A surprising number of homeowners — about 35%, in fact — opt to give their whole house a makeover when they begin renovation projects, but when you don’t have the luxury of remodeling everything, you’re most likely to choose your bathroom as your top priority. It may not be the most exciting room in your house, but it’s certainly one of the most important rooms — which is why bathroom renovation projects are included in 78% of all residential renovations.
Whether you have a closet-sized bathroom that desperately needs a facelift, or you want to add some luxurious features to a spacious bathroom without spending too much, the key to a successful bathroom remodeling project is to understand the space you’re dealing with, and to tap into your own personal style in order to create a room that’s both comfortable and space-efficient.
If you’re getting ready to start your own bathroom renovation project, it’s a good idea to plan and organize your project before anything else. If you don’t know where to start, here are a few of the most important tips that home remodeling experts emphasize:
- Think about your current needs and future needs. As with any home repair project, it’s important to create a budget (and stick to it) with a bathroom renovation project. That being said, it’s also important to realize that bigger purchases will have a decent return on investment, so you shouldn’t be afraid to spend a little more on high-quality materials and fixtures. Many homeowners choose to take out bathtubs and install showers or walk-in bathtubs, partly because they’re already anticipating the limited mobility that goes along with aging, and partly because it’s easier to deal with small fixture repairs and plumbing problems of a shower than with a bathtub. Energy-efficient toilets will provide savings later on down the road — in fact, about 91% of homeowners planning bathroom renovation projects state that they want to make this investment. Small details, like extra storage space in wall cubbies or even heated flooring, can be worth more than you’d think, especially when you eventually sell your house.
- Nobody wants to look at the toilet. One of the most important bathroom renovation tips out there is actually about how your bathroom looks from the outside. Quite simply, you don’t want the toilet to be the first thing people see when they open the bathroom door. Bathroom doors tend to get left open, and as a guest, it’s a little weird to walk through someone’s hallway and see a toilet sitting front-and-center in a doorway. Plus, things could get awkward if you have multiple guests over and someone forgets to turn the bathroom lock when they go in. This is one of the simplest design tips that never changes, and if you’re planning on doing major bathroom renovations, it’s something to keep in mind.
- Natural lighting needs to be a priority. This isn’t to say that you should go for a full-size window in your bathroom, since privacy is obviously of the utmost importance. But for your main bathroom, you’ll want to try to get as much clean, white light in the room as possible; not only will it help you wake up in the morning, but it will make the room seem bigger and more inviting. Many homeowners opt for full-size windows with frosted glass panes in order to ensure privacy, while another popular option is to install skylights in the bathroom (although this only works if your bathroom is on the top floor). If your natural lighting options are really limited, make sure to look for bright white lights and to install them so that key areas in the room are very well-lit (like in front of the mirror and in the shower) while ensuring that no corner is exceptionally dark.
- Do not underestimate the power of high-quality flooring. Over 50% of consumers will pay more for a house if it has hardwood floors, so it’s common for homeowners to focus on this feature during home renovation projects and to forget that high-quality, water-resistant bathroom tile flooring is just as appealing. You’ll want to find a material which cleans easily and which will last for years, such as ceramic or stone. A more neutral pattern or color tends to work best for bathroom flooring, since it isn’t changed often and can easily look very dated within a few years if it reflects one trending style too closely.
- Pick out features to fit the space, rather than stuffing in as much as possible. One of the oldest style tricks in the book is to use light colors for a small room in order to make it appear bigger, and this tip is invaluable if you’re dealing with a small space like a bathroom. It’s also important to recognize your space limitations, otherwise you’ll finish your bathroom renovation project and the room will look more cluttered than ever. One of the best space-saving tricks is to take out a full-size bathtub and install a shower or a walk-in bathtub instead; glass shower doors also make the room look a little bigger and are easy to clean, and because 79% of homeowners prefer glass shower doors over curtains or bathtubs, this bathroom project usually provides a significant return on investment when homeowners sell their houses.
To be honest, the most important tip to remember is that any home repair project will be easier if you plan out what you want, what you need, and what you can afford. With bathroom renovations, be sure to get any plumbing questions answered before you get started — and no question is a stupid question, especially considering that one small plumbing system accident can be very costly. Remember to have some fun and to focus on creating a space that will make you happy; it’s your home, and you deserve to love the space you live in.