I grew up in a house with one washroom. Each morning was a carefully orchestrated dance that took place to get us all bathed and brushed with dad's unspoken newspaper time mixed in. New build homes today seem to have one washroom for every family member. My teenaged self would be in heaven! It's easy to get caught up in all the latest luxuries and wish lists born of our last hotel experience. Admittedly sometimes more is more as long as you're working within the realistic limitations of your space and budget. Washrooms are among the priciest renovations and although they're in the top 3 for best return on renovation investment, knowing when to splurge and when to be conservative can have a massive impact on the resale value in the end.
Here are the top 3 bathroom reno questions, answered
1. Changing the layout
Fixtures that require water supply and a drain like sinks, tubs and showers can all be swapped and shifted with relative ease. A shower can go where a sink was and vice versa. Toilets on the other hand require a waste stack. The diameter of that stack is too large to simply cut the floor joists to accommodate which means to move the toilet the stack needs to be able to stay within the same joist space or you will have to drop it below the floor and back up into the new joist cavity. This will leave you with a bulkhead in the ceiling below which is potentially a massive issue not to mention all of this can be quite pricey. My advice is always to make a wholehearted attempt to work with the layout whenever possible. Investing that extra money instead in more obvious upgrades like marble and nicer fixtures have a higher perceived value and with that greater ROI.
2. Tub versus shower
Most of us opt for an efficient morning shower over a long tub soak. That combined with the spacious hotel shower common place as of late and a lot of us are ready to ditch the old tub shower combo. Here's my advice. If you have one washroom you need to keep a tub. Resale is about appealing to the greatest potential purchasing pool and no tub means no families. Kids don't shower. If you have one washroom and enough room, do a separate shower and tub. It carries a lot of perceived value weight and positions you above the competition. If you have more than one washroom it's totally fine to leave a combined tub and shower in the family washroom and opt for a luxurious oversized shower for the master ensuite. It's the best of both and certainly few buyers will be disappointed in the healthy balance between practicalities and luxuries
3. Double sinks
I'm not sure when or how this became a thing but it's almost comical the tiny ensuites I see with two airplane sized sinks squashed in. If you have a generous space by all means double up. If you could fit two but there's not a lot if counter space as a result, I'd think twice. I'm a big fan of doing a double wide vanity with one sink pushed to one side. The reality is you're likely not synchronized teeth brushing but rather one is using the sink while the other is doing makeup or hair. Two mirrors and ample counter space is a far more valuable combination and it's a more affordable renovation. At resale simply have the realtor list it as a double vanity to keep the perceived value up.