Design and Decor Our Home

Master Bathroom Remodel:Tips and Ideas For Bathroom Remodeling

Master Bathroom Remodeling is a project that sounds simple to undertake but actually a complicated process.  There’s so much that you need to know especially if you are planning to do the bathroom remodel yourself. You will need to know things such as the average basic cost of a bathroom remodel,  the minimum space required for a toilet, the minimum size of a shower and so much more. It can be an overwhelming project if you do not arm yourself with the knowledge that you need to know to tackle a bathroom remodeling job.

However, I have a great news for you because I will be sharing our experience and the things that we have learned when we remodeled our master bathroom. I am hoping that after reading my article about my master bathroom remodel, you will able to get helpful tips and ideas for your upcoming bathroom remodeling project.

If you are new to my website and have not read about how my remodeling journey started, in the early part of 2020 we bought a 1950s fixer upper house. Both my husband and I did not have what it takes to tackle a fixer upper. However, because of my desire to personally design my own house and to see the old house transformation to modern one, we did it anyway.

I will also show you the before, during and after photos of my master bathroom remodel and share with you some pointers about master bathroom remodeling so you will be prepared to handle your bathroom renovation with confidence.

Before Pictures

I will give you a brief description of our fixer upper house. It is a 3 bedroom with one and half bathrooms in 1,162 sq. ft space. It is a small house compared with the typical houses however, it was the perfect size for my husband and I. The house had a 1950’s kitchen and did not have a master bathroom. The full bathroom was very long and narrow (13.75 ft x 5.25 ft) and had dual sinks. See the illustration below:


master bathroom remodelmaster bathroom remodel


The original bathroom was straight out of the 1950s. With its Vintage yellow tile, original narrow wooden vanity and two tiny sinks, walking into this bathroom felt like you are transported into a different era. The bath tub, toilet, lighting and retro tiled flooring were also all original.

Things To Do Before Starting A Master Bathroom Remodel

I am not a professional interior designer nor a professional bathroom designer however, I have a huge interest in interior design. I am also a fan of coming up with designs that will maximize the use of small spaces, make small spaces look bigger and while making the space beautiful. These challenges are the reasons why I find small space design enjoyable and very rewarding in the end. Below are the key steps that I took to prepare myself to face the challenges that come with bathroom renovation.

  1. Standard Bathroom Dimensions Understanding – Knowing a few essential bathroom fixture dimensions such as the minimum dimension of a stand up shower, the space needed for a toilet and others definitely helped me to create a more efficient bathroom remodeling plan. This is essential if you are doing your own design.
  2. Downloaded Planner 5D Home And Interior Design App – I paid $24.99 for a premium account for this browser based home design app. This app gave me an accurate idea of how my bathroom would really look and if my layout design was feasible with the amount of space available. The app has numerous templates to work from such as the templates for a bathroom, a kitchen, office, living room and bedroom. It is an easy app to use and will make any design project much easier. Spoiler alert! My rendering was not that good because I only had 2 days to learn the app before I put it to use.  My tip is, if you are planning to design your own master bathroom, look and download home an interior design app. Try to learn and master the use of the app so when the master bathroom remodel comes your way, you’re ready to layout and visualize your dream master bathroom like a professional bathroom designer!
  3. I measured the dimension of the existing bathroom floor and the whole 2nd level where the full bathroom was located and used the planner 5d app.By doing this, it helped me to visualize my plan and gave me a clear understanding of what I could do to create a master bathroom.
  4. Presented the plan to our contractor – The bathroom remodel initial plan made it easier for our contractor to understand what we wanted for the space. This also helped our contractor to give us a close estimation of their labor fee, material cost and other miscellaneous items involved in the bathroom remodeling project.

Tip: After your initial discussion with your contractor and if you find that the project you are planning to make is out of your budget, ask your contractor what things can be adjusted to help it fit into your budget. A good contractor can show you how to rework the space so you can have a project within your budget. However, if the changes that your contractor suggests is something that you do not like, then you need to postpone the project. Make sure to save enough money to spend for your dream master bedroom.

Master Bathroom Remodel Plan:

  1. Expand the Foot Print of the Full Bathroom  – We needed to tear down the wall between the bathroom and dormer on the left side bedroom in order to create enough space for an additional bathroom.
  2. Turning one full bathroom to two full bathrooms – Reconfiguration of the space allocation allowed us to create two full bathrooms. Knowledge on standard bathroom dimensions was needed to come up with the right space allocation to make sure this was a functional bathroom. Since I had a home interior app, all I did is pick and choose the appropriate items.
  3. Create a Master Bathroom – The additional square footage gained from tearing down the wall will be used to create a master bathroom.
  4. Remove and Replace Everything – Although I must admit, I was tempted to retain the retro tiled flooring because it was clean and in good condition. However, because I was going to change the bathroom lay-out and remove the bathroom vanity, I did not think it would be a smart option.
  5. Stand-Up Shower Instead of a Bath Tub – My husband and I prefer to take showers over taking a bath, but besides that, we had no space for a bath tub. For resale purposes, we decided we would put a bath tub in the 2nd bathroom.
  6. His and Her Bathroom Sink – It is always nice to have our own sink and to have our own space for our personal items. My husband can shave while I am applying makeup or we can brush our teeth at the same time.
  7. Medicine Cabinet with Mirror – Instead of installing one big mirror in bathroom which is more traditional, I decided to go with two medicine cabinets with mirrors because it would provide additional bathroom storage.  Our master bathroom space is small compared to other master bathrooms, so I preferred a design that would give additional storage space.
  8. Lighting – The master bathroom is pretty well-lit already because of the natural light coming in from the two bathroom windows. Even so, I incorporated into the designed a vanity light above the medicine cabinets, recessed lighting in the shower area and our contractor recommended a bathroom fan with a light. I really wanted our bathroom to be as bright as possible so even though we have a small master bathroom, I made sure that our master bathroom would have a much bigger look and feel and having the correct amount of lighting would help me to achieve that.

My Master Bathroom Design Board

I looked for some inspirational photos on Pinterest to give me an idea of how I would put all my must haves into my small master bathroom. It also helped me to visualize the look and feel of my future master bathroom. See my Small Powder Bathroom Remodel Reveal to know the benefits of looking for inspirational photos before your remodeling project starts.

  • The rule of thumb when choosing a bathroom tile is to use no more than 3 different tile designs. So I chose 3 different tiles based on my color palette and tiles that complement each other.
    • Penny Round Tile – for shower floor
    • Subway Tile – for shower wall
    • Porcelain Marble Look Tile – for the bathroom flooring and wall behind the bathroom vanity
  • I wanted a matching floor and wall tile because for me a running floor tile up the wall adds artistic appeal to the bathroom. Based on my research, large format tiles are best use for this kind of design especially for a small bathroom because it makes the room look bigger.
  • Aside from using a large format tile to make my master bathroom look and feel bigger, I also used white as my main color with a gray color accent for the same reason why I chose a large format tile. These light colors are good to make the bathroom look bigger.
  • A frameless glass wall shower was a must because of space limitation, we really could not have a regular shower wall. A frameless glass wall creates the optical illusion of a bigger bathroom space as well as adding a more luxurious style to the whole room.
  • I wanted to add some drama to the wall behind the toilet with minimal cost and learned that by painting the wall with a darker color it would add quite an impact to the whole bathroom.

During Pictures

master bathroom remodel


master bathroom remodel

After Pictures

master bathroom remodel

Bathroom Vanity – Instead of a floating bathroom vanity with two sinks, we ended up buying two separate bathroom vanities. My husband and I love the color of the vanities and on top of that, they offered a good amount of storage space. The drawers are deep enough to store our personal items which is big plus because we really needed storage space. I also like the fact that the color of the vanity complements with the gray color patterns of the porcelain marble look tile.

Medicine Cabinet With Mirror –  I’m really happy that we decided to go with the two medicine cabinets with mirrors instead of one larger mirror. It makes our small master bathroom functional because it give us instant storage. We can now have a space to place our oral hygiene tools, skin care products and grooming items. I remember when we were looking for medicine cabinets that my husband was really against this idea because he preferred to have a large mirror. He tried to convince me to use one large mirror.  I told him that we needed the storage space that comes with the medicine cabinets. I am now glad that I did not give in! Besides that, I think the two medicine cabinets with mirrors match perfectly with our two bathroom vanities. It’s visually pleasing and definitely added to the overall esthetic appearance of our master bathroom.

Vanity Light –  I bought this particular vanity light with adjustable head because it’s a simple design. I like the clean-lined back plate and the turned hardware for a lantern-like look.

Recessed Lighting –  Even though we only had a small bathroom, I made sure that we were not lacking in the area of decent lighting. The addition of recessed lighting was a must have because it helped to illuminate the space. This definitely made our small master bathroom look and feel bigger.master bathroom remodel

Matching Floor and Wall Tile – The running floor tile up the wall really gave a striking effect and helped to add interest to our master bathroom. The porcelain marble look tile made the space feel bigger and brighter because of fewer grout lines. It really is true that a large format tile will help create a luxurious feel because of its sleek and minimalist look.  Love it!master bathroom remodel

Shower Wall – I really love the straight herringbone tile pattern we used on the shower wall with the gray color grout. The finished look is so pretty and looks expensive.  It’s simple but gives a stunning element of style to our master bathroom. Since our eyes automatically draw to the pattern of the tile the small size of our shower was not a factor any longer. So I guess, if you have a small shower area and are planning to renovate it, you might want to consider herringbone pattern for your wall tile. It definitely gives a unique and expensive look for your small shower area.

Shower Floor –  The penny round tile gave my shower floor a clean look. Although many experts say to avoid using small tile in a small area because it will make the space look even smaller, I guess there is always an exemption to every rule. This is definitely an exception and a beautiful exception to the rule.

Shower Glass Wall – This is definitely a must have! Putting a frameless glass wall was an easy decision. It really opened up the space and gave it a luxurious and minimalist design. Although it was a bit expensive, it was definitely worth it.

Dark Color Paint Wall Behind The Toilet –  Its a simple addition that creates warmth and richness to the room. I think dark color paint behind the toilet deepens the space and creates dimension to a small toilet area. What do you think?

Tip: This is my personal preference that I wanted to share with you and it will never be a crime if you choose not follow it!

When you are planning to use 3 different tiles in your next master bathroom remodel project, try to avoid using tiles with different patterns or designs. Choose one tile with patterns or with a color palette design that you like and then pick the remaining two tiles with a solid color that complements the color palette of your first tile. See the illustration below:

I remember when we rented a newly renovated condo that I found the bathroom to be very beautiful. However, there was something about the design that I did not like but for some reason I could not figure it out. After a few months, I finally discovered what I did not like about the bathroom was the color palette in the tiles. The bathroom used 3 different tiles, each tile had its own design which made the bathroom wall and floor tiles look busy. It seemed like each tile was fighting for my attention. So to make things simple, I choose a tile that will be the focal point while the other tiles are used to enhance the beauty of the “focal point tile”.

Shop My Design:

  1. Unglazed Porcelain Penny Round Floor and Wall Tile
  2. Centerset 2-Handle Bathroom Faucet
  3. Polished Porcelain Marble Look Floor and Wall Tile
  4. Ceramic Bright White Subway Tile
  5. Dual Shower Head and Handheld Shower Head in Chrome
  6. Mirrored Rectangle Medicine Cabinet
  7. Bath Light Sconce
  8. Single Bathroom Vanity
  9. Single Flush Elongated Toilet
  10. Sliding Basket Organizer Drawer

Our master bathroom is definitely on a smaller scale compared with the common size of most master bathrooms. However,  we did not just update the look but we made it functional. We made sure that our master bathroom remodel plan contained the items and fixtures we needed to suit our needs and not just solely for esthetic improvements only.

Master bathroom remodeling is about making the existing space have a better function. You do not need to have a large area to create the master bathroom of your dreams. A well thought out layout and design of your master bathroom will make up for your space limitation. Think of what you need, what you do not like with your existing bathroom and the things that frustrate you every time you use it.  Whether it’s lack of storage, ugly tiles, or an awkward layout, use that and transform that information into your bathroom design. By doing this, you will be sure that your next master bathroom will have all of the features that you need and want so there will be no more frustration on your end. Your next master bathroom will become your sanctuary after a long day away from home. This is actually one of the main reasons why a master bathroom remodel is important and needed.

You can also add luxury touches if you have money to spend lather on. This will be one of the best decisions you can make as a homeowner. A master bathroom remodel may be expensive but will definitely add to your home’s value. When it’s time to sell your home, many buyers will have difficulty to saying no to your house if you have a great master bathroom. So go ahead, plan your master bathroom remodel project because it is definitely worth it and a good investment!

2nd Bathroom Photos

This is the 2nd half of the original one long bathroom. We divided it to create our master bathroom.

Additional Details and Photos

The before picture shows the area that we used to create the space for our master bathroom. We added a wall, window and door which created the new master bathroom area.


  1. Rachel Frampton September 7, 2021
  2. Rachel Frampton July 1, 2022
  3. Afton Jackson September 15, 2022

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