Bathroom remodels encompass a wide range of installations and projects, cosmetic touches, and of course, money. Prices for home bathroom renovations can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands. But that scope is also what makes it so fun. Your bathroom can be one simple bathtub replacement away from becoming your dream spa.
A recent report from the National Association of Realtors revealed that 70 percent of consumers have a “greater desire to be home” following bathroom renovations. Another recent study by KBB revealed that 50 percent of American homeowners plan to do a remodeling project in 2021, and 70 percent of those homeowners are focusing on their bathrooms.
Bathroom remodels also come with added function and value for your home. Reports show that homeowners recoup more than half of their costs in resale value after completing a bathroom renovation project, which goes to show just how valuable these projects are. But where do you start? What do you need to know? What comes next? Modernize is here to help you at every step of the way with your bathroom remodeling project.
Remodeling a Bathroom: The Basics
Generally, planning a bathroom remodel centers around your style, functionality, and budget goals. It is just as important to achieve a layout and design plan that fits your lifestyle needs as it is to find your ideal style and aesthetic. And of course, you need to accomplish the project within what your budget allows.
A typical bathroom remodel involves demolition of old features and renovations in central areas such as showers, bathtubs, sinks, cabinetry and toilets. But it can also involve more minor renovations such as updates to mirrors, faucets, lighting, paint, and more.
Because a bathroom remodel involves so many moving parts, it’s helpful to break it down into a few basic parts – functionality and lifestyle, style and aesthetic, and budgeting.
Functionality and lifestyle
When planning your bathroom remodel, first think about who is using the bathroom regularly. Here are some examples of people who may need different accommodations in their bathroom:
A person with a disability
Bathroom remodels give homeowners the opportunity to rethink a space and its function entirely. For some, that might mean adding a second sink for a couple or siblings. For others, it could mean moving the toilet to a different area for more privacy. If you are older and plan on living in your home for years to come, you might consider some home accessibility installations.
When planning for functionality, think about how much time you spend in your bathroom daily. What functionality do you require in your bathroom? How could you improve the daily routine of the person or people it is serving? Do you share the space with others? How can you make it more comfortable and convenient on a daily basis?
Think of these questions and review them when speaking with a professional contractor. Bathroom remodeling professionals will know the right renovations and adjustments to make to your current bathroom to mold it to your lifestyle.
Style and Aesthetics
With so many appealing modern bathroom styles today, how do you begin to choose? While some homeowners have style and design preferences that call out to them right away, others may find the decision trickier.
To help you dream up your ideal bathroom style, ask yourself a few questions:
Is the bathroom large or small? Lighter colors and fixtures tend to make smaller spaces appear larger, while warmer and darker tones work better in larger spaces.
Do you want to make a unique statement, or would you rather a classic style? Some homeowners want their bathroom to stand out, while others may be looking for something more timeless that boost resale value.
Do you want colors, tones, and textures to be integrated, or vary? Some homeowners like the look of matching features, while others prefer two-toned styles and contrast.
Modernize recommends starting by exploring inspiring trends and bathroom remodel ideas that other homeowners are implementing.
How Much Does a Bathroom Remodel Cost?
Bathroom remodeling can be as simple or lavish as one’s taste or budget can envision. These days, the average cost to renovate a bathroom in the U.S. can range from $1,000 to upwards of $30,000. The range is so wide because bathrooms come in so many different shapes and sizes! A small bathroom with a single shower will have different needs than a mid-size bathroom with a shower/bathtub combo. And both of those will have totally different needs from a large and lavish master bathroom.
For these reasons, Modernize always recommends that homeowners use a cost calculator to estimate their project’s overall cost prior to starting the remodel.
The total cost depends on the scope of the project, number of installations that need to be completed, size of the bathroom, labor time frame, and more. Often, the bulk of bathroom remodel costs usually go toward expensive items such as showers and tubs, fixtures, plumbing, installation and hardware.
Keep in mind that if you are looking to renovate just one area of your bathroom, rather than the entire room, this may drive down the cost. For instance, if you would like to renovate only the flooring in your bathroom, you can get in touch with a few flooring professionals and request quotes.
A bathroom remodel may include:
Upgrading bathtub or shower
Updating faucets, flooring and lighting
Installing new tile in tub or shower
Installing a new vanity
Freshly painted walls or new wallpaper
Average Job Cost
$3,000 - $20,000
Materials for areas of the bathroom will also vary drastically in cost. Bathroom materials can range from tile and stone to drywall with fun colors and wallpaper. Similar to kitchen remodeling, materials like tile come in plenty of affordable options as well as with DIY-friendly options. However, aspects like sealants, grouts and ventilation are all considerations that should be discussed with a professional.
While expensive, there are several options for homeowners today to finance their bathroom remodel project. Professionals can guide you on the logistics of your budget, as well as various payment plans and financing options that work for you.
Ashower remodel consists of two main components: the shower enclosure itself, and renovations to fixtures like showerheads, handles, and valves. Showerheads can range in price from $25 to $2,000 depending on the specs.
It is important to discuss with your contractor both who will be using the shower the most and what their needs are. For instance, a child’s needs are different from an adult’s when considering the type and height of a showerhead. A pet owner may require a handheld showerhead to shampoo and rinse a dog’s coat. Ultimately, day-to-day routines impact the setup that’s best for a homeowner.
There are dozens of different showerhead options available today. Showerheads range from basic fixtures, to showerheads that light-up or attach to your shower ceiling. The type of showerhead that best works for your shower area depends on the type of shower, your preferences, and budget.
You will also have the chance to choose a type of shower enclosure as you update your shower area. There are four main types of showers to choose from. Note that the main difference between these types of shower enclosures has to do with the type of shower doors and framing.
Frameless. Frameless shower enclosures are the sleek, strong glass enclosures that do not need metal framework to support the edges. They are popular for their clean, metal-free look that can let a homeowner showcase the tile or stonework inside.
Semi-frameless. This option comes with the same sleek, refined look frameless enclosures offer. Semi-frameless options have a metal window structure but keep the door portion frame-free. Semi-frameless enclosures are great choices for homeowners who want the clean look of frameless shower doors but have a smaller renovation budget.
Framed. This traditional option utilizes a strong framework to add clean lines and support. Like a window, it outlines the whole enclosure with metal framing, including doorways. Homeowners can tie the whole look together by matching hardware to the finish of the framework. Framed shower enclosures often come in the form of sliding glass shower doors.
Walk-in. To achieve an even more modern, open shower area, the walk-in shower does away with glass doors completely. Walk-in showers can be used as “roll in showers” to be accessible to wheelchair users, or simply to open up a space. Be sure to ask your contractor if your bathroom is equipped to support a walk-in shower.
Double. Larger or master bathrooms can typically accommodate a double shower. These showers feature two full showerheads on either end of the shower.
Homeowners looking into bathtub replacements should also consider functionality and lifestyle. For instance, freestanding tubs are lauded for being kid-friendly. Even if a homeowner does not have children, home value experts say it is worth considering in a kid-friendly neighborhood for the resale value alone. Homeowners should also consider whether they would prefer a shower/tub combo, versus a freestanding soaking tub or a massage tub with jets.
Here are the most popular types of bathtubs to consider:
Alcove tub. The most standard and affordable type of bathtub, this type of tub is installed directly into the bathroom wall. It is a great choice for as a space and cost saving solution.
The combo. A shower/tub combo uses an alcove bathtub enclosure and builds a shower around its space. They are versatile, accommodate different needs and as we previously mentioned, can help with resale value. Shower/tub combos are also great space saving units, and work great in smaller full bathrooms or guest bathrooms.
The soaking tub. Soaking tubs are deeper, wider, grander tubs that allow you to submerge entirely underwater for a long, healing experience. Garden tubs — the French oval tubs featured in luxe catalogs — are a popular type of soaking tub. They typically utilize standard plumbing, but Modernize encourages you to discuss the type of tub you envision with a contractor ahead of time.
Freestanding tub. Just like the soaking tub, a freestanding bathtub is showerless. Varieties include the ever-popular vintage style clawfoot tubs. One of their highlights is the fact that it can go anywhere with access to plumbing, instead of being cast off to a shower or anchored to a particular wall.
Massage bathtub. Massage tubs can add a spa-like experience to your home! They come with whirlpool jets that massage and relax the skin and body, making them ideal for soothing muscles and joints, those with chronic pain, and the elderly.
Drop-in tub. Combining the space-saving quality of the alcove tub with the luxurious comfort of a soaking tub, the drop-in tub is installed into a surround with 6 inches of space on all sides. It can allow you to bring a spa-like experience into a smaller bathroom.
Another popular upgrade during a remodel project is replacing your bathroom sinks. Maybe you have a vanity or set of cabinets with built-in sinks that are outdated. You may also want to add an additional sink for a kid’s bathroom or couple’s master bathroom. Whatever the reason for the upgrade, you have plenty of bathroom sink options to choose from.
The best bathroom sink for you depends on the size of your bathroom and the type of cabinets or vanity you currently have. If you are looking to add a sink to a vanity or set of cabinetry, popular sink options include drop-in sinks and undermount sinks. For smaller bathrooms without vanities, you may want to opt for space-saving options like the pedestal sink or wall-mounted sink.
Once you choose your type of sink, there are additional fixtures and features to consider. For instance, you can add faucets that match other hardware or a unique colored sink basin.
Installing newlight fixturesis an important part of a bathroom remodel. Light fixtures can add a new design element or mood to the bathroom. Consider adding recessed lighting to areas above the tub or shower, or sconce lighting around the mirror. You can also choose pendant lights or a chandelier to make a more unique statement in a master bathroom.
During the bathroom remodel process, homeowners should consider whether or not they need a new toilet. While keeping your older toilet may be tempting you save money during the remodel, toilets older than 25 years are usually due for a replacement. Improperly functioning toilets can be a risk to your home and can cause water damage or plumbing nightmares.
While your contractor is in your bathroom, ask if your toilet should be replaced. New toilet options include classic floor-mounted and modern wall-mounted toilets, and they are normally quite affordable – under $600 – to install.
Vanities, Cabinets, and Countertops
Adding a new vanity, set of custom cabinets, and new countertops to your bathroom can truly breathe new life into the room. Vanities and cabinets can easily become worn and outdated over the years. Since they are often a focal point of the room, it is worth considering adding a new vanity or installing a set of custom cabinets to modernize the space.
Popular types of countertops for bathrooms include marble, granite, and quartz. There are also affordable countertops that are becoming more popular among homeowners, like laminate and concrete.
Bathroom Flooring Renovations
While flooring remodels are not completely necessary during a bathroom remodel, if your floors are outdated or damaged this renovation can truly refresh the look of your space. Tile is still the most popular type of flooring for bathrooms, but there are other unique options to choose from, such as natural stone or vinyl.
If your budget is tight and you are satisfied with your existing bathroom floors, you can give them a deep clean to refresh their look and save your budget for other bathroom features. Alternatively, you can simply hire a flooring contractor to replace only your flooring to give the room new life, if you are satisfied with other elements in your bathroom.
Can I see the project plans for my space before starting?
Shower and tub projects can typically be completed in one day. Talk to your contractor about ideal timeframes upfront as they may limit your options. If the one-day route is not an option, be sure to communicate with your contractor about the timetable at hand in order to plan ahead.
Multi-day or longer-term bathroom projects often mean needing to expect your water to be turned off while contractors are working. Make sure to have a plan for the disruption — not only in the loss of a bathroom but with any noise or dust that can be expected with any home improvement project.
Whether it’s picking out the right tile or going over a list of questions to ask your contractor, Modernize is your trusted source for bathroom remodel projects. Our guides are created to empower homeowners. We provide guidance on full bathroom remodels, remodeling costs, budgeting and financing options, and much more.
However you decide to proceed, bathroom remodeling is an exciting opportunity and we are here to help you figure out what’s right for you! Modernize can help connect you with a contractor who makes your posh spa bathroom vision a true reality.
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Here are the top articles that homeowners found useful when planning their bathroom remodel project and navigating the contractor hiring process.