Homeowners considering renovations are anxious to ensure that their improvements will help their resale value, so naturally they’ll want to stay away from extreme design decisions that only Elvis could love.
Ideally, they’ll create a space that is an investment while still enhancing their own enjoyment of the space. Here’s a quick guide to ensure that the marketplace will be willing to pay top dollar for your redesigned bathroom.
- Remember the little black dress. There’s a reason no sane woman would ever part with theirs – it’s classic in every sense of the word. It’s always in style, and it’s perfect for any occasion. So resist the urge to go with that trendy, in-the-moment color scheme or funky mosaic tile. In a few years, it will look “SO 2013″ and will serve as the room’s own personal “born-on” date. Think classic and timeless. White subway tiles have been in style forever, much like their counterpart – mini hexagon floor tiles.
- Go green. Concern for the environment is not a trend; it’s a permanent mindset of consumers. Saving water is also more economical – another attractive selling point. Seek out the dual-flush toilets and the low-flow showerheads – for your sake and the planet’s.
- Tighten up those lines. The tighter your grout lines are, the more expensive the tile in your bathroom will look. Since big, fat, wide grout lines are the best way to hide the imperfections of inexpensive tile, the look is synonymous with cheap. Spring for the “rectified” tiles, whose straight lines and uniform size allow you to the lay them tight with a 1/16-in. grout line.
- Don’t sweat it. Buyers think a shower with a sauna/steam feature is a major luxury item that carries a hefty price tag. But the reality is that they’re not nearly that expensive to build. Simply create a tight seal using glass doors and panels, then add a steam fixture. Don’t forget to cant the ceiling – encouraging condensation to run down the walls instead of on your homebuyers’ heads.
- – Turn up the heat. Radiant floors are also associated with indulgence. And like steam showers, they’re relatively inexpensive to create. Install a heat-producing electric floor mat before laying your tile. You’ll need to create channels in your sub-floor for the power cord and perhaps use a little more mortar than usual, but the result is toasty warm floors on a cold morning – and a potential “YES!” moment for your buyer.
– James Hart is the principal and co-owner of Sold with Style, a company that provides pre-sale consulting and home staging services for clients in and around New York City. Hart is also the president of the NY Chapter of the Real Estate Staging Association.