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From design ideas to cleaning best practices, the Modern Bathroom Blog provides tips and tricks for creating or maintaining a beautiful bathroom.

Cutting Costs Vs. Cutting Loose: 5 Spots To Splurge In The Bath



High-end bathroom remodel spending topped $57,000 in 2016, a long way past the roughly $17,000 national average for a midrange rehab project.

However, it is possible to go luxe within limits — to get a bathroom with bling on a budget, while walking the line between helpful bathroom remodel savings and necessary, renovation-making bathroom remodel expenses. The trick is knowing when to go big and when to pull back.

Clear Heads Beat Clearance Racks

Sure, a smart shopper can find high-quality merchandise at extraordinary prices, but it’s not always about looking for sales. Sometimes, you simply have to know which corners to cut, and areas where you should never skimp. How your bathroom functions should always be more important than how it looks. That’s not to say a beautiful piece of cabinetry can’t be part of a functional design, but it is to say that we’re establishing a ground rule for bathroom remodel expenses — function trumps style.

Spots to Splurge

  • Toilets. The reason you’re most often in the bathroom is not the place to go cheap. Whether you’re going wall-mounted, one-piece or two-piece, it’s important to seek quality. First, know your rough-in (the space from floor drain to the wall), then consider rim height, bowl size, water-saving features and flush ratings in making your pick.
  • Fixtures. From a design standpoint, sink fixtures should coordinate with shower and tub fixtures, and with the handle on the commode. From a durability standpoint, solid brass bodies last longer than brass- or chrome-plated or plastic-bodied fittings. Don’t worry, solid brass cores can be wrapped in a variety of finishes — from contemporary chrome to traditional polished nickel and, of course, gleaming brass.
  • Countertops. Laminate is an inexpensive option and, for the most part, looks it. Solid-surface material (think Corian) is better, but can scorch and scratch. Granite is lovely and heat-resistant, but needs to be sealed against stains. Marble is similar, though more scratch-prone than granite. Quartz never needs to be sealed and is practically impervious to stains, but you’d better not set a hot curling iron on it. Everything has its pros and cons. For an upscale look, don’t use laminate, solid-surface or tile. The rest is up to you.
  • One luxury touch. What’s a remodel without some wow factor? You don’t have to go for the remote-control bidet, a stock-ticker in your mirror or a wall-mounted urinal. Yet how great would it be to have a defogging mirror? Or radiant heat floors? Or a towel warmer?
  • Accent tiles. We’ll get to the rest of wall and floor coverings in a moment. Though the right wall tile, judiciously used, draws the eye where you want it to go. Though some glass or marble mosaics can go upward of $50 per square foot, the actual expense isn’t much when you’re only running a 6-inch-wide stripe around a 60-inch tub alcove.

    Spots to Save

    • Floor tile. Porcelain or ceramic are cheaper options than marble, limestone or granite, and they hold up well. Further, if you’re going with a more expensive accent tile, you’re going to want that to pop amid less assertive accompaniment. On the other hand, if you’re still trying to make a big impression with your floor tile, that’s often as much about configuration as about material.
    • Lighting. Let’s face it — on a list of items that take a lot of abuse in the bathroom, lights aren’t. In fact, lighting remains above the fray, literally, and those components are generally inexpensive compared with other essential bathroom equipment. Just make sure there’s enough light above the mirror and in the tub/shower unit.
    • Demolition. At some point, most of us are going to want a contractor on a bathroom remodel — but some serious bathroom remodel savings can be gleaned by a homeowner who’s willing to tear out the old bathroom himself or herself. If you’re nervous about it, tell the contractor of your plans to do the demo, and ask him or her for a few tips. Make sure you know where to shut off the water to the sink, tub and toilet; where to shut off the electricity if necessary; and exactly what needs to go. Why pay a contractor’s hourly rate for something that doesn’t require a contractor’s skill?
    • Materials. If you buy the materials yourself, you will avoid what, in some cases, is a 20 to 30 percent markup by the contractor. Further, you’ll have more options than simply the contractor’s preferred suppliers. What’s more, you can do something funky if you’d like — a thrift-store mirror above the sink. An arm surplus locker for extra storage.

    Getting Rid of the Stress

    Whether you’re replacing a faucet or a vanity, or embarking on a complete gut job, Modern Bathroom is your trusted resource. With factory-direct pricing, low-price guarantees and free shipping, plus knowledgeable staffers ready to help you prioritize your bathroom remodel spending, we’re here to help make your decisions as stress-free as possible.
  • How To Set Your Bathroom Remodel Budget

    Planning to update your bathroom soon? Excited to transform the space? There’s nothing like a beautiful remodeled bathroom to add pleasure and value to your home. In fact, remodeled bathrooms provide some of the highest resale returns in home improvement. Yet as fun as it is to browse fixtures and flooring for your updated bathroom, you also have to think about costs. Budgeting a bathroom remodel can be tricky, especially when there are certain amenities or features you want. To make the most of your project and avoid unexpected price hikes and delays, it’s vital to set a renovation budget.

    What tips should you keep in mind for budgeting your bathroom remodel? How can you avoid the typical remodel budgeting mistakes? To help answer these questions, here’s a look at budgeting tips when you’re planning a bathroom remodel at home:
     
    1. Know your bathroom. The larger your bathroom, the more space there is to remodel — and potentially, the more money you’ll spend. When planning your budget, start with the specs of your space. Is it a half bath, a full bath, a master bath or the only bath in your home? Does it just need some cosmetic upgrades, or will there be major changes to plumbing or the footprint of the room? By starting with what you know about your remodeling costs, you’ll have a better estimate moving forward.
    2. Know what’s appropriate for your home’s price range. While most homeowners spend about $10,000 on a bathroom remodel, usually the total amount you spend corresponds to the total amount your home is worth. Keep in mind, these costs include everything from fixtures and cabinetry to flooring and windows. You essentially want to spend about 5 to 10 percent of the total value of your home when you’re thinking about a bathroom renovation budget. For example, if you’re home is worth $200,000, you’d want to limit your bathroom updates to be between $10,000 and $20,000.
    3. Know what you want to change. A bathroom remodel can be fairly inexpensive or costly, depending on what you want to change. Will you be adding square footage? This increases your costs. Will you be changing fixtures? This boosts spending, too. To set a realistic budget, take time to think about what your remodel will include. If you’re working with a contractor, he or she should provide a detailed estimate explaining all the costs and how they break down into your total bill. Examine this carefully and decide what upgrades you can or can’t afford. The better you can plan for and project your costs ahead of time, the easier it will be to stay on budget.
    4. Know that you’ll pay for more than the products you pick. Walk into your local home improvement store and look at countertop costs, and you may think your renovation won’t be too costly. Remember, however, you’ll also be paying for installation and other associated expenses. If you go with stone counters, for example, you’ll have to pay someone to cut and finish them. If you need new plumbing, there are the labor costs to consider.
    5. Know what you can do yourself. One of the most obvious and best ways to cut costs on a remodeling project is to do some of it yourself. Are you handy enough to do start the demolition or take on some tiling? Could you at least paint the space yourself to avoid paying a professional? Wherever you can DIY well, you can do wonders for your budget.
    6. Know what to prioritize. Another great way to save money on a remodeling project is by prioritizing. Maybe you can’t add every imaginable bathroom feature, but you can add the three that are most important to you. Perhaps you forgo a certain upscale feature in lieu of a midrange version you like just as much. Figure out what is most important to you and what will make the most difference in your bathroom — let that be the focus of your redesign.
    Renovating a bathroom is an exciting decision filled with possibility. You can create the space you’ve always wanted, find more to enjoy about your home and increase resale value — all at the same time. To avoid getting in over your head when budgeting a bathroom remodel, however, you should always think carefully before starting the project. Use the six tips above to guide your planning efforts and help make your renovation a success. To find quality products at affordable prices, visit Modern Bathroom, where we offer factory-direct pricing and up to 70 percent savings on a variety of bathroom items.

    Contact us today with any questions about bathroom updates!

    Design Ideas For Your Bathroom Shower

    Ask any expert in home remodeling, and you’ll hear the same feedback about upgrades: Buyers like kitchens and baths. This means, when you want to update your home to boost potential resale value, these are the best places to start.

    Do you want to upgrade your bathroom? Or, are you planning to build a new home and wondering what shower features stand out? In either case, smart shower design matters. Whether you’re designing a new bathroom or planning a shower remodel, here are a few great upgrades to think about incorporating:

    1. A glass shower door: When you want an upgrade that’s both stylish and practical, consider frameless glass shower doors. Not only does a glass shower door look modern and luxurious, but it also adds convenience. On a flat bathroom floor, for example, it makes access in and out easier, without any steps required. This means it can be a great choice for frail or aging individuals. Glass shower doors also extend the visual sight line farther into the bathroom, making it possible to show off custom tile work and/or add a more spacious feel to the room.
    2. Bench seating: A large shower is the perfect place to add a bench, creating a wonderful place to relax and enjoy a lengthy, luxurious scrub. While built-in seating is typically added during the building process, a simple teak shower seat or a new bench is doable any time.
    3. Shower shelving: Storage solutions are a welcome addition to any bathroom, especially with shelving in the shower. Shelves create places for housing soap, shampoo and other necessities, conveniently and within reach. Today’s market includes shower doors with glass shelves, shower inserts with built-in shelving and, always, the option to customize shelving for your space. Think about what you’d like best and what works with your budget to make a smart choice.
    4. A new showerhead: Believe it or not, the right showerhead can make all the difference in a luxury showering experience. You could go for a rain showerhead that mimics the feel of standing beneath a waterfall; or multiple showerheads that spray you from different angles, for example. When you install a new showerhead, you add fresh value to your shower space.
    5. Better lighting or windows: Another upgrade with major impact is lighting. This is especially true in the bathroom. Determine how you can brighten and illuminate your current shower space: New overhead lights? Glass tile? A window or skylight? Find ways to make your shower feel brighter, and you make it more appealing for daily use.

    Whether you’re planning to sell soon or far in the future, upgrading your shower design is a wise investment. To get inspired with ideas for remodeling or building, think about the five ideas above. Whether you swap a curtain for a glass door or add something simple like a new showerhead, you can take your shower to the next level one step at a time. When you’re shopping for the best values in shower additions, browse our website. With Modern Bathroom, you can explore various shower products, offered at factory-direct prices with free shipping you’ll love.

    Contact us to learn more!

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