The materials you select for your bathroom renovation are nearly as critical as the design-build renovation team you choose to work with. But as you work with an interior designer on your project, what bathroom renovation materials will give you the best results? In this article, we’ll help you answer exactly that!

What to look for when selecting bathroom renovation materials

You demand a lot from your bathroom – other than a kitchen renovation – your bathroom may be the most used space in your home during your waking hours. Your bathroom usage often includes your guests, friends, and extended family. It’s paramount that the space and bathroom renovation be able to stand up to frequent use and high-traffic volumes. That’s why when renovating your bathroom we often look for and recommend materials that:

  • Are of high quality and durability to be able to stand up to constant dampness, being splashed, drying, and frequent use
  • Maintain a balance between a sense of luxury and practicality without being fragile or delicate
Blend and mix bathroom renovation materials such as paint colours, glass, chrome, black powder coated accessories and accents, shapes, and custom tile for a truly unique, stylish bathroom renovation

So, with those criteria in mind, we also look to ensure that the style of your bathroom will stand the test of time. When making bathroom renovation materials selections we will recommend choices:

  • For fixed or expensive elements – like a custom tile backsplash or title surround, vanity, cabinets, bathtub, or custom-tiled showers to err on the side of more classic or timeless approaches in design
  • For elements more easily changed – like wall colours or wallpaper, mirrors, lighting, and accessories. Lean into trendy design choices for these if that’s where your heart goes!

As mentioned in our interior design secrets article, we will look to deploy an interior design style that blends different patterns, textures, materials – and even design styles – in a harmonious way. And, of course, we also work your bathroom’s design, material selection, and functional form into your budget.

The role your budget plays in your bathroom renovation materials selection

When selecting and budgeting bathroom renovation materials, the bathroom type - ensuite, primary, guest, powder room, or two-, three-, four-, or five-piece should all factor into materials and budget decisions

Easily one of the top factors in bathroom renovation materials selection is your budget. We can work with budgets of most sizes – and can help you prioritize areas of splurge or saving – which results in a bathroom renovation that satisfies your family’s needs while giving you some of your “nice-to-have” items.

Some of our top recommendations for investing a greater portion of your budget include determining what’s going to be most used. Invest more in storage solutions, cabinetry, and vanity space for your primary bathroom or ensuite bathroom. For much less frequently used bathrooms in your home – like a guest bathroom or powder room – you can be bold with design choices, or the materials selected don’t need to be as durable (but still be of quality) giving you access to a wider range of options.

Bathroom renovation materials – cabinetry and shelving selection

It almost goes without saying that storage in a bathroom renovation (or any type of renovation) is often overlooked. While it’s not necessarily visible all of the time, it’s an important aspect of ensuring your bathroom is functional.

Boost your cabinets space and storage options with bathroom renovation elements that span the full width of the space - vertically, horizontally, or both

However, the viewpoints on storage can be different – knowing your personal style and how you will use storage in your bathroom can go a long way. Are you more of a visible storage individual, with more things on your counter space versus tucked away in a compartment?

  • There are many creative storage options like built-in medicine cabinets, and cabinets or shelves over the toilet
  • When you work with an interior designer, you may be pleasantly surprised as to how they can design a room to use nearly every square inch of space – that old corner that collects dust? Transform it into a custom-built closet!
  • With custom cabinetry, you have the option for a matching built-in linen tower, which is very popular and provide lots of “hidden” storage
  • Large U-shaped drawers in the lower section of your vanity help maximize usable space better than cabinets with doors under the sink
  • Consider the counter space itself – for a primary bathroom it’s best to avoid pedestal sinks and when possible, opt for dual vanities if there is space, especially in your ensuite (his/hers)

With interior design services, your bathroom renovation cabinetry options are nearly limitless.

Bathroom renovation materials for countertops

Similar to your kitchen renovation, we will often recommend granite or quartz as the bathroom renovation material for your countertops. Each is highly durable, works well in spaces with frequent humidity changes, and is easy to keep clean. Both countertop materials come in a fascinating array of colours, styles, and patterns – and an interior designer can help you select the perfect option for you.

All of the standard countertop material selections apply for your bathroom renovation - marble, granite, quartz

If your budget allows it, we can discuss higher-end materials such as marble. It’s not that marble is significantly superior to other materials, but some people prefer and want to have marble used as part of their bathroom renovation. In any situation, we always recommend considering things like ROI and home resale value versus your enjoyment of the space as part of any decision.

Other tips we offer for selecting bathroom countertop materials are:

  • If you’re a bit flexible with countertop style and pattern options, countertop remnants are a great way to get a deal on a more expensive material
  • Carrying the countertop into a tall backsplash provides durability and will give your bathroom renovation a modern, clean, and sophisticated look 

Bathroom renovation materials – flooring options

It’s usually one of the first questions we are asked: Do you renovate bathrooms with heated floors? The answer is yes, of course!

It can seem nearly vital to a Winnipeg bathroom renovation to heat the floors. It’s especially important to consider heated floors if you’re using a tile or stone for flooring. If you are opting for stone or tile flooring as part of your bathroom renovation materials selection

  • It is usually the most durable for long-term investment, however, is usually on the higher end of the price scale
  • We recommend in-floor heating for tile and stone use which will increase the cost of this option even further

We shouldn’t diminish the popularity of luxury vinyl tile as a bathroom renovation material flooring option for the following reasons:

  • There is a plethora of colours, styles, and patterns and many mimic a similar look or design of much more expensive tiles 
  • Selecting luxury vinyl as your bathroom renovation flooring material is often one of the more cost-effective choices
  • But just because it’s cost-effective – it’s also durable, can give off a high-quality look, and most are waterproof

Whatever flooring material is selected for your bathroom renovation, we’ll help you find something that stands up to thousands of steps over time.

Bathroom renovation materials – custom tile options and patterns

Custom tile work, including a shower soap niche is an impactful way to create additional design interest in your bathroom renovation

Custom tile work is a Hammerdown specialty, often making us stand above the competition. Throughout our years of experience we’ve created many custom-tiled walk-in showers or bathtub surrounds that rival high-end spas or resorts. Imagine having that feeling in your ensuite bathroom, in your home, that you can enjoy anytime!

When selecting materials for your custom tiling we always put style and durability first. However, we typically will show you a wide range of options, and help you narrow down what you like the best. Materials include things like standard stone-based finishes like marble or ceramic, metal or metallic finishes, or glass tile options.

Some of our custom tile design tips include:

  • Adding accent tile in a niche, “framed” accent or statement piece on only parts of your shower wall is an effective way to use more expensive tile sparingly
  • More intricate patterns will cost more to install so it’s better bang for your budget to use them in high-impact areas of your bathroom renovation
  • Larger format tiles are great for showers as there are fewer grout lines – and this can help you keep your shower clean more easily
  • Don’t be afraid to mix multiple types of tile in one room, it’s all about proper mixing of the colour palette and scale of the patterns

When it comes to installing custom tile showers, your bathroom renovation materials make a massive difference, which is why we use superior products. Nearly all of our bathroom renovation projects use Schluter System shower waterproofing products. We are also different than most home renovation specialists as we use acrylic or epoxy grouts. Acrylic grout does not shrink, crack, or discolour, and it doesn’t require sealing.

With an interior designer working alongside you for custom tile selection, your bathroom renovation project will turn into a work of art. The additional visual appeal will have you loving your renovation for years to come.

Bathroom renovation materials – lighting options

Like the other spaces in your home – lighting your bathroom renovation is critical. As part of the process, you should balance the different types of lighting – task, display, ambient – with any natural lighting that enters the space. 

Lighting options that match your faucets, bathtub fixtures, and shower frame

While you might not think that you need many different light sources as part of your bathroom renovation, since the space is usually smaller – it’s the opposite. No one wants to get ready for their day in a bathroom that is too dark to see!

Besides balancing different light sources and ensuring there is enough light in the space, some other lighting options for your bathroom renovation include:

  • Adding a pot light over a shower or tub will provide much greater visibility (and safety) and can also be used to highlight new tile and makes the space feel larger
  • Sconces on the sides of your mirror and vanity are perfect for doing make-up or skincare (or anything in the mirror). The additional light source also helps make the view more flattering and easier to work with
  • The design of your bathroom lighting can also be a statement – with a dimmable chandelier above your bathtub that shows the luxuriousness of your space
  • Don’t forget about details like under-cabinet lighting or providing a softer automatic lighting option for night use – which can also increase safety
  • The type of bathroom renovation you’re doing is also an important factor – for example, in powder rooms, dimmer lighting can enhance parts of the design and lend a moody, restaurant or high-end hotel vibe.

Sink, faucets, bathtub, shower kit, toilet and accessory selection

Mix and match bathroom renovation materials for your sink, faucets, bathtub, shower kit, toilet and accessory selection

You can mix metals and other types of materials in the bathroom too. However, make sure the material undertones complement each other and the rest of the elements in the space and that there is the right proportion of each used. Some popular choices are

  • Brass, rose gold, and black (matte or gloss) shower kit finishes that match the faucet
  • Modern or trendier design options for towel racks, cabinetry handles, and the rest of the wall-mounted bathroom accessories
  • Explore different materials for your sink(s) and bathtubs such as iron, glass, or other materials that your interior designer can introduce to you

What are other bathroom renovation materials to consider?

The artwork in your bathroom can be a great way to add personality, flair, or colour in a way that is easily updated. We also feel that your linens or towels shouldn’t be underestimated. With your newly renovated bathroom, you’ll want your linens to feel fresh, new, and luxurious to ensure it maintains the experience. When shopping for new linens, find options that match or complement the colour palette used for your bathroom renovation.

How we help guide your selection process

At Hammerdown, we’re bathroom design-build renovation specialists – and our team has the expertise in-house to take your renovation from start to finish. That includes all aspects of your bathroom renovation including planning the layout, designing the space, pulling permits, demolition of your old bathroom, and completing the transformation of the space with our construction team. 

Specifically, when it comes to bathroom renovation materials, our interior design team works with you to select the perfect materials, at the right price, that are durable, high-quality, and meet your design aesthetic.

What if you have a special bathroom renovation material request?

If you have your mind (and heart) set on a specific renovation material – just talk to us! We’re here to help you get what you want from your home. We’ll do our best to help you source the material, and of course, take care of the logistics and installation.

We work with you to select your bathroom renovation materials!

In this article, we’ve just begun to scratch the surface – let us take the stress and strain of decisions off your plate. We can guide your entire renovation process – our interior designers and design-build team are incredibly knowledgeable – to help make this as fun and smooth a project as possible.

Contact us and request your interior design consultation, or book your meeting to discuss your bathroom renovation directly on our website.