The bathroom is such a utility space that it often gets overlooked when renovating. However, it’s for this very same reason that bathroom remodeling is so important!
It’s also true your bathroom might not actually need remodeling just yet – and if you’re working on a tight budget, this can be an important distinction.
To help you make the best practical choice, we’ve put together a short guide to discover undeniable proof your bathroom needs remodeling.
1. Rule of Thumb
When it comes to remodeling projects, it’s always best to start with the rule of thumb. In this case, it’s how often a bathroom (typically) needs to be renovated.
Let’s clear something up right from the get-go: there is no definite answer. The frequency in which a bathroom requires remodeling differs vastly from one home to the next – and for many different reasons.
One of the most pressing of those reasons is how often your bathroom is used. A single person who doesn’t often have guests staying for long periods of time won’t need to remodel their bathroom as often as a family.
Typically, you only need to start considering a bathroom remodel once every 5 years at the very soonest. If you’re taking good care of the space, this can easily be stretched to 10 years.
So which is it – 5 years or 10?
Ultimately, the answer to that question will lie in whether or not any of the other proofs are present. This is why it’s a rule of thumb!
2. Maintenance and Cleaning Are No Longer Enough
The bathroom isn’t as high-traffic as your kitchen and living room (statistically the most frequently used spaces in a home).
Still, take a moment to think about your daily routine. Chances are, your bathroom is the first room you visit after getting up in the morning and last before you head back to bed in the evening.
Sooner or later, your regular maintenance and cleaning won’t be enough.
It’s important not to freak out and think this makes you a bad homeowner – because it doesn’t! Cleaning can only do so much, after all. Eventually, your tiles (for example) will never look great no matter how much product and elbow grease you put into them.
The same can be said for maintenance. Regular fixes like replacing your toilet’s wax seal only go so far. There comes a time when the whole toilet needs to be replaced.
The same is true for any part of your bathroom!
There’s also the matter of time. With roughly 30% of all Americans working 2 jobs to make ends meet, our to-do lists can quickly become overwhelming.
Obviously, you should make time to do a proper cleaning as often as possible. However, eventually the to-do list becomes too long and too daunting. And that’s certainly undeniable proof it’s time to remodel.
Not only will this give you a clean slate to work with (if you’ll pardon the pun), but it also gives you an opportunity to choose surface materials and a layout easier to maintain.
3. Bad Layout
As mentioned in the previous section, changing your bathroom’s layout can make cleaning and maintenance easier. However, this proof deserves some extra attention because it also affects everyday function.
One of the most common examples given for when bad layout acts as an undeniable proof your bathroom needs remodeling is the old home layout. Houses from the 1920s to 1940s often have very cramped, even awkward setups because architects were still being cautious with plumbing.
And if you know your history, you’ll also know part of the reason for this is the economy wasn’t great – so the less money spent on plumbing, the better.
The unfortunate side effect is bathrooms often ended up with everything that required plumbing being cramped right next to each other.
Not only does this create potential hygiene issues, but it also makes the space awkward to use and even more awkward to keep clean (compounding the question of hygiene).
However, with a newly designed layout as part of your bathroom remodel, you can resolve all these issues.
4. The Question of Efficiency and Modernity
It might seem like the question of efficiency and modernity has already been dealt with, but bear with us here.
A change in layout can and probably will address both issues – but only if the layout was part of the cause. If your current bathroom already has a comfortable layout easy to use and easy to keep clean, then you might not need to go that far.
However, you might still find it isn’t as efficient as it could be – and it feels old even with a relatively modern layout.
Perhaps the best example to use here is water consumption.
Does your water bill look way too high even though you don’t have any leaks? It could be that your toilet is using more water to flush than is ideal.
Taking shorter showers but still not seeing much of a difference in your bill? Your showerhead might be to blame.
Modern toilets and showerheads are designed with water efficiency in mind. Even updating just these two appliances can transform the look, feel, and cost of your bathroom!
5. Lifestyle Changes
Let’s come back to something we mentioned briefly under the Rule of Thumb: how often your bathroom is being used.
When your lifestyle changes, how frequently you use your bathroom becomes a part of it.
These can include a diverse array of examples – like something as simple as working from home instead of having a separate workplace – or something as big as having kids.
In the first example, the number of people using your bathroom isn’t changing. It’s just that you’re home more often, so instead of using your workplace’s bathroom during the day, you’re using your own.
However, in the second example (or even just having your partner move in with you or getting a roommate), frequency of bathroom usage changes primarily because there are more people sharing it.
Depending on the specific lifestyle changes, you might be looking at using more durable materials, changing the entire layout, or even adding a second sink and more storage. Whatever the case, it’s undeniable proof your bathroom needs remodeling!
One thing to keep in mind when remodeling a bathroom to meet lifestyle changes is not everyone will have the same needs. This can become important down the line when you decide to put your house on the market.
6. You’re Thinking of Selling (But Not Just Yet)
Similar to the Rule of Thumb, this is a more abstract reason to consider bathroom remodeling – which makes for a nice way to bookend this guide!
The real reason we’ve saved it for last, however, is this isn’t a real proof. You should not invest in remodeling your bathroom if the only motivating factor is the desire to sell. This is especially true if you’re planning on putting your house on the market any time soon.
A newly renovated bathroom will definitely look great on the real estate agency’s website. And yes, the bathroom (along with the kitchen) is one of the areas prospective buyers scrutinize more closely than others when viewing property.
On average, bathroom renovations yield a return-on-investment (ROI) of 56.6% to 64%. So unless your bathroom is also showing some of the previously discussed undeniable proofs, you’re better off spending less on smaller cosmetic changes (like a professional deep clean) than a full remodel.
We like to bring it back to the rule of thumb here.
Aim to get at least 2 years out of your bathroom remodel before selling. This way, you get to enjoy the results and the new owners will still be able to wait a few years before they also need to apply the rule of thumb!
You might notice some of these proofs are almost identical to those in our guide to Undeniable Proof You Need to Remodel Your Kitchen. However, as we hope you can appreciate, it’s always worth zeroing in on some of the specifics for each of these functioning rooms!
Contact us today and get started!