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 all things home improvement. Our guides are created to empower homeowners — and that’s no different when it comes to bathroom remodeling. Our services include guidance on full bathroom remodels, remodeling costs, plus bathtub and shower replacements.
Bathroom remodeling encompasses a wide range of projects, cosmetic touches and money; with prices ranging anywhere from a few hundred dollars to well into the mid-thousand-dollar range. But that scope is what makes it so fun. Your bathroom can be one 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.
Bathroom remodels also come with added function and value. There’s a reason why reports show homeowners recoup more than half of their costs in resale value after completing a bathroom renovation project. But where do you start? What do you need to know? What comes next?
Remodeling a Bathroom: The Basics
A bathroom remodel centers around your goals: who does the bathroom service?
Here are some examples of people who may need different accommodations in their bathroom:
- Senior Citizens
- A person with a disability
What functionality does the bathroom you are remodeling have and what would it need to improve the routine of the person or people it’s serving? Think of those questions and review them when discussing things with a contractor.
Aside from upgrading showers and adding new tiles, bathroom remodels give homeowners the opportunity to rethink a space entirely. For some, that might mean adding a second sink for a couple or siblings. For others, it could mean moving the toilet somewhere else.
Bathroom remodeling can be as simple or lavish as one’s taste or budget can envision. For that reason, the cost and timeframe can vary drastically. Often, the bulk of bathroom remodeling costs usually go toward fixtures, plumbing, installation and hardware.
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 instructions so a homeowner can handle the makeover themselves without hiring a contractor. However, aspects like sealants, grouts and ventilation are all considerations that should be discussed with a professional.
Modernize can help connect you with a contractor who makes your posh spa bathroom vision a true reality. As previously noted in our Modernize Contractor Checklist, it’s important to discuss what permits, if any, will be required for the bathroom remodel. Important things to ask your contractor include:
- Do you have proof of insurance?
- Can you provide proof of permits?
- I would like to see the project plans for my space
Guest Bathroom Remodel
A guest 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 and/or new wallpaper
A shower remodel consists of two components: the fixture and the enclosure. Showerhead fixtures 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.
A child’s needs are different from an adult’s when considering the type and height of a showerhead, while 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.
Types of showerheads to consider:
- Fixed: This is the most basic option, optimal for small bathrooms. Like the name, fixed showerheads stay in one place and are optimal for small bathrooms. Even the most budget-friendly versions have variants with two or more spray settings, but it’s all coming from the same showerhead.
- Handheld: Handheld showers are ideal for situations including family and pet-use. Seen in master bathrooms, handheld options come with an attached hose and a wall attachment, where it can be used as a fixed showerhead.
- Rain: Perfect for that spa-like master, rain showerheads are larger, fixed showerheads usually installed higher than a typical showerhead or from the ceiling to mimic rainfall. It’s worth noting that rainfall showerheads can require special plumbing and larger drains. Consult with a Modernize-vetted contractor today about what it would take to upgrade your space.
- Massage: Massage showerheads are lauded for their versatility. Usually, a fixed showerhead with an abundance of settings, spray patterns include jet and aeration settings. These are higher pressure than a rain showerhead and can be used to relieve muscle soreness.
Shower enclosures to consider:
- Frameless: Frameless shower enclosures are the sleek, strong, glass enclosures that don’t need metal framework to support the edges. They’re popular for their clean, metal-free look that can let a homeowner showcase the tile or stonework happening inside.
- Semi-frameless: This option comes with the same sleek, refined look frameless enclosures offer, but with more room for accommodations around a layout that doesn’t have as much wiggle room or a smaller budget. Semi-frameless options have a metal window structure but keep the door portion frame-free.
- Framed: This traditional option utilizes a strong framework to add clean lines and support. Like a window, it outlines the whole enclosure, including doorways. Homeowners can tie the whole look together by matching hardware to the finish of the framework.
Bathtub replacements should consider a similar set of questions. For instance, freestanding tubs are lauded for being kid-friendly. But even if a homeowner doesn’t have children, home value experts say it’s worth considering in a kid-friendly neighborhood for the resale value alone.
Homeowners should also consider if they’d prefer a shower/tub combo versus a freestanding soaking tub or something more lavish, with jets.
Popular types of bathtubs to consider:
- The combo: A shower/tub combo uses a bathtub enclosure and builds a shower around its space. They’re versatile, accommodate different needs and as we previously mentioned, can help with resale value.
- 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 popular French oval tubs featured in luxe catalogs — are a 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: Just like it’s name, a freestanding bathtub is showerless. Varieties include the ever-popular vintage style clawfoot tubs and one of their highlights is the fact that it can go anywhere your plumbing will work with instead of being cast off to a shower or anchored to a particular wall.
Planning, Costs and Next Steps
Shower and tub projects can be done 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.
The average costs to renovate a bathroom can range from $1,000 to upwards of $25,000. The range is so large 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/tub combo. And both of those will have totally different needs from a large ensuite bathroom.
However you decide to proceed, bathroom remodeling is an exciting opportunity and Modernize is here to help you figure out what’s right for you.
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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.
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