10 Top Bathroom Remodel Tips for the Fairfax County Homeowner

A side-by-side comparison of residential bathroom remodeling plans and the results of the completed bathroom remodel.

When you think of your bathroom, what comes to mind? Do you envision it as an oasis of calm where you go to unwind at the end of the day? Does it meet all your needs? Whether you need to adjust it for accessibility requirements or want a spa-like master bath, the space should also bring you joy. That can be possible with a professional Fairfax County bathroom remodel.

From getting ready to go to work to unwind from the day with a bubble bath or shower, your space should be tranquil and relaxing. Perhaps you were very involved with the building of your home and already have designed the perfect space. Or, maybe you're ready to invest in a bathroom remodel to create your ideal space.

Remodels can be hard on your time and budget. Yet, once the renovation is finished, the happiness you gain is more than worth it. When starting such big projects, it’s very important to stay on track and ensure the project does not get out of hand. Our Fairfax County Handyman team is here to help with that. To help you create your dream room without feeling overwhelmed, we’ve put together ten tips.

Keep reading to learn our insights about sticking to your budget, what fixtures you need in the space, what to consider when laying out the room, and how the pros at Mr. Handyman of Fairfax and Eastern Loudoun Counties can help bring your dream Fairfax County bathroom remodel to life.

1. Stay on Budget

It’s easy for the renovation to get out of hand and end up costing more than you anticipated if you don’t have a solid budget. Keep in mind that it’s important not just to set a budget but a realistic budget.

Thorough research is an excellent way to figure out what your ideal budget should be. Start by looking at:

Contractors and Labor Costs

The majority of costs that you will invest into the space are labor costs—especially depending on the efficiency and rates of the contractor company you go with. Do your research and get estimates from multiple handyman companies before deciding who to hire.

This research will also give you a sense of scale and cost for the bathroom remodel. Knowing how long the project might take will also give you an idea of how long the space will be out of commission.

Features and Materials Costs

While labor will be your biggest expense, the cost of materials you choose will also impact your overall budget. Research whether glass or ceramic tiles would fit better for your budget and how much your dream soaker tub costs. If you want to upgrade your bathtub, shower, or toilet, that will also factor into your renovation costs.

Additional Budgeting Factors

Labor and material costs will be the greatest impact on your budget, there are a few other questions to ask yourself that will affect how much you invest into your bathroom remodel:

  • Do you want to sell your home soon?
  • Do you want to install any luxury features?
  • What areas are absolutely essential?
  • What can you reasonably afford to invest?
  • Do you need to change the location of plumbed-in items?
  • How much can you afford to go over budget? (Always be prepared for emergencies or unforeseen expenses).

2. What Kind of Bathroom Are You Remodeling?

There are many styles of bathrooms found in Fairfax County homes. While it’s less likely you’ll be changing the type of room—although it’s common for some homeowners in Fairfax County to convert a powder room into a standard bathroom for guests—it’s helpful to know your options.

Standard Bathroom

Also known as a full bath, a standard layout includes at least one sink, toilet, bathtub, shower, or a hybrid of the two. Whether or not you have more than one full bath depends on how old your home is. Older homes in Fairfax County often only have one full bath meant to be shared by all family members and newer homes will generally have a master bathroom, one for your children, and one for guests. Standard bathrooms can be on any floor of your home, including the basement.

Half Bath or Powder Room

A powder room is smaller than a full bath and does not include a shower or bathtub. Adding a powder room to your home is a fantastic investment. It ensures you have a place where guests can go when you have friends over for dinner without having to be in your personal bathroom. Powder rooms also increase the resale value of your home.

Wet Bath

A wet bath has no separation between the shower and the rest of the bathroom. In a traditional setting, the shower is typically tucked away in a separate cubicle or has a partition that closes it off from the rest of the room. In a wet bath, everything is waterproofed, and there are no partitions. These bathrooms are sleek and modern in design and are also easier to keep clean since you don’t have to scrub stubborn soap scum from sliding glass doors.


An ensuite is also considered a full bath. However, the primary difference is that the ensuite connects to another room in your home. Generally, this is the master bedroom, but some ensuites actually connect two bedrooms. Ensuite bathrooms are typically larger than a full bath and may also include separate bathtub and shower features.

3. Choose Your Layout

Your layout might already work well for you and your family the way it is. If so, there will be no need to change it. This will save you time and money, as rearranging walls and plumbing fixtures will drive up the cost of a Fairfax County bathroom remodel.

However, if the current design doesn't work for you, you'll need to think about the layout. For instance, say you want to move your tub and toilet around to help make your space more accessible, or you’re converting a half-bath to a full-bath.

Start by considering the fixtures you need and what areas of the room you use the most. For example, you’ll need a toilet in your bathroom. Is this toilet positioned somewhere where you can easily and comfortably access it?

Also, where will your shower, bath, or hybrid of the two fit into the floor plan? Do you want them near the toilet or separated from it? Would you like to change your standard layout into a wet bath?

Lastly, consider sinks and storage. How many sinks do you want or need? Will your sinks be set into a vanity? Do you want to have cupboards and drawers? If you don’t have cabinets, what other storage options do you have?

5. Choose the Right Materials

Your bathroom is a busy area of your home. It receives a lot of traffic and use, especially if you only have the one room. Thus, it’s important to choose materials carefully. That said, aesthetic is also a consideration as you likely have a vision for what you want the room to look like. It's best to invest in quality materials that wear well over time.

6. Choose Your Tub or Shower, or Combination

Do you need, or want, a bathtub in your new bathroom? This has become a key question that Fairfax County homeowners should consider during a bathroom remodel. For some, a bathtub is key for enjoying a long soak after a hard day. However, many Americans prefer speed and ease and would prefer a walk-in shower.

Consider your needs. Are you a senior who may not be able to easily get in and out of a tub? In that case, perhaps a shower with a seated bench might be a better option for you. Or do you enjoy bubble baths? Perhaps you’d like a deeper bath for soaking.

Or, maybe you have small children and need a bathtub—or bathtub-shower hybrid—so they can bathe safely. Alternatively, perhaps your kids are all grown up and a shower is a must-have.

7. Prioritize Ventilation

Proper ventilation is key to preventing water damage from humidity and dampness. Moist environments can lead to stains, mold and wood rot. Generally, there are two kinds of ventilation:

Exhaust Fans

Exhaust fans are the most efficient means of reducing humidity in your bathroom. These fixtures should be a key consideration for your Fairfax County bathroom remodel. There are a wide variety of different exhaust fans to consider for your space:

  • Exterior exhaust fans
  • Inline exhaust fans
  • Ceiling-mounted exhaust fans
  • Wall-mounted exhaust fans
  • Exhaust fans with lights

Windows and Window Vents

Does your bathroom have a window that opens? Opening up your window while showering can help reduce humidity, and they’re a great option for many Fairfax County bathroom remodels. Some windows also have window vents, which always stay open to release humidity outdoors.

8. Consider Lighting

Light fixtures are an important part of your bathroom’s overall aesthetic. And, lighting is key for ensuring your bathroom remodel maintains functionality. There are two different kinds of lighting options for most Fairfax County bathroom remodels: natural and artificial.

Natural lighting is from a window or skylight. You can maximize this light source by installing a mirror opposite it. This will bounce more light into your bathroom and create a flattering effect when you look at your reflection.

There are many different types of artificial lighting that you can use in your Fairfax County bathroom remodel. A few options include:

  • Overhead lighting
  • Dimmer switch lighting
  • Lights on either side of your vanity
  • Chandeliers

Another consideration for your bathroom lighting is how warm you want the light to be. Would you prefer a cool tone or a warm tone? Also, how bright do you want your lights to be? If you use your bathroom to apply makeup or get ready in the morning, you may need brighter lighting. Alternatively, perhaps you want to create a relaxing ambiance with soft lights.

9. Indulge in a Luxury Feature

If your bathroom is your place to indulge in self-care and relax at the end of the day, then there are a few luxurious features you may want to consider installing during a Fairfax County bathroom remodel.

Heated Tile Floor

Imagine stepping out of a warm shower onto a wonderfully heated floor. This small touch can be so satisfying and incredibly luxurious—especially when the weather gets cool.

As an added bonus, heated floors are energy efficient. They help keep your home warm without having to turn your thermostat up—cutting energy costs.

Heated Towel Rack

Similar to how a heated floor can make your space feel extra indulgent, so can a heated towel rack. Picture drying off wrapped in a cozy, warm towel—as if it had just come out of the dryer.

Wall-Mounted Features

Many features can be wall-mounted. This creates a sleek, modern look while opening up the space. You can mount toilets, cabinets, and washbasins on the wall.

10. Plan for the Future

As you plan your Fairfax County bathroom remodel, keep in mind that the renovation will also add value to your home. A beautiful, functional, and modern space is a selling point for any property. It’s also worth considering how a future homeowner may make the most of your bathroom remodel. One pro tip is to paint in neutral colors, which tend to perform better during an open house.

Get Started on Your Fairfax County Bathroom Remodel Today!

Are you ready to start your bathroom remodel in Fairfax County? Once you’ve used our helpful tips to map out your renovation, be sure to give our expert contractors a call. We've helped numerous homeowners throughout the Fairfax and Eastern Loudoun Counties, including in Centreville, Leesburg and Reston.

To get started today, call Mr. Handyman of Fairfax and Eastern Loudoun Counties. Our professional, qualified technicians will be more than happy to help with all your home improvements.