Bathroom Remodel Strategies
You dream about a bathroom that’s high on comfort and personal style, but you also want materials, fixtures, and amenities with lasting value. Wake up! You can have both.
A bathroom remodel is a solid investment, with a national median cost of $35,000 that will recover about 71% of those costs when it’s time to sell your home, according to the “Remodeling Impact Report” from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.
Regardless of payback potential, you’ll probably be glad you went ahead and updated your bathroom. Homeowners polled for the report gave their bathroom renovation a Joy Score of 9.6 — a rating based on those who said they were happy or satisfied with their project, with 10 being the highest rating and 1 the lowest.
Make Lighting a Priority
Multiple shower heads and radiant heat floors are fabulous adds to a bathroom remodel. But few items make a bathroom more satisfying than lighting designed for everyday grooming. You can install lighting for a fraction of the cost of pricier amenities.
Well-designed bathroom task lighting surrounds vanity mirrors and eliminates shadows on faces: You look better already. The scheme includes two ceiling- or soffit-mounted fixtures, and side fixtures or sconces distributed vertically across 24 inches (to account for people of various heights). Four-bulb lighting fixtures work well for side lighting.
Today, shopping for bulbs means paying attention to lumens, the amount of light you get from a bulb — i.e., brightness. For these bathroom task areas, the Lighting Research Center recommends:
- Toilet: 45 lumens
- Sink: 450 lumens
- Vanity: 1,680 lumens
Clear the Air
Bathroom ventilation systems may be out of sight, but they shouldn’t be out of mind during a bathroom remodel.
Bathroom ventilation is essential for removing excess humidity that fogs mirrors, makes bathroom floors slippery, and contributes to the growth of mildew and mold. Controlling mold and humidity is especially important for maintaining healthy indoor air quality and protecting the value of your home — mold remediation is expensive, and excess humidity can damage cabinets and painted finishes.
A bathroom vent and water closet fan should exhaust air to the outside — not simply to the space between ceiling joists. Better models have whisper-quiet exhaust fans and humidity-controlled switches that activate when a sensor detects excess moisture in the air.
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