Modern Bathroom Blog

From design ideas to cleaning best practices, the Modern Bathroom Blog provides tips and tricks for creating or maintaining a beautiful bathroom.

5 Bathroom Trends To Avoid This Year


It’s easy to get caught up in the popularity of bathroom remodeling trends, especially when those trendy elements look so gorgeous in magazine photos. However, it’s important to remember that no one uses the bathrooms in those glossy photos in the same ways that you and your family use yours on a daily basis. Before those magazine photos are taken, the rooms are professionally lighted and perfectly accessorized. Those magazine bathrooms don’t need to be practical; they just need to look amazing for a few hours.

Your needs, however, are probably different. You want your remodeled bathroom to look beautiful, but you also need it to be practical for every member of your family who will be using it. There are plenty of remodeling trends that look fabulous in magazine photos but might not be right for you and your family members in real life. If practicality is important to your budget, here are five bathroom trends to avoid.

Trendy Sinks and Vanities

1. Vessel sinks: These focal elements can look magnificent in the right surroundings, such as in an extra-large bathroom or a fancy hotel restroom. However, they can be impractical for many home bathrooms. Their higher-than-usual faucets and taller-than-expected bowl sides have been known to splash unsuspecting patrons if the water pressure is too high, and no one likes to emerge from a bathroom looking splashed. A vessel sink can also be difficult for small children to reach. Plus, if the adults are not used to a bathroom sink being raised several inches, it’s easy to knock belongings into the bowls, possibly cracking the basins. Before you install a vessel sink, see a few models in use to be certain they’re right for your household.

2. Pedestal sinks: A pedestal sink is essentially a sink without a vanity. They consist of the sink basin and its matching stand, and they are usually made of porcelain or ceramic. Pedestal sinks can be lovely focal pieces in bathrooms, but remember that they do not provide storage space. If you are considering a pedestal sink because your powder room is small, that plan might backfire because you will need to add a cupboard or other type of storage area for toilet paper and other guest essentials. This could crowd your small bathroom and leave you and your guests feeling cramped and dissatisfied.

3. Floating vanities: Wall-mounted vanities or “floating” vanities are elevated off the floor and attached directly to the wall. They typically have clean, modern design lines, which can look fantastic in contemporary, streamlined bathrooms.

Floating vanities can be a blessing and a curse, depending on the ages of your family members. If you have small children who tend to routinely splash water out of the tub and all over the bathroom floor, a wall-mounted vanity can stay high and dry. However, if your family members are getting on in years and tend to drop their belongings, those items can roll or get kicked under a wall-mounted vanity.

Plus, floating vanities don’t often provide as much storage space as traditional vanities. If you opt for a floating vanity, see if the manufacturer offers a matching, wall-mounted storage unit. Finally, if you are considering removing a traditional vanity and replacing it with a wall-mounted unit, remember the previous vanity’s footprint. That floor space will become exposed and will need to have flooring added, which could be an added expense to your remodeling budget.

Dreary Colors

4. Gray walls with gray floors and white trim: This color combination is a polarizing palette — people either love it or they hate it. Gray on gray is popular in living rooms and family rooms but can make small rooms seem cold and dreary, especially if those small rooms are windowless bathrooms or rooms that have only a north-facing window. On a cold, winter morning, you typically want to feel warm and cozy, not drab and dreary. If you’re a fan of this gray-on-gray color combination, consider reserving it for a larger room that has more windows instead of your bathroom.

Extra-Large Bathtubs and Showers

5. Oversized tubs: Not everyone enjoys taking bubble baths. Plus, as home prices increase, many people look at the amount of floor space that an oversized tub or shower takes up and imagine all the other things they could do with that space, such as install a stackable washer and dryer. A giant tub may not be a great selling point if you’re looking to relocate in the next few years.

As you collect photos for your bathroom remodel inspiration board, be certain to take practicality into account. Visit a Modern Bathroom showroom in person and get a feel for how a vanity, sink, tub and shower might work together in the daily lives of your family members. Doing so could save you money and a few headaches in the long run.

How To Deep Clean Your Bathroom

Every room needs a deep cleaning once in a while. Nowhere is that truer than in the bathroom. It’s the most used room in the house, which means it can get unsanitary quickly. Plus, there is nothing better than enjoying the almost spa-like atmosphere that comes from a freshly cleaned bathroom.

If you’re wondering how to deep clean the bathroom, we’ll show you where to start.

1. Begin With the Clutter

Before really diving into cleaning, the first step is picking up all the items that get scattered across the bathroom counter over the course of day-to-day use. Make sure to clear shelves, the back of the toilet, and peek inside the shower to remove rarely used bottles. Clean these items as you put them away using antibacterial spray and a cloth.

If there are items that will remain on the counter or shelves — such as decor, your toothbrush holder, etc. — temporarily remove these from the bathroom not only so that you can clean them individually, but also so that spaces throughout the bathroom are clear and ready for cleansing.

2. Vacuum Everything

This is an essential step prior to mopping and scrubbing. Thoroughly vacuum the floor, and make sure to use dusting attachments to clean the tops of cabinets, get the cobwebs out of corners, etc. Removing as much dust and loose dirt as possible will make the next steps easier.

3. Clean Fixtures First

Before scrubbing shower walls or the countertop, start with the showerhead, shower curtain and faucets. It’s smart to do this step before cleaning shower walls and countertops so that you don’t have to clean descaling debris from freshly cleaned surfaces.

For the shower curtain, follow instructions on the tag. Many curtains can be washed in the washing machine. If your showerhead or faucets have scale, use a commercially prepared descaling solution to remove it. You may also need a toothbrush or toothpick to clean bits of lime from nozzles. Finally, use all-purpose cleaner to remove soap scum — and remove it with a microfiber cloth for a streak-free shine.

4. Clean the Toilet

Start with the bowl first. Using toilet bowl cleaner and a scrub brush, thoroughly clean inside the bowl. Make sure to scrub under the rim of the bowl to scrape any built-up lime that can block water from flowing into the bowl.

Then, use white vinegar and water or disinfectant spray to thoroughly clean the outside of the toilet, tank and base included. At the toilet’s base, check the covers over the bolts that hold the toilet to the floor. Remove these covers, if possible. You’ll be able to clean the grime that accumulates beneath them. That will eliminate the dark ring that so often forms around these covers.

5. Clean the Shower

There are lots of products you can use to clean a shower! If you have a fiberglass tub, rust and scale remover might be necessary to get rid of built-up stains. To remove soap scum, use an all-purpose cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and water. For grout, use a commercially prepared grout cleaner.

Whatever your cleaning product of choice, start by wetting the shower walls. Apply the cleaner, and let it sit according to the length of time specified on the package instructions. Then, using a brush, broom or abrasive sponge, give the walls a thorough scrub and rinse them. If needed, repeat this process to remove any last bits of grime.

For glass shower doors, use window cleaner or vinegar and water plus a squeegee. Scrub where needed to remove soap scum, then squeegee away moisture.

6. Ceilings and Walls Come Next

This isn’t a job that necessarily requires you to drag out a ladder. Instead, make it easier by using a sponge mop or flat cloth mop to reach the high spots. For this job, use vinegar and water or all-purpose cleaner (but make sure to avoid anything with bleach or chemicals that can damage paint).

Work in sections, using the mop to get each section damp before spritzing cleaner on it. Let the cleaner sit for a minute or two, then scrub. Just like how you would mop the floor, be sure to rinse the mop in clean water periodically so that you can mop loosened grime and cleaning solution.

7. Clean Your Sink and Counter

Commercially prepared pumice cleaners work great for the sink and counter. If you’d rather use a DIY product, make a paste with baking soda and water. Whichever option you choose, use a cloth to rub the cleaner over your countertop and sink basin. Pay special attention to the sink drain, which often builds up a layer of film after repeated use. When you’re finished scrubbing, use clean, damp cloths to wipe the cleaner.

8. Cabinets and Shelves

If you have hardwood cabinets, you may want to use oil soap or lemon oil to protect the wood against humidity. If those cabinets are particularly grimy, start with an all-purpose cleaner or water and vinegar before using oil. For painted cabinets, all-purpose cleaner will work just fine.

Spritz cabinets with your cleaning product of choice, but take care not to let moisture sit on their surfaces too long, since excess moisture can cause paint and finishes to separate from the wood. Wipe your cleaning product and repeat as necessary until cabinets and shelves are sparkling clean.

9. Deep Clean Your Floors

Cleaning in and of itself is a messy job. By now, your bathroom floors are probably thoroughly tracked. That’s why you should always save this part of the task for next to last. If you’re wondering how to deep clean your bathroom floor, you won’t need anything special for the job — just a mop and a bleach solution.

However, before mopping, the key to learning how to deep clean a bathroom floor is steam cleaning it. It’s a simple process. Just turn your shower on its warmest setting and let steam completely fill the room. Shut off the shower, close the bathroom door, and wait for 20 minutes while the steam penetrates grout and other nooks and crannies. After that, go in and mop the floor, then leave the bathroom door open and let the room fully air dry.

10. Final Step: Clean Your Mirror

After everything else you’ve done, your mirror likely has spots left from steam and other cleaning products. Once your bathroom is dry, use window cleaner on the mirror to remove spots and streaks.

That’s how to deep clean your bathroom! Once you’ve finished the mirror, feel free to decorate and return the items you removed from shelves and the countertop. Then, call it a day, kick back, and enjoy the fresh feeling that comes with a thoroughly cleaned bathroom.

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Eco-Friendly Bathroom Cleaning Tips

It’s not always easy to see how environmentally unfriendly a lot of modern cleaning products are. This is particularly true in the bathroom, where sanitation sometimes means using harsh or dangerous chemicals found in many of today’s bathroom cleaning products.

Fortunately, there are ways to go about eco-friendly bathroom cleaning. You’ll need some basic supplies — vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice being the most common. Using these ingredients and a few other items, we’ll show you how to clean your bathroom the eco-friendly way.

1. Reuse Newspapers

Tired of finding lint and fuzz on shiny surfaces after you’ve polished them with old rags? For many, the solution is using a microfiber cloth — but these are extremely bad for the environment because they shed tiny plastic particles that are too small for most filters to catch.

The eco-friendly solution? Use newspapers. Whether you’re cleaning bathroom mirrors, putting a shine on the toilet, or cleaning your shower’s glass door, newspapers provide a streak-free, fuzz-free finish every time. On top of that, you don’t have to worry so much about disposal; they’re easily recycled and biodegradable.

2. Streak-Free Glass Cleaners

Commercial glass cleaners contain harsh chemicals. Plus, they come in single-use plastic bottles that will make their way to the trash when you’re done with them. It might seem surprising, but there are several eco-friendly alternatives that are just as good as commercial glass cleaner.

Hot water is one. Use hot water to unstick even the toughest soap scum. White vinegar is a safe acid that you can use to get a streak-free and spot-free shine on glass. You can also brew black tea and put it in a spray bottle to clean mirrors and doors. Use any of these three solutions with the newspapers mentioned above to get spotless glass.

3. A New Kind of Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Commercially available toilet bowl cleaners rely on some seriously caustic chemicals to get your bowl sparkling clean. It’s tempting to use bleach instead, but bleach is also bad for the environment — and if you aren’t careful, it can be dangerous. If bleach mixes with ammonia (which is a component of urine), it creates a toxic gas that can leave you feeling sick or dizzy.

The solution? Use baking soda and vinegar. Per one toilet, mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda into a 1/2 cup of vinegar. Then, pour the mixture around the inside of the toilet bowl. Let it sit and do its work for between 20 and 30 minutes, then scrub.

Be aware that plain vinegar without the baking soda will also work to clean and sanitize your toilet. That said, if you have spots that need to be removed, baking soda makes a perfect abrasive to help you scrub them.

4. Have a Grimy Sink or Bathtub?

Then try a lemon and some salt. This is a surprisingly easy sustainable bathroom cleaning solution. Just cut the lemon in half, sprinkle salt on the cut halves, and scrub. The acid in the lemon juice helps erode tough grime, lime and scale — and the salt acts like a bit of pumice to further improve cleaning power. Best of all, you’ll enjoy a lemon-fresh scent.

Have stinky drains? Squeeze a bit of the lemon juice down the drain when you’ve finished scrubbing to help freshen it.

5. DIY All-Purpose Cleaner

There are a lot of commercial cleaners available, many containing harsh or caustic chemicals. There are also some eco-friendly options that are commercially available, but these can get quite expensive. It’s surprising how easy it is to make an inexpensive all-purpose cleaner.

Simply mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of lemon juice with a cup of vinegar and a cup of water. Place the mixture in a spray bottle and use it on bathroom walls, shower tiles, counters and anywhere else that needs cleaning. The acids in the lemon juice and vinegar will loosen grime so you can wipe it away.

6. DIY Lime and Scale Remover

This is another product that is commercially available — and not all that good for the environment. The good news is, white vinegar does the same job as lime and scale remover.

When you need to unclog a faucet or showerhead, soak it in pure vinegar to dissolve scale. For tough scale buildup, soak for 30 minutes at a time, then use an old toothbrush and a toothpick to scrub scale away and clean nozzles. If any remains, repeat this process until the scale is gone.

7. DIY Drain Cleaners

Commercially available drain cleaners are among the most dangerous — and least environmentally friendly — products that you can buy. They’re full of caustic substances designed to dissolve clogs. However, there are a couple ways to unclog drains without relying on these types of cleaners.

Boiling water is one method — though it isn’t recommended for toilets since it can crack the porcelain. Heat water to a boil, then pour it down a sink or shower drain to melt built-up solids and flush them down the drain.

If boiling water doesn’t work, pour about 3/4 cup baking soda down the drain, and follow that with a 1/2 cup of vinegar. Plug the drain if possible, and wait 30 minutes to let the mixture take effect. The fizzing, bubbling action will loosen clogs. You can then pour boiling water down the drain to flush away the clogs.

8. Beat Mold and Mildew With Something Other Than Bleach

As mentioned, bleach isn’t good for the environment. It’s also harsh on your hands and skin (which means you need gloves to use it), it smells bad, and it can bleach colors. For years, it’s also been touted as the only way to kill and remove mold and mildew. There are other solutions, however.

First, make sure your bathroom is well-ventilated. Moisture allows mold and mildew to grow, especially humidity after showers. Keeping the bathroom as dry as possible will curb mold and mildew growth.

If you still have an issue, then use vinegar. It’s acidic enough to kill mold and mildew on surfaces. Vinegar also helps loosen mold and mildew so you can scrub away the grime.

9. Give Stainless Steel a Polish

Once you’ve used vinegar or lemon juice to clean faucets and other metal fixtures, you’ll probably want to give them a good shine. There are, of course, commercially available stainless steel polishes — but olive oil is eco-friendly and you probably already have some in your pantry. The key with this tip is to only use a little. Use a cloth or paper towel to rub a drop or two over stainless steel for a gleaming finish.

It’s surprising how easy it is to make environmentally friendly bathroom cleaning supplies. Try some of these tips for a sparkling clean bathroom that doesn’t hurt the environment. If you want to make eco-friendly bathroom upgrades, shop Modern Bathroom’s selection of environmentally friendly fixtures.

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Bathroom Design Trends For 2021

Wondering about the latest bathroom design trends for 2021? This year, there are a lot of styles and pieces to choose from, including sumptuous spa tubs, innovative light fixtures and gorgeous wall graphics. Many of this year's biggest trends veer away from the traditional and lean toward the creative and bold. There is something out there for everyone, and treating your bathroom to a refresh could not only make it more inviting but could increase your home’s value, too. Ready to learn more about bathroom remodel ideas for 2021? Here are some of our favorites.

1. Make a Statement With a Chandelier

That’s right — chandeliers are a major trend in bathroom design right now. In traditional bathrooms, you could go for an elegant piece in brass, a crystal chandelier or a fixture that fits with the classic theme. Other bathroom designs let you get a bit more eclectic. Whatever your style, choose a chandelier that stands out, draws the eye and adds a bit of romance to the room.

2. Updated Subway Tile

White, rectangular subway tile has been popular for a long time — and with good reason, since it gives bathrooms a clean, bright look. Today, however, that trend is finally starting to shift. What’s replacing it? Colorful subway tile — especially deep, dreamy blues. The smooth finish still gives your bathroom a clean, fresh look, but the color allows you to infuse the room with more personality. Another variation on this trend is subway tile that comes in shapes other than rectangular. In other words, you can find ceramic tiles with the same glossy finish as subway tiles, but they come instead as squares, hexagons or another shape. These tiles say “modern” without losing the timeless feel of subway tiles.

3. Graphic Statement Walls

Wallpaper is coming back in a big way — and there are several ways to use it. The first is more formal, to give your bathroom a polished and posh look. You can find wallpaper with geometric or stripe patterns and luxurious colors to line the walls and create an elegant space. The other big way in which wallpaper is trending is as a statement wall. Choose one wall to feature a bold floral print, a jungle pattern or a seascape. It doesn’t even have to be the entire wall. Do half tiled and half wallpapered on your statement wall if you think a fully papered wall might look too heavy.

4. Create an Indoor-Outdoor Connection

This is a bathroom design trend that is getting bigger and bigger as time goes by — and there are lots of ways to create an indoor-outdoor connection. The first and most obvious is to redesign your bathroom with big windows or sliding doors to let in the light and the view. However, this may not be for everyone — especially for privacy-loving people or for homes situated in view of the neighbors. Other ways to make that indoor-outdoor connection include shower windows or windows with blinds so you can let in more light and color. Skylights can help, too, if natural sunlight is your goal. Last of all, if you can’t build a connection to the outside, try bringing the outdoors inside with potted plants and bits of greenery to make your bathroom feel a little more outdoorsy and serene.

5. Classic Patterns — With a Twist

Classic patterns such as checkerboard tiles and Greek keys are still stylish, but the latest bathroom trends for 2021 are calling for these themes with a twist. For instance, checkerboards might be made more intricate with mosaics that create color blocks. Greek key designs could be placed just haphazardly enough to give them that shabby-chic look that makes the walls or shower more interesting. Spice things up with color or design your own take on the pattern! Let your personality shine.

6. Include Natural Elements in Your Design

This trend is another way to bring more nature into your bathroom. Add some natural earth tones and features with a stone bathtub or shower, or go classic with a marble countertop. Natural wood is another great way to go — look for burled vanities, bamboo, or other beautiful wood grains and shades. Natural elements can also be included in the decor. A bowl of pretty stones, a stool shaped like a stump — anything that includes that fresh-from-nature look can help create a spa-like, tranquil atmosphere.

7. Tubs Take Center Stage

Tubs are starting to stand in the limelight as luxurious bathroom focal points. To get this look, you’ll need a brag-worthy tub. Look for stone tubs, beautiful marble tubs, tubs with unusual shapes, standalone tubs or a retro, claw-foot tub. Be sure to plan plumbing carefully with this trend. For instance, if you’re installing a claw-foot tub, you may want to leave plumbing exposed and beautify it with brass. Roman tubs or tubs in modern styles may call for cleverly hidden fixtures.

8. Fantastical Shower Heads

The days of the traditional shower head are long gone. Nowadays, people are looking to liven things up with luxury — and where shower heads are concerned, that can mean a lot of things. Consider a rainfall shower head if you enjoy that dancing-in-the-rain feeling. Shower jets can give you a 360-degree clean. Standing spouts, removable sprayers, shower heads with ambient lighting or speakers — the sky is the limit, so choose something that you love to look at and use.

9. Increase Ambiance With Mood Lighting

One of the biggest trends this year is creative bathroom lighting — and that goes well beyond the previously mentioned chandeliers. People are loving the look of mirrors with backlighting or rim lighting. Another great way to enhance the mood is to install under-cabinet lighting. This draws the eye to your vanity, creating a beautiful focal point and a perfectly moody atmosphere. Create lighted alcoves, install floor lights or come up with another creative idea to make your bathroom stand out.

10. Add Richness With Color

As for color trends in 2021, bathrooms are starting to veer away from whites and neutral palettes (which are still popular, even if waning a tad). Today, it’s all about rich earthy and jewel tones. This means bold, forest-inspired greens, deep blues, turquoise, terra cotta and more. Use these bold shades to create a warm, comforting atmosphere or a fresh, nature-inspired look.

11. Look for Unusual Metal Finishes

Recently, we’ve seen a rise in finishes other than brushed nickel for faucets, shower heads and other essential bathroom hardware. First it was brass, then gold and rose gold. Matte black fixtures have started to trend, and now you can even find some fixtures with gorgeous copper finishes. There are no rules here apart from the idea that whatever metal you choose, match them throughout. In other words, if you go with brass, then make sure your sink faucet, shower plumbing, drawer pulls and towel racks are all the same shade. These are some of the hottest bathroom 2021 trends out there — but there are lots more to look at, too. The main thing for this year is to make sure that whatever you do, make it creative and make it your own. In the market for modern bathroom products to complete your design? Be sure to shop the selection at Modern Bathroom!

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How To Decorate A Plain Bathroom Mirror

Your bathroom mirror may need a little something more to really make a statement. Learning how to decorate a plain bathroom mirror will help give your bathroom a fresh, upscale look. There are lots of ways to do it, too. Below, we’ll show you a variety of ideas. 

How to Dress Up a Bathroom Mirror

1. Choose an Unusual Shape

Rather than figuring out how to spruce up a bathroom mirror, you can always replace it — except, this idea skips replacing mirrors with the usual rectangular shapes featured in most bathrooms.

Instead of a rectangle, go with something different, such as a circular mirror or an arched one. You can even find mirrors in unusual artistic shapes that defy geometric naming conventions. Since this is the focal point of your bathroom, unusual shapes are a great way to add interest.

2. Get Creative With Lighting

This idea has little to do with the mirror itself and a lot to do with how to decorate a bathroom mirror — using lighting. One popular upgrade is to install flexible strip lighting behind the mirror to give it a silhouette, or along the edges of the mirror to give it an outline. You can also replace light fixtures above or alongside the mirror for something bold and interesting.

If you have a his-and-hers sink with matching mirrors, try wall sconces flanking the mirrors and in between them. Depending on your bathroom’s style, you could go for modern sconces or something old-fashioned that recreates the look of candlelight.

3. Make Your Mirror More Useful

If you’ve ever squinted into the mirror at 6 a.m. for close-up grooming, then you can attest: Two views are needed. You need that closeup look that a stand mirror provides, and the wide-angle view to check your overall look in the bathroom mirror. Stand mirrors clutter the countertop, though. One trend that is taking off these days? Wall mounting small convex mirrors on retractable arms alongside your regular mirror. Choose one with a decorative frame and arm to not only update the look of your mirror, but to get the magnification needed without the clutter on your countertop.

4. Create a Corner Mirror

In small bathrooms where the vanity is in the corner, the mirror by necessity needs to hang in the corner, too. That can look awkward. However, you can capitalize on the odd placement with this idea: Get two matching mirrors — rectangular, arched or another shape as long as they have at least one straight edge — and hang them so that they wrap around the corner. This is the perfect way to turn an awkward corner mirror into an eclectic statement.

5. Build a Frame

Wondering how to update a large bathroom mirror? The bigger the mirror, the more likely it is to be frameless because the frames can be expensive. That said, you can DIY a frame relatively easily. Visit a home improvement store and choose some trim that matches the look you’re trying to achieve, then cut it, paint or finish it, and hang it around the mirror like a picture frame.

6. Use Craft Supplies

With enough craft supplies, the sky is the limit. Use acrylic craft paints for a decorative border around the edges of the mirror. One of the great parts about this method is that when you get tired of these decorations, you can scrub them and paint new ones. Or with faux flowers, vines and small hooks, you can wreathe your mirror in greenery and blooms. Vinyl stickers can be used as decorations, too.

Decorating a plain bathroom mirror is easy and there are countless options to help you get the look you want. If you’d like to replace the mirror before decorating, visit Modern Bathroom for a broad selection of sizes and styles.

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