Bathroom Remodel - What to think about - The Nursall Group Real Estate

Bathroom remodel – What to Think About?

How do you renovate your bathroom so you add value to your home? Start by taking the time to assess your home’s value. (Consult with us for an accurate estimate.) The last thing you want to do is price yourself out of the market by spending $80,000 on a bathroom renovation in a neighborhood where the average home price is $500,000. Keep in mind, you may like it, but will I recapture this money? Just because you paid $80k for the bathroom doesn’t mean someone is going to give you $80k or more in value. If the look and finish choices are so trendy as to become dated in the next year or two, it’s a bad decision. Stay away from ‘gotta have it’ choices and work within a reasonable budget. Do you best and be mindful of the project becoming a personal masterpiece. Great design is grounded in function, not flash. Keep in mind tiles are getting larger and larger …not smaller.

Once you’ve set a reasonable budget, spend wisely. Every home will have different needs, and some renovations won’t make as much sense in one neighborhood as they would in another. However, these three guidelines will keep you on track and help you add value to your home.

Think simple. Can I repeat that again? SIMPLE with clean lines and use natural oversized tile elements.

An upscale bathroom renovation—defined by the cost vs. value report as one that costs approximately $54,000—(midrange home) rarely offers a good return on investment. Instead, it recommends sticking to a more conservative budget of $40,000 or less. But even that figure can be misleading. Again, it depends on the size and location of the home.

The Cost is Proportionate

You can remodel a bathroom without spending a lot of money, according to interior designer, Tracy Nursall, Designer, and broker of The Nursall Group. Replacing the toilets and cabinetry may not be as sexy as choosing the unique one of a kind tile, but it can have a huge impact, she says. Everything has to work together – streamlined, simplicity is key. Toilets come in so many shapes and sizes now. Again, think less is more. Other cost-effective improvements can include updating faucets, showerheads and absolutely replace that old countertop and mirrors. Give the room a fresh coat of neutral paint. You may love deep red or vibrant blue, but this is not the room to indulge personal biases. Focus on the longevity of the overall style. You can have an inexpensive renovation that recoups a large percentage of your expenditures (70.1%) while adding value to the property. The cost of the renovation may add MORE to the value of the house than the total you’ve spent on the remodel because the new buyers are getting something already done and don’t have to have a bathroom budget. It’s rolled into the mortgage and amortized. Key for cash-strapped buyers.

Masterpiece or ROI?

Keep in mind, overtly trendy, one-off looks, no matter how wonderful they are to you, will not appeal to the majority of buyers. Leave them room to personalize the bathroom when they move in. Those unique elements you are tempted to put in, ones no one else has might look fabulous in a magazine, but in five years, they can make the bathroom look dated and worn. (Contractors call this stylistic depreciation.) At that point, when buyers walk through your home, they mentally subtract value from your home because they’re calculating how much they will have to spend to update your renovation.

If your goal is to boost the equity of your home, keep your bathroom renovations modest and conservative and with clean lines. Don’t overspend, and don’t over decorate. Instead, focus on updating the essentials like the sink or faucets and countertop. When it comes to materials, choose basic, such as ceramic tile, instead of trendy materials that will all-too-soon date the property.

Master Bathrooms are where you add the Luxury

If you are going to splurge a little on any bathroom renovation, make it the master bathroom. Buyers today have certain expectations when it comes to this area—at the very least, they want double sinks, an upgraded roomy shower, and on-trend lighting. Without these items, the master bathroom can actually be a turnoff, so spending a little more money may be worth the investment. Again, get rid of the corner California tub.

Balance is the key. Keep in mind f you fail to make necessary renovations, you could turn buyers off. So, how do you strike that balance? Bring the bathroom up to date with buyers’ wants and needs but don’t go overboard. Add that second sink if you only have one in the master bath, but don’t venture into digital toilets or electronic faucets in the middle of a “builder basic” neighbourhood. The key to equity building (ROI) is clean, neutral, bright, and use natural elements in the finishes.

You don’t have to skimp, though. If you plan to stay in your home long-term (five or more years), make the changes you want to your master bathroom but within reason. Just realize that you probably won’t see a boost in equity from upscale renovations like heated master bathroom floors, backlit tv monitors or audio systems. Just so we are clear, every time I show a home with a Sauna, the buyers are perplexed? Why? They don’t see the value and wonder how difficult it is to get rid of it.

Bigger is better – add size and /or number of bathrooms if possible

People have expectations when it comes to the number of bathrooms a modern house should have. A home with one full bathroom, even if there’s a second, half-bath, is just not going to cut it anymore. If your home has only one full bathroom, consider converting the half-bathroom (2 piece) into a 3 piece by expanding and adding a shower. It will almost certainly add equity. Listings depict bathrooms by pieces. A ‘piece’ is a source of running water. (toilet, sink, sinks x 2, shower head, bath spigot/faucet etc.)

On the other hand, if your property only has one bathroom, adding a second bathroom can increase the value of the home by up to 58 percent of the cost of your renovations. In some neighbourhoods, it’s a full recovery of the costs or more.
It definitely makes the property more appealing, which typically translates to getting top dollar since most buyers are looking for at least a 3-bedroom, 2-full bath home.


You need at least 1full bathroom and 1 powder room to do well most of the time. Keep in mind most people do not want to share private bathroom space with guests (including family). It’s difficult to sell a condo outside the key Toronto neighbourhoods with only one bathroom.

When in doubt about whether adding an additional bathroom is a good idea, talk to us to know what’s appropriate for the neighborhood and to help you estimate how much value the new bathroom could add now and in the long term.  Above all this design advice, it’s more important than ever to get permits for the work you are doing if it’s necessary.  Ensure you use the right plumbing drain pipes for the job.  Don’t add black plastic drain pipes, traps etc to a multifamily building as they are not to code.  Gray or metal only.

Tracy, our broker and team lead has a degree in Interior Design and stays involved attending design industry events, and identifying upcoming trends. Because we work with both buyers and sellers, she can tell you what buyers are expecting vs what they will turn down in favour of another home. To be competitive in a tightening market and using your available budget wisely is more important than ever. To Reach Tracy, call the office: 905.844.5322 and book a time for Tracy to swing by and discuss your best options.