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It’s Time To Remodel Your Bath
By Sherise Henry
It’s the part of the home that has many roles, a spa retreat, a nurse’s station, and maybe a small hub to catch up on the news of the day or flip through your favorite magazine. Yes, I’m talking about your bathroom. This room, or rooms, may make up a small portion of your home’s square footage, but making an investment in your bathroom/rooms can really increase your home’s value. According to Home Gardening Television, bathroom improvements always rank among the top 10 things you can do to increase the value of your home.
Mike Andrus of Ronnie’s Flooring Center in New Iberia agrees. “With all the shows on TV, people are becoming aware of how much of an asset a bathroom is to the home. The two spaces that add the most value to the home are the kitchen and the bathroom.” He remembers a conversation he held with a customer interested in home improvements years ago. “I’ll never forget – I asked her why she was spending so much money on a bathroom in her home, her answer was, ‘It’s my sanctuary,’” he recalls. Andrus and his staff at Ronnie’s now help hundreds of homeowners throughout Acadiana make improvements to their own sanctuaries.
Current Bathroom Trends
Katina Cantrell is Ronnie’s Flooring Center’s decorator. She explains some of the looks that are currently trending. “A few of the things we are seeing are the raw wood look, ceramic porcelain and a polished wood look.” Now, they also have larger panel tiles and 3-D tiles, which are popular. Backsplashes are another option that adds dimension and an upgraded look to your bathroom. “We do tub surrounds, meaning the tub and shower are connected. We’ll do the tile from the tub to above the shower head, and if it’s just a tub we can do a backsplash for it,” says Cantrell. “We try to do less than half a wall with backsplash, because it would tend to shorten the length of the wall. We try to keep it around 2 feet, so it still gives the wall some height.”
Other than the cosmetic aspects of your finished product there are other things to consider when deciding what improvements to make. “We have a water proofing membrane available to make sure your shower doesn’t leak. We use it in the tubs as well,” she explains.
Dreaming On A Budget
Cantrell explains that even on a small budget, there are numerous options they can provide for their clients. “If they are working with a small space they can do more with their budget. Tiles are sold by the square foot, so if you have a small amount of square footage it wouldn’t hurt to go with something you prefer that costs a little more,” she says. Other ideas Cantrell has for those on a budget include using 12 x 12 porcelain tiles, which still have a good look and longevity in use. She also recommends using corner shelves instead of niches in your shower. As for style, Cantrell says you can keep it simple. “You don’t have to have a border to break up the tile or mosaic patterns. You can still display elegance without using all of that.”
Give Me The Works
For those who don’t mind splurging a little, a bathroom with all the bells and whistles is also available. “Marble Mosaics and feature walls that include 3-D panels are on the luxury end of items in your bathroom sanctuary,” explains Cantrell. “You can do double shower heads. A lot of times people will also run a vertical mosaic down their shower wall, creating a modern look. Another really popular tactic is adding a straight stack pattern where the tiles run directly on top of each other,” she adds.
Make It Functional
For those who are living in the home they will likely retire in, accessibility is a key concern. “One of the big premises for bathroom remodeling is accessibility. As our population gets older they’re getting rid of the Jacuzzi tubs for something easier to get into,” explains Andrus. “When you look at handicap accessibility it’s very difficult to obtain American Disability Act standards in a home, but we can reduce what we call ‘barriers,’ such as taking out a tub and putting in a shower,” he explains.
Things that make the bathroom as safe and functional as possible should be key factors when determining the amount to invest in a bathroom for a senior. There are options available to help make the transition easier. “Ninety-five percent of the showers we do incorporate a seat. We have to consider possibilities down the road, like a knee replacement. Grab bars are also an option. While we are constructing the bathroom we are planning for needs that may develop later on.”
Some HGTV Advice
Knowing how much to spend on your bathroom makeover has several varying factors. However, according to Home and Garden Television, you can start making a difference with just under $750. They list changes like updating a vanity, addressing old plumbing, changing light fixtures and adding new tile as simple improvements that are cost effective and can be done one step at a time. The Home Gardening channel also suggests changing the faucet since it’s an immediate focal point when entering the room. HGTV recommends making a plan for your improvements and literally writing them down. This is because improvements made on impulse may wind up costing you more. It also helps to know your must haves versus your dream improvements. Overall, the Home and Garden network claims that home improvement projects cost about 20 to 25 cents on the dollar. The other 75 to 80 cents spent go directly back into the home through increased value. With careful planning, your bathroom remodel can become a boost to your sense of serenity and home value. Good Luck!