Our culture has changed its thinking about bathrooms. Once merely places of business (yes, that kind of business), bathrooms have evolved into mini-spas, comfort retreats where you can escape for a soak, a steam or maybe a sip of cucumber water. In terms of both improving your lifestyle and your home value, bathrooms might be the best place to consider for improvement and upgrades. Of course, building the bathroom of your dreams could get expensive, so you may want to set priorities on which parts to go top of the line and which to search for bargains. It may be worth getting quotes from a bathroom contractor.
Changing out fixtures is one way to quickly and easily change the look of the bathroom, whether it's new sinks, faucets, toilets or a jetted tub. Prices vary widely depending on brand, size and style. Traditionally, homeowners have worked through contractors to buy fixtures, as contractors often get below-retail discounts. Continue Reading
But these days, you might want to compare prices at big box stores, eBay and Craig's List to what your contractor is offering. Regardless of where you look, when shopping for high-end, name-brand fixtures, it's easy to get sticker shock. But they often come with lifetime manufacturer warranties.
If your bathroom is the size of Rhode Island, going with expensive Italian marble might stretch your budget. Conversely, if it's the size of a Mini Cooper, going high-end could be fairly affordable. Both materials and installation costs rise with square footage. The least expensive bathroom flooring materials, in terms of both the cost of materials and installation, is vinyl and linoleum. Sheet flooring is durable, simple to install and come in plenty of colors and patterns. In some cases, you can even install vinyl or linoleum on top of the current floor, which saves time and money on the installation. Some popular linoleums mirror the look of tile, and though it won't feel the same on your feet, it looks pretty.
More expensive bathroom flooring includes porcelain tiles, stone tile, and even wood floors. Although these types of flooring materials are both more expensive to buy and install, they will add value to your home and could pay for themselves many times over when the time comes to sell.
But before you put down tile, you might consider installing a heating mat. Compared to the price of your tiles, a heating mat is relatively cheap. It may sound like an extravagance, but if you live in a cold climate, it may be the smartest investment you'll ever make.
Bathroom Plumbing and Electrical
Take a careful look at where your fixtures are. Do you really need to move that toilet, that cabinet, the lights, or that tub? Maybe you do. Maybe changing the layout will make your bathroom more functional and more dazzling. But keep in mind that once you make those changes, your plumbing and electrical costs could become the most expensive parts of your project. Keeping your fixtures where they are might allow you to go more high end with your flooring or fixtures, which could raise your home's value.