How to Choose Materials for Your Bathroom Remodel

Bathroom with wood tiling

Undertaking a major bathroom remodel can seem like a daunting task. Not only do you have to stay within a predefined budget, but there are so many design elements on the market that figuring out what blends well together can be challenging. If you are planning to remodel your bathroom, here is a quick and easy guide on how to choose the right materials to create the bathroom of your dreams.

Step 1 - Get Inspired

Finding inspiration is one of the most enjoyable parts of a bathroom model. Go online and look at various bathroom designs you like and save them for reference. Do not fret about staying in budget at this point, just highlight everything that jumps out to you, no matter how crazy it might seem. A good way to keep organized is to go on Pinterest and start a bathroom board with all of your favorite designs.

Step 2 - Narrow Things Down

Elegant tiling around a bathtub

Run through all of the bathroom designs you like and find elements that repeat. This includes colors, types of fixtures, wall materials, flooring, and accents. Anything that recurs is probably something you want to include in the final bathroom remodel. This can also give you some direction on overall themes you like and elements you feel are required.

Step 3 - Create a Plan

You should plan out all of the features of your bathroom remodel before you purchase anything. This will help you stay within your budget and ensure that everything fits together nicely. The last thing you want to do is get halfway through the remodel only to find out you need a new vanity but do not have room in your budget for one. You can start thinking about your budget at this point, though we will narrow things down even further at a later step.

Step 6 - Consider What Materials Fit into Your Vision


Tile is one of the most versatile materials for bathrooms because it is durable and can stand up to moisture. When it comes to picking out the right kind of tile, try and narrow your choices down to three options. If you like a certain pattern of tile but are unsure about the colors, you can usually get whatever color you desire as tile comes in a lot of flexible designs.


You should reduce down your metal options to only two choices. Metals are pretty bold for a bathroom and going with more than one finish is a bit tricky. The good news is that metal hardware is easy to update if you end up disliking your original choices.

Accent Materials

The right accents can really take a room to another level. Wood is usually a great choice for accents as the natural look of the material goes with just about anything. With accents, the only thing to be careful about is overspending on your budget as they can get pricey rather quickly. But with so many options at your disposal, you should be able to find affordable accents that do not break your budget.

Step 7 - Make a Comprehensive List

Writing in a journal

Begin your list by noting things that you are keeping from the old bathroom. Then create a chart all of the things you would like to include in the bathroom, like tile options, light fixtures, vanities, mirrors, hardware, showerhead, accents, and wall plans. Leave room for several options in each category, just in case the first preference is unavailable or does not fit well with the rest of the design.

Step 8 - Put It All Together

With your chart in hand, go back to your previous inspirations and start filling in design elements you want to include in the bathroom. At this step, you will discover items that fit well together and some that do not. Once everything is filled out, start playing with combos to find the best configuration. If you have something that just does not fit with anything else, you may consider getting rid of it instead of designing around it.

Step 10 - Purchasing Materials

The final step in choosing the right materials for your bathroom remodel is to actually buy them. The best way to go about this is to look at three or four different sources before you purchase anything. This includes going to local outlets and looking online. Once you have priced everything, you can determine if you stayed within your budget. If you went over, now is the time to swap the more expensive items for other, more affordable, options. Avoid buying anything until you have priced all of the items on your list.