According to data collected by the American Housing Survey, a national census sponsored by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, almost 2.6 million homeowners renovated their bathrooms in either minor or major remodeling projects in 2017. Even more common was bathroom fixture replacement—such bath or shower replacement, shower or bath conversion, or a sink upgrade—with over 4.4 million homeowners reporting having completed one of these types of projects.
In short, this means that around 7 million homeowners in the United States concentrated on their bathroom areas when remodeling their homes in just 2017 alone. This means that in 2017, around one in eighteen households completed a bathroom renovation in the USA—which is, to put it simply, a staggering number to consider. At Mad City Windows, we’re well aware of the popularity of bathroom remodeling as its one of our most commonly requested services from our customers in Wisconsin. To us, the reason for the popularity of bathroom remodeling across the country is clear: remodeling a bathroom can be a simple, inexpensive way to refresh and modernize your entire home—and can significantly enhance the value of your home investment.
Whether you’re hoping to sell your home, raise its value, or if you’re simply seeking a more functional, beautiful environment to live in, there are many ways to successfully remodel your bathroom space. For those curious about their options for bathroom remodeling and wondering how to get started, take a look at this complete guide to remodeling the bathroom from your experts in home improvement at Mad City Windows. In this guide, you’ll find out everything you need to know about getting started with your minor, major, or full bathroom renovation, and what to expect from your bathroom contractor to enjoy the most successful outcome possible.
What Does Bathroom remodeling Cost?
There are many, many types of bathroom remodeling projects and options available for home improvement. Determining what each project will cost depends on a variety of factors—including the type of project you’re considering, the quality and price of the materials used, installation and contractor costs, and others.
The most important consideration that will affect the total cost of your bathroom remodel is the type of project you’re taking on. According to the American Housing Survey, most homeowners in 2017 chose to replace a plumbing fixture when performing a bathroom remodel, a surprisingly affordable upgrade estimated to cost around $1,360. The next most popular renovation project was a minor bathroom remodeling project, which is defined by the report as a project that costs less than $15,000. These types of projects had an estimated cost of around $3,400.
Major bathroom renovations are the costliest projects on the list of bathroom upgrades—and for good reason. Many full bathroom transformations require significant construction work and an overhaul of all existing walls, plumbing, and fixtures, which makes it a particularly expensive option to consider. If you’re in need of a major bathroom renovation, or any sized remodeling project, it’s a good idea to consult with a number of experienced contractors from reputable companies to ensure that you get the best deal and highest quality results possible for your investment.
Simple, Minor, or Major: Categorizing the Different Types of Bathroom Renovation Projects
As we mentioned in the last section, there is an endless number of bathroom remodeling projects to consider for your home improvement plans. To make the classification easier, we’ve divided them up according to complexity along with a list of examples for each category:
· Simple Renovations: Simple bathroom remodeling projects are the quickest and most affordable options on this list—and can pack a surprisingly powerful punch to improve the look and feel of your bathroom without the high cost of more intensive projects. Some projects can range from re-painting the walls, changing the tile on the floors, or switching out bath liners with new ones.
One of the most popular simple home remodeling options for bathrooms is to replace a deteriorating tub or shower with a brand-new, modern one, or switching up a bath for a shower, or a shower for a bath with a bath or shower conversion. Contrary to popular belief, these remodeling options are simple and affordable, and often can be completed in as little as 24 hours or less by an experienced, licensed bath company.
· Minor Renovations: Bathroom remodeling projects that fall into this category are a bit more intensive, but can still be surprisingly simple and affordable options. These include installing storage space with added cabinets or shelving or improving the design or décor of the entire room in an entirely different theme. For older homeowners or those living with disabilities, another popular option is to add in walk-in tubs or barrier-free shower amenities for safer and more accessible bathing.
· Major Renovations: Major bathroom overhauls are much more intensive than the last two categories, and are likely to set you back a lot more money as well. These renovations are meant to transform the space entirely—whether you’re knocking down walls to create more space, or gutting out the entire bathroom construction and rebuilding it from scratch.Major renovations can add significant value to your home when done correctly, although it’s worth it to reiterate the importance of hiring an exceptional contractor to complete the work. In other words, major bath renovations should not be attempted as DIY projects unless you’re a skilled and professional bath contractor with plenty of design and installation experience under your belt.
Signs Your Bathroom Needs Remodeling
The bathroom of a home is one of the first places of the entire house that deteriorates the fastest. Along with the kitchen, bathrooms are subjected to a considerable and incessant amount of daily use, from water damage, soap scum, and other aggressive wear and tear throughout the day and night.
The signs that your bathroom needs a remodel are usually quite obvious. Here are some of the most common symptoms of a deteriorating bathroom in need of an upgrade:
· Unpleasant Smells: You’ve noticed a heavy, musty odor in the bathroom.
· Mold and Mildew: There are signs of mold or mildew growing in the windows, on the walls, in the tub or the shower.
· Plumbing Issues: Leaky faucets, running toilets, and other plumbing problems abound.
· High Utilities: You’ve noticed a higher-than-normal water bill.
· Water Damage: If your bathroom is on a higher floor, you’ve noticed water damage on the ceilings beneath it.
· Outdated Design: You’re feeling tired of the décor.
· Tight Spaces: The space is too small and cramped to be functional or comfortable.
· Low Functionality: You’re dreaming of adding a tub or a shower to your bathroom layout.
How Can I Decorate My Bathroom?
Decorating the bathroom area is nothing short of an art form. In fact, there are home design experts that specialize in this important area and are trained in maximizing small spaces, optimizing layouts, choosing new themes, and refreshing old ones. Whether you’re into the idea of testing out a new trend or plan on sticking with the traditional, tried-and-true décor themes to decorate your space, putting plenty of thought into the design is a critical aspect of your bathroom renovation.
According to experts, bathroom design plans for any home should aspire to blend beautifully with the rest of your home’s décor, using high-quality materials, colors, and textures that reflect your own personality and preferences as a homeowner. Also, your bathroom space shouldn’t conflict with the rest of your home. In other words, if your house is modern and decorated in earth tones, choosing a shabby chic bathroom style might not make as much sense as it would if you used modern features in your remodel—for example, a glass shower enclosure, a floating vanity, open shelving, and basic earth tones to decorate. Another point to consider is the longevity of your bathroom design. Some bathroom décor styles stay popular for decades—while others tend to fade out as quickly as they came. If you’re interested in a long-term, remodel that holds its value for years to come, make sure to choose one of the longer-lasting décor styles—like modern, traditional, or rustic. Choosing one of these styles is a surefire way to enhance your home value in the long-run, as long as the bathroom remodeling work that’s done is high-quality and durable.
If you plan on using a DIY approach for your bathroom remodel, make sure you research plenty of websites and décor ideas to choose the best style for your fixtures, walls, and other features. For those planning on using a professional bath company to help, ask a design consultant to meet with you in your home to help you determine the best décor options from his or her professional viewpoint. Here are some of the most popular décor designs for bathrooms to consider for your upcoming remodeling project:
While there are many more design styles than the ones we’ve listed, these tend to be the most common ones found in the United States. If you’re unsure of the style you want to use for your upcoming bathroom renovation, consult with a bathroom remodeling company for ideas on how to make the most out of your design plans for a more beautiful bathroom.
Big Bath, Little Bath: Remodeling Smaller or Larger Bathroom Spaces
Space is always an important consideration in any home remodeling project, whether it’s the kitchen, the bedroom, your living room, or another area. In the bathroom, small, tight layouts are very common, but it’s possible to utilize special design techniques to make the area feel larger and give the illusion of more space during your remodel.
Most bathroom design experts are trained in manipulating small spaces with ingenious solutions during the remodeling process. A qualified and experienced professional home designer will know how to work with your home’s specific layout, and provide plenty of options for making the bathroom look and feel much larger than it actually is. Some of these tips include adding oversized mirrors, installing windows, corner sinks, and floating vanities. You also might want to consider removing a bathtub (if you don’t use it), combining a shower and tub with a shower-tub combo fixture, or replacing your bulky shower doors with a clear glass enclosure.
For large bathroom spaces, the design is equally important as it would be in a small bathroom area. Most of us have seen oversized bathrooms before—and many of them can oddly feel “too large,” “too spread-out,” or with an otherwise uncomfortable layout that just didn’t seem to utilize the space to its advantage. This is a common problem with oversized bathroom spaces, and why choosing the layout and design is of the utmost importance.
For larger bathroom areas, the trick is making your space feel airy and open without looking sparse and desolate. Consider wall partitions to separate the toilet area from the rest of the bathroom, double “his and her” sinks, a luxury spa tub and a shower with seating, and other touches. LED lighting is also an excellent option for larger spaces, with bright lighting over the vanity and dimmers in the tub or shower area for a relaxing spa feel.
What are Some of the Benefits of Bathroom remodeling?
Bathroom remodeling, as we’ve mentioned before in this article, is one of the top remodeling projects performed in the country every year. The reasons for the popularity of bath remodeling—whether it’s minor or major—is that the cost/benefit ratio of remodeling a bathroom space is high. While this will depend heavily on the materials you choose and the quality of installation from the company you select, in general, bathroom remodeling can be extremely beneficial for your home.
Here are some of the major benefits of bathroom remodeling:
Added Home Value: In the past, bathroom products were less durable and required intensive upkeep and maintenance to keep from fast deterioration. Today’s products, on the other hand, are significantly more innovative and high-performance than ever before. Replacing old, deteriorating, high-maintenance bathroom fixtures with brand-new, energy-efficient, longer-lasting ones can be a very impactful decision that adds value to your home for years to come.
Easier Maintenance: As stated in the last point, many of today’s bathroom products are made with better technology and more innovative materials that practically clean themselves. For example, some acrylic bathtubs, showers, bath liners, and other products are engineered to never dent, scratch, chip, or rust—and are made with an acrylic material that repels the growth of mold, mildew, and other bacteria automatically. This means that with very little maintenance or upkeep required (i.e., no more cleaning and heavy scrubbing), and bath products that stay looking brand-new for years to come.
Improved Energy-Efficiency: Dreaming of a greener home? Upgrading your home with environmentally friendly products like LED lighting, water-saving showerheads and faucets, dual-flush toilets, energy-efficient windows, and other replacements will save the earth while saving you money at the same time.
Greater Health and Wellness: If you’re dreaming of a more luxurious bathroom space, consider spa-like upgrades right inside your own master bathroom. A hot bath in a whirlpool tub or a long soak in a high-pressure, rainforest-style shower can be an incredible way to relax your mind, body, and soul. Upgrading to newer, anti-mold and mildew-resistant bath materials can also dramatically improve the quality of the air you breathe inside your home, which is another extremely positive benefit of bathroom remodeling.
The Most Common Bathroom Remodeling Projects
Taking a look at some of the most common bathroom remodeling projects in the USA can help you to determine how to most effectively reach your home improvement goals. Here are the most popular projects in the country according to national statistics and our own trends we’ve seen here at Mad City Windows.
· Bathtubs: We’ve noticed that there are usually two different types of homeowners: bathtub lovers, and shower enthusiasts. For those that appreciate the value of an amazing soak in a hot tub, bathtub remodeling options are a great way to update your home with a truly indulgent tub renovation. Replacing the bathtub with a new and improved one, walk-in tubs, bathtub refinishing and reglazing, new bathtub installation, and shower-to-bathtub conversion are at the top of the list of exciting ways to re-do your bathroom focusing on the tub area.
· Showers: For shower loyalists, there’s nothing better than a beautiful, convenient shower to refresh, re-energize, and get clean on a daily basis. Shower improvement projects include shower door and shower enclosure replacement, bathtub-to-shower conversion, full shower replacement or addition, and fixture replacement (replacing shower heads, tile, and faucets, for example).
· Walk-in Tubs and Barrier-Free Showers: When members of the household are in need of safer, more accessible bathing and showering solutions, walk-in tubs, and barrier-free shower installations are an amazing way to renovate the bathroom. Functional and beautiful, these ADA accessible installations offer peace-of-mind and can mean regaining independence in the bathroom for the elderly, handicapped, and other low-mobility members of the household.
· Bath Conversion: Converting a shower into a tub, or a tub into a shower, is a quick and affordable renovation option. Homeowners can add significant value and functionality to their homes by choosing to replace old, outdated, and unused fixtures with ones they’ll benefit from more.
· Full Renovation: Re-doing an entire bathroom can be exactly what your home needs to increase functionality, value, and aesthetic appeal. The key is finding a bathroom design and installation company that counts with the experience and reliability you need to ensure that the job is well done. Some projects include knocking down and rebuilding walls to maximize space, installing brand-new fixtures like a shower and a spa tub, or re-transfiguring the current space to make it more functional and appealing are at the top of the list of full bathroom renovation projects.
· 24-Hour Bathroom Remodeling: Even though some bathroom remodeling projects are surprisingly quick and simple, and can take just 24-hours to complete, the final results can be nothing short of stunning. These include bath conversions, sink and vanity replacement, tile and flooring replacements, and bath liners, and wall surrounds, among others.
When Should I Remodel My Bathroom? (Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall PROS AND CONS)
While it’s clear that remodeling the bathroom can bring many benefits to improve your home’s value, appearance, and functionality, how should you go about deciding when to remodel? While bathroom renovation can be successfully completed throughout the year, there are certain benefits for remodeling at certain times.
Spring and Summer: In the spring and summer months, bathroom remodeling is at its peak—with homeowners busy upgrading their homes at a higher rate than throughout the rest of the year. This is the high season for remodeling, where many homeowners are on vacation and have more time to spend on upgrading their homes. Another benefit of bathroom remodeling in the spring and summer is the weather. If you’re planning a bathroom project that includes tearing down walls or windows, milder weather conditions can help you achieve a faster and less complicated renovation.
The downsides to renovating your home in peak season, however, are important to mention. While the weather and time might help to facilitate a spring or summer remodel, contractors are very busy over these months and finding a reputable one can be difficult. Many contractors are booked and limited on time, which could mean your renovation will take weeks or longer to schedule and execute. You can find a way around this, however, by booking early in the year for prime scheduling options.
Another important downside is the cost. Chances are, you’ll pay higher rates in the spring than in the summer, simply due to the high demand. If your schedule makes a fall or winter renovation difficult or impossible, ensure you’ll enjoy a better rate by interviewing several contractors for free, no-obligation pricing estimates, and comparing the final cost analyses against each other.
Fall and Winter: Fall and winter months can be excellent times for remodeling projects. While you’ll need to work around the weather and pay attention to the forecast for rain, snow, and other limiting climate factors, you’ll likely benefit from lower rates and better availability from contractors.
While booking a contractor might be easier than during the summer and spring months, remember that you’ll still need to plan ahead for best results. Many homeowners are rushing through their home renovation projects and hoping to complete them before the holidays, which means that you can still end up being surprised by scheduling conflicts unless you plan ahead.
Just as in the spring and summer, homeowners are highly encouraged to compare rates between several companies to find the lowest rates and most dependable contractors around. Take advantage of free, no-obligation pricing estimates and in-home consultations to interview contractors and compare costs.
Finding the Right Contractor to Remodel the Bathroom: Why Professionals Matter
In the last section, we stressed the importance of comparing rates and interviewing several bathroom remodeling contractors in in-home pricing estimates and consultations. Any reputable, well-established, and licensed contractors will offer an initial home visit to discuss your plans, inspect your property, and evaluate your home remodeling project—in order to deliver an accurate quote for your plans.
Unfortunately, bad contractors are a dime a dozen, which is why it’s so important to carefully research and interview your potential candidates. Homeowners can be attracted to inexperienced, unlicensed contractors offering impossibly low rates—which often ends up in a costly financial nightmare and home renovation disaster. Contractor scams are very common, however, you can prevent these types of problems by finding the most reputable and reliable company you can to perform your bath remodeling project.
A professional bathroom remodeling company will stand out from the rest—with a fully established online presence that includes a complete and professional website and social media pages, excellent customer reviews on third-party sites like Angie’s List and Yelp, and awards from the Better Business Bureau and other reputable home remodeling and contractor organizations. The professional contractor that visits your home will be polite, courteous, and very knowledgeable about your project. He or she will work with you in finding effective ways to complete your project at the lowest rate (while still achieving the best possible outcome).
If you’re considering completing a bathroom remodeling project in your home, we’d love to speak with you. Feel free to contact us to learn more about our remodeling services, including bath liners, wall surrounds, and fixture replacements, shower conversion, bath conversion, walk-in tub installation, and more—by giving us a call at Mad City Windows. You can also request a free, in-home consultation with our team of expert professionals by filling out our online form.