Bathroom Components

Susanne Clemenz | Improvement Center Columnist | December 13, 2011

An outdated bathroom is a daily nuisance and a major deal-breaker in home sales. Homeowners who wait to remodel bathroom components for resale may feel they cheated themselves out of years of enjoyment.

Print out one or more copies of this checklist and mark from one to three stars by each item, depending on your priorities. Compare lists with your spouse or housemate, if you have one.

Expand room for new bathroom components

Completely gutting an existing bathroom may still leave a cramped space. Bump out an exterior wall. Steal space from a linen closet or adjacent room. Then select from this checklist.

The ceiling

  • Replace or repair if sagging, moldy, or unsightly
  • Add a skylight
  • Add a ventilator
  • Add a heat lamp
  • Raise the ceiling
  • Add decorative ceiling lights--fiber optic, neon, crystal--something mood-setting
  • Use wood, wood beams, tin, tile, murals, or other decorative finishes

Walls, windows, countertops

  • Use water-resistant materials such as ceramic or glass tile, marble, granite, etc. for walls countertops and showers
  • Explore attractive moisture-resistant thermoplastic or UPVC panels in plain colors, marble, wood and mosaic effects
  • Glass blocks and etched or stained glass provide privacy
  • Install a one or two-piece acrylic tub/shower enclosure
  • Consider garden, bow, hopper or other ventilating windows
  • Walls can be drywall, wood, marble, tile, or other options
  • Shop for decorative, roomy mirrors and medicine chests

Fixtures and appliances

  • Sinks can be decorative bowls on a countertop, built in to a countertop, wall mounted or pedestal-mounted
  • Choose low flow standard, wall-hung, or designer toilets
  • Bidet, or bidet toilet attachment or hand spray
  • Towel warmers with timers, free-standing or wall-mounted
  • Tubs--one piece with integral enclosure, free-standing, built in with a garden window deck, walk-in, soaking style, extra deep, jetted, and many other options
  • Showers have multiple and adjustable-height heads, low-flow features, self-heating pipes, touch-sensitive lighting, sound systems, and more
  • Install a jetted tub
  • Sauna, anyone?

Faucet and shower head choices

  • Replace standard faucets with beautiful sculptural sink, tub, and shower faucets
  • Install swivel faucet for sink or tub, perhaps with pull-out hand shower
  • Investigate rainfall or waterfall type faucets or shower head


  • Install exhaust fan
  • Replace mirror lights for sink and vanity
  • Add mood lighting
  • Add extra outlets
  • Instant hot water heaters are small and efficient

Water-resistant flooring

  • Use many of the materials considered for walls and bathing enclosures
  • Avoid wood and carpet because of potential leak and mold damage
  • Install sheet vinyl or floating wood laminate strips designed for wet areas

By considering all the components of your bathroom remodeling project first, you can come up with an integrated plan and an appropriate budget for your dream bathroom.