So you want to remodel your bathroom? Then congratulations and a fair warning are both in order. Because whether you’re simply upgrading your sink or ripping out every last tile, it takes tons of research to get a successful bathroom renovation right.
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Before you obsess over faucets, the first step is to ask yourself some basic questions, to assess your wants and needs. Here’s a guide to help in your decisions.
1. How much can you spend?
The average bathroom remodel will cost $20,420, but that will vary widely, based on what you do. Even a simple toilet can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. “On average, you should budget $10,000 to $30,000,” says Paloma Contreras, a Houston-based interior designer behind La Dolce Vita.
“Learning how much you have to spend also eliminates falling in love with items that don’t fit your budget,” says Rick Johnson of STL Remodeling and General Contracting in Groton, MA. And don’t worry, having a minuscule budget doesn’t mean limiting your options that much, there are great deals out there in every price range.
2. Who will be using the bathroom?
Consider who will be using the bathroom to help you whittle down your choices. For instance, if kids will be using the bathroom, you’ll definitely want a tub, or tub/shower combo. A tub is also key feature when it comes time to resell—at least for buyers with families.
However, if it is mainly adults who will be using the bathroom, and if you already have a tub elsewhere, “I always recommend installing a walk-in shower in one,” says Harder. The reason: Showers generally get more use than tubs, and open shower designs are a hot trend right now. They also take up less room, at 12 square feet, whereas a standard tub takes up 15 square feet.
You also need to consider who will be using the bathroom when you’re choosing the flooring. “While a polished floor may look amazing, it can be an incredibly dangerous slip hazard,” says Jennifer Harder, founder and CEO of Jennifer Harder Mortgage Brokers, who has worked on numerous bathroom remodels. Slippery floors are particularly dangerous for the old and for the young. Then, it’s best to avoid carpeting and wood, which can develop mold or warp. The sensible choice is usually between tile and laminate, so you might want to limit your search to those materials.
3. Do you want a bigger bathroom or one the same size?
The average bathroom is 40 square feet, which may be cramped if you dream of an expansive oasis. If you want to expand, you probably can. But it will mean moving walls, downsizing adjoining rooms, or carving out space from closets.
The upside of expanding is obvious: more room to relax! Additionally, fantastic bathrooms do help sell homes. The downside? Such renovations are pricy and will extend the time you’ll need. An upscale remodel, meanwhile, won’t bring the same return on investment as a low to mid-range one.Continue reading