10 Spa-Like Bathroom Remodel Ideas, Whether You Have $500 to Spend or $25,000
Where there’s a will to paint over shower tile, there’s a way.
Updated Jan 5, 2024 12:25 PM
We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.
You haven’t heard what happiness sounds like until you listen to someone describing what it’s like to use their newly remodeled bathroom. “Every time I walk in, I feel like I’m in a dream,” a DIYer once told us. “There’s this peaceful moment when you walk in. Like: Oh, this makes sense!” described another. For some, creating the ultimate sanctuary is the goal; for others, it’s building a space that is easy to keep clean and organized. We’ve seen homeowners and designers go above and beyond to make their bathrooms special, whether that’s searching high and low for a transparent resin tub or installing a towel warmer to make bath time with a baby a little more pleasant. No matter how dated or quirky your bathroom is to begin with, the 10 bathroom remodel ideas ahead will get you one step closer to that pure-bliss feeling.
Save a Sad Shower-Tub Combo
Tubs are practical on so many levels, especially if you have little ones in the house. But when combined with a shower, the result often comes out looking like the “before” scenario above: minuscule and dingy. Investing in a graphic tile surround and a deep soaking tub can change all that. In this Los Angeles home, designer and architect Susan Nwankpa Gillespie covered the interior shower walls with a combination of two Zia Tile hues (Rouge and Casablanca) and clad the facade in amber zellige tile.
Carve Out a “Shower Room”
If a tub is just not your jam (or, like in Anastasia Casey’s case, it takes 40 minutes to fill up), use it as an opportunity to expand your shower zone. The Identité Collective founder built off the pipes that were already there and added a second showerhead by the glass-block window (where the tub used to be), as well as a wand, which comes in handy when the dog needs a scrub-down.
Paint Over Tile If You Don’t Have the Funds to Replace It…
Think of ugly, large-format tile as a blank canvas. At least, that’s what British designer Hannah Drakeford saw when she decided to apply two coats of V33 Renovation Floor and Stair Paint to her floor tile, laminate countertops, shower screen metalwork, and radiator. She then made it waterproof by adding one coat of Zinsser Bullseye 123.
DIYer Nicole Christopher took a similar approach in her tiny Vermont bathroom by using Benjamin Moore’s Atrium White inside the shower in the brand’s Bath and Spa finish and Vintage Vogue green for the paneling and built-ins surrounding it. Her whole project rang in under $500.
…Or Skim Coat Over It
Meet Leanne Ford’s quick fix for a dated bathroom. The DIY relies on SureCrete, a type of cement-based overlay, which can be applied directly onto an existing surface and made waterproof with a concrete sealer.
Push Your Vanity to the Limits
The pedestal sink was a strong giveaway to designers Alex Boudreau and Hayley Cavagnolo that this kids’ bathroom used to be a powder room. To make up for the major lack of storage, they scrapped it for a double vanity with open shelves and lots of lower cabinets painted in a creamy white and buttery apricot combo.
Invest in an Addition
By shaving off part of this Seattle home’s kitchen, the architects at Best Practice Architecture gained a 30-square-foot micro bathroom addition that could accommodate a Japanese soaking tub, called an ofuro. It acts as a threshold between the interior and the deck, with a folding window wall opening up to vistas of the cherry and maple trees outside.
Hide the Toilet
The toilet used to be the focal point of this New Jersey bathroom, but now it’s tucked away in a proper water closet with a pocket door that’s framed with wide slabs of Calacatta Fantastico marble.
In her new Tudor home, Casey designed a cavelike shower swathed in dark green soldier-stacked tile with matching grout. She insisted on a curbless layout so the experience of walking inside the cocooning area is 100 percent seamless.
Finesse the Details
Sometimes the best bathroom remodel ideas are the simplest. For this Spanish-style home, the trick was rounding out a vanity corner here, adding marble trim there, and spotlighting the existing sauna with a see-through door.
Flip Your Tile Orientation
Natalie Myers of Veneer Designs ditched the two individual vanities in this main bathroom and turned them into one unit. Then she swapped the shower and tub placement to optimize the layout and ensure the most frequented spot was bathed in natural light to really achieve that zen feel. By switching the horizontal tile into a vertical format on the wall, the room appears larger than it really is.