Whether it’s a master bathroom, a main floor bathroom or a guest bathroom, improving this necessary room is one of the best things you can do with your home renovation dollars. And while you can certainly make an impact on your bathrooms with a smaller budget, if you have more wiggle room to spend, you’ll be able to truly transform your bathrooms and improve your home’s value in the process.
With that in mind, here are 10 bathroom renovations you can make for under $20,000.
1. Install a Multifunctional Shower
Luxury showers can be difficult to pull off at a low price point because they may involve complex plumbing work. But if you have room in your budget, then you may want to consider a shower with thermostatic multifunctional features, says Leah Tuttleman, an Allied ASID member and interior designer at Re-Bath.
Tuttleman urges homeowners who can afford a high-end shower to install a complete shower system that includes one or more ceiling-mounted luxury high-pressure rainfall showerheads. She also suggests adjustable body spray jets, a hand shower, a slide bar and a shower arm.
Another option Tuttleman is big on is a steam shower. This, she says, can really create a spa-like ambiance. However, you may want to call in a professional to do this work, to make sure your shower walls and ceiling are properly sealed.
“Waterproofing is crucial to prevent water damage,” she says.
2. Invest in a High-Quality Sound System
A higher-end sound system is the sort of thing you might think to install in your living room, family room or basement. Tuttleman thinks it’s a great addition to a luxury bathroom as well. “You can enjoy music while relaxing in the tub,” she says.
3. Add Mood Lighting
The cost of bathroom lighting can vary depending on the type you’re using. Tuttleman suggests adding mood lighting if you’re already trying to create a spa-like atmosphere in your bathroom.
Specifically, Tuttleman says, you can look at a fiber optic ceiling to create a starry night effect, as well as under-cabinet lighting.
“Install color-changing LED strips that allow you to adjust the lighting color and intensity to match your mood or create a different atmosphere,” she suggests.
4. Install Heated Flooring
Stepping out of a luxuriously warm shower only to land on a cold bathroom floor isn’t the optimal experience. That’s why Tuttleman says, “Consider installing radiant heating under your tile floors. … Warming the floor on those chilly mornings gives a cozy and comfortable environment when stepping out of your tub or shower.”
5. Install an Oversized Soaking Tub
There’s nothing like lighting some candles, grabbing your favorite book and setting yourself up for a warm, relaxing bath. Jamin Katzer, senior construction manager at Earth Saving Solutions, suggests replacing your bathroom tub with not just a larger one, but a deeper one. “Increasing the depth of it will allow for a more submerged soak,” he says.
Katzer adds, “When installing the tub, we recommend insulating around the tub. This will keep the water to temperature longer.”
6. Upgrade Your Toilet
You might think of your toilet as a utility item of sorts that doesn’t necessarily need your attention. “There are multiple options for a bidet-style toilet to upgrade your throne,” Katzer says. You can consider a toilet with a heated seat, soft close lid and a built-in fan for a more pleasant day-to-day bathroom experience.
7. Install Tub and Shower Lighting
When you think about bathroom lighting, you may be focused on the lighting above your mirrors or vanity. But Katzer says, “Adding a light in the tub or shower is a must.”
Most bathrooms, he explains, only have a vanity light. That makes for a dark shower at night and in the early morning.
Katzer says it’s easy to find waterproofed and sealed lighting for a shower or tub. “Put this light on a dimmer, and you can set the mood,” he adds.
8. Build a Floating Vanity
Traditional bathrooms vanities are mounted to the floor, whereas floating ones are wall-mounted. Drew Mansur, co-founder and director of TileCloud, says, “A modern floating vanity looks sleek and makes the space appear larger. Plus, it’s a great way to add some contemporary flair to an older bathroom.”
9. Redo Your Tiles
Older, grungy tiles can detract from other bathroom upgrades you may be making. If you’re investing in a new bathroom, consider swapping out your current tiles for newer ones.
“Tiles can change the whole game,” Mansur says. “Opting for high-quality, stylish tiles doesn’t have to be super expensive. You can go for bold patterns or classic styles, but the right tile can transform the space. Feature walls or floor-to-ceiling tiles make a big impact.”
10. Update Your Fixtures and Fittings
When you’re sinking a fair amount of money into a new bathroom, you don’t want to overlook the smaller details that can really complete its new look. That’s why Mansur says to also focus on things like new taps, showerheads and towel rails.
“Sometimes, it’s the little things that count,” he says. “Plus, you can now get some pretty fantastic advanced features and eco-friendly settings that will save you money and make the whole bathroom experience more luxurious.”
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