Homeowners who are looking to renovate their bathroom on a budget or who only want to tackle a couple of upgrades in the space should set their sights on the types of renovations that pull in the highest returns. This allows you to allocate your funds to the areas that will pack the biggest punch, and helps you prioritize your project tasks.

A mid-range bathroom remodel (think updated tile, fixtures, toilet, counters, and lighting) will get you a return of 70.1 percent nationally. And like the kitchen, doing more doesn’t equal getting more. An upscale bathroom remodel is only going to get you a 56.2 percent return, and a new bathroom addition just 54.6 percent.

New plumbing fixtures:

Just as old fixtures can instantly date a room, new fixtures can make an entire space look more modern and inviting. This is good news for home renovators, since swapping out things like faucets and shower heads don’t have to be super expensive at the outset.

If upgrading the plumbing fixtures is the only change that you’re intending to make to the space, be sure that you pick fixtures that complement (rather than clash with) the rest of the bathroom. Even if you go a more modern route you’ll still want to match the rest of the colors in the room and the general style.

Vanity upgrades:

If you’ve got a bit more to spend, consider upgrading the entire vanity, which includes not just faucets but also cabinetry and sinks. You can buy vanity kits that have all of the elements you need for one price, or you can put together the perfect vanity yourself. Make sure to choose materials that will have more appeal with buyers. For example, marble and granite are usually top picks for counter tops, while tile and laminate can look a bit too retro.

Flooring:

If you’re looking for a dramatic change, then upgrading the flooring in your bathroom is a good way to go. The average cost per square foot of bathroom flooring is about $2.50 on the low end and $4.00 on the high end plus labor costs (assuming you don’t install the flooring yourself). If you really want to take the floors to the next level, you could install radiant heat mats under the tile, which warm the floors for a cozy feel post shower or bath. On average, that costs an extra $5.00 to $8.00 per square foot. New bathroom floors—even when taken further with radiant heat—are one of the less expensive renovations you can do, but can also completely change the look, feel, and utility of the space.

Energy efficient updates:

Adding more energy efficiency into your home isn’t just good for the environment—it’s good for your home’s resale value, too. Your shower, sink, and toilet can all be optimized for low flow, which means less water usage and more savings on your water bill. It’s a strong pull for buyers too, so when you’re making changes to fixtures in your bathroom go for the picks that promise to use energy.

Is a Bathroom Renovation Worth It?

It’s up to each homeowner to decide if a bathroom renovation is worth the expense. Overall though, you can expect to get a good return on the money that you spend, plus a high joy score out of the project. If having a bathroom that you enjoy being in matters to you, then go for it. It’s just icing on the cake that you’ll get to recoup a lot of the associated costs as well.

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