An updated, relaxing bathroom retreat is one of the best ways to make your house feel more like your dream home. It provides a place to start every day right and rest and recharge at the end of a frantic workday.
But how do you know when the time is right to undertake a bathroom renovation? Here are 8 clues to help you decide:
- Everything’s looking a little tired. If you haven’t remodelled your bathroom for a decade or so, or have moved into an older home with an original bathroom intact, switching out that 80s décor for something more contemporary will make you feel brand new again. You can easily reset your bathroom's mood with modern fixtures and features, including towel rails, taps, mirrors, lighting and tiles – the good news is, this is a relatively affordable option.
- Your family has grown. A bathroom that perfectly suited two may not be adequate for family use. Young kids require a reasonably sized bath with room to store easy-to-access linen and toiletries, while teens might need more mirror space or multiple basins.
- Your family has downsized. Similarly, if the kids have flown the coop, that cavernous, bathroom overpopulated with fixtures might not be that necessary anymore. Maybe it’s time to consider making it an oasis of calm for two again, with a tile revamp or reglaze, an extra large (or dual) showerhead. The space should be relaxing rather than cramped so rearranging the layout to something that maximises flow can do wonders for your mood.
- You’re noticing damaged features. Chipped tiles, whether they're on the wall or the floor, are potential health hazards. Not only could you cut yourself or trip, but they're also breeding grounds for germs and bacteria. Do yourself a favour and get your bathroom renovation underway.
- Your needs have changed. Older homeowners may need to call in the builder to allow for mobility or disability issues around the bathroom. This includes adding grab bars, non-slip surfaces, a bench in the shower or removing step-in showers or baths to avoid falls.
- You’ve got next to no storage. One way to ensure your bathroom is tranquil is to have a place for everything and everything in its place. If you’ve got lotions and potions strewn across all surfaces, investing in some cabinetry can make all the difference. Mirrored cabinets are a great space saving idea that can also make a tiny bathroom look twice as large.
- Mould has set in for good. Mould and mildew can be very bad for your health, particularly toxic black mould that loves damp and dark bathroom spaces. Older houses can be particularly problematic. If you’re finding it more and more difficult to clean off the mould from your tile grout and walls, you probably have an underlying waterproofing, ventilation or plumbing problem. Ditto if you see peeling paint. You’ll need to get onto this before the damage spreads to other parts of your home, so it’s the perfect excuse to do a heritage bathroom renovation.
- You’re about to sell. Bathrooms are important to buyers, and a pristine, up-to-date bathroom can add thousands to your asking price. Even simple upgrades such as lighting and fixtures can add value. Make sure you speak to your real estate agent before you start renovating, however – they can tell you whether your investment is likely to reap dividends come sale time.