(ARA) - Many homes in America have a dirty little secret -- a dated, dingy, dark and dysfunctional bathroom. While the average return on investment of a bathroom remodel is 80 to 90 percent, the average cost -- $10,000 to $12,000 -- can easily put the brakes on the project before it's even started.
The largest focal point in most bathrooms is the bathtub or shower. Sprucing up the main focus freshens up the entire bathroom for a fraction of the price of a full remodel.
"There are ways to reap the rewards of a better bathroom while putting a cap on project costs," says Derek Cassoff, marketing manager at Bath Fitter, a custom bath, shower and wall company.
Glaze Over the Problem
One popular option is to re-glaze, or repaint, your existing bathtub. This is one way to cover up chips or cracks. In some cases, you can even use it to change the color. However, the results are usually temporary and may only last until you're ready to re-do the entire bathroom.
Cover It Up
A more permanent option is to install an acrylic bathtub liner right over your existing bathtub or shower surround. The high quality material is easy to clean, has a lifetime warranty and is a permanent fix, unlike re-glazing. The process takes about a day meaning your bathroom won't be out of commission for weeks.
Start from Scratch
Embrace your funky pink bathtub and re-tile in a complementary color. Tiling can be tedious, but if Art Deco is your style you can find tiles that fit with your bathroom's existing color style and color scheme. Be careful when removing old tiles so as not to damage the wall underneath. Hiring a professional may cost a bit more up front, but can pay off in dividends when you don't have to repair an accidental hole in the wall.
Remember you can always update or change the look of your bathroom with a gallon of paint and some decorative accessories. Courtesy of ARAcontent