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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.

Average Return On Investment For Bathroom Remodels



If you’ve been thinking about upgrading your bathroom, there’s more than improved aesthetics to enjoy. That’s because, bathroom remodels can be a great way to add value to your home, especially when it comes to resale potential. Buyers today like seeing updated bathrooms and kitchens, so when you’ve put in the time and expense of making thoughtful upgrades, it often pays off in your sales price.

What kind of return on investment is involved with a bathroom remodel? What kind of materials will give you a higher return? Would making a bathroom bigger be a smart choice? To help answer these questions, here are some tips to keep in mind as you plan your renovation.

The Average ROI on a Bathroom Remodel

While no two bathroom renovations are exactly alike, they represent the potential for increase in home value. How much? Recognizing that every bathroom, home and neighborhood differ, and that multiple factors affect resale potential, there are still some governing principles. According to U.S. News, for example, investing in a bathroom remodel yields a 62 percent return on average — at least if you do it well. A successful remodel means thinking strategically about what upgrades you make, banking on current trends and timeless features.

What High-End Materials Generate a Higher Return?

Part of knowing what high-end materials will pay off best in resale value is knowing the current market. You want to look at current trends and what is generating the best price-per-square-foot value, using that to guide your investment. Some bathroom renovation choices that tend to do well right now include:
 
  • Double sinks: Especially in the master bathroom, homeowners like double sinks that provide more convenience and flexibility.
  • Brushed metal faucets and fixtures: There are multiple styles of finishes that do well in resale value, including pewter, silver, nickel, copper, bronze and gold. Whatever you go with, aim to match all the bathroom fixtures together.
  • Luxury bonuses: To give a bathroom that “wow” factor to attract buyers, see if you can incorporate a few impressive extras. This could be heated towel racks or radiant heat floor mats. You might add a hand shower to the shower/tub. Think strategically to make upgrades that will make a difference.
Keep in mind that, in many cases, cosmetic changes tend to be smarter investments than major layout changes or overhauls. To get the most out of your bathroom remodel, focus on visual features like colors, fixtures and tile.

How Bathroom Size Factors Into Resale Value

Buyers typically like full baths with space. If they’re buying a home with three bedrooms, for example, they’ll usually prefer two full baths over one-and-a-half bathrooms. What does this mean when you’re remodeling? If you can affordably increase a bathroom’s size, it might be a wise choice. Upgrading a half bath to a full bath makes a significant difference in your home’s specs, potentially boosting its value when it’s time to sell.

When it comes to bathroom renovations, there are no guarantees about resale value, but there are some general guidelines to help you make wise choices. Look at all the factors, think about what’s selling well, and reference studies like this 2016 Cost Vs. Value Report to help you make decisions you can feel good about when it’s time to sell!

Tips for Converting a Tub to a Shower

If you’re thinking about converting your outdated bathtub into the luxurious walk-in shower you’ve always dreamed of, you’re in good company. According to the American Institute of Architects, bathrooms without bathtubs are growing in popularity. In fact, 60 percent of homeowners preferred stall showers to tubs in a 2013 survey. However, there’s a caveat: most real estate agents recommend keeping at least one bathtub in your home to preserve its marketability when you decide to sell your home. So, before you take a sledgehammer to your bathtub, here are some tips for making the process as seamless and affordable as possible.

Measure the Space

Not all showers will fit in the space that’s being occupied by your bathtub, which is why it’s important to measure your bathroom as precisely as possible. Most tubs are 60 inches wide, which is a great width for a shower. Unfortunately, many homeowners typically run into an issue with the depth. You’ll want to aim for at least 32 to 34 inches from the finished tile wall to the future glass shower door. To comply with the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s guidelines for bathrooms, you’ll also need to have a finished ceiling height of a minimum of 80 inches and a shower that’s at least 30 X 30 to comply. It’s also important to record the toilet location- a distance of 15 to 18 inches from the center of the toilet to the shower door tends to be comfortable.

If the measurements of your future shower don’t fall in line, you’ll likely need to put your shower in a different location of the bathroom, which will probably require the services of a professional contractor and/or designer.

What about the Shower Door?

Many DIYers forget about the shower door until it’s too late. To avoid the headache that comes along with that, figure out your shower door situation before you plan the renovation. Ask yourself a few questions: where will you put the door in your new shower? Does it interfere with the bathroom vanity or toilet? Will there be enough room to get in and out of the shower with the new shower door? If the walkway from the vanity or toilet to the shower is too tight for a swinging shower door, there are other alternatives available on the market, including glass block walls, sliding doors, and retainer walls. Tip: if the bathroom floor is going to get wet outside the shower, choose a slip-resistant material for the floor.

Take Your Time with Fixtures

Shopping for bathroom fixtures can actually be a lot of fun, as long as you take your time and do your research. Research your options, and keep an eye out for specials and possible out-of-the-box combos. Many first-time DIYers may feel pressure to purchase all their bathroom fixtures and accessories from the same brand, which isn’t a necessity. In fact, many professional designers mix and match fixtures from a few different companies. Since bathroom fixtures are mostly chosen for their aesthetics, as long as they all look great together they’re fair game. Tip: if you’re building a custom steam shower, it should be constructed by someone with at least five years’ experience with vapor proofing.

Lighting & Tile

The key to a polished-looking shower is to consider your lighting and tile options from the very beginning. Make sure to include lights inside your shower, not just outside or around it. Depending on the size and overall design of your shower, one, two, or four lights might look best. When you remove the tub to make room for the new shower, take the opportunity to make sure the light system you chose can be installed like you had planned. Finally, don’t install the tile until you have the finished light sources already in place. Otherwise, it’s difficult to know how any lippage might look, as the lights of a shower are often quite close to the wall which will showcase any mistakes you made while installing tile.

For more information about your lighting and tile options, check out Bathroom Lighting: A Guide and Decorative Tile: A Guide.

Setting Ground Rules for a Bathroom Remodel

Starting a bathroom remodel can seem like a daunting project. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s easy to make some costly mistakes. As such, it’s important to know the necessary demolition and renovation steps so that you can build a new and improved bathroom With these basic tips, you can begin your remodeling project with the confidence that you’re taking the proper steps in order to complete the process.

Strip It Down

Before beginning your bathroom remodel, you’ll need to clear out your current bathroom. This will require some demolition and removal of large appliances on your part. For example, you’ll need to remove the bathroom vanity, which will require you to turn off the water supply, disconnect any drain pipes, and cut the seal of the caulk holding the vanity to the wall so that you can remove it piece by piece. Removing a vanity can seem like a project in itself, and it’s one of the more important parts of any bathroom remodel. You’ll also need to remove the toilet, which you can do by hitting the base of the tank and the bottom of the toilet with a hammer just hard enough so that you crack the porcelain around the bolts. Once you’ve created some separation, you can haul the toilet out along with the wax ring and you’re all set. You’re also going to need to remove the shower pipe, any remaining insulation, and the tile before you can begin making any additions.

Know Your Home

Once you’ve stripped your bathroom, you can begin to apply your vision of your new and improved bathroom layout. However, make sure to keep it realistic for your home and its function. For example, you’ll want to address questions such as whether or not you’ll need no-slip floors or child-friendly features. If you’re renovating the master bath and you’d like separate sinks and mirrors for you and your spouse, then you’ll need to work this into your floorplan. Make sure you have enough room if you’re going to add a large tub or vanity. It’s important to focus on the parts that you have room for and that you’ll get the most use out of. Make sure to come up with a remodel plan that allows for some walk-around space that will still provide you with everything you need on a daily basis, as your bathroom will surely need to accommodate you comfortably every day.

Know When to Bring in the Professionals

While we’d all like to consider ourselves DIY experts, there are certain jobs that are better left to the professionals. If you don’t feel completely comfortable removing the vanity, then perhaps you should look for some extra assistance, as this is not a task you’ll want to take lightly. The same holds true for installing a new toiler or bathtub. If you’re not experienced or confident in setting these items firmly in their place, then you may want to hire an expert. It’s good to do as much as you can on your own, and nobody wants to spend extra, but there are certain parts of a bathroom remodel that are just better when done by the experts. So, if you’re uncertain on how to install an appliance or secure a certain fixture in your bathroom, then it might be best to do some research on local, experienced professionals.

A bathroom remodel can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Hopefully these tips have been helpful in giving you some perspective on the work that lies ahead. Keep these steps in mind and you’ll be on your way to completing a bathroom remodel.

How to Remove a Vanity in Preparation of a Remodel

Remodeling a room in your home can be a challenging and complicated process. Usually, you’ll have to perform a significant amount of demolition before you can rebuild, and it’s important to know how to do this effectively so you won’t cause any unwanted damage. In regards to the bathroom, one of the most puzzling parts of the remolding process is how to remove a vanity. Typically, a bathroom vanity is sealed and secured to the actual structure of the bathroom, including the plumbing, which can make removal especially tricky. With these basic tips, you’ll be on the right track towards properly removing your vanity.

Water Supply

First and foremost, you’ll need to shut off the water supply before you can remove the vanity. In order to do this, you’ll need to reach underneath the sink and turn the hot and cold-water shut-off valves. Next, you’ll want to disconnect the water supply lines by using a wrench to remove the nut that holds the water supply line to the shutoff valve. This process can get somewhat messy, so it’ll help to have a bucket close by. Finally, you’re going to need to disconnect the waste drain. This can be done either by hand or by using a wrench or pliers, depending on the material of the waste drain, which will typically be either PVC pipe or chrome.

Remove From Wall

Now that you’ve taken care of the water supply, it’s time to remove the vanity from the wall. In some cases, you’ll need to start with the mirror. If the mirror rests on the vanity counter top, then removing the mirror first will be necessary, as it can crack when the vanity is removed from the wall. Once this has been addressed, you’ll want to detach the vanity counter top and cabinet by using a utility knife to cut through the caulk joint adhesive that holds the vanity to the wall. It’s important to be both cautious and patient during this process, as you’ll want to avoid cutting into the drywall. The goal here is to carefully undo the attachment between the vanity itself and the wall of your bathroom, as well as between the vanity top and cabinet.

Take Apart

At this point, all that’s left is the removal of the main components of the vanity from the room. First, you’ll remove the vanity top from the sink base. Usually, this will be a fairly easy process and the top will be removed smoothly with the adhesive cut. However, in some cases, the vanity top will be attached to the bottom by clips, which you’ll need to loosen before removal. Once the vanity top has been disconnected from the base, it’s time to remove the sink base cabinet. Check to see where the cabinet is attached to the wall, which is generally done with screws or nails, and carefully remove them. Once you’ve done this, you should be able to remove the sink base cabinet from the wall with ease.

Once you’ve hauled out the vanity top and bottom pieces, just plug up the drain pipes, scrape off any excess caulk, and you’ll be all set. With these tips, you can be well on your way to properly removing your bathroom vanity in time to begin your remodeling process. Good luck!

How to Remove Outdated Popcorn Ceiling

Although textured popcorn ceiling went out of style years ago, many older homes – and some new ones – continue to be built with popcorn ceilings. While removing popcorn ceiling isn’t a difficult process, it’s a messy job that requires hard work and special safety precautions. If your home was built before 1980, the popcorn ceiling should be tested for asbestos before removal. To test for asbestos, use a putty knife to scrape a small amount into a sealable plastic bag and send the sample to an approved testing service. If your popcorn ceiling contains no traces of asbestos, use the below information to safely and efficiently remove the “popcorn” from your ceiling.

What You’ll Need

Before you start removing your textured ceiling, it’s important that you have the right tools. Without the proper equipment, removing popcorn ceiling will prove to be difficult. Here’s a list of equipment you’ll need for the job:

  • Plastic sheeting
  • Rosin’s paper
  • Painter’s tape
  • Rags
  • Putty knife
  • Pump up sprayer
  • Liquid dishwashing soap
  • 6” or wider floor scraper
  • Mesh sanding pad with handle
  • Drywall joint compound
  • Drywall joint tape
  • Dust mask or respirator
  • Coveralls
  • Eye protection

Prepare the Room

Since you’ll be using a lot of water in this DIY project, you’ll want to turn off the electricity and check it with a circuit tester. Proceed to remove all furniture, such as bath vanities and other removable fixtures, and ceiling light fittings from the room. Tape small pieces of plastic over each electrical outlet, and cover the floor with the plastic sheeting. For extra protection, extend the floor sheeting about a foot or so up the wall. From there, secure plastic sheeting along the walls with painter’s tape, and roll out a layer of resin paper on the floor.

Once the room is covered in plastic and protected against stains, it’s time to spray and scrape the ceiling.

Spray and Scrape the Ceiling

Fill the pump sprayer with warm water and 2-3 tablespoons of liquid soap per gallon of water. Saturate a 4-6 foot square section of the ceiling with the solution; saturate it enough to loosen the popcorn, but not so much that it damages the drywall underneath. Wait 15-20 minutes for the solution to be absorbed and use a floor scraper to gently scrape away the popcorn texture. If the popcorn isn’t coming off relatively easily, spray it again and try waiting longer for the solution to be absorbed.

Finishing Touches

Once the popcorn ceiling is removed, you may notice high spots, gauges, or visible nails and screws in your ceiling. Hammer any visible nails below the surface, and cover them with a joint compound. Once the repair work has dried, sand the ceiling with a long handled mesh sanding pad. Just be sure to only sand the high spots, as too much sanding will damage the ceiling. The final touch is to prime and paint the ceiling with a latex ceiling paint. Once dry, remove the plastic and move any furniture back into the bathroom.


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