Although bathroom remodels can be expensive, if done well they can net an impressive 70% to 100% ROI. The key to getting that impressive return, however, is finding the ideal balance between form and function — with function being the most important of the two. The following list of top bathroom remodeling features sweeps through the latest research on what makes a bathroom both delightful and durable, whether you are remodeling for your own quality-of-life upgrade or to spiff up the bathroom before selling your home.
1. Built-in Bathroom Storage Space
Most people who use bathrooms wish they had more storage space to hide their lotions, potions, towels and gadgets. Consider adding some of these storage-space-enhancing features in your bathroom remodel:
- Linen cabinets — It’s key to have a dry, roomy place to store clean, dry towels and washcloths without having to dash down the hall dripping in search of a fluffy towel.
- Recessed medicine cabinets — Fads pushed these treasures out of the bathroom temporarily, but people missed these small storage space powerhouses behind their mirrors as their counters became cluttered.
- Bathroom appliance storage — Like appliance garages that hide the smoothie blender and toaster in the kitchen, think out-of-sight storage with GFCI outlets for storing and charging hair dryers and shavers.
2. Luxury Bathroom Vanities
Speaking of storage space, bathrooms omitting the vanity are falling out of favor for the same reason medicine cabinets are coming back to a bathroom near you: They provide needed storage space and style. If you are looking at luxury bathroom vanities, choose from models that fit with your vibe, sporting smart drawers and cabinets that keep all of your essentials out of sight but within easy reach. Designers also recommend durable, easy-to-clean quartz countertops for your vanity. They come in luxurious colors and patterns that look like (but don’t require the same fussy maintenance as) marble.
3. Heated Towel Racks and Floors
Even if you go for the most basic, neutral bathroom remodel ever, add heated towel racks and heated floors, and you’ll understand why this luxury is a necessity. This bathroom power duo will ease you into any chilly morning by shielding you from goosebumps and cold feet when you step out of the shower, and the towel racks dry your towels so quickly.
4. Low-Flow Water Features
Today’s low-flow shower heads and toilets can save you thousands of dollars in water while conserving that precious resource within your community. Past models used to lack the pressure needed to get the job done, but today’s low-flow shower heads are designed for great coverage and pressure. Newer model low-flow toilets are often designed to be easier to clean with fewer nooks and crannies.
5. Places to Sit and Relax in the Bathroom
Even a small bathroom can feel more like a relaxing escape with added seating, whether at the vanity or in the shower. Added seating in the shower is especially wonderful for when you want to sit and shave your legs, or if you’re sick or hurt and need to rest while showering. Add easy-to-reach shower heads and include nooks for storing essentials and hooks for a hanging washcloth or loofah.
6. Bathroom Tiles: Style and Safety
You can use tiles of all shapes and sizes to create stylish, eye-catching backsplashes and shower wall designs. Create visual drama with herringbone, chevron, subway or custom tile designs around your backsplash, or even large, patterned stone “book” slabs for the shower. To improve traction and safety on the shower floor, textured, small tiles in any design can prevent slipping and falling while adding to your design scheme.
7. “Hidden” Bathroom Upgrades That Save Money and Maintenance
Improving ventilation, drainage and waterproofing in your bathroom remodeling project may not be exciting, but it will drastically improve your bathroom’s functionality and durability, to say nothing of reducing maintenance and repair costs over time. Some great ways to do this include:
- Upgrading from 1.5-inch drain pipes to 2-inch drain pipes
- Adding waterproofing behind walls and under the floor
- Adding a window to the shower
- Improving ventilation ducts and adding ceiling fans
- Adding linear drains in the shower and ensuring the shower slope drains properly
8. To Tub or Not to Tub
That is often the debate when upgrading your bathroom, and it depends on you. If you seldom take a bath, go for a luxurious shower upgrade and leave out the tub. If you love to relax in a hot bath, add a bath. Small-footprint, high-impact bathtubs can even fit into smaller spaces. If you’ve got a lot of space, consider a “wet room” that includes both shower and tub functionality in one space for quicker cleaning.
9. Lighting For Effect and Function
All parts of the bathroom need functional lighting, but take the style to a new level with a dramatic chandelier above the spa area or bathtub. Recessed lighting and wall sconces around vanity mirrors can remove shadows on your face for shaving or applying makeup.
Incorporating these features into your bathroom remodeling plan can take your daily personal prep space to a luxury spa level while giving you better safety, ventilation and storage space. Remember, the most important judge of what would make a great bathroom remodel, however, is simply to pay attention to your current bathroom pain points and wishes for how it could work better, and then use this list to help you plan your bathroom remodeling project accordingly.