Cantor’s Corner: Cost-Effective Bathroom Remodeling
by Gregg Cantor
Resident Expert, Home Pro Show
President, Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel
Remodeling can be an expensive undertaking, and it’s tough to know the areas that you can cut a few corners, and when you absolutely should not. These are my tips for cost-effective bathroom remodeling.
Bathroom Remodel Musts
When remodeling your bathroom, you should never cut corners in wet areas like bathtubs and showers. An improperly installed tub or shower can cause mold, dry rot and structural damage.
1. Always use Greenboard or DensShield as a tile backer to prevent mold and mildew.
2. For custom tile shower pans, a hop mopped “lifetime” substrate is the only way to go. Never use plastic liners.
3. Do not glue tile directly to Greenboard or DensShield. Always install tile over a floated mortar base.
Cost-Effective Bathroom Remodeling Ideas
There are cost-conscious options to replace tubs and showers and/or remodel your bathroom that won’t look or feel cheap. Try some of these cost-effective bathroom remodeling ideas:
1. Use a standard size shower pan. There are many pre-fab options in terrazzo, solid surface and fiberglass depending on your price point. Avoiding custom sizing is an easy way to save money across the board.
2. For tub or shower surrounds, natural stone, porcelain tile, quartz or solid surface is your best option, but there are also pre-manufactured systems available.
3. If your bathtub is in good shape, consider installing a new drain, valve and surround to spruce things up.
4. Install a shower rod and curtain instead of a glass door. It’s less expensive and there are nearly an infinite variety of styles available.
5. Sheet vinyl has come a long way. It is a great option instead of tile that you may be able to do yourself, which would cut down on labor costs.
6. Furniture-style vanities are an economical option for the sink area. They are sold as a package including the countertop and faucet. Check out TradeWindsImports for examples.
7. Instead of demolishing your existing tub or shower, consider an overlay from a company like Re-Bath.
If you need work on your bathroom, check out all the Approved Home Pros we’re proud to recommend.