Tuesday Tips: Updating Your Bathroom
Ahh... the bathroom. Yes, that room in our house where we do the obvious and so much more. Hey, it makes a great place for a 10-second anger management break or to have a hushed conversation with our husband about when our house guest is going to leave. But it can also be that room that gets outdated quickly. My recent post about kitchen renovations generated a lot of debate. So now let's tackle the bathroom. Here are some tips I gathered from experts:
Tip #1: How do you know if your bathroom even needs a renovation? Stand in the doorway and look around. If something doesn't look right, then it's probably time to renovate, says Abby Buford, a Lowe's spokeswoman. Bathrooms tend to be updated every 15 to 18 years.
Tip #2: If you can't do a whole bathroom renovation, consider updating a few elements such as the towel racks, toilet paper holder, switch plates, lights, wall color and faucets. Making all the hardware match and a fresh coat of paint will make a difference for less punch to the wallet.
Tip #3: When figuring out how to re-design bathrooms, remember that guest bathrooms need to be functional, children's bathrooms need to be colorful and fun and master bathrooms need to feel like relaxing spas.
Tip #4: Keep the costs down by leaving all the major fixtures like the toilet, bathtub and sink in their current locations. "Moving it two inches could cost as much as $3,000," says Jim McCoy, president of Bath Express. Try using stock cabinets instead of custom-built ones and Corian or laminate instead of granite for the countertops. Instead of replacing the tub, think about reglazing it, a process that can run about $500. "The reglazing process will make the surface of your tub look brand new," says Sharon Dameron, co-owner of Dameron Home Remodeling.
Tip #5: If you're updating the bathrooms in order to sell the house, know the trends. Jetted tubs are out and jetted showers are in. Vanities and toilets are now a few inches higher than what we're used to for more comfort. Clear glass shower doors are making a come back as well for that spa-like experience. Heated floors are also big in bathroom renovations. "In general, bathrooms are migrating from a necessary room to a spa room," McCoy says. "If you do it right, they won't cost much more."
Tip #6: While brushed nickel seems to be the material of choice for bathroom fixtures, chrome is the cheaper alternative. And some say it looks just as nice.
Tip #7: Ceramic tile for the floors is also one of the latest trends in bathroom renovations but watch the cost. It can run anywhere from $1 a foot to $30 a foot, says McCoy. There's no need to go to the higher dollar figure, so shop around.
Tip #8: If you can only do the bathroom renovation in pieces, start with the sink, then the floor and then the tub, says Dameron. "You should focus on the elements of the bathroom that are the most visible," she says.
Tip #9: Using furniture pieces in the bathroom is not only trendy but more economical if you shop right. Buy a piece of furniture that could be used as your bathroom vanity at a yard sale. A counter can be mounted to the top with a cut-out for the sink. Just make sure the furniture piece has doors and is open inside to accommodate all the plumbing.
Tip #10: If you can't do any renovations but want to create a spa effect in your bathroom, buy some big fluffy towels, some nice-smelling candles, and soothing music and you could just possibly feel like you're at a chic spa.
Have you done a recent bathroom renovation? What did you learn? Where are the best deals for bathroom essentials such as faucets and tile? Post a comment below.
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