Summer is a perfect time to spruce up your drab or aging bathroom. With the warmer weather, it’s not going to be a huge letdown if you have to miss that soaking session in the bathtub. And with longer days and more daylight, it makes it easier to tackle this project even if it’s just after work. According to Remodeling, a full-on bathroom remodel will cost, on average, about $18,000. But it will increase the value of your home by about $12,000. That’s not bad, considering how much pleasure you’ll derive having a trendy new space for personal hygiene. Keep in mind, though, that your project might cost more, or substantially less, that the average. Here’s what makes the difference:

  • How much you do yourself
  • Whether you go down to the framing and start from scratch, or just replace fixtures, flooring, and lighting.
  • Your choice of replacement pieces. You can get a new faucet for $100, or go crazy and spend thousands.

Let’s look at the major pieces of a typical bathroom remodel.

The Bathtub

Many homes built in the last thirty years were finished with porcelain-on-steel, fiberglass, or even plastic bathtubs. The finishes on all of those is not very durable. So by now they’ve likely lost their luster and are more difficult to keep clean. On top of that, you probably noticed that they don’t retain heat very well. So that soaking you’re so fond of requires a frequent top-up with hot water to stay comfy. What’s a better alternative? A cast iron bathtub. While they’re more expensive, once you’ve used one you’ll wonder how you did without it. For a step up to a more classic bath look, consider clawfoot bathtubs, which will dramatically change the look of your bathroom.

clawfoot tub from cust site

And remember, the upside on either of those choices is a tub that will look beautiful and provide many more years of use that the cheaper economy options (typically called “builder grade.”)

The Vanity

The vanity is where you get to practice . . . your vanity. That’s what you stand in front of while you’re intently engaged in making the hair and makeup just right. Bathroom vanities come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Of course the size of your bathroom will place limits on your choices, but you’ll want to consider how much storage you want and how much counter space you need.

bath vanity from cust site

Stand-alone pedestal sinks are sometimes a stylish choice, but remember you’ll have to find a place for all those hair and hygiene goodies you normally keep hidden in drawers.

The Faucet

Bathroom faucets have evolved a great deal over the years. And there are literally hundreds of styles from which to choose. In addition, just as with the bath vanity, you’ll get to choose the finish (color). Like the bathtub, you need to be aware of the quality of the material used to manufacture the faucet. Is it plastic? Base metal with a metal plating or painted finish? Or is it a higher quality product that will last a long time and still look good?

bath faucet from cust site

The manufactures of all the bathroom components have become quite skilled at making even lower quality items look good on the shelf or in the package. So use care in selecting materials that provide real value as opposed to just the lowest price.

Before You Start

Before you head into your bathroom and start tearing out those things you loathe to see each morning, do your homework. Decide on a budget and then shop in price-segmented searches. Be realistic about how much you’ve got the skills to do yourself and what should be contracted out. Bathroom remodeling is a small project that can provide lots of utility and satisfaction. And just imagine it all done. Add a little wine, a few bubbles, and it just doesn’t get any better.

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