Before You Start That Bathroom Remodel

People love renovating their bathrooms. It is a trend that is bordering on obsession. There are so many things that people are looking for in a bathroom nowadays. I mean, it’s a bathroom. The goals should really be that everything is functional, easy to clean, and looks nice. But that isn’t what the people want anymore. They’re looking for walk in showers big enough for three people (remember when they were just called showers?). Heated floors, fancy toilets, and smart showerheads are all the rage now.

Because of this new emphasis on bathrooms, especially en suite bathrooms, it can get incredibly expensive to do a bathroom renovation. This holds true even if you decide to do it yourself. But here is the thing that I tell my clients: quality is better than complicated. Most homebuyers would rather have a low-flow toilet and water conserving showerhead than a heated seat on their throne and multiple showerheads. Take notice that I said most. I advise people who want those types of amenities (and let’s face it, luxury is nice and some people just have that kind of money or preference) to plan on staying in the house until the end of time before expecting to get their money back on bathroom upgrades like that. Don’t get me wrong, I think all that stuff is great, but I also know that it is expensive and not to everyone’s taste. In other words, updating your bathroom=moneymaker. UpGRADING your bathroom=dicey.

Personally, I prefer a good detachable showerhead to the multi-head walk in showers that seem to be the in thing. A quality handheld shower head with different settings can work and feel just as good as the high tech ones yet be a fraction of the price. And if you get a low-flow showerhead, it will cost even less to operate than one of those multi-jet numbers. Those are the types of thing people remember at an open house and every time they look at their water bill. Besides, if you use a shower curtain or smoked glass doors, nobody sees your shower unless they’re physically inside it anyway—regardless of how much it cost you—and typically at that point they would just like to be clean. I would rather spend that money on a gorgeous bathroom sink, vanity, and mirror. You spend an awful lot of time in the bathroom, so having a quality vanity to hold all your toiletries will be a time and space saver. And anyone who has had to suffer without one knows the value of a good quality bathroom mirror. Also, think about how many times and for how many reasons you use your bathroom sink. Now you see where I am going with that? Put the money into the stuff you use the most.

My final advice is this: don’t let bells and whistles distract you from the fact that your bathroom needs to be functional, more so than many other rooms in a home or workspace. Fancy features are great but look for durability and quality over simply good looks or complicated settings you might never figure out, never mind use.