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Bathroom Design Process - Meet Our Friends

Step 3: Meet Our Friends in Your Area

Choosing the right design professionals to help advise, plan and execute your bath renovation is a crucial element of the design process. The number and type of professionals you need may vary depending on the scope of your project and your desire to be involved, but if you decide you need assistance, any vendor you consider should be evaluated thoroughly.

Why Work with Professionals?

The typical bath is not only one of the smallest rooms in your home, but also endures the hardships of high traffic. The bath requires more frequent updates than other rooms in the home.

If your home has just one bath, putting it out of commission for even a day during a renovation project can be a difficult prospect. In this room, more than any other, it’s crucial that the work be done right and completed on time. For this reason, you may decide that bringing in an experienced eye that does these types of projects every day is the right course of action. However, before you hire a professional, take a look at the considerations and tips below for guidance on choosing a capable, designer to deliver on your dream.

Bath Designer

Hiring a qualified bath designer can be crucial to the success of your renovation. A good designer can take the guesswork out of your entire project and dive deep into your needs and style preferences to create the perfect solution for your family’s needs. Bath designers can help you focus on the layout and functionality of your room, while providing you with guidance on aesthetic design, storage solutions, decorative enhancements and more. You want to maximize every square inch of your bath, ensuring that everything fits together perfectly and is designed to function properly. Before meeting with a potential designer, think about what you want to accomplish with your bath renovation. Be prepared to provide ideas, preferences, functional needs and other information. This will enable the designer to better understand your vision. Some ideas to help you get started:

  • Illustrate your design preferences by gathering images from magazines or searching online for bathroom ideas that you love. Choose those that reflect your personal style, show areas of function that would meet your family’s needs, etc.
  • Get inspired with the KraftMaid Inspiration Guide.
  • For more ideas, visit your local KraftMaid retailer.
  • Take pictures of your existing bath and highlight things that you currently like about it.
  • Have your bath measured and note specific areas for plumbing and electric.
  • Make a preliminary list of your storage needs, what you store today, and a wish list for tomorrow.
  • Consider the size of your family and how many people will be using the bath.

When meeting with a potential designer, be sure the following topics are covered:

  • Be sure that the designer precisely measures your bath. In order for them to design appropriately, they will need exact measurements.
  • Ask them about any local building codes that may affect your bath and home.
  • Communicate all of your wants and needs for your future bath.
  • Ask to see their portfolio and get at least three or four recent references. Give them a call.
  • Set priorities early to determine how much you can invest in your bath project.

In the end, choose the bath designer that you feel most comfortable with - one who seems to best understand your style and your vision.

Interior Designer

Interior designers and decorators draw upon many disciplines to enhance the form, function, and aesthetics of interior spaces. However, they are primarily focused on decoration. They’re trained to help you define your style and select materials, styles and colors as well as the appropriate appliances and accessories to complement your overall look.

Interior designers and decorators also study the scale and proportion of your room so they can recommend furniture and bathroom cabinetry that complements the size of your room. They are experts in space planning, and can make recommendations so your space is functional, maximizing the square footage and enabling good traffic flow. Most importantly, in partnership with your bath designer, they will help to ensure that your space is designed to meet your family’s day-to-day needs.

As with your bath designer, be sure to come to your first meeting with a potential interior designer prepared to share your ideas and inspiration. Make a point of reviewing their portfolio and obtain references. Discuss fee structures, timelines, and overall expectations to make sure you are in alignment. If all else is in line, ask yourself if you feel comfortable with and trust the person you’re about to hire.


A beautiful, well-planned bath design will look mediocre at best if your cabinets and accents have been poorly installed. Everything from inaccurate measurements to a bad molding cut can result in unfavorable results and added costs to your bathroom renovation. KraftMaid recommends hiring a professional to install your bathroom cabinetry. An industry professional, such as a cabinet contractor or general contractor who specializes in cabinet installation, can help you easily achieve your design vision while saving you time, money and frustration.

In addition to installing your KraftMaid cabinets, a professional installer will provide concise measurements, verify that all materials have arrived in good condition and clean up and remove your existing bathroom cabinetry after the project is completed. They may even be able to support modifications on plumbing and other existing electrical connections.

When meeting with a potential bathroom cabinetry installer, you’ll want to:

  • Review their portfolio and ask for a list of references to call.
  • Agree on expectations and a plan of execution before signing anything.
  • Ask how many bathroom cabinet installation projects they have completed in the past 12 months.
  • Discuss the time span for the project, their availability for meetings and all fees that are associated with their services.
  • Ask your cabinet installer to do final measurements on the space and sign off on them.
  • Ask if they will install bath fixtures and modify plumbing.
  • Discuss daily cleanup and removal of old bath cabinets.
  • Ask if the sinks will be working during the installation process.
  • Request copies of insurance certificates showing the installer’s coverage. Some states also require licensing and registration. Check the expiration dates on these forms to make sure they are current.
  • Ask about local building codes and if you will need a permit for your project.

Once satisfied with their responses, ask yourself if you feel comfortable with the installer.

Finding a Professional

  • Ask friends and family for referrals, particularly those whose homes you find appealing.
  • Contact a local KraftMaid retailer.
  • Search the internet for qualified professionals.
    • Visit online home and lifestyle magazines and visit their web sites.
  • Contact the local branch of professional organizations:
    • Interior Designers
      • ASID – American Society of Interior Designers
      • IIDA – International Interior Design Association
      • IFDA – International Furnishings and Design Association
      • NARI – National Association of Remodeling Industry
      • Bath Designers and Installers
      • NKBA – National Kitchen & Bath Association. This association certifies kitchen and bath designers with the credentials, CKD or CBD.
      • NARI – National Association of Remodeling Industry

Final Note

Before your project starts, make sure you schedule a meeting with all of your professional partners. Include everyone who is involved with your project, such as your designer, installer, interior designer, general contractor, etc. This is the time to set ground rules, encourage teamwork and agree on expectations of the plan. Ideally, a bath designer and interior designer should work collaboratively.