Hottest Remodeling Job Isn’t the Kitchen

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Kitchens are usually considered a key ingredient in luring home buyers to a home and, as such, are often the top project targeted by remodelers to increase a home’s value. But it’s been dethroned by the bathroom.

Bath remodeling projects are now the top remodeling project, according to a recent survey of remodelers by the National Association of Home Builders.

Bathroom remodels nowadays have gotten much more modest in the past. The key factors driving today’s bathroom remodels are:

Easy upkeep, cost, and adding accessibility.

Home owners aren’t doing the “McMansion bathroom. … They’re doing more intimate spaces,” designer Stephen Saint-Onge, author of “No Place Like Home,” told USA Today.

Once a main-stay in many bathrooms, the spa-like tub is increasingly vanishing from master bathrooms. Labeled just as a “dust-magnet” by some, more home owners say they prefer a fancy shower with a bench (and maybe a ceiling-mounted rain shower head too) over a tub. For home owners who do want both a tub and shower in the master bath, they tend to downgrade the tub to a soaker tub over a luxurious whirlpool. (The sinking away of the luxurious tub trend is something we’ve mentioned before here at Styled, Staged & Sold. Read: Luxurious Bathrooms Don’t Always Need a Fancy Tub)

Also, driving bathroom remodels nowadays: Home owners are looking to save money. They even may be willing to pay a little extra upfront to get fixtures that will bring about savings in the long-term. For example, home owners are increasingly concerned about rising utility costs and the shortage of water in some drought-prone areas. Therefore, more home owners are opting for LED fixtures and water-saving toilets and faucets.

Also more home owners are looking at adding accessibility into bathroom spaces, like with doorless showers.

5 Ways to Spruce Up the Bathroom Without Remodeling

Bathrooms are important in selling a home. But some home sellers may not be willing to tackle a costly remodeling project in the bathroom for a home they just want to sell. A recent New York Times article offered some tips from real estate professionals and stagers for sprucing up a bathroom without remodeling.

1. Unclutter the bathroom and have it look similar to what you’d see in a hotel (remove all toiletries from counters and empty the trashcan).

2. Clean it until it sparkles.

3. Use fluffy towels and bath mat (preferably in white).

4. Display flower vases.

5. Fix any grout or caulking to remove any mildew stains.

Melissa Tracey

Melissa Dittmann Tracey is a contributing editor for REALTOR® Magazine, writing about home & design trends, technology, and sales and marketing. She manages the magazine's award-winning Styled, Staged & Sold blog.

More Posts - Website

  1. Bathroom remodeling has been on the rise in the last 3 years in particular. You list some low cost ways to spruce up the bathroom; I have a few additional ideas to add to your list.

    Sometimes you can give your bathroom a fresh new look with minimal effort and cost by doing some of the following.

    1. Repaint
    2. Change the bathroom vanity hardware to something more attractive
    3. Replace an existing light fixture
    4. Replace an existing sink faucet

    If you are really in the mood for change without engaging in a full blown remodel, you can change to a different vanity.

    These small upgrades can really pay for themselves quickly if you are planning on selling your home or just enjoying it more while you are living there.

    Brad Thomas
    Classic Clawfoot Tubs

  2. Appreсіаtion tο my fathеr who infoгmed me on the topic of this blog, this websіte is гeally amazіng.

  3. Great article! I have been working on getting my house ready for sale and I keep seeing the bathroom as a great remodeling point. People want a great bathroom and also the rise is people living in their homes until they pass has drawn great attention to the accessibility of the bathroom. Thanks once again and remember small things like grab bars can be hidden in plain site and still add massive value to your home.

  4. Trudi Caoagdan

    Size it up! Most bath towel collections offer a variety of sizes to fit your space, budget and personal preference. Check out the chart below to see how each towel stacks up.’

    Brand new write-up on our website