The Comprehensive Materials, Fixtures, and Accessories List For Bathroom Remodeling

After deciding on the bathroom layout and design you want, the next step is determining the materials you will need for your remodel. If you’ve seen the bathroom remodel checklist before starting your project, then you already know that there are plenty of fixtures, hardware, accessories, and other products that you will need to renovate your bathroom.

With all those details you need to take care of, it can be overwhelming and time-consuming to remodel a bathroom. It’s better to identify the features and finishes you want for your new bathroom so that you won’t miss anything, ensuring that everything will go well together, and save time and effort. This will also give you an idea if your dream bathroom is realistic and within budget.

Now, let’s check out the different fixtures, hardware, accessories, and other materials that you may need for a bathroom remodel so that you will be prepared and have a smooth-sailing project. Note that you may not need all the materials listed here since it will depend on whether you will just do minor upgrades or a major renovation. 

Bathtub vs. Shower

One of the hardest decisions to make when remodeling your bathroom is whether to get a tub or a shower, especially for those who have limited space. While showers are more common, this doesn’t mean they are better than tubs. To find out which one would be more suitable for your dream bathroom, here are the pros and cons of a bathtub and a shower.

Bathtub Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Hot or warm baths for a good night’s sleep and relieve sore muscles
  • Safer and better for bathing children
  • Less expensive to install
  • Increases home resolve value

Cons

  • Takes longer to use
  • Dirt remains in the water
  • Requires more energy for water heater
  • Consumes more space
  • Uses plenty of water
  • More difficult to use for the elderly or injured

Shower Pros and Cons

Pros

  • More convenient and accessible
  • Doesn’t use up as much water
  • Cleaner due to running water
  • Not as time-consuming to use
  • The water heater consumes less energy
  • More suitable for older or injured people

Cons

  • Not as relaxing as a bath
  • Constantly replacing shower curtains
  • Regularly cleaning shower doors
  • More difficult to fix leaks
  • Higher risk of getting an injury
  • Difficult to bathe children in showers
  • Makes the bathroom steamy
Expert tip:
  • If you plan to sell your home in the future, it is recommended to get a bathtub since families with small children prefer a house with a tub.
  • Who says you can’t get both? As long as you have space, you can install a shower and tub area in your home. This will usually require a space of 60 inches in length, 32 to 36 inches in width, and 72 to 96 inches in height.

Now that you’ve read about the advantages and disadvantages of each one, you can learn more about the different types of bathtubs and shower systems after deciding which one (or two) to get.

Different Types of Bathtubs

Standard Bathtub

This is a regular bathtub that doesn’t come with extra features but gets the job done. It has different installation styles, and one of the most common ones is the alcove bathtub. This tub is placed between three walls and has one finished side for the open space. It is the recommended tub for bathrooms with small spaces since it has the smallest footprint.

Freestanding Bathtub

Also called standalone tubs, this is another installation option for a regular bathtub. A freestanding bathtub can be placed anywhere since all sides are finished. It can either have feet, like clawfoot or slipper bathtubs, or a solid base for a modern look. Since they aren’t installed in corners, they will use up more space and will have exposed plumbing.

The alcove and freestanding bathtubs are some of the most affordable types, costing around $200 to $700 price range.

Walk-In Bathtub

Regular bathtubs are not safe for older or physically-challenged people, but if they still prefer to use a tub, then they can get a walk-in bathtub. It is a convenient type where one can easily and safely get in and out of the bathtub due to its special sealed door. This type costs more than the regular bathtub, around $2,000 to $6,000.

Hot Tub

You can get hot tubs outdoors, you can install one in your bathroom. This tub comes with jets, which shoots out water or air, to provide a massage-like experience when one lies inside the bathtub. Combined with the warm water, this can help relieve sore muscles and joints. Due to its extra features, it is more expensive and can cost between $700 to $2,000.

Different Types of Shower System

Mixer Shower

A manual mixer is the most common shower system. It is called a mixer because it combines hot and cold water to get the optimal temperature. This type comes with a showerhead and one to two valves for controlling the hot or cold water coming out.

Electric Shower

If you want an instant hot shower, an electric shower has a built-in heating unit that can heat up water faster since it doesn’t need to combine hot and cold to get the optimal temperature. It takes the cold water from your home’s supply, so you won’t need a hot water supply but this system may increase your electricity bill.

Thermostatic Shower

This type works similarly to a manual mixer but you can control or program the specific temperature into the thermostat. It provides consistent water temperature, preventing you from freezing or getting scalded. Thermostatic showers can come with a digital control panel, which is why they are sometimes referred to as digital showers. Due to its technology, it’s going to be more expensive than the other types.

Toilet

There are many different types of bathrooms, and a feature that you can’t miss, whether in a master bathroom or a half bathroom, is the toilet. For some, a toilet is just a toilet, but after years of innovation, there are now different types that come in various sizes, shapes, and functions. Before you choose any toilet you see, check out the most common toilet styles to get the best one for your home.

Different Types of Toilets

Two-Piece Toilet

This is one of the most common toilet types you’ll find in homes. It is called a two-piece because the tank and bowl are separated. It is more affordable and easier to fix or replace damaged parts.

One-Piece Toilet

It functions similarly to a two-piece toilet but the tank and bowl are combined, making it look sleek and seamless. The height of the bowl is typically lower than a two-piece, making it ideal for homes with children. It is also easier to install and clean but will cost more.

Wall-Mounted Toilet

This type is recommended for small bathrooms. Not only does it take up less space, but it looks great with the tank hidden inside the wall. It will just be expensive and difficult to install, probably requiring a full bathroom remodel since you will need to install the tank in the wall. Another disadvantage is you will need to hire plumbers to fix this type of toilet.

Smart Toilet

If you have a big budget, then you might want to go for a smart toilet. It comes with features that make it more functional and comfortable such as automatic flushers, heated seats, and a self-cleaning function. With these technological enhancements, this luxury toilet is going to be more expensive and will require a nearby electrical power source.

Important consideration:

Don’t forget to purchase a toilet paper holder toilet roll dispenser. The most common style is the horizontal frame that is mounted or recessed into a wall. For a different look, you can get a freestanding vertical pole, which can also hold several rolls so you don’t have to keep refilling.

Sink

You would think that it would be easier to choose a sink, but this is another bathroom features that come in different styles. Similar to the toilet, a sink is a fixture that you’ll find in different types of bathrooms - whether it’s a master bath or a powder room. It’s not limited to the bathroom as kitchens have sinks as well. 

While some homeowners don’t really give a lot of thought to their sinks, you may want to check out your options. So here are the common types of bathroom sinks that you can choose from.

Different Types of Sinks

Drop-in Sink

Also called self-rimming sinks, this is a popular type of sink that is usually installed into a vanity or countertop. It is easy to install, with lips or rim to keep it in place on the countertop. This sink comes in different shapes and materials, making it a stylish option that provides more storage.

Pedestal Sink

As its name suggests, this type of sink is placed on top of a pedestal. Aside from lifting the sink, the pedestal also covers the plumbing, fittings, and connection. This sink can be standalone and doesn’t need to be attached to a wall.

Wall-mounted Sink

If you don’t mind the exposed plumbing, a wall-mounted sink doesn’t take up much space because it doesn’t need a vanity or stand, making it suitable for small bathrooms. It is one of the most common and oldest designs, but still very functional and easy to install.

Important consideration:

Since wall-mounted sinks don’t have a base or countertop for support, it will rely on the wall to carry its weight. Make sure to hire a professional to install this type of sink to prevent damaging your bathroom wall.

Our Pick: Recommended Faucets Under $80

Vanity

A convenient and visually-appealing feature to have in your bathroom is a vanity. While it takes up space, a vanity provides storage space as well as a countertop area for different items and products. 

You can get a pre-made or custom vanity for your bathroom. Whichever one you choose, make sure to select on as soon as possible so you’ll get your vanity before the rest of the project is completed. 

Expert tip:
  • To increase storage space, you can do a floating vanity design. The bottom area will be available for boxes, baskets, and other products to store your bath products.
  • If you have the space for it, you can get a double vanity for extra space and an area for your personal items as well as not having to wait for your partner to start getting ready.

Storage

Aside from vanities, you can add extra shelves and cabinets for more storage space. These can be freestanding or wall-mounted and are usually made out of wood, teak, glass, ceramic, metal, or plastic. 

Important considerations:

  • When choosing the cabinets, don’t forget the knobs and handles for the cabinet doors. Even if it’s a small detail, it’s important to consider the design and functionality of the knob or handle.
  • If you want to install storage areas above, use open-shelving to avoid the difficulty of opening cabinet doors.

As mentioned, you can place shelves on top. Some of the common locations you can add shelves are above the vanity, toilet, or door. With floating cabinets and shelves, you can utilize the vertical space anywhere in the bathroom. 

Expert tip:
  • Take full advantage of your bathroom space by using corner shelves since these areas are usually unused.
  • Dual-purpose and hidden storage will go a long way for small bathrooms. One of the most popular options is a medicine cabinet, which is a mirror and cabinet in one.

Countertop

There are many materials for bathroom countertops that are available on the market. To narrow the list down, here are the most popular ones used for bathrooms:

Tile Countertop

One of the most commonly used materials for bathroom countertops is tile. It can be made out of porcelain, ceramic, or glass, and come in a variety of colors and styles. 

The cost range is very large for tile countertops. The material can range from less than $1 up to $200 for custom or artisan tiles. The installation of the standard tile, won’t be expensive, costing around $25 to $40 per square foot.

Pros

  • Quick to install
  • A wide range of design and color options
  • Highly customizable

Cons

  • May crack due to heavy impact
  • Grout lines may stain and fade

Laminate Countertop

A popular and affordable material for bathroom countertops is laminate. It is made out of plastic which is bonded to create a solid surface. This material used to be an unpopular option due to its appearance, but nowadays, it has frequent residential bathrooms as it can be made to look like wood, marble, granite, or stainless steel.

This countertop is recommended for those who are on a tight budget. This material costs between $10 to $65 per square foot. Laminate countertops are also quick to install, making it suitable for those who need to quickly finish their bathroom remodel.

Pros

  • Comes in a variety of colors, patterns, and textures
  • Affordable
  • Quick and easy to install
  • Can be prefabricated or custom-made
  • Resistant to stain and scratches

Cons

  • Loses its laminate over time
  • Difficult to DIY custom laminate countertops
  • Still considered a bargain material

Natural Stone

For those who are doing a high-scale bathroom remodel, one of the most popular materials to make the bathroom look luxurious is natural stone. There are many types of stone that can be used, such as marble, slate, granite, soapstone, and limestone. These can be installed as a thick solid slab or as tiles. This material is more expensive compared to others, ranging from $50 to $200 per square foot.

Pros

  • Seen as a luxurious material
  • Some stones produce a unique pattern
  • Some types can be stain and scratch-resistant

Cons

  • Requires regular maintenance and sealing
  • Some stones are porous which may stain easily
  • Some finishes may be prone to water and oil marks
  • More expensive than other countertop materials

Bathroom Surfaces

The bulk of your material needs will be for the flooring and walls. Similar to countertops, there are different materials you can use for your bathroom surfaces.

Tile Flooring and Wall

Tiles are commonly used in bathrooms, whether it be for the countertop, walls, or flooring. Some of the reasons for its popularity is that it is durable, easy to clean, and affordable. It doesn’t get damaged by moisture or humidity and is stain-resistant when sealed properly.

Expert tip:
  • To prevent slipping and getting injured, tiles with a matte finish, texture surface, glazing, or more grout lines will provide a better grip.
  • You can have different flooring materials for your main bathroom floor and shower. The same goes for your bathroom wall and shower wall.

Wooden Flooring

While it may be weird to have wood as a bathroom floor, this material can now be sealed to prevent moisture damage. Some homeowners prefer a hardwood floor to make it look seamless with the rest of their home.

Expert tip:
  • If you just want the wooden and rustic-look, you can now get porcelain tiles that look like wood. It will be easy to maintain and will have the same advantages you get from tile flooring.

Carpet Flooring

Another weird material for a bathroom floor is carpet. Imagine the dirt and stains from using a bathroom that may stick to the carpet, as well as the risk of mildew growing - who would want that? Surprisingly, some people prefer the carpet look and feel.

Source: Walmart

But if you’re thinking it’s the same carpet used in other rooms, then I’m glad to inform you that it’s not. No one wants to step on a wet carpet every time they go to the bathroom, that’s why the material used for the bathroom are resistant to stain, water, and mildew. It also comes with a backing to prevent water from getting into the padding.

Expert tip:
  • For easy cleaning and maintenance, there are carpet tiles, which are panels that can be removed easily.

Other Wall Options

Paint

Bathroom walls don’t always need to be tiled. You can use interior paint suited for bathrooms. These are made with additives to prevent mold and mildew. Due to these enhancements, it will be more expensive than regular paint.

Expert tip:
  • Since paint is porous, it may trap water. To prevent this, use paint with a semi-gloss or gloss finish to repel moisture.
Wallpaper

Another material you can use for bathroom walls is vinyl wallpaper. As long as your bathroom wall surface can accommodate peelable wallpaper, then this is a good and easy-to-install option.

Source: Pinterest

Expert tip:
  • Since this material can be reapplied multiple times, you can test a small area of your bathroom wall to see if it will stick or look good.
  • The patterns of the wallpaper can visually affect the size of the bathroom. Similar to clothes, a horizontal design can make it look wider while vertical patterns can make it feel taller.

Lighting

Lighting is often overlooked when remodeling a bathroom yet it is an important aspect that affects the aesthetic and functionality of the room. 

Expert tip:
  • Take full advantage of natural light if you can have windows to let it flood in.
  • Is the light too bright when you need to use the bathroom in the middle of the night? Consider dimmer switches so you can control the intensity and won’t get blinded coming from the dark.

Aside from single-source lighting, there are different lighting styles you can use to illuminate your bathroom. Here are some of our favorite bathroom lighting options:

Ceiling Lighting

Most bathrooms will at least have one type of lighting, and that’s a ceiling light. This is usually placed in the center to illuminate the entire room. It is mainly used for functionality than design, providing enough light to comfortably and safely use the bathroom. But nowadays, it can be used as a decoration, such as a small chandelier to increase the visual appeal of the room.

Wall Sconce

Ceiling lights are not enough to properly light the bathroom, especially the vanity area. That’s why sconces have become a popular lighting fixture installed beside the vanity. With this, it will be easier to shave or ensure one is applying makeup evenly. Aside from its functionality, it can also be used for ambient lighting.

Recessed Lighting

For a more stylish look, recessed lighting can be used for functional and ambient lighting. It is commonly installed in the ceiling, but it can also be used over shower stalls, above the tub, or along the vanity area.

Important consideration:

When sourcing materials for your bathroom, don’t forget about the light switch covers. It is a small detail that is also often overlooked but still has an impact on your overall bathroom's look.

Heating, Ventilation, and Cooling

Do you want to make your bathroom experience more comfortable? If it gets too cold, too warm, or too stuffy, there are some heating, ventilation, and cooling systems you can install to prevent these from happening.

Exhaust Fan

One of the biggest problems with bathrooms is moisture and humidity building up. Sometimes a window is not enough to vent the steam out. To vent moisture properly, you will need an exhaust fan.

Expert tip:
  • Let the fan run for half to one hour after you use the bathroom to properly vent out the remaining moisture.
  • You can camouflage the exhaust fan by getting one with a light. 

Bathroom Fan

Another type of fan you will need, especially if it gets too warm in your bathroom, is a bathroom fan. It cools down a bathroom by cycling out the warm air.

Electric Heater and Radiant-Heated floors

If you don’t want tiles because they can get cold, you can use underfloor heating. It can also be installed underneath wood and other flooring materials.

Furniture and Other Accessories

While some homeowners view the bathroom as a space where they just come and go, this doesn’t mean you can’t decorate it to make it more visually appealing or add technological features. 

Decor

Similar to other rooms in your home, you can also decorate the bathroom the same way. You can place some chairs, like the vanity area. It would also be nice to have candles, paintings, and other artworks. Nothing like relaxing in a tub surround by scented candles and beautiful pieces to look at.

Plants

A growing trend in the bathroom remodeling space a biophilic design. Integrating plants can make the space more relaxing as well as visually appealing. It can be as simple as adding potted plants to installing a green wall - you can have your own private oasis.

To find out more about what’s popular in bathroom remodeling, check out the top bathroom remodel trends of 2020.

Smart Bathrooms

Thanks to technology, we can now convert a bathroom into a smart one for a more functional and comfortable experience. Nowadays, bathrooms have become more convenient with enhancements like smart showers, mirrors, and toilets. With automatic faucets and dispensers, going contactless even decreases the spread of bacteria.

Our Pick: Recommended Smart Mirrors For Less Than $400

159 Ratings

Comes in two sizes

Hangs horizontally or vertically

Anti-fog

Dimmable LED light

Bluetooth speaker


97 Ratings

5 different sizes

Dimmable LED light

Demist and defogging

Weather forecast, temperature, and humidity display

Calendar, time, and date display

Aside from voice-activated features and automation, there’s more to modernizing bathrooms. By adding appliances such as warming drawers, sound systems, televisions, refrigerators, beverage dispensers, and more, a bathroom isn’t just a bathroom anymore - it is an entertainment, spa, and zen room all in one.

Most importantly…

After planning, preparing, or even sourcing the materials, fixtures, and accessories for your bathroom remodel, it would all go to waste if you don’t have the right contractor to do the job.

If you want to be able to find trusted and reliable professionals in your local area, try Networx. With this platform, you can easily and quickly compare quotes of licensed and insured contractors.

CAN'T FIND THE RIGHT CONTRACTOR?


Kenneth Wilson
October 26, 2020
Bathroom Remodeling, Remodeling

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done.