New products and technology make it easy to update your bathroom without a complete remodel.
Does your bathroom need a pick-me-up? Whether you want to build a spalike experience with a complete remodel or just make quick changes in an afternoon, new products and technology make it easy.
The 2017 Houzz Bathroom Trends Study said the average spend on a major master bathroom remodel exceeding 100 feet was $21,000, while smaller bathrooms averaged $12,500. Whether or not you have that kind of scratch to throw around, here are five ways to refresh your bathroom, from low-cost to luxe.
1. Swap out fixtures. On the super-frugal side, replace vanity hardware or light fixtures or install new towel bars and/or a new toilet paper holder, said Sarah Barnard, principal of Sarah Barnard Design, a Santa Monica, California-based interior designer. Add plants like orchids or ferns if you have a window. Simple touches can draw attention away from ugly spots.
2. Change the showerhead. For as little as $100, you can upgrade to a better showerhead, said Lynn Schrage, marketing manager of the Kohler store in Chicago. Even renters can install a better showerhead and change it back when they move.
3. Update your medicine cabinet. Have wiggle room in your budget? Lighted mirrored medicine cabinets can improve a bathroom and save space, Schrage said. Many lighted medicine cabinets can use existing electrical supplies. Kohler and Wade Logan both have cabinets with LED lighting that mimics natural daylight.
4. Tweak your bathing area. Updating the bathing/showering space can spruce up the bathroom without making the rest of the room feel tired, Schrage said. Tom Graham, president of Revive Designer Bathrooms in Lincolnwood, Illinois, said if you’re not gutting the space, just replacing the shower door can make a big impact. Today’s doors have more glass and less hardware for a clean look, he said, and many have water repellents added to the glass to eliminate the need to squeegee after the shower, such as the Aqua Swing from DreamLine.
5. Get a new toilet. Graham said he gets a lot of requests for “comfort height” commodes, which are closer to chair height, about 2 to 4 inches higher than the standard toilet. Sleeker looks, like having the water tank built into the wall and the seat mounted to the wall, are also popular, he said. The wall-mounted toilets can be placed at any height, and allow for easier cleaning of the floor underneath, he said.
Graham, Schrage and Barnard all said that there’s more interest in bidet seats, combining the toilet with seats that have warming functions and sprays. Bidet seats can be added just by swapping out the old toilet seat, without changing the existing bowl. Several brands are available, with prices starting around $250.