Six ways to tell if your bathroom needs an upgrade

It doesn’t matter whether you’re preparing to sell, or you’ve just bought a new home, there’s never a wrong time to upgrade a deteriorating bathroom.

A great-looking bathroom will add value and enjoyment to your home, but the job must be done right. It must be sealed to prevent leaks that can undermine the surrounding timber structure and cause major headaches down the track.

But remodeling a bathroom is not a small or inexpensive task, and as an experienced real estate agent in our neighborhood I know many owners put off the project until they have no choice but to act.

Like any other area of your home, you shouldn’t leave problems with a bathroom unattended for too long. Crumbling grout in the shower, mould around the shower screen and vanities with wood bloated from water damage all point towards the need for an upgrade.

Below are my top six reasons for renovating a bathroom:

  1. From another decade – Nothing dates a bathroom like color. You can tell if it was built in the 70s and 80s merely by the color scheme. Most bathrooms today are based on white, rather than old school creams or browns. If your bathroom can remember when David Cassidy was making hits, then the time to act is overdue.
  2. Cracking under the strain – Grout gives up all a bathroom’s secrets. If it’s stained, flaky or broken away, then you may have more significant issues ahead of you. When it comes to a bathroom, little problems ignored always lead to bigger ones.
  3. Trail of clues – Small problems leave clues that should tell you that an upgrade is needed. These include mould, smelly or blocked toilets and drains, insufficient water pressure and dripping faucets.
  4. Awkward layout – It’s only been in the past few decades that buyers have placed emphasis on the quality of a bathroom. Before, you could get away with a sub-optimal layout. Not anymore. If the fixtures are positioned awkwardly, it’s time to rip everything out and start again. If you don’t, every other improvement will feel like a compromise.
  5. Poor lighting – This can be fixed inexpensively. But if you’re going to invest in an upgrade, install lighting that best matches the design and layout. Consider a solution that combines lights with heat lamps and a fan to extract steam and damp. Also remember that if your lighting to date has been poor, improving it may highlight other imperfections.
  6. Limited storage – This is a major frustration point with many bathrooms. Poor storage creates annoying clutter. A good vanity, wall-mounted mirror cabinet and shelving solve the problem. And make sure you have room for towels!