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Small bathrooms, easy updates, big payoffs

Small Bathroom Improvements

There are many affordable bathroom improvements, some of which include:


Target cost*

Install a faucet

$150 - $340
Install crown molding $700 - $1,050
Install recessed lighting $160 - $300
Install cabinets $2,000 - $7,500
Paint walls $950 - $2,500
Paint crown molding $350 - $600
Install ceramic tiles $900 - $1,300
Install a shower enclosure $1,000 - $2,500
Install a bathroom fan $200 - $350
Install a bathtub $900 - $2,300

*These are estimates from HomeAdvisor's Cost Guide, as reported by actual homeowners.

These improvements will significantly improve your small bathroom, whether you spend $500 or $5,000. Adding a new cabinet, for example, will increase your storage space. And painting your small bathroom will allow you to revitalize its appearance without having to knock down the walls. Choose the improvements that will do the most for your bathroom's appearance within your budget.

How Small Bathroom Improvements Pay Back


According to Remodeling Magazine, the return on investment (ROI) for a mid-range bathroom remodel in 2015 was 70%. This means that completely overhauling your bathroom pays back almost three-fourths of what it costs. But you'll see a return on your improvement investment even if you don't completely overhaul your small bathroom.

Here are some of the other ways your small bathroom improvements will yield a payback:

• A new small bathroom for a fraction of the cost of gutting the room.

• Upgraded appliances and more space and storage, depending on what you invest in.

• Increased appeal to homebuyers when you go to sell your home down the road.

• The opportunity to make green home improvements, which pay back in utility bill savings. (For related reading, see "Ways To Slash Your Home Energy Bill" on

By learning more about small bathroom remodeling costs and comparing them against your potential return on investment, you could realize a lot of savings, and pinpoint upgrade opportunities and other areas for improvement. Consider looking at recycled products and secondhand stores to save money on bathroom fixtures.

The Bottom Line

Small bathroom remodeling can be simple or extensive, depending on your time and budget. If you're unsure about how to start with your small bathroom project, speak with a remodeling professional. He or she might suggest some money-saving options or DIY projects, while other projects might best be left to the experts.


March 13, 2015


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