Modern Bathroom Remodeling Ideas to Increase Home Value

If you’re considering selling your home and are wondering how to increase its value without breaking the bank, upgrades and remodels are a good place to start, especially in the bathroom. If that sounds expensive already, know this: there’s plenty you can do in this realm to see a return on your investment regarding sale price.

Whether you choose to renovate (updating fixtures, for example) or take on a full-blown remodel (changing the functionality) of your bathroom, you’ll stand a better chance of attracting the attention of earnest buyers and getting more at closing.

Upgrade Your Bathroom With Safety and Sanitation Features

The pandemic stirred up concerns over sanitation and safety. For example, touchless faucets, smooth surfaces that are easy to clean, and bidets which also check the box for sustainability. Also, enhanced lighting to decrease accidents and features for those concerned with aging in place, like curbless showers and safety bars, have moved up the list.

If that last item conjures images of thick silver bars with no aesthetic appeal, there are some on the market that can blend in and add to your chosen aesthetic, and some can serve dual purposes. For example, the combination grab bar and product holder below function well inside the shower and easily blend in without being overly obtrusive. Or this grab bar that doubles as a towel bar just outside the shower or tub.

You can also install free-standing bamboo shower seats and bars with polished metals for a more modern aesthetic. Another option if you want to invest a bit more is new tile work in the shower that includes built-in seating.

If you don’t want to go all in on this and redo the entire bathroom, select an area and make it a focal point with upgraded tile that adds a pop of color.

Upgrades to Your Bathroom Don’t Have to be Expensive

Basic Bathroom Remodel Checklist

So you’ve decided to remodel your bathroom. Thankfully, the list of remodels that can help improve the look of your bathroom doesn’t have to be expensive or even exhaustive. Some simple changes to your bathroom can make a world of difference. Here are some simple changes you can make to your bathroom without breaking your budget. Keep in mind that not all remodels have to be extensive, in fact minor remodels work better as far as bang for your buck go.  

Minor renovations are enough to give many bathrooms the life they need to encourage interest from buyers and higher sale prices. So, what’s considered minor?

  • Lighting—If your home is over a decade old, chances are, more modern lighting will bring it up to date and give it a more polished appearance.
  • Shelving—Filling in that narrow, empty space in your bathroom with a tall, built-in shelving unit can add a new dimension and more storage.
  • Mirrors—Installing a newer or bigger mirror with an aesthetically pleasing frame is a great, inexpensive way to upgrade your bathroom and give it a more high-end feel. Going with a lighted mirror can give your bathroom an interesting added feature that can make it feel more modern without looking garish.
  • Flooring—Removing vintage linoleum or aging tiles and laying down a fresh new floor with what’s trending are other ways to bring your bathroom up a few levels without replacing everything. Replacing the floor of your bathroom or the backsplash on your tub can de-age a space and really update your bathroom aesthetic. Getting replacement tile can be more costly, but can truly transform the space. 
  • Paint—A can or two of paint will cover all four walls of most bathrooms—an inexpensive way to bring the life back to your bathroom by going with the latest color trends. Painting your bathroom a bright, clean color can do wonders for an outdated design. If you’re dealing with an older bathroom painted some version of yellow, off-beige pink, or some other 70s remnant, adding a coat of paint can make a world of difference. 

All of the items in the list above can be done with little money to make a big impression. And the best part: these are all DIY projects, which will cut down on costs even more.

If you want to go a couple of steps further and take on a project or two that’s more involved and will likely mean hiring a professional, consider any of the following.

  • Vanity—Sprucing up a space with a new vanity is a great way to add character and aesthetic appeal. And when you add a double vanity, you’ll appeal to those sharing space with a significant other. Morning and evening routines become a lot less congested—a great selling point.
  • Sinks and Fixtures—You can keep it simple by adding newer faucets (a simple DIY project), or you can go all the way and put in a new sink and bathtub. Replacing your sinks or at the very least your sink hardware can pull together a bathroom. Even if you’re not looking to fully replace your sinks, a new set of hardware can not only stop leak issues it can make your sink appear newer than it is, adding overall value to the space. 
  • Storage: One of the first things people notice when they enter your bathroom includes the smell, the lightning, and clutter. With clutter top of the list after minor details, adding more storage to your bathroom can be a great way to improve the overall look and value of the space. Be sure that any storage is easy to access and looks neat.
  • Showers or tubs: Replacing a full shower can be a costly investment, but if you have a standing shower or a shower-tub combo that’s outdated or damaged, this investment can have a great turnaround. Showers or tubs can age a space, and any discoloration or serious leaks can bring down the aesthetic of your bathroom. If you’re not looking to replace your shower or tub, replacing the caulking can also work wonders for the appearance and water retention of the utility. 
  • Toilet: Replacing your toilet might not immediately cross your mind. However, if you have a weird-colored or discolored toilet, replacing it can really spruce up your bathroom. You can also invest in a new toilet seat if you’re not committed to a full replacement, as this can help remove stubborn stains. 
  • Radiant floor heating—Who doesn’t love the idea of stepping onto a warm, pre-heated floor in the morning, especially during our cold, wet Pacific NW winters?
  • Sound system—Whether you have a regular tub or a luxurious soaking tub, the bath enthusiast who views your home will fall in love with the option of having piped-in soothing music.

How Much of an ROI Can You Expect to See From a Bathroom Remodel?

According to Zillow, minor cosmetic changes can bring you an increase of $1.71 in home value for every $1 spent. This includes things like painting walls and/or cabinets, adding modern mirrors or hardware, and refreshing flooring.

The Remodeling 2023 Cost vs. Value Report shows that a bathroom remodel costing $39,710 will add $18,270 to the value of your home, and you’ll recoup 46% of the project cost. Other sources claim a minor bathroom remodel can have an average ROI of as much as 102%. That means you’ll not only recoup the full amount you spend, but you’ll also make $2 on every $100 you spend. Again, minor bathroom remodels tend to perform better than major ones in terms of increasing your home value.

The National Association of REALTORS® Research Group‘s 2022 study reports the potential for as much as a 71% ROI on bathroom remodels.

Of course, it all depends on many factors, but the scope of your project is the most important. Remodeling a small bathroom or updating a powder room will obviously be more affordable. The good news is that high-end features and fixtures aren’t necessary to see a solid ROI. In fact, many people claim that going all in on a massive luxury bathroom upgrade will bring you a lower ROI.

Bathroom Upgrades That Won’t Increase the Value of Your Home

Not all bathroom upgrades are created equal. While you might be compelled to jump in and do a massive remodel, before you gut your bathroom and start from the ground up or make a plan that will put a big dent in your bank account, consider these upgrades that can be spendy and won’t necessarily increase the value of your home.

  • Jet tubs—Everyone loves the idea of having a jet tub, but the truth is they can be problematic. They’re expensive to install, require regular maintenance, and can break down more often than you might think. If your home already has one, go with it. But if you’re considering adding one just to increase the value of your home, it’s probably best to skip it.
  • Steam showers—Basically, the same situation as the jet tub. It is probably best to skip this addition unless, of course, you want to add it for your own personal enjoyment.
  • Custom spas—As with the steam shower and jet tub, having your own custom spa can be a coveted luxury. If you have your heart set on one and think you’ll be in your home for several years to enjoy it, go ahead. However, adding one just to improve your home’s value will not bring you a noticeable ROI. In fact, you may end up losing money in the long run.
  • Wallpaper—As we’ve reported, wallpaper is making a comeback. However, tastes vary widely when it comes to this home decor treatment. If you currently have wallpaper and want to give your bathroom a facelift, consider removing it and painting the walls a neutral color. The buyers of your home will have an easier time seeing themselves—and their own personal touches—in your bathroom.

Planning to Sell a Home in the Next 12 Months and Want Advice?

We’d love to set an appointment to tour your home and give advice on efficient remodeling that would increase your home’s market value. Give our top 1% seller’s agents a call today at 503-714-1111 or chat with the bot on our site. We are excited to connect with you.

January 12, 2024
AUTHOR

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. A Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington, he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call his team in Oregon at 503-714-1111 or in Washington at 360-345-3833.

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