Design Inspo

How To Pick a Master Bathroom Layout and Floor Plan

Creating a new primary bathroom can help update your home and even make it more marketable for resale. Find out the perfect master bathroom layouts.

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The bathroom you knew as a child has grown up right along with you. Now that you’re an adult and designing your very own bathroom floor plan, you’ve got more options (and a better sense of style) than you thought possible. Endless possibilities are great for designing a bathroom you love, but they can make it challenging to narrow down your options. 

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As the adage goes, kitchens and bathrooms sell a home, so when selecting your bathroom design, resale should be a consideration (only if you’re thinking this might not be your forever home). Below, we’ll show you the most popular bathroom ideas, including layout options and extra nice-to-haves that just make sense. We’ll also give you a few tips for avoiding common bathroom remodel mishaps (if you’re renovating).

It’s time to put on your decisive interior design hat and create an updated bathroom that looks great and flows with the rest of your home design! 

The Bathroom Basics

At the risk of sounding elementary, every master bath will have three basic elements: a tub or shower, a toilet, and a sink. Once you’ve decided where these elements will be placed, you can consider add-ons or customizations (AKA all the things that scream luxury).

As you peruse bathroom design ideas in your favorite interior design magazines or online, you’ll notice some standard floor plans are universally accepted. 

The Three-In-a-Row

Efficiency and cost savings are the hallmarks of the three-in-a-row bathroom design, which features all three basic elements of bathroom design against one wall and in a row. Typically, you’ll have a tub and/or shower on one end of the room, followed by a toilet and then the sink. 

Although this design doesn’t have much of a wow factor, it’s popular for a reason: it’s cost-effective because the plumbing is all on one side (who would have known?!). It’s arguably the best use of what is often a really small space

There are a few variations you can map out by still using a three-in-a-row design. Depending on your total square footage, you might elect to place a wall between the toilet and sink, making a water closet area that includes the shower/tub combo and toilet. On the other hand, you could close off the shower behind a wall and leave the sink and toilet separate. 

Opposite Wall Full Baths

More space means you can make the primary bathroom more, well, spacious — and who wouldn’t want that? To create an open bathroom feel, additional plumbing is likely required. An open-ish bathroom floor plan has one of the three basic elements on one wall (like the shower and/or tub). The sink and toilet will be on the other, leaving more room for those luxe vanity stools you saved to your mood board

Since elements are on both sides of the bathroom, consider using a pocket door, a space-saving (and very charming) hack that eliminates space taken up by an opened door in the bathroom. That can leave enough room on either side of the door for shelving or artwork. 

The opposite wall full bath is also an option for housing a separate shower and soaking tub. The shower and tub can be placed against one wall with a double vanity and toilet on the opposite side. 

Dream Layout Additions

When the number of square feet is not an issue, it’s time to design a modern bathroom with aesthetically pleasing (and practical) features. Layouts for large bathrooms can quickly ramp up your cost, typically because you’ll need plumbing fixtures on multiple walls.

However, the functionality of these bathrooms makes them worth the money.

Freestanding Tubs

Clawfoot tubs or soaking tubs are an elegant and completely swoon-worthy investment that homeowners are smart to use. Not only do they look great, but they add value to your bathroom design. Garden tubs and jacuzzi tubs are also choices that improve the resale value of your home and offer a fancy alternative to simply showering. 

If you dream of purchasing and restoring an antique claw foot tub (sign us up), factor in additional expenses like maintenance and repair. Additionally, antique clawfoot tubs can weigh up to 400 pounds. No matter how committed you are to arm day at the gym, you’ll likely need professional movers for this one. Your back will thank you later.

Glass Showers

A separate shower is the most common plan you’ll find in bathrooms. For added privacy (and contemporary coastal flair), go for tinted glass in blues and greens. Seeded glass doors look like bubbles for a Little Mermaid vibe we cannot get enough of (no matter how old we get). 

If natural light and (relatively) wide open spaces are what you crave, try a walk-in shower with no door to instantly make your bathroom space feel even bigger. Frameless showers make the room seem brighter but can lack the insulating powers of a framed shower. 

Water Closets

An ensuite primary bathroom that doesn’t have a water closet is almost becoming unheard of. Also, if you’re sitting here wondering what a water closet is, we’ll explain (hint: it’s not exactly what it sounds like). A water closet is a separate closet-like room for the toilet; it’s a very European trend that has become even more popular in America. 

Water closets offer a level of privacy that is important for a primary bathroom shared by two or more people. Adding one as part of a bathroom renovation is easier than you think. If you have the space for it, you’ll really only need to put up drywall in order to create that level of privacy. 

We still have a few tricks (or features) up our sleeve that will make your bathroom feel updated and current.

Bathroom Updates

Let’s be honest; certain design features make a bathroom look dated. Pastel-colored tile walls, bulky medicine cabinets, padded toilet seats (yikes), and rusty faucets can become their own unintended focal points. We’re here to steer you away from this direction!

The good news is updating your bathroom might be as simple as swapping out your builder-grade light fixtures with a modern chandelier or pendant lighting.

Here are five small swaps that will instantly turn back the clock on your master bath. 

1. Lose the Large Mirror

Large picture mirrors are standard issues for virtually all bathrooms. The use of large mirrors helps make small bathrooms look bigger, but they also completely eliminate a custom look of a bathroom if it takes up too much space. Removing a large bathroom mirror isn’t as tricky as it looks; this is a DIY project you can tackle in a single weekend. 

In its place, opt for two large rectangular or oval mirrors. Believe it or not, this small change can make your old bathroom look like an entirely new bathroom. Plus, it gives you an excuse to get creative with sourcing for your space.

2. Upgrade the Lighting

Most bathroom lighting is overhead, which makes sense considering there are lots of water features — but you still have the chance to swap out vanity lighting or other decorative lighting. Upgrading the lighting is an easy and cost-effective way to give your bathroom the facelift it (likely) needs.

Try swapping out your old vanity light for frosted modern globes to give it an elevated feel. Pair it with gold-plated light fixtures to replace your standard silver-plated ones to finish the room off. 

3. Take Down the Bathroom Fixtures

Bathroom towel racks and toilet paper holders can make your space look outdated, especially if they aren’t in good repair (i.e., the finish is coming off or they have stubborn water spots). Remove and replace them, or forgo them altogether in lieu of free-standing fixtures that add character and can be easily relocated to better accommodate your space. 

4. Ditch Dated Bathroom Decor

Even though you grew up with furry toilet seat covers and matching rugs, they may not (okay, definitely not) be the best fit in your primary bathroom. If you absolutely love them, use them (we won’t stop you!!), but for an updated take, skip toilet seat coverings and opt for toilet lids with updated hardware. Ensure your bathroom rugs are practical and don’t interfere with doors as they open or close — otherwise you’ll end up with a dragging rug. 

5. Take Down the Dreary Wallpaper (and Refresh It)

Wallpaper can be a seriously stylish tool when used in the right space, but if your bathroom wallpaper is circa the 1990s or older, it’s probably time to give your bathroom walls a refresh. Remove the paper and replace it with your favorite paint color or another wallpaper with an updated design that showcases your personality. 

Creating the Bathroom of Your Dreams

Creating a primary bathroom from scratch or as part of a remodel is exciting, but it can also feel overwhelming with so many options. Let Spoak help! Browse the product discovery feed, our continually renewing feed of new things, ideas, and inspiration for making your home your very own. Your primary bath will be so inviting that you’ll want to spend all day there. 


What To Know Before Buying That Antique Clawfoot Tub | Southern Living

Solved! What Is a Water Closet? | Bob Villa 

How to Remove a Bathroom Mirror | The Spruce

These Are The 2 Rooms That Really Sell Homes | Forbes

Spoak’s design tools make it easy to map out your plans, explore different options, and create the bathroom you love. Become a member today.

Date Posted
April 16, 2023



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