Aside from your kitchen, your bathroom is probably the most frequently remodeled room in your house. The average bathroom remodel costs a homeowner $15,782 and adds only $10,295 to the home’s value at resale. If you want to enlarge your bathroom or include spa-like amenities like a Jacuzzi tub, the cost goes up. That’s why it’s so important to plan your bathroom remodel properly — to get the functionality you need from the space.
When planning your bathroom remodel, consider who’s going to be using the bathroom and how much traffic it will see on a daily basis. Do you need storage space in the bathroom? Do you want to enlarge the bathroom? Do you need your bathroom to meet special needs? These are all things to consider when planning your bathroom remodel.
Remember Who Will Be Using the Bathroom and Why
One of the most important parts of planning a successful bathroom remodel is remembering who will be using the bathroom and why. Adults, children, teenagers and people with special needs are all going to make different demands on this space.
Consider how many people currently live in your home, their ages and their physical abilities. Anticipate upcoming changes in your family. Are you just starting your family or will your kids be leaving home soon? Do your elderly parents live with you or will they be moving in? Is someone in the family disabled? When planning a bathroom remodel, consider the special needs of the people who will be using that bathroom the most.
Children will need lower towel bars and light switches, as well as a bathtub. Use safety glass in mirrors and make sure outlets are grounded and kept away from water sources. Childproof latches can be used to keep kids out of cabinets. Slip-resistant floors are essential, as they are in any bathroom.
Remember that your kids will soon be teenagers. When remodeling a kids’ bathroom, incorporate elements suitable for people of all ages. A floor-length mirror will continue to serve your children as they grow. If a separate tub and shower aren’t possible, put in a shower-and-tub combo with a slip-resistant tub so your kids can graduate to showers as they grow.
A family bath will see traffic from every member of the household, so try to make it suit every family member’s needs. Fixtures and surfaces should be durable and easily cleaned so they can stand up to the abuse doled out by several people relying on the bathroom. A large bathroom vanity with a double sink is a must.
Consider locating the toilet in a separate compartment or putting it behind a screen for privacy. A separate tub and shower can increase this room’s functionality. You’ll probably want to plan for plenty of storage in the family bath. Consider possibly enlarging this bath by extending it into a nearby room or taking the space from an adjacent closet.
Powder Room or Half-Bath
This bathroom probably doesn’t get as much traffic as the others, so it doesn’t need as much storage. Its décor can reflect your personal tastes, and there’s less focus on durability or ease of cleaning in this bathroom. This bathroom will get the most guest traffic so remodel it for show rather than function.
The master bath is where most people go all out on luxury and spa-like amenities. If you’re going to treat yourself, this is the bathroom to do it. You’ll definitely want double sinks and you may consider adding a separate tub and shower, a Jacuzzi, a bidet, a dressing area, closets — the sky’s the limit. Consider what activities you currently do in your master bath, as well as what you’d like to do, when deciding what features to add to it.
Many people enlarge this bathroom by taking space from the master bedroom or from a nearby smaller bedroom. Another option is to convert a smaller, unused bedroom into a master bath.
Creating an Accessible Bathroom
Elderly or disabled people can benefit from a showerhead that slides up and down a pole, a comfort-height toilet, grab bars and a curb-less walk-in shower, as well as lower switches and outlets. Even if no one in the home is elderly or disabled, consider installing some of these features if you think you’re going to use this bathroom for a long time. One day, it could be you benefitting from the accessible bathroom.
You’ll only get about two-thirds of the bathroom remodel’s cost back on resale, so it’s important that you’re getting what you need out of the bathroom to make the remodel worthwhile. Planning your bathroom remodel well can help you and your family continue to enjoy this space for years to come.
About the Author: Contributing blogger Dale Geffner has remodeled hundreds of bathrooms over the course of his twenty-year career as a contractor.
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