According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, bathroom fixtures take up 20% of the renovation budget on average so when choosing fixtures and finishes consider who is using the space and how heavily it will be used. Is it a kid's bathroom? Then plastic laminate flooring and countertops are a good option because they're both durable and inexpensive (and high-end material is of less importance to children). You'll thank yourself later for using finishes that are low maintenance and easy to keep clean. In that regard, choose quartz instead of marble and make sure glass shower doors are treated with anti-spotting agents. In terms of fixtures, you'll want high-quality construction like all-brass parts and a PVD finish that will resist scratches. Basic chrome is cheaper than materials like nickel or bronze. Low budget, high impact swaps include replacing specific features; here's our guide on how to pick out the best bathroom vanity. When making any changes consider where you can creatively hide storage in the room and for energy efficiency be sure to look for low-flow toilet models.
Though you might not want or even use a bath tub, every home should have one to appease buyers who dream of a spa tub or those with young children (or dogs!). Take advantage of the shower/tub area to define zones in the room and create an accent wall by changing up the tile you use. You'll want to select a tile that has a water absorption rating of less than 3% (lower than what's recommended for the floors) and has good traction (a coefficient of friction that's greater than or equal to .60). If you're debating between an open or closed shower take a look at our pros and cons to help make your decision. If you can't afford a full gut-job then redecorating is one way to breath new life into the space without spending a fortune. There are many easy bathroom decorating ideas you can implement, from changing the hardware on your cabinetry to a new coat of paint. Colors and textures that might look ostentatious in other rooms in your home are fine in the bathroom, such as dark hues like burgundy or wild prints and patterns.
For an ultra-modern and very practical effect, you could even use concrete. Underfloor heating adds a really cosy touch – as well as helping to dry the bathroom, and prevent damp and mould from forming – if you have hard floors. If you're considering underfloor heating, visit our guide to get an idea of the costs involved. As well as possibly using tiles for your floor, you'll need to use tiles on the walls around the shower or bath, which should be added after they're fitted. You can also get the same tiles for your bathroom walls and floor if you want a streamlined look. Options for wall-tile types include glass, ceramic or natural stone. There are matt or gloss tiles, and you can have small mosaic ones right through to large tiles, which can make a space-limited bathroom feel larger. Tiles can also be used to make a statement – bold colours or different finishes can have a big impact. If they're used sparingly, such as just around a shower or even statement tiles as a strip running through plain white tiles, it doesn't have to be expensive.
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