Why Renovate Your Bathroom In 100 Words or Less?
Mould, plumbing leaks, bulging or cracked tile, a room out of style or in bad condition,changing from tub to shower, adding features like in floor heat or additional electrical services, or increasing the resale value of your home are all good reasons to renovate your bathroom.
Leaks get fixed or your bathroom and other areas of your home will deteriorate so this is on a “Have To” list. “Increasing Resale Value” is on a “Want To” list. The other items are all subjective to personal priorities. The list is not comprehensive, but it is a good place to start.
Mould in a bathroom is often a sign of some other larger problem. Older homes or homes with windows in the bathroom are often without or have inadequate bathroom fans. Inadequate ventilation results in lingering moisture and mould growth. For mould to grow it requires three things; moisture, food and warmth. Soaps and conditioners are often good mould food, so any bathroom with poor ventilation could be subject to mould growth. If ventilation is the only issue, adding or upgrading a bathroom fan may eliminate future mould growth. If mould has been present for some time and has penetrated tile grout, managing a mould problem can be difficult. Mould in grout is difficult to kill and given the slightest opportunity will seed a new outbreak. Scraping mould out of grout and re-grouting is an expensive process and risks putting holes in the moisture barrier of tub and shower walls. If the grout has been compromised and mould is growing on the adhesive holding the tile to the wall, there is no way to remove all the mould; It will constantly re-seed the grout and re-appear in grout lines. If you have mould without damage to bathroom walls, then fixing your ventilation problem may fix the mould problem. If mould has compromised your grout than look forward to lots of scrubbing with bleach or other cleaners. The best way to eliminate mould is to eliminate the conditions that support mould growth before it starts. If you have existing mould then, as a reason for renovating, it will get moved from your “Want to List” to the “Have to List” depending on your tolerance for the effort it takes to keep mould in check.
Plumbing leaks come from any point in a bathroom that is serviced with water. Water may leak from the potable water side or from the drain side. A leaky drain is just bad news. One of the worst leaks is a “little leak”. A little drain leak, over time, will destroy everything around it. Just as bad is a dripping faucet or a running toilet. A dripping faucet with an older seat and washer configuration will quickly destroy the washer, making the leak worse and damage the washer seat. A new washer in a faucet with a damaged seat will start to leak again almost immediately. In some older faucets, attempting to change the old faucet seat will damage the faucet body itself, making a repair impossible and replacement of the entire faucet necessary. Newer faucets with cartridges depend on being able to take the faucet trims apart to get at the cartridge. Poorly maintained faucets often can not be taken apart without damaging the trims. Leaks that spill from valve stems damage sinks, counters, and further damage the faucet itself. Leaks are on the Must Fix list and there will never be a less expensive time to fix a leak than today. I must mention the water cost of leaks. Water bills are going up. Even a small leak will eventually pass enough water to fill a swimming pool. Not fixing a leek and watching money do down the drain are the same thing. Not fixing a leek can quickly move “Like to Renovate My Bathroom “to “Have to Renovate My Bathroom”.
Bulging or Cracked Tile
Bulging and or cracked tiles are the sign of something going on under the tile. Most of the time the cause of the problem is a failure of grout to keep water from getting under tile in conjunction with sub-standard wall material and an organic adhesive. (99% of sub divisions were built using these materials and typically fail after 12 to 18 years). Tiles bulge because water penetrated the wallboard and the adhesive separated from the wall. Tiles crack because of uneven stresses across the tile. Cracked tiles allow more water to get behind the tiles and the problem only gets worse. Bulging or Cracked Tile starts out on the “Want To” renovate list but over time will move to the “Have To” renovate list. Waiting may result in structural damage from water and cause a renovation to be more expensive.
Rooms Out of Style
Having and old bathroom does not mean out of style. Picture a bathroom built in the 1950’s with Subway tile wainscoting and 1” square tiled floor. Let’s pretend that the bath and plumbing fixtures are in good condition and that there are no cracks in the wall or floor tile and the tub is in good condition. If the tile is Marilyn Monroe Pink then yes, it is out of style. If the tile is simple black and white then no, it is not out of style and would not be a candidate for renovation simply because it was built sixty or seventy years ago. Again, using the bathroom imaged above, if the tub is very worn and the vanity and top is worn out and can not be removed without leaving a scar in the tile then it may be time for a full renovation. If you have a 1970’s Avocado green tub and vanity, then a renovation is over due.
Changing from Tub to Shower Bathing habits have changed over the years. People used to bath more than shower and now it is the opposite. People now live longer and stay independently in their homes longer. Younger adults overwhelmingly prefer showers to bathing. Whether you are young or older, without doubt, the most dangerous daily activity in your home is stepping in and out of your tub while taking a shower. Converting a bathtub area into a shower is a common renovation project. It can often be undertaken as a stand-alone project or as part of a more comprehensive bathroom renovation. Renovating from tub to shower for a senior citizen may be available for financing help from the government and allow you to live independently in your home for a longer time. Changing from Tub to Shower may be on a younger owners’ Like to list and a senior citizens Have to list. Regardless of the reason or age, the result will be a safer bathroom.
Adding New Electrical Features
Adding electrical features to a bathroom like plugs for hairdryers often means running a new dedicated circuit from your electrical panel to the bathroom. Adding new lighting may require upgrading the wiring and switches. Running wires may create holes in walls and ceilings that require repair and painting. Adding a heated floor almost certainly will require and new circuit as well as the removal and replacement your existing floor and the removal and install of your vanity and toilet. New electrical features are often an extra add on to a full renovation rather than a stand-alone project. When planning a Bathroom renovation create a secondary “Like to Have” and “Have to Have” list of extras.
Increasing the Resale Value of Your Home
If all the reasons for renovating your bathroom are on your “Like to List” and the time, trouble and expense of a renovation has not pushed you into committing to a renovation, don’t let the argument of increasing resale value push you over the edge without further thought. Yes, if you renovate your Avocado Green bathroom your resale value probably will increase but maybe not by the full cost of the renovation. It is possible that an out of date bathroom in good condition will attract a buyer that can renovate to please their own taste. A buyer will discount their offer due to an out of date bathroom but maybe not as much as it will cost you to renovate. On the other hand, a home with a newly renovated bathroom may sell more quickly. Take into consideration the length of time you plan to be in your home. If you plan to be in your home another five years and can’t stand that Avocado Bathroom for another week, then renovating is an easy choice.