Should you expand your bathroom’s size?

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Sometimes it’s clear when a bathroom just isn’t working. Whether the old fixtures aren’t functioning optimally anymore or the design is simply outdated, a bathroom renovation can improve function and aesthetic appeal. The harder part for many homeowners may be deciding whether or not to expand the size of their bathroom – is it better to give your bathroom a facelift remodel or a complete renovation and overhaul?

Alure Home Improvements’ custom kitchen and bathroom designer Blythe Tract explained in an interview that there’s no easy solution for deciding which method is best for your home. There are a number of factors to consider.

“A larger bathroom may be more fun to decorate.”

What to think about before deciding
Expanding the size of a bathroom is more than just pushing out the walls, and that’s something that many people don’t understand, Tract explained.


“I think really if you’re going to start thinking about making your bathroom much larger, typically it’s going to require you to [rearrange] all of your fixtures. Because, now you’re changing the footprint of the bathroom,” she said.

The reason why moving fixtures can be such a deterrent is because it can carry a hefty cost. A direct replacement remodeling where the fixtures’ positions don’t change doesn’t require nearly the same level of plumbing or its cost. But cost isn’t necessarily a bad thing when you’re redoing your bathroom. Tract advised that people consider the amount of value an expanded bathroom can add to their home – this may help offset the extra investment.

“For me, personally, I always advise my clients to make sure that there is enough value to the space that they’re adding; enough value to the justify moving the fixtures and incurring the additional costs … because some people find that if they’re just adding a couple of feet, they’re not gaining anything other than a little more elbow room.”

Adding a larger shower where there used to be a cramped one is a good example of how changing a bathroom’s footprint can add value to the house as a whole, Tract said.

A larger shower with a seat can enhance the bathroom space.

A third consideration should be whether or not you have the space nearby to steal from another room. It can be an easy decision if the next room over is a guest room with an oversized closet, but much trickier if it takes out of your own bedroom’s size. Sometimes, you can rearrange the plumbing without stealing space from an adjoining room so that the bathroom has more flow and functionality.

Common expansion reasons 
Value is in the eye of the beholder in many situations, and, as Tract explained, there are definitely some that warrant a bathroom expansion over others. Rather than just thinking about financial value, an expanded bathroom can also offer functional benefits to growing families or couples with conflicting schedules, for example. Having the room to install dual sinks can let two people get ready for work simultaneously or a family get off to school on time.

Also, a larger bathroom may be more fun to decorate.

“When you have a bigger space to work with, you open yourself up to more exciting design options,” Tract explained. There are more possibilities of what can be done with tile or stonework, as well as a new window or tub option.

If you’re on the fence about whether or not to expand the size of your bathroom in a home makeover, consider the value, cost, function and how much room you have in neighboring spaces.

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