Top 15 Bathroom Remodel Ideas, Costs, and ROI


Your bathroom is the first thing you see every day. Bleary-eyed and groggy. And you are tired of it! What can you do? First, come up with between $15,000 and $35,000, which is the low-end cost most homeowners can expect to pay for a moderate bathroom makeover this year. Then consider the following upgrades many of which can be completed by a handy “Do It Yourself” enthusiast such as yourself! 😉

modern-bathroom-remodel via GuyCo Homes

1. Flashy Finishes:

When it is time to upgrade the industrialized look of your bathroom, a new finish to fixtures will put an exclamation point on any bathroom decor.

Chrome is still the shiny finish of choice, but the market leader is being elbowed by brass and copper and nickel and oil-rubbed metals. Depending on your taste, a finish can be shiny or matted, or even textured! The customized finishes can run from $75 for chrome to over $500 for nickel fixtures.

chrome-finish-faucet credits: WAM Interior Design

ROI: Your return on investment is the pleasure you get with handling a beautiful spigot handle several times every day. 😉

2. Fancy Faucets:

You can get a quick jolt to the look of your bathroom with an eye-catching new faucet. Go with a modern update of the classic spouts or search for antique replicas that are constructed from solid brass or nickel.

An import from Europe can release your inner avant-garde. Expect to pay many hundreds of dollars more than your average water spout. Put on all the fancy fixings, and a new sink complex can run in the range of $5,000 to $7,500 (including professional installation).

fancy-faucet credits: Laguna Fancy Faucets

ROI: You may not get all your money back, but an updated look on your faucet will absolutely raise the value and enjoyment of your bathroom!

3. Saucy Sinks:

The sink will often be the style leader in any bathroom makeover. A pedestal sink will give a old-timey look to a bathroom, as will a console sink with basin and legs.

Note the handy lack of under-sink storage space with these models. Textured drop-in sinks impart a contemporary look and feel. A countertop vessel sink with waterspout can make a statement about the American frontier or an upscale European resort. Price options range from $150 and up.

fancy-sink credits: Kurmak Builders

ROI: A sink replacement will likely be part of an overall bathroom decor overhaul, which seldom pays for itself.

4. Welcome storage:

It is easy to get carried away with the glamorous options to outfit a bathroom and forget about the importance of storage. A vanity cluttered with cosmetic bottles and stacks of toilet paper on the water closet comprise any decor.

New cabinets can cost as much as $7,500 or more to be installed, if a lot of custom woodworking is required for tight spaces and depending on the woods selected. At the low end, expect to pay between $3,500 and $6,500.

bathroom-cabinets-and-creative-storage-space credits: GuyCo Homes

ROI: The full cost may not be recouped at the time of sake, but the utility of bathroom storage space is priceless. 😉

5. Elbow Room:

Why would you punish yourself like this!?


That space premium holds for counter space as well. The days of the double sink have vanished in favor of more counter space. The range of vanities is limited only by the imagination, from high style to refinished salvage models. Installing countertops at the low-end will cost between $2,500 and $5,500.

spacious-bathroom credits: Monarch Kitchen and Bath Centre

ROI: New buyers always like to see extra space that can be used to plop things down on. Modestly-priced vanities will likely pay for themselves both in current use and future value.

6. Smart Lighting:

Bathrooms are workspaces above all – shaving, makeup application, etc. Lighting should always be functional, but it can be attractive as well. First off, do not put a light above the bathroom mirror since it will cast shadows onto the face.

Start by making sure all task lighting is properly oriented over the toilet and shower and then turn to accent lighting and decorative lighting for visual impact. New lighting fixtures can be installed for under $1,000 or as much as $5,000.

contemporary-bathroom-lighting credits: Claudia Interior Design

ROI: As soon as a potential homebuyer flips the light switch, the landscape of the lighting is the first thing that makes an impression. If it’s done right, it will more than pay for itself! 😉

Bathroom with skylights for natural lighting

7. Rub-a-dub-dub:

The first question to be answered about a new bathtub is whether it is even needed. When was the last time you luxuriated in a bath?

If you decide to replace the tub upgrades include models from antique claw-foot tubs sunken, ground level extravaganzas which can run into thousands of dollars. At the low range expect to pay between $2,500 and $4,500 for professional installation. At the high end expect to pay between $6,500 and $9,000.

modern-bathtub credits: GuyCo Homes

ROI: Most houses have not completely abandoned the bathtub and still have at least one. But even small kids can be bathed in a portable tub inserted into a shower so whether you ever see money from a bathtub upgrade again will likely depend on the market when the house is sold.

8. Bye-bye-tub:

If the decision is to jettison the bathtub, a shower will free up space for extra utility in the bathroom – or extra space in a roomy walk-in shower. You can even find designs that put a tub inside the shower space.

So many shower choices, so many price points. Installing a simple shower will cost between $2,500 and $5,500 for professional installation. Deluxe models will cost around $12,500.

walk-in-shower-and-skylight-lighting By GuyCo Homes

ROI: See bathtub, elimination. You are going to thrill some buyers with your new bathroom configuration and turn-off others.

9. Counter the countertops:

The popularity of granite and quartz countertops has invaded the bathroom space. Depending on the size, the material and installation costs for bathroom rock will run up to several thousand dollars.

If you want to fake it, you can spend way less on laminate models but they do scratch and scuff. And you will always know it is not granite – and so will potential buyers. High-end countertops will cost between $5,000 and $7,500 for a professional design and installation in a larger bathroom.

granite-countertop By Arkon Granite

ROI: Granite countertops will certainly announce that you indeed have a luxury bathroom but they will never pay for themselves at sale time.

10. Breath the air:

A bathroom fan is the best defense against lingering moisture that breeds mold and mildew eating voraciously away at finishes and painted surfaces.

Go bigger if your bathroom is larger than 100 square feet or if you have installed options like steam showers. Bathroom fans installed can cost less than $250-$500.


ROI: When you factor in one less paint job or extra years of life on the finish of bathroom fixtures, a bathroom fan will pay for itself and the electricity needed to run it.

11. Outlet smarts:

We are using way more power in our bathrooms than our ancestors ever dreamed of. Everything from hair dryers to charging phones to music systems.

If the electrical outlets in your bathroom are insufficient or inconvenient it not only hampers your way of living but it will surely be noticed by the potential next occupant. The average rate for a licensed journeyman electrician is $75.00 an hour.

ROI: Converting your bathroom power source into a selling point will likely cover the electrician’s bill. 😉

12. Crown it off:

Many homeowners think that crown molding is only for large rooms. Think again. Adding trim to a bathroom adds a beautiful architectural touch for little money. Grab a miter saw and install it to dress up even a small bathroom in style.

A professional carpenter will charge anywhere from $10.00 to $15.00 per linear foot for installing crown molding, depending on the size and overall scope of the project.


ROI: When even the small spaces in your house look like they were created with thought and care, the favorable impression will wash over the entire property.

13. Peek-a-boo:

People just will not get over their modesty about using the toilet. Hiding the water closet in the bathroom has become a fashionable upgrade option.

Building a half-wall is often the answer if you don’t have space to create a separate room. Framing and dry-walling a small hide-away can be done for surprisingly little money – just a few hundred dollars in most cases.


ROI: That extra little bit of privacy may very well be a selling point for the next owner.

14. Put a tile on it:


Decorative ceramic tile can enhance a bathroom space on the floor, on the walls, and on the vanity. If you do it yourself the material cost will only run a couple of hundred dollars, depending on how much space you are covering.

Make sure you have an excellent tile cutter due to the odd spaces encountered in covering bathroom surfaces.

Try and use large 18 square inch tiles as this will help reduce the number of grout lines which saves labor and cuts down on chances to mess up the work.

The cost of hiring a professional tile installer is between $8.00 and $15.00 per square foot. A 12-inch tile can be had for a little more than a half-dollar a square foot or several dollars a square foot. An 18-inch tile costs about a quarter more at the low end and around $5.00 a square foot more at the high end.

ROI: Professional installation will bump the price beyond recovery. If you are more concerned with selling your house than living in it, go conservative on the tile style.

15. Coat of Paint:

Painting the walls will immediately freshen any bathroom, even if it is not part of a grand makeover scheme. Consider an accent wall with a bright color to offset the other walls. For a quality professional painter expect to pay at least $75 an hour, plus materials.

ROI: A paint job always pays for itself, usually even if the work is contracted out. Again, do not go big and bold if you are looking to sell. Let the next owners inflict their own design pain on the bathroom.

2 Replies to “Top 15 Bathroom Remodel Ideas, Costs, and ROI”

  1. Excellent list. We’d add the use of wood & other earthy materials to it as well. Homeowners like their bathroom to be a place where they can relax and rejuvenate, and this is why spa-like designs are gaining attention and popularity – hence the “natural look” trend. Wood and natural materials like river rock and quarried stone are being used to help create that soothing, earthy vibe people crave these days.

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