Updating your bathroom is one of the easiest ways to increase the value of your home. Unsure of where to begin? Here are some of the top renovations to consider.
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Small details, like wallpaper or paint that have simply gone out of style, can cause a bathroom to feel dated. Other times, the entire layout might need an overhaul, or the bathroom is just one part of a larger home remodel. And while upgrading worn-out surfaces or outdated finishes can improve your home's livability, adding function, storage, and comfort can make a house truly feel like a home for every member of your household. Whether you're looking for a DIY project or one that requires a contractor, these bathroom remodel ideas add long-term value to your home.

black and white bathroom with wood counter
Credit: Laurey Glenn

1. Change Tiles and Flooring

Switching up the shape, size, design, or color of tiles can improve both function and style in a bathroom. To get the most bang for your buck, consider materials that are durable and water/heat resistant.

Because safety is important in bathrooms, consider adding textured tiles that prevent slips and falls. Extra grouting can help to resist mold, humidity, and stains.

Another major upgrade is radiant-heated flooring. This makes a huge difference in comfort during cold months. Plus, radiant heat floors can help you save money in the long run by making your space more heat efficient.

2. Upgrade Your Toilet

Eco-friendly or low-flow toilets help water conservation. If you're looking for ways to help protect the environment and spruce up your space, replace your old model. Low-flow toilets save water (and money) every time you flush.

Alternatively, a toilet with a hidden tank is a space-efficient bathroom solution that fits modern and contemporary bathroom designs. However, routine maintenance on these types of toilets can be challenging, so work with a plumber to design an aesthetically pleasing access door or valve.

3. Prioritize Ventilation

Mold and mildew are the bain of every bathroom. Consider adding a window or ventilation system to help draw out humidity and moisture.

These are even more valuable if they can add natural lighting. If you don't have to turn on the lights every time you need to use the bathroom, you will save on electricity bills. If possible, slope the window sill downwards, so water easily drains off. Otherwise, try frosted glass for privacy.

If you don't already have a bathroom fan, consider adding one. A fan will help prevent mold and mildew while considerably improving air quality. Unlike windows, which you might want to keep closed, you can run a bathroom ventilation fan all year round.

4. Maximize Storage

Storage, especially in small bathrooms, is a huge bonus. Proper storage can make even the tiniest spaces feel well organized and serene. Adding shelving or built-in cabinets for everyday items helps declutter countertops, which should be clear for sink and mirror use.

To boost bathroom organization, incorporate a mix of open and closed storage. This allows you to tuck away frequently-used items like toiletries while displaying houseplants and small accessories. Closed doors also conveniently hide hygiene items, plungers, and laundry. For a small storage update, incorporate a mix of baskets and bins to divide vanity drawers and cabinets.

5. Upgrade Lighting

Lighting can instantly change the mood of any space. When it comes to bathroom lighting, incorporating better lighting around the vanity can aid in getting ready each day. Adapt the design and type of your bathroom lights to suit your lifestyle. For example, if you love taking long baths, dimmer lights work well for relaxation. If you enjoy trying new makeup looks, you'll want to install a wall sconce on either side of your mirror for the most flattering light. Or consider new tech features, like dual fan lights that incorporate Bluetooth for music so you can listen to your favorite songs while getting ready.

6. Swap Accessories and Fixtures

Consider the scale of your bathroom accessories when remodeling. For example, adding a basic round mirror in a small bathroom could create the illusion of a large space, but a chunky frame might make the room feel claustrophobic. The goal is to make a bathroom feel light and airy rather than cramped.

Most people think they need to change large fixtures, like their bathtub, to offer greater appeal to prospective buyers. But if you're headed in that direction, know that it isn't the tub itself that matters so much as the add-ons, like a clawfoot tub or a smart showerhead. In many cases, upgraded fixtures, new surfaces, and accessory swaps can make existing bathroom staples feel brand new.

Remember, while there are lots of options for remodeling a bathroom, the most important thing to keep in mind is how entering that space every day (multiple times a day) makes you feel. If you're planning to flip a guest bathroom or a first-floor powder room, channel the mood you want guests to have when they leave. This might mean setting aside your favorite color or trends in favor of a more universally appealing look.

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