Australians love their bathrooms. In fact in new builds, we’re now building on average 2.6 bathrooms into every family home!*
So it goes without saying that if you’re Renovating For Profit you need to pay particular attention to your bathroom if you want to lure buyers in or uplift your property value and build equity. Bathrooms are costly rooms to renovate, and like hip hotels, they are trend driven and date quickly. So how do you renovate with a designer look that won’t be ‘so last year’ before the paint is dry?
This week, I helped first time Sydney homeowners, Leisha and Jamie, do just that with a low-cost upgrade that required no downtime, no waterproofing or re-tiling, and featured on-trend but inexpensive fixtures and fittings that could easily and inexpensively be upgraded in future.
To start, their bathroom had a few major flaws. The tiles were looking tired, with discoloured grout and mould-ridden sealant around the tub. The floor tiles were in good shape but the colour wasn’t looking great. The vanity was dated, the amber glass shower screen screamed of the seventies, and the taps did too. But the room was laid out well and everything was structurally sound.
To do a complete demolition and full-scale renovation would have cost in excess of $15K. And as it was the only bathroom in their townhouse, Leisha and Jamie couldn’t afford the downtime required re-waterproof and tile. The answer was a partial or ‘Cosmetic Renovation’. My first step was to remove everything that was dragging the room down – that’s the taps, fixtures like towel rail and toilet roll holder, the shower screen, and the vanity.
Then, the wall-to-wall amber glass shower screen was replaced with a bath swing shower screen with a matte black frame that’s right on trend. The new screen makes access for getting in and out of the bath and cleaning much easier, and it opens up the bathroom – making it feel larger. It was installed in an hour by Ezyglide Shower Screens for just $550 (supply and install).
For the vanity, a complete unit from IKEA in oak veneer with a black top and top-mounted sink worked well with the shower screen and the tones in the existing tile floor. We painted and moved the old mirrored cabinet to the wall adjacent to the toilet and placed an additional three-way mirror above the vanity to open up the space.
Matte black Mondella taps and accessories from Bunnings completed the look. And some simple styling gave the bathroom a spa-like feel.
One reason I think this approach is so successful is that the black taps and accessories can be swapped out for chrome, brass, nickel (or whatever is on trend in future) leaving a very neutral palette. It’s a designer, contemporary look for just on $2.5K!
I can already hear you ask, ‘Why didn’t you change the floor tiles?’… Well, that would have added around $5-$7K to the budget, because breaking the floor tile breaks the waterproofing, which means you’re almost starting from scratch. Take my advice if you’re on a low budget or if your existing bathroom is cosmetically tired but structurally sound, and make these simple updates in 1-2 days. It will add thousands to the value of your property.
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