This article was crafted with the help of Rob Jackson of Servant Remodeling

Any remodeling project—large or small—can be an overwhelming prospect for a homeowner. Remodeling a bathroom can be especially difficult to plan because there are so many options and choices to make. Although there are probably more websites and television shows focusing on home remodeling projects than ever before, it can be difficult to come up with viable, investment-smart ideas for your own project. To help sort through the wealth of available information, we spoke to Rob Jackson, president of Servant Remodeling in Dallas, Texas, to discuss some of his favorite remodeling ideas and best pieces of advice.

Decide Why You’re Remodeling

One of Rob’s first pieces of advice to homeowners considering a bathroom remodeling project is to decide how long you plan to stay in the home. “If you’re planning on selling the home soon, you would approach it a lot differently than if you’re going to stay in a home for a while,” says Rob. For a remodel specifically being done to put the house on the market, Rob recommends devoting most of the budget to upgraded countertops, frameless glass shower enclosures, and new paint or wallpaper removal. If you plan to stay in the house for several years, try to fit new or custom cabinets and tile work into the project’s budget. These two elements carry an increased cost, but they can also add functionality and character to the space.

Maximize Space

One of the biggest challenges of a bathroom remodel is space, says Rob. “Bathrooms are generally smaller in older homes,” he says, “and most homeowners today want a separate tub and shower, dual sinks, and even a separate commode area.” All of those options might not be possible for your space, so think about the areas you use the most. Big bathtubs are lovely, but if the shower gets daily use—especially daily use by multiple people—in your home, consider enlarging that space in favor of installing the biggest soaking tub you can find. Closets, particularly those in master bathrooms, can also present challenges when deciding how to maximize usable space. Rob notes that people never seem to have enough closet space, so that may be an additional consideration to work into your plans. As the homeowner, however, you’ll ultimately have to decide how you’d like to divide up the space you have.

Choose Timeless Finishes

Although the decorative elements of any remodeling project are somewhat subject to what’s in style, Rob remarks that certain metal finishes tend to date a room more than almost any other part of the project. Today’s popular oil-rubbed bronze finish will likely go the way of the polished brass and antique brass finishes of the 1980s and 1990s, but finishes such as chrome and brushed nickel are much less likely to look dated in a few years. “Finishes are the biggest things that affect the look and age of a bathroom,” says Rob. Ultimately, you should choose what you like—especially if you plan to stay in your home for several years—but do consider more classic finishes that will carry well through the decades.

Consider These Favorite Ideas

Out of the many bathroom remodeling projects he’s participated in, Rob says that his favorite ideas center around the use of space and tile work. In master bathrooms, he likes to enlarge the shower space to give homeowners room where they need it the most. Instead of a small shower and an enormous tub deck surrounding a comparatively small bathtub, a larger shower enclosure and smaller tub area is usually a more effective use of space. Quality tile work can also upgrade the bathroom and add visual interest. Rob adds, “You can do a lot with tile to add more character and design.” Instead of cultured marble and a plastic shower pan, for example, tile is a durable, attractive alternative to dated materials that may not hold up as well in the long run.

Trying to find ideas for your bathroom remodeling project doesn’t have to be overwhelming. In addition to using web sources and asking friends and family members for their thoughts, many home remodeling contractors employ designers who can be tremendous resources during the planning process. As a final piece of advice to homeowners, Rob recommends working with one of those designers—that person can help you think through the project as a whole and help keep you from focusing on too many small, cosmetic details. “A lot of people can get focused on what they’re going to put in the bathroom,” says Rob, “but you want an overall plan and design for the space that’s well thought out and well planned so that when it’s all done, you don’t have any regrets.” As you brainstorm, keep in mind how long you plan to stay in your home, and use that time frame as a guide to determine how you’ll divide the budget. In the end, you’ll have a beautiful bathroom remodeled to suit your needs.

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This spotlight article was crafted by Servant Remodeling, a Bathroom & Kitchen Remodeling Best Pick in Dallas. While we strive to provide relevant information to all homeowners, some of the material we publish may not pertain to every area. Please contact your local Best Pick companies for any further area-specific advice.