Right now, your bathroom is just a bathroom. But you’re ready to turn it into your sanctuary — a place where you can relax while getting ready for the day and, later on, unwind from it. You’re looking to add some seriously luxurious upgrades.
The average cost of an upscale bathroom remodel is $82,882, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2022 Cost vs. Value report. If your budget is in this vicinity, that’s great, but you can still make plenty of lush enhancements for significantly less.
Whether you’re focused on function — e.g., a steam shower — or aesthetics — e.g., adding a new chandelier — there’s no shortage of improvements you can make to seriously elevate your existing space. This will allow you to feel like you’re at a five-star hotel or a spa every time you step into your own bathroom.
Ready to get this project started? Here’s a look at eight luxurious bathroom upgrades, with cost estimates from HomeAdvisor — unless otherwise noted.
Average Cost: $692
“Installing a soothing sound system is one of the trendiest bathroom upgrades in recent years,” said Dustin Fox, a Realtor and owner of the Fox Homes Team, a group serving Virginia; Washington, D.C.; Maryland and West Virginia. “It’s a simple upgrade and comparatively [lower] in cost than other luxury upgrades.”
As for where to put your sound system, he said you have a few options.
“It can be installed on a shelf beside the shower glass or the sink, and there is also the option of setting them up on the roof wall or the side wall,” he said. “Additionally, consider improving your sound quality by positioning two speakers in the room’s opposite corners.”
He noted it’s important to consider what future buyers might think about the location of your sound system, as it could affect resale value.
Average Cost: $4,300 to install a prefab steam shower, including all materials.
“More than 80% of luxury homeowners like the idea of having their own spa at home, rather than going outside,” Fox said.
He offered tips to ensure you install this upgrade the right way.
“Make sure your shower has a door that seals tightly on all sides in order to make it steam-ready,” he said. “To stop moisture from getting to the wall and ceiling frame, which leads to wood rot, install a vapor barrier there. A 220-volt steam generator would be enough for an average bathroom.”
Average Cost: Prices for a mini chandelier start around $100 and light fixtures cost an average of $533 to install.
In the past, Fox said having a chandelier in the bathroom was regarded as Victorian and dated, but it’s now considered a symbol of flair and luxury.
“The option in this case relies on the design of the bathroom itself,” he said, “be it the cascading chandelier at its most gorgeous, or just one that is simply more contemporary and streamlined.”
Floral Pattern Wallpaper
Average Cost: $1,040 to $2,600 to purchase and install bathroom wallpaper.
Fox said, “Oversized or large floral pattern wallpaper makes your bathroom design more dynamic and with an opulent appearance.”
He suggested pairing it with rustic herringbone wood floors and a dark gray vanity to give the space depth and warmth.
Of course, you’ll want to take proper precautions when wallpapering a bathroom — especially one with a tub or shower. Some safeguards include choosing a scrubbable and strippable material — e.g., solid vinyl, fabric-backed vinyl or paper-backed vinyl — applying a mold-proof wallpaper primer, using mold-proof wallpaper paste and applying a clear acrylic varnish over the installed wallpaper, according to BobVila.com.
Heated Towel Bars
Average Cost: $605, when professionally installed, according to Costimates.
“A new luxurious techy bathroom improvement is heated towel bars,” said Mike Gregor, a Realtor with the Cohen Agency SiM, LLC, based in New Hartford, Connecticut. “When you’re done with your shower or bath, hang your towels on heated bars so you can wrap yourself in warm terry cloth.”
It’s not the priciest upgrade on the list, but he said the idea is weighted enough to make your bathroom look expensive.
Average Cost: $1,310 to $1,390 for the vanity and installation, according to Fixr.
Any bathroom can have a vanity; but, for a truly luxurious feel, Gregor suggested adding a floating vanity.
“By creating distance between the vanity’s base and the floor, a floating vanity adds a sense of luxury and space to any bathroom,” he said. “A single piece of solid wood with a vessel sink is enough to make your floating vanity gorgeous or, it can include two sinks and storage drawers to look more profound.”
To make sure it fits with your bathroom layout, he recommended deciding on this upgrade early in your remodeling process.
Average Cost: $260 for installation, plus faucet costs — i.e., $25 to $250 for a new bathroom sink faucet.
Previously under the radar, Gregor said bathroom faucets have gained popularity in the pandemic era, since so many have been enhanced with remote technology.
“Brass was the preferred material from the start and continued to dominate the trends chart in the months to come,” he said. “Brass fixtures and faucets look opulent even with a matte finish in vintage and industrial environments and provide a golden sparkle to the otherwise sober bathroom.”
Radiant Floor Heating
Average Cost: $20 to $40 per square foot to install over bathroom tile.
If you dread stepping out of the shower onto a cold tile floor during the winter months, there’s a solution that doesn’t involve the dreaded bathroom carpet.
“Though a new floor system would cost you quite a good amount of money, the money you spend on it would totally be worth it,” said Nicholas McMillan, a real estate broker and owner of Hire Realty, based in Pleasantville, New York. “This is indeed an upgrade that combines luxury with functionality.”
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