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6 Bathroom Renovations To Increase Value

Derek Hales

Written By: Derek Hales

Updated on:

Renovating a bathroom in your home can be a good way to add value to a bedroom suite or to make a shared bathroom more appealing. Upgrading layout, fixtures, and finishes can all mean big bucks in return or a faster sale on your real estate property.

Here’s a quick designer guide on the 6 best ways to renovate a bathroom for the highest return on your investment.

1. Update plumbing fixtures.

First out of the gate, updating plumbing fixtures is one the best ways to revamp an existing bathroom.

Modern bathroom faucet

This could be as simple as swapping out the hardware from an outdated brass to a contemporary brushed nickel, or it could be a more dramatic change like adding dual shower heads, installing a channel faucet, or a wall-mounted faucet that gracefully flows into a vessel sink.

where to make bathroom upgrades
En-suite bathroom renovations

The possibilities are endless, depending on how much you are looking to spend, but updating the plumbing fixtures can be a great way to add new life to an existing bathroom.

2. Maximize small spaces.

Some bathrooms are just naturally small and there’s not really anything you can do to add more space beyond the existing footprint.

Maximize small bathroom
Lighter color walls can help a small bathroom feel bigger

If you find yourself in this situation, the best thing you can do is take action to maximize the space you have and make it feel bigger. To maximize small spaces, consider:

RELATED Best bathroom color trends for 2019

3. Update mirrors.

Basic plate mirrors can feel very “builder-grade” and not leave you with the dreamy spa bathroom vibe you were hoping for.

For a custom, upgraded feel, consider updating the mirrors. Separate mirrors in front of separate vanity sinks is a great solution for master suites and feel very individualized.

Mirror upgrade for bathroom renovation
Custom bathroom mirrors

If you’re upgrading the mirror of a shared bathroom and don’t want to reduce the size of the mirror, try framing the existing mirror.

You can buy a frame separately from the mirror and have it custom sized to fit your existing mirror. Adding a frame can make the mirror feel more high-end and custom, giving the entire bathroom an upgraded look.

Modern bathroom mirror

4. Install new tile.

While updating the tile in any bathroom is certainly of the most labor-intensive and costly updates you can make to a bathroom, it remains one of the most transformative and valuable upgrades you can make to a bathroom.

This is especially true if your existing tile screams 1970’s or “builder-grade beige”.

When installing new tile, large format sizes (like 12”x24”) work great for flooring since it reduces grout lines and can make spaces feel larger.

On the wall, you can try a smaller tile or a mosaic if you’re tiling an accent wall or just an accent strip in a selective location.

For the best value, avoid bright colored tiles and instead opt for neutral colors. You can always add a pop of color with bright towels or bold accessories.

accent wall with tile in bathroom
Guest bathroom – accent tile wall design

If you want to design a fun space and have otherwise neutral finishes in the rest of the space, you can opt for a patterned tile. This can be especially effective for the floor and a unique way to bring life and uniqueness to a basic bathroom.

Unless you are particularly handy, you will probably want to hire a contractor that specializes in bathroom renovations to replace tile.

Below are a few places to start your search:

However, always ask friends and family for a referral as well. It’s great when you can find someone who is already vetted.

5. Update the vanity.

Many retailers sell ready-to-install vanities that make for a quick upgrade to your existing bathroom. These vanities generally come painted and include all of the hardware you’ll need.

Install the sink, attach the faucet, and you’re done.

For a custom feel, consider a painted vanity that contrasts well with your tile and wall color.

Example: Crisp white vanity paired with dark gray floor tile or stained wood vanity paired with cream or light gray floor tile.

Modern bathroom vanity update

When selecting your vanity, the important thing is to make sure that there is a good amount of contrast to really make your new vanity become a statement piece in the space.

6. Customize hardware.

For a quick and simple upgrade to a bathroom, try swapping out the hardware.

This is a simple fix that doesn’t take long or cost much, but can drastically improve the overall look of the space. You can choose to match the hardware to your plumbing fixtures or you can contrast it.

hardware selections for small bathrooms
small bathroom design – custom hardware

For example, a matte black fixture set makes a dreamy duo when combined with matte gold hardware. You can also mix black and chrome for a more modern blend.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there is a wide range of ways you can upgrade your bathroom.

From quick inexpensive changes, like upgrading the hardware or decluttering your space, to bolder more transformative changes, like installing new tile or upgrading your vanity, a bathroom upgrade can be a great way to add value to your home.

Want more tips?

Check out some of our quick reads below for ways to upgrade your home:

About Derek Hales

Derek HalesDerek Hales is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of He has been featured in Fast Company, Reader's Digest, Business Insider,, She Knows, and other major publications. Derek has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University. Hales has been testing and reviewing products for the home since 2014.

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