If you're dreaming about that spacious whirlpool bath, to-die-for tile floor, luxurious granite countertops, or maybe you're just debating whether to replace your outdated fixtures, experts say it's worth it to make it a reality because you'll likely recover most of the money you put into a bathroom remodel when you sell your home.

Indeed, Remodeling Magazine's 2002 Cost vs. Value Report indicates you can have a bathroom you love and expect a payback on your investment; the national average return rate is 88 percent.

Depending on where you live, a mid-range bathroom remodel - spending close to $10,000 to update a bathroom at least 25 years old - will recoup anywhere from 60 percent in Phoenix to 151 percent in Oakland, Calif.

The report also evaluates an upscale bathroom remodel, which includes expanding an existing 5-by-7-foot bathroom to 9-by-9 feet within existing house footprint, doubling the number of windows, replacing the tub with custom dual shower in tile and glass surround, relocating the toilet into a partitioned area and replacing it with one-piece color unit, and adding a custom vanity cabinet with twin sinks set in granite tops, among other amenities.

Homeowners who had the upscale bathroom remodel saw even more bang for their buck with a national average rate of return of 91 percent. That means if you spent the average of $22,639 for upgraded bathroom goodies, you can expect $20,609 in resale value.

In his book Improve the Value of Your Home Up to $100,000 (John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2003), Robert Irwin said you should take a cue from the spacious, luxurious master bathrooms being built in new homes, which accommodate the homeowner who wants a place to relax.

"As a rule of thumb, the amount you spend on the bathroom should not be more than 5 percent of the home's value," says Irwin, who has written more than 50 books on a range of real estate issues. "The total cost of a quick and simple makeover need only be a few thousand dollars. If done prudently, it will add multiples of that amount of money to the value of your home."

So if you're ready to put your bathroom remodel plans in motion, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry recommends you think about the following factors before embarking on a bathroom remodel:

  • What do you need to make your bathroom more comfortable?
  • How many people will be using this bathroom?
  • How many sinks and how much counter space do you need?
  • Are there enough baths in the house? Be sure to think about the future and possibly your growing family's needs.
  • What type of baths and tubs would you like - whirlpool, claw foot, soaking tub, tub/shower combination unit, multi-jet shower.
  • How much storage do you need? Where do you want it - near the sink area, near the closet or dressing area, near the tub or shower?
  • What type of lighting would you like?
  • Would you like to use water-saving fixtures?

    Meanwhile, if money is tight but you'd like a small makeover before you put your house on the market, Irwin has a few suggestions.

    First, you could replace your countertop and flooring with inexpensive tile. Irwin says this could be done for about $1,000 for a small bathroom.

    Or you could replace the sink and faucet. That will cost you at least $300, plus another $100 or so to have it installed.

    You can also think about refinishing the tub or redoing the shower, which typically involves retiling.

    And, if you're looking for a really quick spruce-up, add new towel racks, put in new lights or repaint - nothing changes the look and mood of a room more than a new color.

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    petergarcia's Avatar
    petergarcia replied the topic: #14478
    Interesting post.. This post shared a wonderful information on Bathroom.. The info you shared to make bathroom innovative are very valuable for me. Actually, i want to change my bathroom tiles and i gathered huge information on it by your post.. Thanks.
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    Maria's Avatar
    Maria replied the topic: #11274
    Yes, very true... Bathrooms do add good value to a condo or house when you want to sell. Modern, updated baths are much more comfortable and enjoyable while living in the house.