How To : Home Improvement

Splish-Splash... Time for a Bathroom Renovation

Almost every real estate professional will tell you that bathroom upgrades generally provide a solid return on investment. In fact, the 2006 Royal LePage House Staging Report found that 73% of potential buyers would be willing to pay a premium for a home that featured a renovated bathroom. So, if you are considering a renovation for both personal reasons and with an eye for your home's resale potential, the bathroom may be your choice for change.

How do I start?

Remember that the layout of the new bathroom doesn't necessarily have to be the same as the old one. A new approach is to not make the toilet a focal point. A partial wall will give a sense of privacy and block the eye, without chopping up the space the way a full wall might.

When it comes to lighting, think versatility. You will want brilliant illumination by the mirror and the option of more subdued ambience when soaking in the tub.

If you have an old linen closet, consider converting the façade to resemble a cabinet and perhaps take it right to the ceiling.

Bathrooms are heavy traffic areas, so remember to choose tough, easy to clean surfaces, moisture-resistant paint and non-slip flooring.

Fixtures 101

Take design cues from your fixtures. The soft lines of oval shapes and the curves of pedestal sinks will feel very different from the artsy, ultra-modern look created by angular choices.

Before you buy a bathtub, try it out by sitting in it. Based on your height and the space available, you may want a longer or deeper tub than is standard. Or you may decide that you'll do without one entirely, in favour of a large open shower space.

It's on my wish list...

It may be that like many of us, you are dreaming of a new bathroom, but don't have the time, money or space for radical changes. Don't underestimate your current bathroom's potential for improvements. A wall-to-wall scrubbing, including a clearing out of old and used items can be rejuvenating, as can a fresh coat of paint. Add some new towels and a shower curtain, a basket or two for storage, a change in wall d?cor, a plant (it will love the humidity!) and possibly an upgrade to your mirror, lighting or faucets, and you can create a beautiful new space for a fraction of the cost.

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