Bathrooms and kitchens are the two areas in a home that will make it look outdated the fastest. One of the reasons is appliances and faucets, and the other is layout/design. These rooms are the most used and therefore, of the utmost importance when it comes to staying updated and functional. The good news is that a bathroom update is a lot cheaper than a kitchen makeover. Bathrooms are smaller and there aren’t as many appliances or as much countertop to replace. So, what are the most obvious signs to look for when updating/upgrading a bathroom? We have a lot of experience when it comes to bathroom remodels. Here is our list of top items to consider.
Faucets & Finishes
First, make sure the faucets are updated. It’s one of the most seen and touched features in any bathroom. Modern faucets offer more streamlined shapes, and symmetry. Get rid of the old standby chrome faucet and hello to more contemporary and sophisticated finishes like brushed nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, warm copper, and even matte black. Designer Tip: make sure all of your finishes, from faucets to shower heads to knobs and handles are the same. This uniformity of finish on the hardware throughout the bath creates continuity and harmony.
Even the big stuff like sinks, toilets, tubs, and showers have undergone style changes over the years. Older fixtures can give away a bathroom’s age. Here are some things to look for:
Here’s a clue to tell if your toilet is outdated. As of 1992, toilets are supposed to use no more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush. If your toilet does not feature a water-saver design, it’s definitely outdated and needs replacing. A couple of other toilet upgrades to consider are changing to a comfort-height toilet and upgrading to an oval bowl shape instead of the classic round. Some people are even adding bidets to their bathroom redesigns for a very modern and upscale touch.
Another thing that screams outdated is toilets, tubs, and sinks in creative colors like pastels. Those were common in the 1970s! Today’s fixtures are subtle creams, whites and beiges. Just say no to pink porcelain.
Sinks and vanities go hand in hand. Older bathrooms tended to have only one smaller sink. A modern bathroom often has his and her sinks along with a longer vanity and countertop. Space will dictate what you do in your bathroom, but if it’s possible to add another sink, it will update the space even more than a single face bowl. As an added bonus, you’ll most likely gain storage space under the countertop which is usually a common problem in older bathroom designs. Obviously, upgrading the countertop to a higher end material will also take years off the age of the room. Solid surfaces like Corian and Silestone may be more budget friendly than granite, marble, or quartz, but all will deliver a beautiful and modern appearance.
Built-in oversized tubs and whirlpool spas are being replaced by freestanding tubs. Another trend in bathroom remodels is replacing the often unused tub with a luxury shower. This allows your shower to be larger without changing the layout of your bathroom too drastically. It is a good idea to keep at least one tub in your home, but it doesn’t have to be in the master bathroom or even a smaller bathroom. Showers are much more convenient and popular in today’s society.
Framed Shower Doors
Speaking of the shower, you may also want to consider updating your shower with frameless shower doors. Heavy glass doors have allowed designers to ditch the clunky frames and replace them with sleek, upscale frameless shower doors. These doors have a sturdy feel, require less hardware and let more light into the shower enclosure. Their sleek, clear design also makes the bathroom feel much more open than shower curtains or framed shower doors.
3. Floors & Walls
Carpet and wallpaper are both clues that your bathroom is outdated. Luckily, stripping the wallpaper and replacing it with a calming shade of paint (grays, taupes, tans, and soft blues are usually ideal) will go a long way in modernizing and changing the feel of a bathroom. Replace any carpet with tile. You can find an amazing assortment of tile and even wood-look tile that will be perfect for any bathroom floor. If you’re going for luxury, make the floor heated.
Lighting is one of the biggest factors that affects the spacious feel of a bathroom. If you really want to brighten up your bathroom, invest in a new light fixture, add track lighting across the room, or add recessed lighting. Your room will instantly look brighter and bigger with sufficient lighting. To add even more light, you might consider enlarging any existing windows, adding a skylight, removing walls, or replacing framed shower doors with new frameless doors. All of these improvements will brighten the space and make it seem larger.
Bathroom Renovations Pay for Themselves
When it comes to selling your home, bathrooms are one of the most important rooms. A bathroom renovation can significantly increase the market value of your home and can be the make or break factor that can persuade a potential buyer to take action or walk away.
Using national averages according to Zillow, a midrange renovation with finishes that are functional and nice, but not top-of-the-line, would have an ROI of 70.1%. This would include materials like ceramic tile, new chrome fixtures, a ceramic tile surround, a standard white toilet and a solid surface vanity counter. An upscale bathroom remodel would have an ROI of 56.2%. This would include some structural changes, large ceramic floor tile, heated floors, high-end faucets and lighting, stone countertops with double sinks, frameless glass shower doors, rain shower fixtures, tiled shower walls and/or a freestanding tub.