How To Remodel an Old Bathroom To Look Contemporary

Modern bathroom with glass shower and double vanity.

Whether you live in a cottage, a traditional house, a farmhouse, or something else built decades ago, remodeling your bathrooms gives you the opportunity to create a contemporary space in your home. Whether you want a blended contemporary look that works with the rest of your house, or you wish to have a bathroom that adds an interesting juxtaposition to the rest of your home’s design, you have many options to choose from.

How Much Does a Contemporary Bathroom Remodel Cost?

The cost of remodeling a bathroom varies widely based on factors such as the size of the bathroom, the quality of materials used, and the extent of the changes made. On average, a bathroom remodel can cost anywhere from $6,000 to $15,000 for a basic update with mid-range materials, according to HomeAdvisor. However, for a comprehensive remodel using high-end materials, costs can escalate to $25,000 or more. It’s important to set a budget early in the planning process and allocate extra funds for unexpected expenses, as renovations often uncover additional issues once the work begins.

Contemporary bathrooms may be a bit more expensive if you use lots of glass, new lighting fixtures, and stainless steel, but your bathroom remodeling contractor should be able to give you a good idea of the cost up front.

Fixtures Influence Cost and Design

Modern fixtures can significantly change the look and functionality of a bathroom. Options like wall-mounted toilets, streamlined sink designs, and large, frameless shower enclosures are popular in contemporary bathroom design. When choosing fixtures, consider water efficiency to reduce future utility costs. The EPA reports that fixtures with the WaterSense label can save a home approximately 700 gallons of water yearly, which translates into significant savings on your water bill.

Floor Materials: Wood, Tile, Stone and More

Flooring is a key element that can define the look and feel of your newly remodeled bathroom. Porcelain and ceramic tiles are popular choices due to their durability and water resistance. They come in a vast range of styles, from large format tiles that offer a minimalistic look to intricate patterns that mimic natural stone or hardwood. Recent advancements have also brought waterproof laminate and luxury vinyl tile (LVT) into the spotlight. These materials offer the appearance of wood or stone but at a lower cost and with greater resistance to bathroom humidity and spills.

Tiles and Backsplashes

Tiling plays a pivotal role in bathroom aesthetics. For a contemporary style, many homeowners opt for subtle, neutral-colored tiles like grey, white, or beige. However, adding an accent wall with bold colored tiles or interesting patterns can create a focal point. Glass tiles offer a modern touch and can reflect light, making a small bathroom appear larger. When selecting grout, minimal contrast with the tile color can produce a clean, seamless appearance.

Lighting and Ventilation

Adequate lighting and ventilation are essential for a modern bathroom. Recessed lighting can provide a clean look, while pendant lights or a chandelier can add a touch of luxury. Consider installing a dimmer switch to adjust the lighting based on the time of day or mood. Proper ventilation is critical to prevent mold growth and maintain air quality. The latest ventilation fans are quieter and more efficient, and some come with features like humidity sensors and integrated LED lights. If your bathroom is facing a street or sidewalk, you may want to consider having a window tint company add film to your bathroom windows for additional privacy while also allowing natural light into the bathroom.

Smart Bathroom Technology – Worth it?

To truly modernize a bathroom, consider incorporating smart technology. Digital showers allow temperature and flow control, smart mirrors can display weather and news, and high-tech toilets offer features like self-cleaning or heated seats. Smart faucets can help conserve water by regulating flow and temperature. These gadgets not only enhance the bathroom’s functionality but also add a futuristic edge to the space.

How Long Does a Contemporary Bathroom Remodel Take?

The duration of a bathroom remodel depends on the scope of the project. A complete overhaul typically takes anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association. This timeline can extend if custom elements are involved or if unexpected structural issues are discovered during the renovation. Planning for a realistic timeframe and having temporary solutions for bathroom needs during the remodel is crucial.

Hiring a Professional vs. DIY

Deciding whether to hire professionals or undertake a DIY remodel depends on the complexity of the project and your skills. Major structural changes, plumbing, and electrical work typically require professional expertise to ensure safety and compliance with building codes. Smaller projects like painting, installing hardware, or updating fixtures might be manageable on a DIY basis. Bear in mind that a professional will have your bathroom ready to go much more quickly than if you DIY the project – you may be chipping away at your bathroom for six months on your own.

Remodeling an old bathroom to look contemporary involves a mix of aesthetics, functionality, and technology. By setting a clear budget, choosing the right materials, and planning the project timeline carefully, you can transform an outdated bathroom into a modern, efficient space. Whether you decide to hire professionals or do some of the work yourself, the end result should be a bathroom that not only looks beautiful but also adds value to your home. With the right approach, you can enjoy the process of turning your old bathroom into a stylish and contemporary retreat.


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