You want to remodel your bathroom, but you don’t want to break the bank, and that’s a distinct possibility with any home renovation project. Here’s the skinny on how fat your wallet needs to be to do the remodeling job that you want. And once you know what costs what, you can figure out which corners — or countertops — to cut.
Remodeling defines a mid-range remodel as putting in a toilet, tub with a tile surround, an integrated solid-surface double sink and vanity, recessed medicine cabinet, a ceramic tile floor and vinyl wallpaper.
An upscale remodel includes expanding the room an additional 8 square feet into existing space, adding a window, moving fixtures such as the toilet and replacing them with high-end models, a 4-X-6-foot tiled shower with a shower wall, a bidet, stone countertops in the vanity with two sinks, linen closet, tile floor, lighting, an exhaust fan and other amenities.
It’s easy to spend $25,000 on a bathroom renovation. If you don’t have that sort of dough, a remodel is all about compromise. Think about what elements in your bathroom you most want to change and what you can live with and without.
Unless you’re DIYing your renovation, you’ll use a general contractor (GC) or contract out the work yourself. The latter requires some know-how, since you’ll need to get permits, oversee the work, etc. In selecting a GC, get bids and definitely ask for and check references. See how satisfied his or her previous customers are. To save money, you might consider doing the demolition yourself; you can even hold a demolition party to garner help from friends. Also compare buying the materials yourself with the cost of the GC supplying them. You can buy online or at discount stores to save money. The GC gets a deep discount but also tends to mark up prices, so check both options.
Man- or woman-power costs moolah. The people who replace that ghastly popcorn ceiling, install sconces and ceiling lights, plumb the fixtures, or lay the tile will run up the budget. Keep this in mind when laying out your bathroom plan. Moving lights or plumbing or putting in a window will cost more than sticking with the bathroom’s original layout. It doesn’t mean you can’t vary some areas, but pick and choose to avoid sticker shock.
One of the major costs in a remodel is moving fixtures, such as the toilet, sink and tub. If you can keep the same floor plan that you have now, you’ll spend less on plumbing.
Then there’s the cost of the fixtures themselves. If you must have that exquisite glass vessel sink, then pick a standard white no-frills toilet (about $125). Or if you want the Kohler Purist Hatbox toilet ($2,991 and up) then opt for a lower-end sink and tub.
Tile is another major expense, not only the tile itself but the labor involved in installing it. You can limit the tile to the floor and the tub surround with a drop-in shower stall. If you’re lusting after an iridescent glass tile mosaic, consider using the expensive tiles as accents in a field of more pedestrian porcelain ones. Decide if you want to spend your money on a total-body shower wall or a completely tiled shower. Instead of running tile up the wall, think about beadboard wainscoting for a period look or a cool paint color if your design is more modern.
In a kitchen, solid surface or stone countertops can bust your budget because of sheer square footage. In the bath, you can get away with granite or even marble, if you’re smart about it. A single-sink vanity won’t take a lot of stone. If you want two, then pedestal sinks (take your pick of beauties from Kohler, Porcher, American Standard and more from about $140 to $300 each) and a refinished side cabinet or bedside table with a remnant of granite or marble on the top will save you money, give you storage, and have you in step with today’s trend of furniture cabinetry versus built-in.
Plan carefully, set your budget and be creative; you’ll end up with a beautiful bathroom that hasn’t broken your bank account.
As one of the most expensive rooms to renovate, a bathroom can make or break a deal when buying or selling a home. Homeowners are looking for rooms that don’t require a lot of work, which is why a bathroom renovation can make the biggest impact on your resell value. As you get ready to remodel, think about what works for your family, as well as what other homeowners might look for. Today, eclectic double bathroom sinks and walk-in showers are popular, while oversize bathtubs and bathroom storage are also frequently sought after. Determine what you have space for, what materials are worth using, and then find a way to add much-needed storage for beauty supplies and extra towels.
How do I determine my bathroom layout?
As you renovate, keep two things in mind: your family and future buyers. If you’re family doesn’t take many baths, don’t feel the need to include a bathtub; you can use that extra space for a double vanity or large storage cabinet instead. On the other hand, some future buyers might want a tub, so be sure there’s at least one in the house. Walk-in showers are also popular, though they take up space, while bathtub and shower combos are the best of both worlds. If you have a large family, you might want to separate the toilet and shower from the sink so multiple people can get ready at once. In the end, what is practical for your family will probably also be practical for future buyers, so go with what works for you first and foremost.
How can I add more bathroom storage?
Vanities are getting bigger and bigger every year, and for good reason — bathroom storage is in constant demand. Because of this, think about ways that you can add more to your space. An oversized or double vanity is always a good option, while wall-mounted cabinets and medicine cabinets are helpful too. Organization is key to space-saving, so use drawer organizers, trays and bins to keep smaller accessories in check.
What materials should I use in my bathroom?
Because the layout and storage options are pretty standard, picking interesting materials is key for helping your bathroom stand out. Tile offers a wide variety of colors and styles, which makes it a popular flooring choice, while mosaic tiles are common in showers. The grout can be challenging to clean though, so stone or granite might be better shower alternatives. Just like in a kitchen, implementing a fun tile backsplash or countertop color can help liven up an otherwise dull space. And last but not least, don’t forget the hardware! Cabinet pulls, shower heads and faucets come in a variety of finishes, which allows you to add bits and pieces of personality.