Here on the Homethangs blog, we spend a lot of time talking how to update the look of your bathroom – how to build a dream bathroom that you’ll love. But renovation and remodeling aren’t just about style. In fact, an important consideration in any bathroom update is the impact any work you do will have on the overall value of your home, and how it compares with the expense you put into it. Especially if you’re planning on selling your home in the near future, it’s important to get your home looking the best it can without investing a lot of money you won’t get back. So, whether you’re looking to give your bathroom a fast facelift for your own enjoyment or for a potential buyer, here are six simple projects that will make a big difference – and give you good returns.
Install A New Sink
Swapping out your sink is actually one of my favorite bathroom renovation projects – it’s easy enough to do yourself with a little know-how, and makes a bigger difference than you might think. The sink is the hub of the bathroom, the place where you spend most of your time, but often sinks just aren’t that interesting to look at. Decorative drop-in sinks, like this Top Mount Sink from AmeriSink, install in a snap and offer beautiful shapes and styles. Undermount sinks are slightly more popular (as they offer a smooth, finished look you won’t get from a drop-in), but require more finesse to install, as they need to be fastened to the underside of your vanity top, and often require the vanity top to be removed completely. Either way, the upgrade is obvious for a relatively low cost, and can help easily improve the overall look and feel of your bathroom.
Install A New Faucet
While you’re at it, it’s also hugely beneficial to swap out your bathroom faucet. First, generic faucets are rather, well, generic, and second, faucets show their age more than almost any other fixture in your bathroom. Like the sink, they’re easy to install if you have an hour and a wrench or two, and especially higher end models will raise the value of your bathroom dollar for dollar. In a smaller bathroom, your faucet might be the best, most visible expression of the style of your bathroom, so look for one that has a little personality, like a vintage style faucet or a luxury modern faucet like this Attis Faucet from Vigo.
This is easily the most expensive, extensive, and invasive project on this list, but it’s also the one that can give you the most home value for your renovation dollar, especially if the flooring you have now is outdated or low quality. If you have old linoleum tiles especially, it’s time to upgrade: ceramic, porcelain, or stone tiles are easily worth the investment. That includes stone-print ceramic tiles like these Calacata-Style Tiles from Mediterranea. They’ll add immediate visual appeal and quality to your bathroom, and offer nearly a 100% rate of returns, which can’t be said of many home improvement projects.
Add A Backsplash
Tile backsplashes are incredibly trendy, both in bathrooms and kitchens, and as a great bonus, many of them are designed so you can install them yourself. This is an especially good project if you don’t already have any tile in your bathroom. Look for inexpensive mosaic tiles that come in sheets (like the Pebble Creek tile from Martini Mosaic) for easy installation, and install them from the top of your vanity top to between 4 and 9 inches tall. This adds a little personality to your bathroom, a little modern flair, and affords your wall some protection from water damage.
Update Your Lighting
Is your bathroom light too bright, too dark, glaring, or just generally uninteresting looking? If so, it’s time to upgrade. All rooms can benefit from better lighting, and installing built-in lighting is always a plus for your home value. But installing lighting where none exists can be expensive and invasive. Instead, upgrade the lighting you have where you can, especially if you have a very basic bar style bathroom light. Something decorative like this Eastbrook Vanity Light from ELK Lighting requires minimal effort to install, but can easily improve the overall look and ambiance of your bathroom.
Swap Out Your Shower Head
As with your bathroom faucet, shower heads show their age more than most fixtures, especially if you live in an area with very hard water. More than that, shower head technology has improved a lot in recent years; it’s now possible to get a low flow shower head that still offers full pressure power, like this High Performance Head from Danze. Opting for a shower head that matches your new bathroom faucet is a nice bonus for coordination, but the truth is a luxury shower head is a great upgrade all by itself. For a little extra mileage, opt for a sleek, European style hand shower. Both types are relatively inexpensive, easy to install on your own, and will appeal to almost any buyer.
Any time you do a remodel, big or small, you’ve got to keep three things in mind: style, expense, and return on investment. It isn’t always easy to balance the three (and sometimes you’ll want to splurge!), but if you want to update the look of your bathroom without throwing away your money, these six projects are a great place to start. What are some of your favorite small bathroom updates?