When it comes to your bathroom, it is important that it is a space that you are comfortable being in, and that you enjoy– after all, the bathroom is where you often get ready and start your day, and it can be where you unwind and wrap up your day as well. If your bathroom is outdated or not to your tastes, it may be worth upgrading the space– which you can do with or without completely remodelling it, depending on your budget.
Another great benefit of upgrading your bathroom is that it adds a ton of value to your home! Regardless of whether or not you plan to sell your house, a bathroom remodel should be one of the top to-dos on your list if you are living in an older home.
Below, we go over some bathroom upgrades that you can implement, ranging from minimal work and cost to larger budgets, too.
- Hidden Tank or Low Flow Toilet
- Install 2 Inch Drain Pipe
- New Tile on Shower Floor
- Window in the Shower
- Install Better Lighting
- Recessed Medicine Cabinet
- Opt For Neutral Fixtures
- Low Flow Showerhead
- Pick a Small Tub
- Omit the Tub
- Frequently Asked Questions
Hidden Tank or Low Flow Toilet
One of the big changes you can make in your bathroom is to change out the fixtures or elements such as your shower or toilet. An old toilet in an unpopular colour or finish can easily make your space look out of style. Plus, there is the added benefit of a new toilet working better and being able to run more efficiently.
There are some specific types of toilet that come with added benefits– for example, a hidden tank toilet will have a water storage vessel that is mounted inside the wall instead. This can be a great space saver for small bathrooms. They also have a sleek look that looks more contemporary and can modernize your bathroom! The routine maintenance on these toilets can be more difficult, though, as the tank is harder to access.
Low flow toilets are another option that you could consider. These are eco-friendly, as they save you water with each flush. They can lower your water bill and add value to your home if you are looking to sell!
Install 2 Inch Drain Pipe
This particular upgrade is not a cosmetic change like many of the others on this list, but it can have a positive effect on the inner workings of your bathroom. In fact, this upgrade is not necessarily even visible to you unless you open up the cabinets. Usually, bathroom drain plumbing is 1.25 – 1.5 inches in diameter. It can clog easily, especially when the same bathroom is in constant use by members of your household.
Replacing these drain pipes with a 2 inch diameter drain pipe can make a world of difference and help to increase the functionality of your bathroom. Even better, this change costs about the same as it does to install the thinner drain pipes, so it is not one of the more expensive updates you can make.
New Tile on Shower Floor
Tile is a material that is coming back, and is offered in so many shapes, colours, and finishes. This makes it easy to find a tile option that can accent the rest of your bathroom or your colour scheme. However, larger tile can often look dated, so it is recommended that you choose smaller tile, which is one of the big trends in bathroom design these days. Many modern bathrooms are seeing large, glass enclosed showers, and your tile choice can accent this nicely. If you are shopping for tile for your shower floor, make sure that you choose textured tiles, rather than a slick, shiny finish, to give you grip while in the shower and prevent your feet from slipping and falling. The tiles on your floor don’t necessarily have to match the tiles along the walls of your shower.
If your shower is porcelain, you can still implement tiles by placing it around the tub basin or shower floor, before where you would step in. This can give your space an elevated and spa-like feel.
Window in the Shower
If your bathroom is a full bath, you probably deal with some humidity issues. This is in part due to the shower and all of the steam it creates. Humidity can lead to other issues in your space, such as mold or mildew, so it is important that you have a way to deal with it. One such way is, of course, your bathroom fan, but adding a window in your shower area can also help to add ventilation to your bathroom. Plus, it is believed that natural ventilation is superior to that of a bathroom fan.
A window in the shower can also add aesthetic value and let in natural light– which is also a safety benefit. It can save energy by letting in light during the day so that you have no need for turning on the bathroom light, too.
Be sure that your windowsill has a downward slope so that it does not collect water when the shower is in use. You should use frosted glass for privacy as well.
Install Better Lighting
Lighting can have a huge effect on a room, and this applies to your bathroom as well. It can affect both the space’s functionality and its mood. For instance, if the lighting does not reach the corners of the room, it can make it appear dark and dingy– and certainly not inviting! Outdated lighting fixtures, not just the lightbulbs themselves, can also affect the aesthetics of the space.
Luckily, lighting is typically an easy fix! If you are not trying to rewire the bathroom, you can simply switch out light fixtures or even lightbulbs– so that you can use a brighter or more eco-friendly bulb– and it will make a huge impact. One great option is to add a dimmer so that you do not have to stand in bright, harsh light first thing in the morning. You could also use the dimmer to make the lighting softer and more relaxing for a rejuvenating evening bath.
Recessed lighting fixtures around the mirror are also well suited for when you are doing your hair or makeup, or otherwise getting ready. This will not cast harsh light on your face, but still gives you plenty of light, which you would need for these tasks. In addition, you can consider putting lighting around the shower, too, to add a safety measure.
Recessed Medicine Cabinet
Storage can be important in a bathroom space, but so is protecting the aesthetic of the room. A great way to get the best of both worlds is to install a recessed medicine cabinet if you have the wall space for it. This allows you to gain more storage space without sacrificing your bathroom’s sleek, modern look.
A recessed medicine cabinet is also a good fit for when your vanity is on the shallower side, because it will allow for extra space to bend over the sink when getting ready or brushing your teeth, for instance.
Opt For Neutral Fixtures
If you have ever walked into an appliance store or home improvement shop, you are likely familiar with the wealth of options that are out on the market. When you are choosing new fixtures for your bathroom, it is wise to choose fixtures that are more neutral and understated, as these will not fade out of fashion.
Bathroom style trends do fall in and out of style quickly, and large fixtures are both costly and a hassle to replace. In addition, an outdated bathroom– if you do not replace these fixtures when they are out of style– can unfortunately have an effect on your home’s resale value.
That being said, you should choose whatever fixtures you like best and that fit your individual needs!
Is your bathroom properly ventilated? We discussed natural ventilation above with the addition of a window in the shower, but you should have a bathroom vent fan for ventilation, too. This will help to increase the functionality of your bathroom and prevent damage and issues like mold and mildew.
If you do already have a bathroom vent fan, you may want to replace it with a better-working– or better looking– model, especially if your bathroom has not been updated in some time. A bathroom fan can also be run year round to combat moisture and odours, while you may not want to open a bathroom window once it begins to get cold outside.
Low Flow Showerhead
You can choose to replace your shower entirely, or you can simply replace the showerhead for added functionality and better water pressure– an issue that we see often with old showers. Like the low flow toilet option we discussed above, there is also such a thing as a low flow showerhead.
A low flow showerhead is an eco-friendly showerhead option, because it pumps out less water while the shower is running. It can save you a lot of money on your water bill after implementation. Even better, low flow showerheads are comparable in cost with non low flow showerhead options!
Some consumers have had complaints that low flow showerheads do not have the same water pressure, so be sure to do your research and read reviews before you make a purchase. It is also entirely possible that you may not notice a difference with the more recent models.
Pick a Small Tub
If you have a standing shower without a tub basin, you may also want to have a separate tub in your bathroom space. While an oversized freestanding tub is still having a moment, they are more expensive and not as practical. A small tub is likely going to be the best choice for your space, especially if you have a small space. If you do choose a large tub and do not have a particularly large space, you could end up making your bathroom feel cramped and crowded, which is the opposite of what you want!
Modern bathrooms are leaning towards sleeker tubs, which also take up less space in your bathroom– this then frees up that space for storage, countertops, and more. Plus, smaller tubs require less water to fill and are less surface area which requires frequent cleaning.
Omit the Tub
Alternatively, you can omit the bathtub entirely in your bathroom, which leaves you more floor space for better storage or other larger fixtures like double sinks. It can also allow for more room to upgrade your shower to a larger, more spa-like walk in shower space with more features. You will see in a lot of modern bathrooms the use of a glass shower door, which makes the space look a look bigger, so especially great for smaller spaces.
If you have a shower in your space, you do not necessarily need a bathtub, too– except for in special circumstances. If this bathroom is not the only full bathroom in your home, you could also omit a bathtub, and simply keep the tub in the master bathroom or in the other full bathroom.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I upgrade in my bathroom?
There are plenty of ways that you can upgrade your bathroom without gutting it or having to totally renovate the space. Some examples of things that you can update or upgrade in your bathroom are the sink– you can install a vanity sink for instance–, the shower door, and tile around your tub. It will make your feel like you have a brand new bathroom.
How do you modernize an old bathroom?
Creating a modern bathroom from an older home with an old bathroom can be quite the undertaking. If you are able to, you should consider replacing some of the fixtures and faucets, which could be contributing to the dated look. However, if that is too expensive or challenging, you can also modernize your bathroom by switching out the mirror or freshening it up with a new coat of paint in a more modern colour. Changing your wall colour can go a long way to create a more up to date look, you can also opt to use wallpaper instead of paint.
You can also create a space that is more modernized with decor and even updating your bath towels. It’s time to throw away those old ones and get one’s that compliment your new paint colour. You can’t go wrong with a nice white bath towel though. It’s a staple. Updating your towel bars is also a great way to freshen up a space and adds the perfect finishing touches.
Also simple things like a new rug or some new shelves where you can display artwork and plants on it. There are a lot of bathroom design ideas that can help with a master bath or main bathroom!
Is it worth doing a bathroom renovation?
Upgrading your old bathroom can be a worthy investment regardless of whether or not you plan to sell your home in the near future. Even if you plan to stay in the home, upgrading can make your bathroom more of a welcome space for you, as well as making it more functional and up to date. Plus, upgrading or doing a bathroom remodel adds significant value to your home, so your money is certainly not wasted!
How much value does a bathroom remodel add?
A bathroom remodel delivers a lot of value– you can recoup anywhere from 56.6% to 64% of the project’s cost, on average.