable building permits

While there are plenty of cost considerations, there are also many ways to save on your bathroom remodel.

How to Save on a Bathroom Remodel

You can save on your remodel by doing the following: 

  • Set a budget. Once you know how much you can spend, find materials that fit that framework.
  • Don’t make unnecessary changes to plumbing fixtures. Installing a new toilet or making changes to plumbing can cost thousands of extra dollars.
  • Upgrade small things, like light fixtures, sink, faucets, and toilet lids for a fresh look that enhances the luxury feel of your bathroom.

How Do You Choose Materials to Fit Your Bathroom Design?

When remodeling your bathroom, you must consider your personal taste and design, but you may also find inspiration for your bathroom makeover in seeing the materials and trends other people love.

Materials to Achieve Your Desired Bathroom Design

When starting your makeover, consider your desired design. Do you want a relaxing oasis? A contemporary feel? Perhaps an organic bathroom or a coastal design? 

Whatever your style, consider how the materials you choose can enhance your design and achieve the best bathroom renovation.

  • Cabinets and storage. Add an elegant, handcrafted cabinet as your vanity or a custom cabinet for the corner to provide towel storage and a surface for lamps or decor. 
  • Paint. Paint your bathroom a color that complements your home. If you prefer neutral colors, try a soft white or delicate gray. If you like something brighter, try a cheery yellow or baby blue. 
  • Bathroom fixtures. Your shower could benefit from a grab bar or hand-held shower head. Maximize efficiency with appropriate placement of mirrors and lighting. Fans are essential for good ventilation. A shower curtain and plush rug go a long way toward a luxury feel as well.

Bathroom Remodel Trends

Seeing materials and trends others love can inspire you as you choose the materials for your bathroom makeover. Bathroom trends for the next year are minimalist and elegant. Bathrooms will be lighter colors with quartz countertops, wooden accents, and ceramic or porcelain tile for the bathroom floor. 

Another trend is technology. Many homeowners are adding outlets, motion-sensor lights, and other items to enhance convenience in their bathroom space. Digital faucets are popular in today’s bathrooms with options to conserve water and customize temperature. In addition, smart scales are growing in popularity.

What Are Musts When Remodeling a Bathroom?

Every choice surrounding your bathroom remodel will affect you daily—you visit the bathroom more than most rooms in your home. Make sure you also consider the necessities of a successful bathroom remodel. Choose bathroom materials that reflect your personality, save time and money and ultimately enhance the luxury and beauty of your bathroom!

Here are necessities for the perfect renovation:

  • Choose surfaces for the floors and bathroom vanity that are sturdy, water-resistant, and easy to clean. You can’t go wrong with ceramic tile and a quartz or stone bathroom countertop.
  • Include plenty of storage space.
  • Consider convenience and efficiency when adding light fixtures or technology.
  • Strive to be environmentally friendly. 
  • Don’t forget important items like grout (to fill gaps between tiles) and caulk (to seal gaps between tile and other surfaces). 
  • Consider your bathroom size. With small square footage, only one or two people can work in a bathroom at once. Don’t take on too many projects too quickly in a small space.
  • Calculate adequate time. A remodel ideally takes about four weeks, but that time could easily double. Consider how extensive you want your remodel to be and how long you can maintain it.

There are so many options to choose from when considering the best bathroom materials. If you’re not sure where to start, view our gallery of bathroom remodels completed with Client-Focused Design™. We can help you start designing your perfect bathroom remodel today.


Drury Design can help you transform your bathroom, whether that be a small powder room or a large master bath, with the material combination that is perfect for your house and lifestyle. 

Choosing all the elements for your remodel can be a daunting process but with the help of professional designers, your choices will be educated, and your bathroom will be beautiful and functional. With over 30 years of interior design experience, you’ll be in good hands. We’d love to send one of our qualified designers to your home and start exploring options with you! Contact us HERE or chat with us below to find out more.

About Drury Design Kitchen and Bath Studio

Founded by Gail Drury, CMKBD in 1987, Drury Design’s Client Focused Design™ approach integrates design recommendations, materials selection, and construction management into one seamless customer design, project management, and build experience. For kitchen, bath, and home remodeling ideas view Drury Design’s design portfolio or stop by the studio at 512 N. Main Street in downtown Glen Ellyn, Illinois.

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