Every time you walk into that grungy, stinky bathroom you dream about your desired comfy and stylish bath. But your goal is to also have the fixtures, materials and amenities that will last a lifetime. Hello! You can have both, you know!
According to the National Association of Realtors’ “2015 Remodeling Impact Report” a midrange bathroom remodel is a great investment. And at a national median cost of $26,000 you’ll get 58% of that back when it comes time to sell your home.
But regardless of how much you can return on your investment, you’ll be glad you did it. In the “Report” mentioned above, the homeowners who went ahead with this project gave it a Joy Score of 9.3. This was based on how happy or satisfied they were with the project, with 10 being the highest score and 1 being the lowest.
It’s Your Plan and You’re Sticking to it
You don’t improvise on a bathroom remodel. Before you start ripping out tile and sheetrock, give a lot of thought to just how you are going to use this space, which fixtures and materials you want and just how much this is all going to cost.
According to The National Kitchen and Bath Association, you should spend as much as six months planning and evaluating all aspects of this project before you launch into it. That way you’ll have a plan to guide you through all the decisions, including the ones you need to make under stress. This process is going to take two or three months. So once you start, commit yourself and don’t go changing your mind. When you start, stop and make changes, that costs money. And some contractors even have clauses in their contracts that allow for higher prices for changing plans from the original.
If planning isn’t your thing, don’t try it. Hire a designer. A good designer can add a lot of style and efficiency and can also keep the contractors and installers on schedule and under control. A good one will cost $100 to $200 per hour and he’ll need 10 to 30 hours to do the job right.
Work With the Footprint You’ve Got
Want to go with that Italian tile you so dearly love? Go for it! But just be sure to stay with the total square footage you already have.
Be sure to keep the same footprint and locate the plumbing fixtures close to existing pipes. That will save a lot of demolition and reconstruction costs. It’ll also cut down on the dust and debris, which makes remodeling such a pain in the neck.
So remember, make the most of the space you already have. Have glass shower doors and tub areas open to the main area. Vanities take more room than a pedestal sink. And if you really miss the storage, replace the mirror with a deep medicine cabinet.
Make Lighting Number 1
Multiple showerheads and radiant heat floors are great for a bathroom remodel. But the real pleasure comes with lighting that is designed for everyday grooming. Lighting can be installed for a fraction of the cost of a lot of pricier amenities.
If your bathroom task lighting surrounding the vanity mirror is designed well, it will eliminate shadows on faces and you’ll look better already. This arrangement includes two ceiling, or soffit-mounted fixtures, side fixtures or sconces distributed vertically across 24 inches to account for varying people’s heights. And for side lighting, four-bulb fixtures work well.
When you go shopping for bulbs these days, you need to pay attention to lumens, which is the amount of light you get from a bulb. In other words its brightness. For those bathroom applications, here’s what the Lighting Research Center recommends:
- Toilet: 45 lumens
- Sink: 450 lumens
- Vanity: 1,680 lumens