Top Dollar Bathroom Remodeling
In a previous article, we looked at kitchen remodeling. Now we would like to discuss kitchen remodeling. I looked at pictures of an older home the other day. There were many areas of this home that had not received any updating for ages. When I came to pictures of one of the bathroom, I saw that all the bathroom tile was done in pink, and from the looks of the other fixtures in the bathroom, it was obvious that this bathroom had not received any updating since the 1940’s. I wanted to give these people some credit, maybe they had purposely installed a retro look. But all I could do was laugh. My grandmother had the same look in her bathroom.
Now I like vintage looks, but the last thing you want in your home is for your guests to think you have no taste whatsoever. A bathroom that was done in the 80’s is still about 40 years old, and you probably have grandchildren in their teens. Isn’t it time to catch up a little?
I always preface an article like this by saying that if you have no plans on selling your home in the next five years, you still owe it to yourselves to update, but if you do have plans to sell then it is imperative that you make the right choices—this is what we call Top Dollar Rehabbing.
Buyers these days are smart, really smart, and they know where to look on line to find designer websites, plus they can walk through displays in Home Depot or Lowes and find displays done in the right color, style and materials. They will not pay top dollar unless they are getting a look that will impress their friends and relatives who come to visit.
Before we discuss some key elements in a bathroom rehab, let me clarify that the term “Top Dollar” does not really refer to price, it has to do with the cohesiveness and stylishness of the looks that you choose. According to Angie’s List, an average bathroom remodel costs a little on the plus side of $10k, but the range can be from around $3k to $23k, and some people can take extravagance to the limit, and spend a lot more than that. If you work with a professional in making decisions, they can help you to prioritize on your spend if you are working with a budget.
Assuming that you are considering a floor to ceiling remodel, here are the primary considerations for a top dollar bathroom look.
Paint—As we discuss throughout the “Top Dollar Rehabbing” series of articles, plan on working with a three-color paint palette. The primary wall color is a light grey, very neutral. To that, you will add white trim around windows, doors, baseboards, etc. And you can also choose an accent color. Most popular for accents at present are “greyed out” sort of dusty colors such as sage, dusty blue, dusty rose, and lavender. Accents are used in minimal amounts. Stay away from warm colors, they make people think of the 80’s and 90’s.
Flooring—Hardwood floors are very popular right now, in neutral brown, but they can be damaged by water, so ceramic tile in white or grey, or possibly a white and grey marbled look. You can also use waterproof flooring, and there are some that resemble hardwood.
Tub Surround—Mosaic tile in white or grey, and possibly incorporating a white, grey and black mosaic accent strip would be a preferred choice.
Lighting—Recessed lighting (canister lights) are a popular choice throughout the house, but lighting above the vanity needs to be done with a stainless steel or brushed nickel plate, and medium sized bulbs. Avoid the old Hollywood lighting look, and don’t use gold or bronze in the fixtures. Make sure the bathroom is well lit and do the same with other work areas throughout the house.
Vanities and Countertops—White shaker cabinets with brushed nickel fittings are the popular style of cabinets, and countertops should be granite or a similar material. One place to go a little wild is the bathroom sink. There is something about a funky sink that people seem to just love. It makes your tasteful, toned-down features come alive. Spend the extra few hundred dollars to get a rather wild sink and your guests will love it and comment on it. Note that of all the costs in a remodel, the Vanity, Countertop sink, and faucet will comprise almost 25% of the budget, it is okay to make the decision to put a substantial amount of your budget there.
Much of the remodeling I have been involved with has been as a rehabber investor. I can tell you from my experience that it is possible to get a professional grade look for much less if you will plan and look around a bit. And working with a professional can help you in making wise decisions. I do have a specific suggestion for bathrooms. I am willing to splurge a little on faucets and the toilet because these can leak and cause extensive damage.
Kitchens and bathrooms are the key areas in selling a home, but they are also important for the comfort of your family. After all, they don’t call it the “rest room” for nothing!