Bathroom Upgrades that Add Value

by | Mar 12, 2023

Blair Roedel

When considering a bathroom upgrade, it is easy to get lost in the overwhelming options, and even easier to get overcome when you consider the cost of each of those options compared to others. If you have been looking for a quick and easy, simple to understand guide for what adds value and what doesn’t – this is your article. 


Items that we recommend due to their fail-safe return on investment: 

  1. Simple tile
    1. There are so many options out there today and so many of what is trending or popular won’t be in 5-10 years. Subway tile can be basic, but the orientation of the layout makes a big difference. If you’ve fallen in love with something and you just have to have it, we can help you source alternate material that is comparable, looks similar and will save significantly on the cost due to a different material or a different supplier.
    2. Here’s a freebie for you too: carry your shower tile all the way to the ceiling. Trust us – it’ll pay off!
  2. Grand fixtures
    1. I always like to say that the fixtures and the lighting are the jewelry of your room. If they don’t WOW you as soon as you walk in, then your renovation will be perceived as underwhelming. Plumbing fixtures, hardware and lighting are the really important places to make sure you’re spending the right money in order to get that WOW factor you’re hoping for.
  3. Frameless shower enclosures
    1. This one seems kind of odd, right? ‘Why does it matter if there’s a bar running across the top of your shower door? Do people really notice that?’ The answer is that the framed shower enclosure stops your line of sight when guests or buyers are perusing your bathroom. Rather than their eyes going all the way to the ceiling and recognizing how tall the bathroom ceilings look, their eyes get stopped on the frame and suddenly your shower looks small, squat and uninviting. Trust us – this is money VERY well spent.


Items that we traditionally DON’T recommend due to their higher entry cost and lower ROI: (Please note that these are broad recommendations and sometimes the space calls for these solutions. Nothing is always true!)

  1. ‘Designer’ tile
    1. If your renovation is built around a specific tile, do it. If you know you’ll fall asleep making lovey eyes at your new tile, we will support you. But most of the time ‘designer’ or ‘luxury’ tile won’t pay you back. They’re beautiful and sometimes worth the money, but sometimes they’re no different than more mass-produced tiles. Consult us and we’d be happy to advise.
  2. Architectural additions
    1. So many of the ‘Pinterest’ bathrooms are now including really ornate and visually interesting architectural features, including wall details, floating shelves, chair rail, board and batten, etc. and while beautiful… it’s a bathroom. Again, some spaces call for those additions. Some spaces can accommodate them and not feel overwhelming. And sometimes a new owner will come in and rip it all down on day 2 of owning the home. With all things, we encourage you to do what you love and we will be happy to help you see those dreams come to life, but in terms of ROI we really can’t recommend adding much architectural details. 

We hope that this brings some clarity to the age-old question of what to spend money on in a bathroom remodel and what not to. Of course you want to recoup your money on a bathroom remodel, and as we’ve proven in our case studies, it is completely possible to actually make money on a bathroom remodel AND get to enjoy that remodel for years to come. Don’t hesitate to reach out with questions and advice on your own bathroom remodel! We love talking about them and seeing your photos!

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