Seven tips for a successful bathroom renovation

By Nila Sweeney
Renovating bathrooms is one of the quickest and most effective ways to add value to your home or investment property. So exactly what can you do to ensure you’re adding maximum bang for your buck?
There’s good reason why renovating them brings such high returns, explains home renovations expert Ana Stankovich from
“It's because they appeal to the taste of the woman,” she says. “Let's face it – even when it’s a man purchasing a home, they usually have a girlfriend, sister, wife, friend or mum giving them advice along the way!”
If you’re planning a bathroom renovation, Stankovich has some top advice gleaned from her many years spent ripping out sinks and choosing tiles.
Whether it’s a basic cosmetic refurb or a complete overhaul for your own home or a rental property, here are her handy tips to help you with your bathroom renovations:
  1. Stick with proven performers
“Tiling floors in a darker tile and having white tiles on the walls always looks great,” she says. “Add a vertical strip of decorative tiles in the shower and voila, it will change the look and the feel of the bathroom already.”
  1. Keep the plumbing in place
If you’re completely ripping everything in the bathroom to replace with new, try and keep your plumbing in the same place. You will save thousands of dollars if you are not moving where your shower, toilet, bath and vanity previously lived.
  1. Make use of your frame
Once everything is ripped out, “add a few extra noggins to your frame”, Stankovich suggests. “It’s very frustrating if you want to add towel rails and hooks and you can't screw them in, because there is nothing behind the plaster for them to adhere to.”
  1. Give the bath a face lift
Giving a bath a face-lift is easy, according to Stankovich. “You may not even need to replace it ­– you could just resurface it for a fresh new look,” she says.
  1. Repair the right way
If you have had water damage in the bathroom, you may need to re-sheet the walls with water resistant board that you waterproof before you begin tiling.
  1. Create “wow” factor
Make the shower bigger to give your bathroom an instant glamour upgrade, Stankovich says. “Everyone loves a double sized shower and for the sake of spending an extra $1-$2,000, it will leave a lasting impression with the people that inspect your property and give them something to remember,” she points out.
  1. Keep it simple
If the bathroom is in relatively good shape and the shower and bath are good, but it just looks a bit dated, keep it simple by just replacing the vanity with a newer, modern version and installing a fancy tap and a big, square showerheads. “For a very small budget, this can really add style to your bathroom and make it look modern and like new,” she says.