Everyone knows the old saying that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. It is absolutely true. These two areas are of the most value to home buyers because they are perceived to be the most costly and difficult to change. So even if you didn’t touch any other rooms in your home, we would always urge to you ensure buyers love your bathrooms. If you make them fresh, elegant and pretty, they will fall in love.

To Gut, or Not to Gut

To gut a bathroom can cost around $10k, and that’s only if the walls and the fixtures stay in relatively the same place. Hopefully your bathroom is not in such a condition that it requires a full gutting, but if it does, and if you have the budget, it is worth considering on a case by basis. For example, if you live in a very high demand area where homes sell very quickly, you likely have buyers willing to pay more for an updated and stylish bathroom. It is critical to consult with a real estate professional, like The Village Guru, to ensure this amount of work and cost is the right decision for your home, location and goals. A consultation with a design professional, such as Style by Stephanie, will ensure that you make product choices that will appeal to the broadest range of buyers. Too often we see many ill-planned bathroom (and kitchen) updates that did little to actually increase buyer appeal or therefore, the home’s value. This makes us sad, don’t fall victim to this.

Start with the Basics

1) Clean and Tidy

This is the cheapest thing to do and makes a huge difference. It’s time to think deep down spring cleaning. Remove any sign of mold or soap scum. Remove any rust stains. Look online for many remedies and tricks for cleaning.

Tidy your cosmetics and toiletries so that they can hide neatly behind cabinets. NOTHING should have to sit on a counter. Properly dispose of old shampoo bottles, expired make-up and medicine. Ensure that the items you use daily can fit into a basket that you can easily pull out and put away as needed.

2) Repair & Replace

Is the floor tile cracked? Toilet or faucet constantly leaking? Cracked caulking? Vanity drawer broken? Now is the time to fix what you can fix and replace what you cannot. If you have dated purple or green tiles, or a tub that is in disrepair, the most economical option is to have these surfaces re-sprayed. We do not recommend the DIY Home Depot kit, as the adhesion isn’t as good and the finish is not the same quality. Pay a professional to re-spray any offending tubs or tile a pure clean white. The best part about white is that it looks normal in the grout. It is the only colour than can fool the eye into thinking it hasn’t actually been sprayed. Take a look at these photos to see what a difference a professional re-spray can do.

If your cabinet frame is in good shape but just looking a little worn, you can also paint it out, either white, dark grey or another dark neutral like navy blue. It all depends on the other fixed elements in the room, and what we are trying to highlight and what we are trying to camoflage. This is where hiring The Village Guru and our design team will give you the selling advantage over your competition. If you paint out your cabinet and focus on replacing the counter, sink, and faucet as necessary, you can get a fresh, modern look for a fraction of the cost of a gut job.

You want your bathroom to show 10+ and if a buyer thinks they need to gut the bathroom (because of 1 cracked tile) you will pay dearly for it. Replace and repair what you must to ensure your bathroom looks in good repair AND classy.

3) Buyers Like Shiny Things

It’s the details that will make a room feel dated or fresh. Update knobs, faucets and lighting to the same metal with a modern look – Satin Nickel is ideal. If you are doing a full gut job you could choose antique gold or black. But the key is all of your hardware is the same metal. You can do this for about $300.

Top Tricks and Tips for a Cheap Update

For $1-2k, you can dramatically transform your bathroom and greatly increase buyer appeal. If you make smart upgrades and stick to a tight budget, you can get 3x your return or more on the selling price of your home. Even when the market is slower, your home will sell faster and for more money that the home with lackluster bathrooms.

1) Replace Just the Counter. If you have a dated built-in vanity, with a stained or worn out counter, you can get into bigger issues trying to replace the whole vanity. Instead, find an independent stone counter supplier to see if they have remnants in a neutral colour that will fit, or have a piece of marble or quartz cut to size for around $300. With a fresh coat of semi-gloss paint on the cabinet and an under-mount sink, your vanity will look brand new while spending less than half the money.

If your cabinet is too far gone for a face-lift, look on kijiji.ca for local independent vanity suppliers, as they can sometimes be a better price. Do this early on so that shipping delays don’t hold up your project. We have also had great success with Rona and Costco vanities. Depending on size, this could be $500-$1200, but usually includes a stone counter and sink. Choosing a vanity with legs makes it feel more like furniture and it’s a more high-end look and feel.

2) Bling Is King. Buyers want sparkly, pretty, magazine worthy bathrooms. Function is not good enough in their eyes. A cheap way to do this is to make sure your metals are all in polished or satin nickel finish. This includes your cabinet door knobs, faucets and lighting. It provides a cohesive look and a sense of elegance that buyers lust after.

3) Dress up Your Mirror. Most homes are installed with the oversize builder mirror, which often gets chipped and/or cracked over 20-30 years. Go online to see instructions for dressing it up with applied moulding or, replacing with a framed mirror that adds a custom, high-end feel.

4) Ensure Your Tile is In Good Shape. Tile will either make or break your bathroom. If any of it is cracked or overly bold in colour or pattern, it will turn a buyer away. If your tile is in good shape, check to see if your grout is letting you down. Sometimes simply re-grouting can fix a dingy look. If any tile is damaged, replace it. It’s a 2 day job that will save you headache and money when trying to sell your home.

For Walls: Simple white subway tile is a cheap and universally appealing option, and choosing a more modern or elongated shape adds extra interest at a great price point. Mix in bands of more expensive marble to elevate the look for very little extra cost.

For Floors: If it is within budget, a marble mosaic floor is ideal, because this is the kind of investment that gets buyers excited and talking about your home. Once you measure out your bathroom, you’ll see there usually isn’t much floor space, and the cost might be less than you think. A second choice that is much more understated is a honed porcelain that looks like stone.

5) Paint. Paint is extremely effective in making your bathroom feel fresh and clean. Always think elegant; soft and muted colours work best. Try to work with any fixed elements and pick a colour to compliment any features or camouflage any negatives. Working with The Village Guru and our design team will consult with you every step of the way and ensure all of your colours are soothing and elegant and work well together.

6) Add White & Accessories. White is the easiest way to add a fresh and luxurious feel. Buy a white fabric shower curtain for $20. Use cheap white bath towels to fill your towel racks and even roll into baskets to accessorize with. A white vase with fresh greenery or flowers adds a true sense of luxury. Fill a glass jar with white soaps, or a basket full of toilet rolls is also great accessory options. Accessorizing your bathroom is key to obtaining that styled, magazine worthy look.

Of course, doing all of this work and making all of these decisions is a lot easier when you have a team of professionals on your side. The Village Guru has the experience and expertise to put a design plan together that will make your home shine. A sure sign of success is when our clients say to us, after all the work is complete, “It looks so great, why on earth didn’t I do this before I decided to move?” Unlock the potential of your bathrooms and you will unlock the full value of your home.

Are you interested in working with us to sell your home for Top Dollar? We are always looking to work with eager, positive-minded clients

Contact The Village Guru Today

Tell us about your home to sell and how you want us to provide an experience that exceeds all of your expectations. If you’re looking for real service, we’re looking for you.


1 reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Many homes still have builder basic taps that have lost their lustre. They date the house and make the bathroom look old. If your taps don’t sparkle anymore, look for sales on some good quality, attractive pieces. Buyers want a home that feels new, even if it isn’t. This small step of installing 3-4 new taps in your kitchen and bathrooms can cost  as little as $300 and will be the finishing touch if you have nice counters and sinks. If you want to know more about bathroom upgrades, click to read this article. […]

Comments are closed.