Five ‘luxury’ bathroom upgrades that don’t cost a bundle

(ARA) – It’s probably safe to say that no potential buyer ever passed on a house because the bathroom was just too lovely and luxurious. And few of us would prefer to come home at the end of the day to decompress in an outdated bathroom with a shabby shower and cabinets that have seen better days.

A beautiful bathroom can help potential buyers overlook other flaws in a home. And the bath is one room where homeowners can be confident their renovation dollars will yield not only improved home value, but enhanced enjoyment as well.

Fortunately, you don’t have to spend lavishly to elevate the luxury quotient of your home’s bathroom. Here are five “luxury” upgrades that can be done on a moderate – or even modest – budget:

1. Lighten up with a skylight
When it comes to creating a comfortable, energy-efficient ambiance in a room, it’s hard to beat Mother Nature. Natural light helps reduce dependency on artificial light sources and the electricity they consume, and can have a positive effect on mood and overall health. You may hesitate to add a large, clear window to a bathroom, but skylights are a great way to add the luxuriousness of natural light without compromising on privacy. Choose a venting style which can also be a cost-effective way to help vent humidity, steam and odors from a bathroom. New models, like Velux America’s No Leak Skylight, eliminate leak worries; when properly installed, Velux skylights are no more prone to leaks than any other quality window. Visit to learn more.

2. Shower yourself with luxury
Ripping out that old ceramic tile and replacing it with the trendiest stone may not be in your budget, or your shower’s future, but swapping out a standard showerhead with something more luxurious probably is. It’s easy to find a variety of showerheads – from rainfall and massaging, to hand-held or dual-head and multi-jet – that will elevate your daily washing routine to a spa-quality experience. What’s more, a new showerhead is one of the easiest bathroom renovations to do yourself, even if you have no previous DIY experience.

3. Accessorize, accessorize
Who doesn’t love warm, plush bath towels? Or foot-soothing rugs that protect tootsies from cold floors? It makes sense not to skimp when it comes to choosing towels, area rugs and other accessories for your bath. Even top-quality accessories cost less than major renovations, and they can go a long way toward making your bathroom feel polished, put-together and posh. From good bath linens to a towel-warmer that can make them feel extra cozy, accessories are an economical, effective way to add luxurious touches to your bathroom.

4. Upscale downstairs
Think your downstairs powder room or first-floor master bath can’t soak up some sun? Think again. To bring natural light and warmth into a first-floor bathroom, simply add a sun tunnel. This variation on the traditional skylight uses reflective tubing connected to a low profile acrylic dome that sits on your roof to deliver diffused, natural sunlight to interior spaces, allowing you to enjoy the luxury of natural sunlight in your first-floor, windowless bath. Add a light kit, and you’ve got a 24-hour light source.

5. Heat things up
If you’ve ever stepped out of a relaxing warm shower only to find yourself shivering in a cold bathroom, adding a touch of warmth to the room may seem like the ultimate luxury. You can find an array of heaters that work well in a bathroom setting, from wall units that will put warm air at body level, to overhead lamps that warm from above. You can even find combo units that both heat the bathroom and warm your towel at the same time, or exhaust fans that remove moist, cold air and replace it with warm air.

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2 Responses to “Five ‘luxury’ bathroom upgrades that don’t cost a bundle”

  1. Eugene Koltakoff on February 8th, 2011 9:39 am

    Another idea is to use same hot water that you use for shower for heating up your floors. Just another thin pipe can go under your tiles to keep your floor warm and thus will heat up the air too.

  2. Herbalife on March 2nd, 2011 2:47 pm

    Throw rugs.

    I had to warm up a cold bathroom on a
    slim budget and found that throw rugs
    added the beauty as well as warmth I needed.