14 Must-Have Bathroom Items [The Complete Checklist]

Ah, the bathroom. Necessary, functional, sometimes luxurious, it may be the smallest room in your house, but it's one we can't live without. So what can we find in the bathroom? What are the must-have items for your bathroom?

bathroom with two round mirrors and two wash basins, 14 Must-Have Bathroom Items [The Complete Checklist]The must-have items, from basics to beyond, are as follows:

  • Toilet
  • Shower
  • Sink (or sinks)
  • Vanity (and Mirror)
  • Tub
  • Lighting and Fixtures
  • Toilet Paper Holder
  • Towel Bars
  • Robe Hook
  • Shower Curtain
  • Towels
  • Rug
  • Storage Accessories
  • Wall Decor


Now that we have the list let's take a closer look at what makes a bathroom the amazing little room that it is. Here we go!

The Complete Bathroom Checklist

There are certainly some of these things you can do without, for a basic bathroom, but many are must-haves. Let's look more closely at each item.

You Definitely Need A Toilet

It's probably the thing most of us think of first when we say bathroom. Because when you have to go, you have to go, and it's the toilet we're aiming for. The lucky thing is, a toilet is not so expensive. You can find toilets from about $100 up into the thousands of dollars for smart toilets like the Toto brand. If you have older people in the home, or older guests, consider getting a toilet with a little extra height. Bidet toilets are super popular now and come in a variety of price ranges. And think your toilet has to be white, think again!

white porcelain toilet on amazon

This average height white porcelain toilet is less than $150. Click here to see this on Amazon.

This beauty from Kohler comes in more than your standard white. Get it in black, grey, and a host of other neutral tones. But having color may set you back a few more dollars than your expecting as this throne runs in the mid $1,000s range. Click here to see this on Amazon.

A heated seat, gentle water wash, hands-free flushing, this high-end Toto toilet is a grand luxury in the toilet game.  Click here to see this on Amazon.

Wash Your Cares Away In An Awesome Shower

Every full bathroom needs not only a toilet but a place to wash your body. At the very least you need a shower. Some bathrooms might have a bath/shower combination. Some bathroom builders may choose to put in a large free-standing shower rather than use the space for tub/shower. Whichever you decide, you need, at the very minimum, a small shower.

A Tub/Shower Combination

A Sink (Or Sinks)

What do we do after we use the toilet? We wash our hands. And though we could use the shower or the tub, most of us prefer to have a sink for the job. And if your bathroom is large enough, you probably want two sinks. (Check out our post here on bathroom sinks: How Deep Are Bathroom Sinks?) There are lots of style choices available with bathroom sinks, round, square, oval, rectangle, in counter, floating above the counter, farmhouse style. It's up to you to decide. And the same with toilets, your budget can go from relatively low to pie in the sky.

This rectangular above-counter vessel sink is made of porcelain, a common material for sinks. You can find sinks like this for under $100. Click here to see this one on Amazon.

How Can We Be Vain Without A Vanity? And A Vanity Mirror?

A sink can't stand on its own, and in the bathroom, that either means having a pedestal sink or using a vanity. Vanities come in floating varieties that attach to the wall. They can be custom cabinetry that's built-in like your kitchen cabinets. Or you can buy a complete sink and vanity combination like a piece of furniture. Another trend we've seen in the last several years is the use of antique furniture as bathroom vanities. And, of course, no bathroom vanity would be complete without a mirror hanging above it. How else would we get ready for the workday?

Here's an example of pre-made bathroom vanity with sink and vanity mirror all in one great package. Click here to see this on Amazon.

Rub A Dub Dub, Let's Shop For A Tub

If you're like us, you can't imagine a bathroom without a bathtub. There's nothing quite as luxurious as a long hot soak with a glass of wine, some soapy bubbles, and a good book. Tubs come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The least expensive are fiberglass and are part of a tub and shower combination. The most costly are free-standing deep tubs that sit in front of amazing picture windows and can set you back thousands of dollars.

This freestanding copper beauty falls into the latter category of tubs, but it has the advantage of coming with hardware. Free-standing tub hardware on its own runs a couple of hundred dollars. Click here to see this on Amazon.

This American Standard, 5', enamel-covered, steel bathtub is what you can find on the lower-cost end of the spectrum. Click here to see this on Amazon.

Don't Forget The Lighting And Fixtures

All of these necessaries for the bathroom won't work if you don't have faucets, showerheads, and the like to use them. And what good is any of it, if you can't see. So don't forget the lighting and the fixtures when you put your bathroom together.

  • Sink faucet and faucet handles
  • Showerhead, sprayer, and handles
  • Tub Fixtures
  • Light for vanity
  • Overhead light with fan

Toilet Paper Holder

Part of having that all-important toilet is having the toilet paper to go with it. Choices for a toilet paper holder include a wall-mounted holder or a free-standing holder. Some of the free-standing varieties include storage for additional rolls, which is excellent for a smaller bathroom when storage is at a premium.

This free-standing holder has space for multiple extra rolls, or a few extra and some reading material. Click here to see it on Amazon.

Towel Bars And A Robe Hook

Though you could always just fling your towel over the top of your shower and drop it to the floor, it's far more civilized to give it its own space. Hanging your towels after use allows them to dry out completely and avoids the musty smell that comes with wet laundry. The same goes for robe hooks, which can often serve double duty as towel hooks. We have a good post here on towel hooks: Where to Put Towel Rack in the bathroom

Use A Shower Curtain To Keep The Water In

If you have a free-standing shower with glass walls, you won't need this. But if you've opted for a shower/tub unit or even a tiled shower/tub combo, you'll want some sort of curtain to keep the water in and off of your floor. Don't forget the rod and the hangers when you're shopping.

This curved rod looks excellent in a variety of spaces. Click here to see this on Amazon.

This curtain is on Amazon here. Shower curtains come in just about every pattern and theme imaginable. We have a ton of posts about them, here are a few: 12 World Map Shower Curtains You Can Study While Taking a BathCelebrity Shower Curtains That Will Make You Go Wow11 Industrial Shower Curtains For a Truly Special Bathroom

Dry Off With A Towel

Can't get out of the bath without a towel to wipe yourself dry, now can you? No bathroom is complete without at least a hand towel for drying hands after washing them. And if your bathroom is a full bathroom, you'll need a great set of towels.

Who doesn't love Turkish cotton? Find these here on Amazon.

A Bathroom Rug

Most people like a landing pad for wet feet when they get out of the tub or shower. That's why we've put a rug on the list. We have a great post here all about the bathroom rug: Can You Wash Bath Mats and Rugs?

Storage Accessories

Though you don't have to have storage, we keep a lot of things in our bathrooms. Towels, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, grooming items, medications, all of these places need a spot to land. So think about your storage when thinking about a bathroom. (We have a great post here: 13 Types of Bathroom Accessories – Do You Have Them All?)

Totes are great for under the sink. Here's a great over-the-door organizer.

Click here to see this on Amazon.

Putting The Lipstick On, Wall Decor For The Bathroom

Definitely not a must-have, but the right wall decor can bring out the personality in a place. Whether you choose a cute quote plaque, an artist-made artwork, or get crafty with something found, some wall decor will bring your bathroom must-haves to the fullest. We have a post here to fill you in with more in-depth details: How to Choose the Right Wall Décor for Your Bathroom

And there you have it, our complete checklist for the bathroom.

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