According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, bathroom renovations are one of the most common home renovation projects.
“A bathroom renovation typically offers a 64-71 percent return on your investment, meaning increased value of your house for resale,” says the CHMC.
Of course, you may just be less concerned about profit and more concerned that your million-dollar home (or tiny condo for that matter) has a hideous, cold, leaky bathroom you don’t really like.
To really get the most out of your bathroom renovation project you need to be sure the style is modern and luxurious, and that you don’t shrivel either your ROI or your enthusiasm by letting the project go over cost.
What is definitely out is the tub/shower combination with the cloth shower curtain hanging forlornly from rusty hooks. These days one needs to take a stand, or at least decide to whether to sit or stand.
Does your bathroom space need a tub or a shower? If you have both, they shouldn’t be in the same place.
Today’s modern shower is all about luxury, including multiple showerheads with body spray, an overhead rain nozzle, or even a waterfall spout.
Many of these shower units allow you to pre-set the temperature. No more fiddling with knobs in your bathrobe first thing in the morning. Just turn it on and the temperature automatically adjusts to your setting.
A quality fixture will also have a superior system of valves that create better water pressure.
You can tile in a bench or two for sitting, and create a spacious feeling using a trendy glass enclosure.
Making a splash
Freestanding tubs are the in thing. Cutting-edge interior decorators have fallen in love with them. You can enjoy soaking away your troubles without being confined to the prison-like “shower stall.”
You can put these tubs anywhere, even near a window. They sit right on the floor, all by themselves, much like old claw-foot bathtubs.
They come in an increasing wide variety of shapes and sizes. But Pierre Moreau, general manager of all five GTA TUBS locations, advises freestanding tub lovers to proceed with caution.
“The tubs look really good, eh? They’re a bag of hurt!”
According to Moreau, the problem with freestanding tubs is the installation. The tub looks so stylish because it sits right on the floor, but there’s no space for the existing drain plumbing underneath.
This means the contractor will need to cut a hole in the ceiling below the tub to plumb most tubs in. This will cost you about $1,000, if you don’t have a stucco ceiling. Paying to redo the stucco of an entire ceiling for a bathtub is a total drag.
Get a bathtub, don’t take a bath?
Canadian brand Vida, which is designed, manufactured, and sold exclusively by TUBS, has created a new system that allows you to avoid the entire ceiling-hole debacle.
They design their own product line of freestanding tubs with a unique drain system that allows you to, “Drop in the tub, screw it from the top and you’re done.”
After 25 years in the bathroom fixture industry and years of experience working as an engineer, the owner of TUBS spent two months designing the system.
The freestanding bathtubs themselves are made of solid surface material similar to Corian, used to make kitchen counter tops. Any scratches or wear to the tub can easily be sanded out, making the tub very durable and long-lasting.
TUBS’s Vida brand also manufactures shower towers with multiple showerheads. If you already have great tile, an exposed tower can be plumbed in over existing tile. It looks great and is very inexpensive—starting around $400.
If you are changing your tile, the in-wall shower towers start around $500. If you have been shopping around, you’ll notice how competitive these prices are.
Their one-piece toilet design has a powerful flush and stress-free attachment to the flange.
“Most of our product is made in the same factories as Kohler, American Standard, Aquabrass,” says Moreau.
The owner of TUBS/Vida spends 10 months of the year at the company’s partner factories in China maintaining direct control of product quality. The prices are very competitive for that reason.
“With us, we’ve cut out that middleman. You’re not going to get that anywhere else,” Moreau says. The products come from the factory to the TUBS stores.