Our second article covering return on investment for home renovations focuses on your bathroom remodel project. As mentioned in our kitchen-focused report, the two most popular rooms in our homes are the kitchen and the bathroom(s). These are high-traffic areas and thus can yield the best returns. However, where a bathroom renovation can have an advantage over a kitchen renovation is frankly due to the size of the space. There’s physically less to renovate, and the cost scales accordingly.
Captured in last month’s article were some general statements around tactics for increasing value and life expectancy of your kitchen remodel. Many of these hold true a bathroom renovation, too.
Region and market need to be considered
When starting out on the journey of any project, Hammerdown encourages our clients to “dream big”. With technology, you’re able to amass an extensive database of your likes and tastes within a relatively short period. Populate your Pinterest account, turn to industry-specific Houzz for home renovation inspiration, or follow a seemingly endless trail of hashtags on Instagram. And then, share it all with us. Any selections you’re able to make now will give our interior design team a window into your personality – and will allow us to produce an outcome that matches your taste.
However, as your experts in bathroom remodeling, there may be situations where we guide your wish-list to a solution that is more down to earth. We aren’t doing this to stifle your creative senses, but we want to ensure that your dream bathroom also matches your dream budget and fits the neighbourhood where your home is located.
Features versus cost – based on your home’s location
To accompany your dream list of features, we also suggest running some research as to the types of bathroom renovations happening in your region or city. Are others using custom marble tiles from floor to ceiling? Can you reduce your investment by reducing the number of costly materials? Is a steam-shower a hot commodity in your neighbourhood? Or could you do without and still compete in the housing market, should you be looking to sell.
Factor in your length of stay
If you’ve put down roots and are planning to stay put, feel free to be more generous with your bathroom remodeling dollars – push them into things you enjoy, with less focus on your investment return. In doing so, you’ll rediscover your joy for your renovation for years to come. In the same breath we will always recommend for our clients to avoid “trendy” options – invest in proven materials which will, in turn, retain value over time.
The different types of bathrooms
While not vital to the success of your bathroom remodel, we will briefly cover the types of bathrooms most commonly found in the home:
A bathroom of this category will have abundant space for non-typical luxuries – a fireplace, lounging furniture, televisions, oversized vanities, etc. – in addition to all of the fixtures found in a full bathroom
Most homes have one full bathroom and can be characterized as a 4 or 5 piece. The pieces can include a sink, toilet, shower, bathtub, and other components such as a second sink or a bidet.
Typically is smaller than a full bathroom and doesn’t allow for space for a bathtub. Most of these bathrooms are the second bathroom in the home or basement bathrooms.
Half-bathroom and powder room
This type of bathroom only has enough space for a sink and toilet. A powder room usually is found on the main floor of two-storey homes.
The ensuite is a bathroom which is attached to the master suite but could be any type of bathroom – most commonly a full bathroom.
What is the purpose of your bathroom remodel?
Getting back to the root of your reason – it’s essential to identify if your bathroom remodeling project has a purpose. Having the ability to factor this reason or reasons for your planning and selection process will change the outcome and can sway your decisions in directions you might not initially plan to go.
How to evaluate your bathroom renovation “usability”?
The usability of a particular item or room is an ideal word to describe where function and ease of use meets. Some examples:
- the height of your countertop and sink
- location of mirrors and light sources
- dimensions of bathtub, shower, and other plumbing features
- placement of towel racks from the shower
- the function of any doors (including shower doors) and windows, or panes of glass in the bathroom
We are experts in bathroom remodeling usability
From your inspiration, project guidelines and budget, we are on your side to design-build a bathroom which is highly usable. As a professional, home renovation master contractor, our team is comprised of experienced interior designers and tradespeople who are focused on the result. It’s possible that details which appear minuscule can factor into to a much larger problem as the project moves forward.
Through blueprinting techniques, 3D composite layouts of your bathroom remodel and a keen eye for design we weigh the options thoroughly.
When you are upgrading your bathroom, make water-saving a priority. The savings you could obtain by using less water can add up quick. In addition to the savings, you will also be reducing your environmental impact – which is something that can feel positive. If that wasn’t enough reason, resale values for water-saving devices could drive up your investment return.
New flushing technology across various toilets has enabled water conservation without sacrificing flush performance. When shopping for a toilet, look for a quality low flush toilet. We recommend a flush maintenance measurement of 700 grams or higher. We tend to stay away from dual flush toilets, due to not always flush cleanly resulting in a second flush = no savings. Typical flush volumes less than 6.0 litres per flush are a sound solution.
Water-saving lavatory faucets
Similar to toilets, faucets come with their own set of measurements for output volume. In fact, most Canadian provinces require a maximum water flow to be less than 8.3 litres per minute and with a pressure of 60 psi for any new faucet.
Identify water-efficiency products from certified, compliant companies
When in doubt of water-efficiencies for faucets, toilets and showerhead, look for a third-party logo from certified compliance organizations like CSA (http://www.csagroup.org/industry/construction-building-products/plumbing/), IAPMO (http://www.iapmo.org/), NSF (http://www.nsf.org/about-nsf/locations/north-america/canada), UL (https://www.ul.com/) or Intertek’s ETL (http://www.intertek.com/).
Options for materials when renovating your bathroom
Adding tile to your bathroom remodeling project can be a great way to introduce your personality into the project. However, having the bathroom finished in tile can lead to an excessively high priced outcome. In renovations where the budget comes into play, but our clients still want the “wow” factor that a custom tile installation brings to the table – we recommend targeting key spots to use tile. To increase the impact and surrounding the tile our team can make recommendations for other suitable materials to use to complement the tile. Looking for ideas to kick-start your own tile treatment – see how we used tile in our Poplarwood bathroom remodel.
Bathroom vanities, cabinets, and countertops
What is a bathroom vanity?
The bathroom vanity refers to the cabinets which are attached to a surface built for a placement of a sink and designed to conceal the plumbing below. There is no doubt; the vanity in your bathroom will frequently be used. Due to the amount of usage the vanity can be a significant factor in the usability of your bathroom remodel.
Bathroom flooring options
With flooring, safety should be a number one concern. For your bathroom remodel, use a slip-resistant material for the flooring. If you have the means, we recommend finding a large tile that has some texture. We can also discuss the spacing of the tiles which will determine the amount of grout, which can also add to the adhesiveness of a floor.
Along with the material, think about what you might want under the flooring. Are heated floors something you’re after? While deemed as a luxury, having a heated floor can push the return skywards or give you comfort for years to come.
Considerations for bathroom cabinets
Similar to our kitchen remodel, the cabinets with a soft-closing mechanism on the drawers and doors are the best route to go. This feature is almost become an expectation and pushes the luxury feeling up a notch. But unlike our kitchen cabinets, be sure to steer clear of any particle board constructed cabinets for your bathroom remodel. Due to the way particle board is formed they won’t last long in an environment that has abundance moisture in the air.
Selecting your bathroom countertop
Having a low-maintenance countertop is likely the way to go for your bathroom remodel. However, you’ll want to weigh-in the costs of any selected materials – and there’s many from which you can choose. On the higher end, you can use marble, granite, or tile. Mid-range materials could include quartz, concrete, engineered stone. And low-end options being composite or laminate.
Along with the actual material, the pattern, design and color can make a statement. Perhaps, for some, the budget is a determining factor. So, find a laminate option which resembles granite at first glance. Maybe you have a price for a quartz countertop, but have your heart set on granite – take a look at middle-to-low grade granite, which could help you justify the cost and get you there. Need countertop inspiration – we still love looking at the countertop pattern we used for our Groveland “Her’s” bathroom remodel.
Plumbing fixtures, sinks and toilets
We’ve already touched on the water-efficient fixtures which we feel should be part of your bathroom remodel, but beyond that, there are still many decisions to be made. There are going to be hundreds or thousands of options – how will you choose just one?
We like to circle back to the usability – where and how will the fixture be used? How much space do you have to install the fixtures? Also, we suggest focusing more on the quality of the fixture and having the price become a secondary factor – even for bathroom remodels on a budget. Along with these, it should limit the results in a way where you can use your style to narrow down the options to select the fixtures.
Proper lighting can make a significant impact – whether your bathroom is small or large. Ensure you light the space using our tips to get the most out of your bathroom remodeling project. Visit our Meadow Ridge bathroom remodel to see how we’ve used lighting in the past.
Prevent shadows on the vanity
Nothing is worse than when you’re getting ready in the morning and there’s a shadow on your face when you are applying make-up or shaving. We recommend placement of the vanity lighting on either side of the mirror at eye level or directly above. Also, we recommend 100 watts per fixture to ensure the room is bright enough.
Light a footpath
Creating a footpath to the toilet with lighting is a subtle time-saver and increases the safety during use at night. We can install soft, low-intensity lighting under your cabinets which are automatic, sensing movement.
Know about the different types of lighting – task, accent, decorative, and ambient
You will want to layer your bathroom’s lighting to create balance within the space. Task lighting is used primarily for workspaces (around vanity and sinks). Accent lighting can give depth and dimension to specific spots in the room. Decorative lighting can be more about the fixture than the lighting itself – and is meant to add interest and character to the bathroom. Finally, ambient lighting acts as the filler around the other three parts to ensure no dark spots within the room. Using all of the lighting within the bathroom will yield the best results.
A serious consideration – waterproofing
Bathrooms are, by nature, wet spaces. But you want to be sure that water doesn’t leak through walls and cause mold or other damage. To avoid leaks and excess moisture build-up, be sure to waterproof your bathroom walls, floor and ceiling. Along with waterproofing, your bathroom will need ventilation. We recommend systems to keep air moving in this tiny space.
What to expect as ROI from your bathroom remodel, realistically speaking?
Expectations versus reality can be a tricky subject. There are many factors which play into the result. However, most of Hammerdown’s clients can expect to receive 65-85% of their bathroom remodel back as a return on their investment. At an average cost of a bathroom remodeling budget of $20,000, you can expect to recoup in the range of $13,000 to $17,000.
Beside ROI – what else do you want from your bathroom remodel?
At Hammerdown, we believe a big part of any renovation project should be directed towards “what do you want?” Before starting, we suggest any of our potential clients create their own “Bathroom Remodel Goals” Worksheet. A great example of such a thing can be found in this HGTV.com document – simply download the worksheet here (http://hammerdown.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/bathroom-goals-101.pdf).
With any of your selections during your bathroom renovation, we encourage using timeless styles over trendy materials. We will work with you to create the most efficient layout and increase the home’s functionality within your budget. And our showroom, is staffed with our interior designers, can help guide your project if you’re not sure where to start.
If you are interested in discussing your bathroom remodel renovation project and want to hear more about Hammerdown’s recommendations for your investment, contact us today!