Whenever you consider capital improvements to your home it’s only natural that you think about the kind of bottom line value a particular upgrade will add. Not all renovations are created equal after all with some returning far more value than others. Projects that routinely list among-st the best in terms of ROI are bathroom renovations. That may seem odd to some but the reality is that for most people the modern bathroom is a kind of refuge from the world. If it’s done right it can be a place of relaxation and rejuvenation: the one place on earth where you can be sure you won’t be bothered (provided you leave your mobile phone in another room of course).

For that reason – as any real estate agent will tell you – most prospective home buyers base their initial assessment of a house on 2 things: the state of the kitchen followed by the state of the bathroom (particularly the Master Bath). If they don’t like what they see in these 2 rooms you’ve probably lost the sale. (Unless of course you’re selling the house as a fixer-upper.) But just how do you handle bathroom renovations so as to add maximum value? Below, we’ll go into some of the ways.


Outdated bathrooms can have a certain rustic charm about them but mostly they’re just
outdated. If your home is a bit older and the bathroom has always had that ad hoc feeling to it, like it was just thrown together with whatever the builder in 1927 had available, there’s no point in trying to “restore” it because really, there’s nothing to restore. It’s typically better to simply gut it to the wall joists and start over. Before you build back out however make sure everything is in working order and that there are no leaks or damage to the walls.

You’ll save a lot of money if you decide to stick with the current layout but that may not be feasible. If you decide to go with a new layout you’ll probably have to call the plumber in to relocate pipes before the new walls go up. Ditto with the wiring. You may want to redo all the wiring, but at the very least you’re probably going to want to add outlets and light switches.


When renovating an existing bathroom keep in mind that there are certain things
prospective home buyers look for. These include fundamental bathroom renovations like:

  • New cabinetry.
  • Modern light fixtures.
  • New tiles.

As well as luxurious touches such as:

  • Heated flooring.
  • A glass shower enclosure.
  • Recessed lighting.
  • Plenty of ventilation.
  • Flat screen TV.
  • Internet access.
  • “Smart” shower head.
  • “Smart” toilet.

The “smart” bathroom is already here and the more you integrate smart devices that let you control and set water temperatures, light levels and more the more valuable your new bathroom will be. Smart toilets can have the seat warmed and waiting for you and who wouldn’t like that? Having a TV in the bathroom also means you don’t ever have to miss another second of a big game just because nature calls.


If you have several bathrooms in the house but only have the budget to remodel one of them Master Bathroom remodeling will give you the most bang for your buck. That’s because it’s the bathroom the buyers of the house will be using, while kids and guests typically use the secondary baths. All of the upgrade ideas laid out above apply to the Master Bath and then some. For instance

  • The Master Bath should have a glass shower enclosure along with a distinctive shower feature like a rain shower head or even multiple or smart shower heads.
  • If location, space and budget allow you should look into installing a skylight in the Master Bath. The extra natural light will provide atmosphere and be a big selling point.
  • If there’s room and you don’t have them now you should consider adding his and her sinks. It’s an idea that’s been around for a while because it’s still appealing after all these years.
  • An older home may have linoleum in the Master Bath. If that’s the case consider removing it and installing ceramic tiles instead. They’ll give the entire room a lift.

As we said if your budget is limited you’ll want to focus your bathroom upgrades on the Master Bath since it’s the one the adults will be using and the one potential buyers will want to see. Upgrading it will add the most value to your home.


Like most home improvements there are a lot of factors that influence how much of your bathroom renovation costs you’ll recoup should you decide to sell the house. It can be as high as 75% or more depending on the quality of the workmanship and the relevance of the upgrades (as in “smart” technology etc).


Most prospective home buyers want to be impressed by the Master Bath. In addition they prefer the other bathrooms be either full or 3/4 baths. Knowing this it would behoove you to focus on providing the market what the market wants. Not necessarily because you’re about to sell your house now, but because one day you might and any money you put into capital improvements today should be done with that possibility in mind. So, renovating the Master Bath and expanding any 1/2 baths to 3/4 or full baths should be part of your goal when spending money on bathroom renovations. Keep in mind too that one of the secondary bathrooms should have a tub to accommodate kids.


Bathroom renovations are a great way to add value to your home. Both practical and aesthetic value as well as market value. Be cognizant of what the market is looking for when you spend money on bathroom upgrades however. Doing so will help you move the home at a later date should you decide to put it up for sale.

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