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Choosing the Best Bathroom Designs – 10,000 of Our Followers Voted What They Would Pick

We polled 10,000 followers about every bathroom remodel decision. These answers surprised us! Plus, tons of the best bathroom design insight.

A few days ago, Robert and I started the process of making some tough decisions for the master bathroom renovation. You know… the room that’s currently ripped to shreds thanks to the 100 gallons of water that poured into our house from the attic?

Yeah, that one.

Anyways, we always knew when the time came to renovate our bathroom that we would have to make some tough decisions.

It’s small. I’m talking at least half the size of the master bath in our last house.

One of the things we’ve always wanted to do is change what is currently our shower into a water closet to separate the toilet from the rest of the bathroom and put a larger shower in the main part of the space. (Because we’re very close in our marriage but not that close, if you know what I mean.)

But then, that would mean sacrificing double sinks for a single sink. And that started the debate of “Would completely changing the plumbing layout really be worth the extra expense?”

So then that kicked off a fun game of “Would You Rather?” in my Instagram Stories. (We all need 100,000 friends to help us make big house renovation decisions, don’t you think? It’s dang hard!)

We polled our Instagram followers (0ver 10,000 people voted!) about what they would choose for themselves in a bathroom design and we were completely surprised by some of the answers! Enough so that we have changed a lot of our original bathroom design plan.

If you’re ever planning a bathroom renovation yourself, maybe these answers will help you in your decisions too.

Bathroom Design Debates – You Voted and Had the BEST Advice!

double sink vs toilet closet in a bathroom

Lisa Staton Design | Cari Berg Interior Design

If you could only pick one…

1. Double Sinks vs Toilet Closet

The Vote: 60% Double Sinks – 40% Toilet Closet

WINNER: Double Sinks

Reader Insight:

“My husband and I are close enough that we don’t mind having a toilet in the main part of the bathroom, but I CANNOT share a sink with him when we’re trying to get ready in the morning. That’s a deal breaker.” – Ellen

“It’s a huge turn off to me when I walk into a nice bathroom but see a toilet in the middle of the room. I’d rather it be hidden, and it makes it easier for two people to share a master bathroom.” – Jennifer

tub shower combo vs large shower in a bathroom

Micasa Revista | Mandarina Studio

Which would you pick?

2. Tub Shower Combo vs Shower, No Tub

The Vote: 39% Tub/Shower Combo – 61% Shower, No Tub

WINNER: Shower Only, No Tub

Reader Insight:

“I have to have at least one tub somewhere in the house even if it’s not in the main bathroom, especially with kids. But only for kids. I personally don’t take baths frequently so I don’t miss having a tub.” – Joy

“If there’s absolutely no space for one, definitely no tub. The tub/shower combo thing is a freaking pain to keep clean all the time. Showers are way less maintenance. Seems like way less people take baths nowadays than they used to anyway.” – Alex

“If you’re going for luxury, you need a tub for sure. Maybe even a vintage clawfoot style one with a shower above if you don’t like the more modern looking tub/showers? Those seem to add more charm.” – Becca

large shower vs double sink in a bathroom

Jennifer Muirhead Interiors | Made by Carli

If you could only pick one…

3. Large Shower vs Double Sinks

The Vote: 39% Large Shower – 61% Double Sinks

WINNER: Double Sinks

Reader Insight:

“We had our bathroom remodeled two years ago with a large shower because I thought it would be soooo great to have and make our bathroom really feel more upscale. I absolutely hate it. Showers are cold in that large space and I dread it. They look nice but in actuality, they’re not worth it. I’d rather use that wasted space for more sink room.” – Jackie

“I’ll totally share a sink with my husband if it means I can have a really nice big shower!!! Plus, I feel like large showers do better for resale. At least that’s the case for me if I were looking at buying a house.” – Melissa

enclosed shower room vs glass shower in a bathroom

Katie Martinez Design | Casey Keasler

Which would you pick?

4. Closed Shower Room vs Glass or Open Shower

The Vote: 52% Closed Shower Room – 48% Glass / Open Shower

WINNER: Closed Shower Room

Reader Insight:

“Cleaning large glass shower doors is paaaaaiiiiiin! Mine always look awful because they’re such a chore to do.” – Tammy

“We stayed in a VRBO once with a big open shower and I thought it would be so amazing. Water got all over the place and it felt like showering in a hospital. Just cold and blah. I couldn’t wait to get the heck out of there. It’ll be a miracle if that open shower doesn’t cause some kind of water damage.” – Bailey

“We put in an enclosed shower room and I will never go back. It’s like showering in a warm, cozy blanket of steam. Ahhhh love it.” – Lisa

large shower vs linen cabinet in a bathroom

1st Dibs | Rosa Beltran Design

If you could only pick one…

5. Large Shower vs Linen Cabinet

The Vote: 45% Large Shower – 55% Linen Cabinet

WINNER: Linen Cabinet

Reader Insight:

“Any time you can get MORE storage in a bathroom, just do it!” – Leah

“Large showers are the most ridiculous waste of space. It serves absolutely no purpose but to take up room. Storage!!!” – Allie

“I will FIGHT someone to have a big shower. If I need a vanity AND a linen closet, I have too much stuff and need to purge. But I’m more of a minimalist so maybe that’s not the norm.” – Crystal

scalloped backsplash vs sink ledge backsplash in a bathroom

Jean Stoffer Design | Atlanta Homes

Which would you choose?

6. Scallop Backsplash vs Sink Ledge Backsplash

The Vote: 27% Scallop Backsplash – 73% Sink Ledge

WINNER: Sink Ledge

Reader Insight:

“I can see that sink ledge being a big clutter collector. If it’s not there my husband and I aren’t tempted to put stuff on it.” – Megan

“That scallop backsplash is gorrrrrrgggggggg! But I think the ledge is more practical.” – Krista

airy bathroom vs moody bathroom

Architectural Digest | Architectural Digest

Which would you pick?

7. Airy Bathroom vs Moody Bathroom

The Vote: 92% Airy vs 8% Moody

WINNER: Airy Bathroom

Reader Insight:

“I want my bathroom to feel peaceful and lots of white feels peaceful.” – Emily

“White = spa.” – Carole

“Black would show dust eeeeeeverywhere!!!!!” – Annie

rug vs no rug in a bathroom

Sloane Studio Interiors | Marie Flanigan Interiors

Which would you pick?

8. Rug vs No Rug

The Vote: 66% Rug vs 34% No Rug

WINNER: Rug

Reader Insight:

“Why put down all that pretty tile just to cover it up with a rug?” – Mandi

“My mother slipped and fell on a bathroom rug once and broke her wrist. They’re a hazard!” – Audrey

“Vintage rugs in bathrooms!!! I love them!!!” – Caroline

“I always have a rug… it’s nice having something warm under your feet while you’re getting ready. And I have a bad back, so standing on a little extra cushion on a rug helps when I’m standing at the vanity doing makeup/hair.” – Vanessa

“Heated floors!!!” – Cindy

sconce lights vs pendant lights in a bathroom

Kate Marker Interiors

Which would you pick?

9. Sconce Vanity Lights vs Pendant Vanity Lights

The Vote: 58% Sconce Lights – 42% Pendant Lights

WINNER: Sconce Lights

Reader Insight:

“When I’m putting on makeup, I want light hitting my face from both sides instead of up above. Overhead lights create weird shadows and I can’t see what I’m doing as well.” – Miranda

“I think it depends on if you want modern or traditional. Pendants seem more funky and sconces are nice but more ‘expected’.” – Paige

brass fixtures vs black fixtures in a bathroom

Jenni Kayne | My Domaine

Which would you pick?

10. Brass Fixtures vs Black Fixtures

The Vote: 46% Brass Fixtures vs 54% Black Fixtures

WINNER: Black Fixtures

Reader Insight:

“Neither! Where’s the brushed nickel?” – Lindsay

“We have black fixtures and apparently hard water… it makes me crazy that you can see white spots on the drain stopper in the sink and bathtub. Something to think about if you have hard water where you live.” – Lisa

“Black says farmhouse to me. Brass says traditional. Depends on the vibe.” – Tasha

“Brass adds a little warmth I think. Makes neutral not seem so cold.” – Reya

“Do both!” – Mary Beth

built in linen cabinet vs freestanding vintage linen cabinet in a bathroom

HGTV | Country Living Magazine

Which would you pick?

11. Built-In Linen Cabinet vs Freestanding Vintage Cabinet

The Vote: 53% Built-In vs 47% Freestanding Vintage

WINNER: Built-In

Reader Insight:

“Ohhhhh that’s hard! Only thing I can say is vintage furniture can smell weird sometimes. I don’t want my towels smelling old and musty.” – Tracy

“The built-in seems more practical. I worry what the humidity in a bathroom could do to a vintage piece of furniture. It’s beautiful though.” – Makenzie

colorful tiles vs neutral tiles in a bathroom

Interior Blooms Design Co. | Amber Interiors

Which would you pick?

12. Color vs Neutral

The Vote: 35% Color vs 65% Neutral

WINNER: Neutral

Reader Insight:

“Neutral is more timeless. You’d be less likely to regret it later.” – Kirsten

“I looooove that green! Depends on your personality. If you’re a bright, colorful person, have a bright, colorful bathroom.” – Amber

large mirror vs double mirrors in a bathroom

Apartment Therapy | Architectural Digest 

Which would you pick?

13. One Large Mirror vs Double Mirrors

The Vote: 42% One Large Mirror – 58% Double Mirrors

WINNER: Double Mirrors

Reader Insight:

“Large mirrors seem builder grade-ish.” – Myra

“Large mirror makes the room feel bigger.” – Tammy

patterned tile vs simple tile in a bathroom

House Beautiful | The Lifestyled Co

Which would you pick?

14. Patterned Tile Floor vs Simple Tile Floor

The Vote: 41% Patterned Tile vs 59% Simple Tile

WINNER: Simple Tile

Reader Insight:

“Patterned tile can date a bathroom really fast. I’m already looking at patterned tile these days and thinking, ‘That’s very 2015.'” – Sean

“I just like big tile because it’s fewer grout lines to clean.” – Alisha

“Patterned helps hide dirt.” – Sharon

wall tile vs wall millwork in a bathroom

Studio McGee | Studio McGee

Which would you pick?

15. Wall Tile vs Wall Millwork

The Vote: 58% Wall Tile – 42% Wall Millwork

WINNER: Wall Tile

Reader Insight:

“Wall tile is so much easier to keep clean and fresh looking.” – Megan

“Millwork would probably be less expensive if budget is a concern. But still pretty!” – Michelle

wood vanity vs painted vanity in a bathroom

Chris Loves Julia | Studio McGee

Which would you pick?

16. Wood Vanity vs Painted Vanity

The Vote: 39% Wood Vanity vs 61% Painted Vanity

WINNER: Painted Vanity

Reader Insight:

“I knew wood cabinets would make a comeback one day. Seems like it’s happening a lot more lately, especially vanities that look more like furniture.” – Sarah

“I just voted painted because that blue is amazing!” – Jen

“Ohh both are so beautiful don’t make us choose!!” – Vanessa

What are you thoughts?! If you have any experience with any of these in a renovation, tell us everything! Once the big decisions are finally in place, we can start choosing finishes, and really… that’s the actual fun part.

Anyways, I hope this helped! I learned a lot from y’all, and I hope this gave you some guidance too!

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20 Comments

  1. We have done 2 bathrooms in the 12 years we’ve lived in our house. One of the bathrooms took 5+ years 4 different sets of contractors (don’t ask).
    I thought I would like more modern look with clean lines, and I’m not all all a modern person. Now that bathroom has a more traditional coastal farmhouse vibe. Not kitschy farmhouse, so it should be easy to change out.
    In our en suite bathroom we have painted real shiplap, and some stained wood. We used white subway tile in both bathrooms for our tub shower combo in the kids bathroom and in the walk in shower in our bathroom. We also used the same grey tile on the floors in both bathrooms, just run a different way to give variety.
    I will never- EVER use tile in a bathroom again. I have arthritis issues and other auto immune issues and cleaning the tile is a nightmare.
    We have an 8 ft long double vanity in the boys bathroom but a single, more furniture looking vanity in our bathroom because that is all we had room for and we seldom have to compete for use. I so enjoy the way both bathrooms finally turned out but again tile is not my friend. I think I would go for a solid slab surround for bath and shower areas next time and maybe luxury vinyl planks or linoleum for the floors.

    Good luck Lauren, continued prayers for you and Robert as you make decisions. It’ll be fun to see how it all comes together.

  2. We put in a larger than average shower and added an extra shower head on the opposite side. I really like that. It’s enclosed with three tiled walls and the door is frosted glass. Easy to keep clean. We also have an overhead light in the shower. I like all of these features. I don’t think a tub is necessary since you have one in the house. The hardest decision is between those double sinks and a water closet. Is there no way to have both?

  3. What a timely and thought provoking post! I’m about to to redo my master bath and this has confirmed some of my thoughts and made me put off a few decisions! A few things aren’t issues because I’m widowed and don’t have to share anything!

  4. Such a fun post. We’re in the same boat right now with choices on a new build. Very helpful. Can’t wait to see what you do with your bathroom.

  5. Currently collecting things to redo our Master and I am mixing metals- brushed gold sconces, mirror trim, and cabinet pulls…..brushed nickel faucets for shower, tub and sinks……
    Deciding on cabinet color- down to two really dark/ navy blue choices- large floor tiles(12×18) to lessen grout lines for maintenance purposes…so this article was perfectly timed! Thanks!