Focus on durability. The surfaces and fixtures will likely get lots of wear and tear, especially if children use the room. Plastic laminate flooring and countertops are durable and inexpensive, plus the kids likely don’t care if they have high-end materials. As for fixtures, you still want high-quality construction, including all-brass parts and a PVD (physical vapor deposition) finish that resists scratches, but go with basic chrome, rather than pricier nickel or bronze. On the walls, choose an interior paint that resists mildew.
How much should you spend on your master bathroom? A rule of thumb is that the total project—including materials and installation—should cost no more than 5 to 10 percent of your home’s value. The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) puts the national average at about $16,000. Another guide is Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs. Value report, which compares the average cost of various renovation projects with the value they retain at resale. In 2011-2012, mid-range bathroom remodels cost an average of $16,552 and recouped 62 percent, while upscale bathroom remodels cost an average of $52,249 and recouped 56 percent. Here’s how the NKBA breaks down the budget for a typical bathroom remodel:
Like any other bathroom, you also have to consider the floor and wall design. If you plan to have a solid wall as part of your walk in shower, use a neutral tile color that maintains the airiness of the bathroom. One area where you can create a unique style is the back wall, which you can use as the focus of your walk in shower and bathroom as a whole. For instance, a nice stone mosaic back wall draws your attention to it immediately you set foot into the shower.
Interior bathroom demolition costs $1,000 to $2,300. Prices can go higher if you’re removing and moving walls to create a different footprint. For the experienced DIYer, this is a good place to save money by doing it yourself or assisting the contractor. However, demo can get expensive quickly if you take out a load bearing wall, cut electrical lines or break a water pipe. Avoid the risk by hiring a pro.
Determine how much you can afford to spend on your remodel to determine the extent of the changes you can make. If your budget is on the low end (i.e. $1,000 or less), you’ll want to stick to cosmetic changes, such as new fixtures or a new sink, and new paint. If you have more to spend, you can focus on larger changes, such as adding tile, a bigger shower, or a window. Again, it all depends on your budget.
A double vanity can look good even in small bathrooms but takes up a lot of space that might be better utilized. If additional storage space is just as important to you as the extra sink is, use upright cabinets as a linen closet for towels and toiletries. Selecting a vanity with drawers or open shelving beneath the sink can create storage solutions.
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These compact spaces are often tucked into nooks in the home, such as converted pantry closets or the cavity beneath a staircase. They’re all about economy of space, though the best examples also emphasize design. “This is not a high-traffic room, so function is not as important as the wow factor,” says says Elizabeth Goltz, owner of Design by Orion in Kansas City.
Your creativity will show with adding or replacing floor tile and wall tile with a bathroom remodel. The choices of polished or textured, subtle or bold, patterned or solid and single- or multi-colored are just the beginning of your options. Modify the traditional brick pattern to install subway tile vertically, or consider a herringbone layout to add visual interest to simple tile designs.