Real Estate Tips:  When is a good time to remodel a bathroom?

By Denise Patrick

If your home was built prior to 1984, then it is time to remodel your bathroom.

If your bathroom has pink, green or some other weird color on the tub, sink or stool, it is time to remodel it.

If your bathroom looks dirty even though you just cleaned it, it is time to remodel it.

If your bathroom has so many leaks that it is moldy, has mildew or smells, then it is time to remodel it.

I am in the middle of remodeling a bathroom in our home. Three of the four facts above fit this bathroom. And, as a Realtor, I know that I can retain the value of my home if I update the bathrooms. This is the final one and we keep postponing the inevitable because it is little used. The time has come! Little did we know until our contractor got the stool out that there was rot beneath it, the tub had no pea trap and the usual occurrence: no shut off valves for the water under the sink. Guess it is time to remodel!

Using a local bathroom designer we picked out a hickory cabinet, granite for the counter, an under mount sink, a new low flush elongated stool and a new fiberglass tub which will have tile added to the wall for the tub/shower combination. What I thought was a simple bath project got complicated in a hurry! If you are doing a larger bath project keep in mind that as you remodel, you will want to keep at least one bathroom in your home that has a tub. Walk-in showers have become popular so prioritize that if you can.

When in doubt, a tub/shower combination is an excellent way to go. If you have enough space, separate the toilet and shower area from the sink so multiple people can use the room at one time. If you are doing a master bath remodel you MUST include two sinks if space allows. And if there is enough space, a sit down vanity area is important. This is especially important if your home is selling in the top price range for your area. If you have doubts about your project go to the internet and search for the “National Kitchen and Bath Association” and ask them for a planning guide. Cabinets are important as we all need storage so consider using these in larger bathrooms and save the pedestal sink for the guest half bath. And did I mention that this project can get complicated? The materials available today make decisions about selection tough. Not only are there cabinet styles to choose from but also wood choice, finish choice and stain choice. Keep in mind the theme you are trying to achieve in your bathroom.

Contemporary, mission, classic or ultra-modern all require different coordinated selections. Choices for counter tops include the affordable formica and upgrades including granite, quartz or silestone plus many other choices depending on the depth of your pocketbook. Each have their own “look” and properties.

When it comes to flooring there are even more choices. Carpet in the bathroom is not preferred. Tile is appropriate if the bathroom gets plenty of heat, otherwise a heat pad installed below the tile is recommended. Hardwood is a good choice for a little used bathroom provided there is very little risk of water. We chose a new product called Allure Resilient Vinyl Plank. It is highly water resistant, easy to install, lots of color choices, requires no glue, is durable, looks amazingly like hardwood and is very reasonably priced.

And not forgetting the final details: Replace the old light fixtures, dated mirror and of course, replace the faucet and tub fixtures. One last thought: Natural lighting. If the bathroom has no window, can you add one? It does not need to be a functioning window but something that will bring light into the space. We choose to add a glass block window. Now that we no longer have a tub surround, the blank wall is perfect for the addition of a glass block window.

My only fear now is that this bathroom will outshine the others remodeled a few years ago. Perhaps another project is only a few thoughts away

Denise Patrick is a Broker Associate with Deer Creek Realty in Bailey. She can be reached at her office: 303-838-5377