Bathroom render white bath neutral tones
Gemma Da Silva

Gemma Da Silva

Last updated: January 18, 2024  •  19 min read

Bathroom Render Tips & Ideas: 20 Renderings to Draw Inspiration From

Bathroom renders can be tricky. 

There is typically less natural light in a bathroom than in other parts of the house, so you may need to find ways to brighten these renderings 💡. 

And if you want realistic-looking towels, tiles, flooring, and faucets, then high-quality assets and materials are an absolute must!

In this article, we look at some simple ways to improve the realism of your bathroom renders, show you where to find rendering resources, and provide 20+ examples from the community to inspire your next design.

Ready to soak it all in? 🛀

How to create realistic bathroom renders

When it comes to creating realistic renders, Enscape power user Joel Guerra believes there is an 8-step process to follow:

8 steps to a realistic render

  1. COMPOSITION: Create a balance between all the elements that make up an image.
  2. CAMERA SETUP: Set the camera angle to highlight the essentials of the scene.
  3. LIGHTING: Enhance the scene using different types of lights.
  4. COLOR PALETTE: Establish the colors based on a defined style.
  5. MATERIALS: Create high-quality images by using realistic materials.
  6. ASSETS: Organize assets to show the character of the place.
  7. TELL A STORY: Create the scene based on a story to add additional value.
  8. POST–PRODUCTION: Enhance the render as a professional photographer.

Let’s explore three of these steps a little deeperlighting, materials, and assets. 

Blue tile bathroom render with white bath tubRendering courtesy of Enscape user, Steven Garubba

Enhance your scenes with lights and HDRIs

Bathrooms sometimes feature small windows, skylights, or even no windows at all, making them darker than your usual kitchen, living room, or bedroom scene. 

Adding lights is one way of brightening up a room. You could try positioning lights outside of your scene and have them pointing in through a window if you have one (Melos Azemi shows this method in his realistic bathroom tutorial at 5:34. Vlad Moldovan also uses this approach when trying to achieve soft directional lighting in renders).

If you have artificial lights in your scene, such as spotlights, another technique (if you use Enscape) is to add color to them via the Material Editor. You can then select Type > Self-illuminated and adjust the luminance. You can add an Enscape light, such as a sphere, to have them shine and reflect light on a surface. Melos shows this process from 5:52 in his bathroom tutorial.

To control the brightness of artificial lights at once, you can use the Artificial Light Brightness slider inside Enscape's Visual Settings.

Changing the artificial brightness

Use HDRIs in renderings

Adding artificial lights are one way of brightening up a room, but HDRI backgrounds (skyboxes) are another easy way to adjust the lighting of a scene. By using HDRI backgrounds, you can adjust the brightness of the sun and sky more easily than with the "original" sunlight system.

In Enscape, you can select from a range of built-in skyboxes (Visual Settings > Sky > Horizon > Skybox) or upload your own from a site such as openfootage.net.

Example of skybox HDRI background


Joel Guerra, who has won multiple ‘Render of the Week’ competitions on the Enscape Forum, has some advice about the use of HDRIs in renderings:

“An essential aspect for optimal results is to ensure that you use high-quality, high-resolution background images. I recommend exploring trusted platforms like Pexels and Pixabay, where you can find a wide variety of excellent-quality images to use as backgrounds in your projects. 

When selecting an image, it's important to consider its sharpness and avoid images that appear pixelated or low-resolution when scaled. This will ensure that the background blends seamlessly with the scene, adding realism and depth to your renders.”

Joel has created a guide (in his native Spanish language) on how to create realistic renders. Check it out.

Bathroom render with background HDRIRendering courtesy of Enscape user, Joel Guerra

Forum user agawrys12 agrees that HDRIs are important lighting elements that help to set the mood for a scene:

“…lighting is a critical driving force for the mood you are trying to create in the scene, this is why I have HDRI images for all times of the day and all times of the year, including geographical-specific HDRI maps.”

Work with the best assets

Once you have modeled your bathroom, adding realistic fixtures, fittings, and accessories is a good next step. Adding details like plants, towels, toiletries, and rugs are essential to make your bathroom render more realistic.

If you are working with a real-time rendering tool, such as Enscape, then lightweight, low poly bathroom assets will work best. They will render faster, allowing you to make the most of a real-time design/render and walkthrough workflow. Enscape can also handle high poly assets, but they should only really be used where the object can be seen in the final rendering.

If you are using a more photorealistic renderer, such as V-Ray, you can make use of larger and more detailed models, like those found in Chaos Cosmos. These will give you a professional finish but may take a little longer to render.

Green bathroom with window and tilesRendering courtesy of Enscape user,

Where can you find bathroom assets?

  • Bimobject: Browse through over 10,000 high-quality models from 250 brands in the sanitary category.
  • Enscape Asset Library: The built-in library for Enscape users contains a wide variety of low poly models that you can drag and drop into your scenes. It’s also now possible to customize assets and change material colors.
  • Archibase Planet: Over 1,400 free bathroom assets to download.
  • Chaos Cosmos: If you’re a Chaos renderer user, you can access over 4,500 free high-quality assets. Find a range of sinks, baths, showers, and bathroom accessories for your visualizations.
  • Adobe Substance 3D: This is a paid-for subscription option that opens up access to high-quality models and materials.
  • Modlar: Choose from almost 500 products, including a variety of fixtures, accessories, and hand dryers for both commercial and residential bathrooms.
  • SketchUp 3D Warehouse: Explore 260+ bathroom models, including storage solutions, shower units, baths, and accessories (even slippers!).

Use PBR materials and textures

Physically-based rendering (PBR) materials can provide super realistic surfaces for your bathroom renders. It’s possible to download PBR materials and their various maps from sites such as cgtrader. The Enscape Material Library also comes with a number of ready-to-use PBR materials and maps of its own.

For the more advanced visualizer, you can create PBR materials in tools such as Adobe Substance Designer or Blender and import them into your rendering tool. In Enscape, GLTF files can be used as custom assets. For these, the geometry and material can be defined in an external tool and then imported into Enscape (but the materials can't be used for other objects).

Enscape Forum user, agawrys12, is a fan of creating his own PBR materials for his renders:

“With bathrooms, I find the most critical aspect of my images are the materials and the chosen lighting. I like to use PBR Materials and when a client brings a specific material from a finish company I will make a PBR material out of it to capture the surface perfectly.”

In a recent webinar, ‘Improving Material Realism with Adobe Substance 3D and Enscape’ we looked at the use of Adobe materials in Enscape - I would highly recommend it!

Modern neutral bathroom sink and faucet Shower neutral Bath with narrow tiles Modern bathroom render sink Modern bathroom render with white tiles and wood

Rendering courtesy of Enscape user, shin

Where can you find PBR materials?

  • Poly Haven: Photo-scanned seamless PBR materials, at least 8k resolution. Free to use under CC0. No registration is required to download assets.
  • Texture Box: PBR and seamless textures for interior and exterior projects. Download directly.
  • Adobe Substance 3D: Customize scan-based and fully parametric materials. Preview on the web, then download for use in any app that supports SBSAR files.
  • Ambientcg: Scroll through a large collection of seamless PBR materials.
  • Poliigon: Browse through 100s of textures in this well-presented and organized catalog.
  • A23D: Search through a large collection of high-quality textures, including over 10,000 tiles.
  • Freepbr: Access 450 materials and texture files.
  • Architextures: High-quality seamless textures. Free to use for educational and personal use. For commercial use, a pro subscription is required.
  • Enscape Material Library: Simply view and import over 400 materials directly into your rendering and design models.
  • Chaos Cosmos: A large collection of high-end materials ready to use with V-Ray, 3ds Max, Cinema4D, Vantage, Corona.
  • Chaos Scans: Drag and drop photoreal materials into your scenes, including wood, plastic, leather, and fabric. These work seamlessly across the V-Ray and Corona portfolio of products.

    For an extensive list of websites where you can find models and materials to download, check out 40+ Sites With Free Downloadable 3D Visualization Content

Bathroom render tutorials

To hone your rendering skills even further, check out these tutorials from Enscape power users on how to create realistic bathroom renders.



Inspirational bathroom renderings

Before you dive into your next bathroom project, take a look at this gallery of bathroom renders for inspiration—they have all been created by the talented Enscape community! 

If you have renders you’d like to share with fellow Enscape users, you can submit them via the Showcase section on the Enscape Forum. We regularly hold competitions, where you get the chance to win a custom asset of your choice.

 

Blue tile and brown unit bathroom renderRendering courtesy of Enscape user, Steven Garubba

 

Dark grey bathroom renderingRendering courtesy of Enscape user, Design 3D

 

Dark bathroom render example with natural stone wallRendering courtesy of Enscape user, db3drender

 

Modern neutral bathroomRendering courtesy of Enscape user,

Master bathroom renderRendering courtesy of Enscape user, Steven Garubba

Bathroom with deocrative wall paperRendering courtesy of Enscape user, Steven Garubba

White bath tub bathroom render stone wall Rendering courtesy of Enscape user, Eduarchviz

Modern bathroom render large window outside lightRendering courtesy of Enscape user, dsmall


Dark bathroom renderRendering courtesy of Enscape user, dsmall


Bathroom render with soft lightingRendering courtesy of Enscape user, MTH


Green bathroom with black and white floorRendering courtesy of Enscape user, hodangtan88


bathroom render with stronger outlinesRendering courtesy of Enscape user, RomanBaz

Light green bathroom renderRendering courtesy of Enscape user, RomanBaz

 

White marble bathroom renderRendering courtesy of Enscape user, JuancCOL

Calming bathroom renderRendering courtesy of Enscape user, jlo


Bathroom render with very large windowRendering courtesy of Enscape user, agawrys12

Bespoke bathroom with unique bath tubRendering courtesy of Enscape user, zenzai

 

Green bathroom tiled designRendering courtesy of Enscape user, sometimesrender

Soaking it all in

I hope that these tips and tutorials have provided you with a few new ideas to try when creating your next bathroom render! Remember that high-quality assets, materials, and the right lighting elements are just some ways to help you to create a more realistic rendering scene.

Good luck and happy rendering!

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Gemma Da Silva
Gemma Da Silva

Gemma is part of the Content team at Chaos and loves to provide architects and designers with practical tips to improve their workflows and visualizations. If you have something you'd like to share with the wider Enscape community, email marketing@enscape3d.com!

Modern neutral bathroom sink and faucet

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Rendering courtesy of Enscape user, shin

shin
Shower neutral

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Bath with narrow tiles

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Modern bathroom render sink

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Modern bathroom render with white tiles and wood

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