Bathroom Remodeling Choices
When you think about it, the bathrooms in your house aren’t really the flashiest feature of the home. And that’s probably OK. We think about how important the bedroom is because we spend so much time there (if we are getting all the sleep that the doctors recommend.) The living room and dining room get a lot of attention because they are the social areas of the home; if we are going to impress our guests, we are going to do it in one of these rooms. The kitchen is a lot of fun to consider because cooking is a creative endeavor that can be a lot of fun and everyone loves the results.
No one is going to garner a lot of praise for “success” in the bathroom! The bathroom is not a social place, it is where you go for “private time”. What you are doing in there may not be a part of polite conversation, but that doesn’t mean that your time in the bathroom isn’t important to your over all happiness.
This is why many Realtors consider bathroom improvements to be the home renovation project that give the best “return on investment”. These same Realtors will advise that remodeling and home improvements should not be considered part of the investment you make in your home, rather they should be undertaken with consideration towards what will make you and your family’s time in the home the happiest.
A bathroom remodeling project can run through several degrees of complexity and commitment. At one end you can give the bathroom a whole new feel and atmosphere by changing the shower curtains and the color of the towels. At the other extreme, some projects will gut the room down to the bare studs and allow for changing the placement of the fixtures. Most bathroom remodeling projects will land comfortably in between these extremes, so let’s look at some issues that are unique to bathrooms.
Probably the biggest “bang for your buck” upgrade to a bathroom will be in cabinetry. Other than perhaps a shelf over the sink to place your toothbrush and comb in front of the mirror, a bathroom doesn’t need a lot of cabinetry. However a nice vanity and medicine cabinet are nice additions, especially in a bathroom that is shared. Ideally each family member using the space will have a drawer or private spot to locate their own “lotions and potions”. It is worthwhile to give some consideration to “communal supplies”, like extra rolls of toilet paper and house cleaning materials.
The Bathroom Floor
Changing the bathroom floorcan have a dramatic impact on not only using the bathroom, but the convenience of cleaning it. Many new homes have carpeting in the bathrooms. This is not because carpeting is a particularly good choice for bathroom floors, in fact it is a pretty lousy idea. Carpeting in the bathroom is probably the leading reason that the bathroom is the first remodeling project in newly constructed homes.
Ideally, the bathroom floor will be resistant to water damage, easy to clean, warm to walk on, and attractive to look at. The popular options meet all of these conditions to a greater or lesser degree. They include “Sheet materials” like vinyl or linoleum, hard wood, and tile.