There is no price tag that can equate to the love you have for your home and the pleasure of a fresh look or upgrade. Fortunately, the money you spend remodeling now can increase your own comfort and also pay off big time should you ever decide to sell your home. Alternatively, the cost of inaction and a poorly maintained property can result in a potential buyer subtracting more from an offer than an upgrade would have cost.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on big remodels to increase your home’s value. You can focus on high-visibility, high-efficiency projects in areas that you use the most, such as the kitchen and bathrooms. When it comes to selling your home, an overall good impression of your property is priceless at the negotiation table.
Kitchen and bathroom remodels are two room renovations that can create a memorable impression of beauty and value, which gives you an advantage as buyers choose between options. These two rooms stand out in the real estate market as being the focus of many home buyers. Consumers are wise to low-value “flip” cosmetic changes, so be sure to make improvements with quality materials and workmanship. Renovations in kitchens and bathrooms go beyond simple cosmetic upgrades and create true, lasting value that appeals to buyers.
People spend more active time in the kitchen than almost any other room. (The next time you go to a party, notice where everybody migrates.) Consumer Reports notes that a modern, updated kitchen is one of the top features sought after in an ideal home. Additionally, search engines such as Realtor.com say that 80 percent of shoppers named the kitchen as one of the most important spaces in a home.
Minor kitchen renovations don’t have to include tearing down walls or restructuring the floor plan — think more along the lines of updating and refreshing. With a modest investment, you can change or add a backsplash and replace flooring and countertops. Experts say that some of the most impactful changes for your kitchen are upgrades that show the investment was well spent.
Ceramic tile is a great choice for high-traffic areas such as the kitchen. It is durable; comes in a vast selection of colors, shapes, and sizes to fit every budget; and has looks — such as metallic, wood, and stone— to fit any design scheme. Ceramic tile has one of the longest lifespans and lowest life cycle costs and has many advantages over other flooring types, such as wood or vinyl:
- Flame resistance
- Mold, mildew, and bacteria resistance
- Stain resistance
- Scratch resistance
- Waterproof installation
- Design versatility
Ceramic tile is an ideal surface to use in every room of your home, especially in rooms subject to water and stains. Properly installed ceramic tile can form a waterproof installation that protects your investment from the costly water damage that can occur from water leaking through joints or around edges of some other flooring products. Where water is present, it’s important to also consider safety. Ceramic tile offers many slip-resistant options so that you can choose the best flooring for your project. In addition, tiles are easy to clean; all they require is sweeping and regular cleaning with a little soap and water (often only water). The greatest advantage of using ceramic tile is that you can remodel now, enjoy your beautiful home, and rest assured that your ceramic tile flooring will look great when it comes time to sell.
Kitchen Backsplashes and Countertops
Backsplashes and countertops suffer almost as much constant abuse as your kitchen floor.
Backsplashes are regularly subjected to moisture and grease, which makes ceramic tile a smart alternative to painted drywall, wood, or vinyl that can easily be damaged and — gasp! — melt. Manufacturing advances now produce ceramic tiles in nearly any shape you can imagine, including circles, arabesques, hexagons, and even fish scales! Also, like with tile flooring, ceramic tile makes your backsplash a cinch to clean! Because a backsplash can be a small area, this is an affordable project that can often be accomplished over the weekend for DIY-ers, yet packs a remodel wallop. A backsplash can make a big splash among neutral colors and existing cabinetry or appliances, refreshing your kitchen without a major overhaul.
Countertops can be a telltale sign that your kitchen needs an update. Ceramic tile is a beautiful option for tiling your countertops. In some cases, you can even tile over your existing, dated countertops! Tile gives you the advantage of being stain- and-scratch resistant with an infinite variety of colors and shapes to choose from. With recent technological advances in tile production, gauged porcelain tile provides a new design option for countertop surfaces. The advantage of these tiles is their size (panels can be 5 feet by 10 feet and larger), yielding the ability to create beautiful waterfall countertops (without a sky-high price tag) and coordinate with your backsplash and flooring tile. Marble, stone, and even wood looks are reproduced in these panels while maintaining all the durable features of ceramic tile.
Ceramic tile offers the essential features required for kitchen floors, backsplashes, and countertops: flame resistance; bacteria, mold, and mildew resistance; and a waterproof assembly. Besides adding beauty to your home’s intrinsic value, you also add the value of durability and a healthy environment to your list of home features sure to attract potential buyers.
A clean, well-designed bathroom is sure to turn heads at an open house. Moreover, you can feel confident that remodeling with ceramic tile will provide you many years of enjoyment and still look brand-new when you are ready to sell.
Bathroom Remodeling Trends
When planning a bathroom remodel, consider these tips:
- Walk-in showers are the new standard for bathrooms.
- The popularity of steam rooms and wet baths in home bathrooms is on the rise.
- Waterproof assembly; mold, mildew, and bacteria resistance; and slip-resistant features make ceramic tile the ideal bathroom and shower surface.
Ceramic tile is the clear winner for bathroom floors, walls, and countertops. Considering the amount of moisture that a bathroom experiences — especially with the addition of a walk-in shower or steam room — tiling the floors, as well as the walls, is a necessity. Unlike other surface options, ceramic tile offers a waterproof installation, will not peel, warp, or fade, and requires very little maintenance. Use the opportunity to add this durability and efficiency to your bathroom without compromising on beauty.
The endless design options of ceramic tile can create a beautiful feature in your home. One of the top trending bathroom design features is using unique tile shapes. Tile comes in a wide assortment of shapes, colors, and textures that can be installed in many patterns, so your design is limited only by your imagination.
A favorite luxury bathroom feature is underfloor radiant heating. Ceramic tile is the most efficient flooring choice in a radiant heating system because it conducts heat well and does not expand and contract like other flooring types.
Consider green design when updating a kitchen or bathroom and be sure to understand the contents of your building materials and their impact on the environment. North American ceramic tile has one of the lowest environmental footprints of all flooring options and contains no harmful VOCs, no formaldehyde, and no PVC that can be part of other building materials. Because ceramic tile contains no plastic like vinyl flooring products, it has none of the health or environmental concerns associated with plastic-containing options. Home buyers are willing to pay for the durability of long-lasting ceramic tile, knowing that as the new owners, they likely won’t need to repair or replace ceramic tile. Buyers also appreciate that ceramic tile is made of naturally occurring materials and has a natural ability to absorb heat, leading to increased energy efficiency by making your home feel cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
Give Buyers What They Want — Clean, Green, and Unique
As new home construction falls short of the housing demand, buyers look for existing homes they can make their own. New buyers are being advised to think about reselling upfront when choosing a home so that they consider the prospect of their potential home value down the road. With this in mind, buyers are thinking as investors and will want to see value that equates to the emotion they have for a home. Younger home-buyers and families with limited funds, as well as older downsizers, want a turn-key purchase, not a never-ending honey-do list.
The common themes in home renovations are modernity (i.e., updated and clean), sustainability, and distinctive value. There’s no advantage in settling for a fake fix — not only will your enjoyment be limited by inferior materials, but buyers seeking long-lasting quality could see poor materials as a reflection on your overall home value. A modest investment in your kitchen and bathrooms by using ceramic tile can add genuine value and enjoyment to your home today … and help you recoup your investment when it does come time to sell.
Or, maybe your beautiful updates will convince your heart (and wallet) to stay!