Thursday, 26 November 2020

Bathroom upgrade options run gamut

Does your bathroom need a pick-me-up?

Whether you want to build a spalike experience with a complete remodel or just make quick changes in an afternoon, new products and technology make it easy.

Consumers spent an average of $21,000 on a major master bathroom remodel exceeding 100 feet, while smaller bathrooms averaged $12,500, according to the 2017 Houzz Bathroom Trends Study.

Whether or not you have that kind of money to throw around, here are five ways to refresh your bathroom, from low-cost to luxe.

Swap out fixtures

On the super-frugal side, replace vanity hardware, light fixtures or install new towel bars and toilet-paper holder, said Sarah Barnard, principal of Sarah Barnard Design, a Santa Monica, California-based interior designer.

Add plants such as orchids or ferns if you have a window. Simple touches can draw attention away from ugly spots.


With as little as $100, upgrade to a better showerhead, said Lynn Schrage, marketing manager of the Kohler store in Chicago. Renters can install a better showerhead and replace it with the previous one when they move.

Medicine cabinet

Have wiggle room in your budget? Lighted mirrored medicine cabinets can improve a bathroom and save space, Schrage said. Many lighted medicine cabinets can use existing electrical supplies, too.

Kohler’s Verdera medicine cabinets and Wade Logan both have LED lighting that mimic natural daylight.

Bathing area

Updating the bathing or showering space can spruce up the bathroom without making the rest of the room feel tired, Schrage said.

Tom Graham, president of Revive Designer Bathrooms in Lincolnwood, Illinois, said that if you’re not gutting the space, just replacing the shower door can make a big impact.

Today’s doors have more glass and less hardware for a clean look, he said, and many have water repellents added to the glass to eliminate the need to squeegee after the shower.


Graham said he gets a lot of requests for “comfort height” commodes, which are closer to chair height, about 2 to 4 inches higher than the standard toilet.

Sleeker looks, such as having the water tank built into the wall, and the seat mounted to the wall, are popular, he said. The wall-mounted toilets can be placed at any height, and allow for easier cleaning of the floor underneath, he said.

There is more interest in bidet seats, combining the toilet with seats that have warming functions and sprays, said Graham, Schrage and Barnard. Bidet seats can be added by swapping out old toilet seats without changing the existing toilets.

Several brands are available, with prices starting around $250.


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