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By Tracy E Dickinson, eHow Contributor
The two most popular rooms renovated by homeowners are the kitchen and the bathroom. They're also the two most expensive rooms to remodel. The cost to renovate will depend primarily on the extent of the project and the location of your home. Determining the value to you will be based on which bathroom you're doing and how long you plan to stay in your home.
Since even a "smaller" bathroom renovation generally involves replacing some of the fixtures, the real difference in costs will depend more on the quality and type of products you choose. If the room in question is the main bathroom for the family, it will be worth investing in good products that can handle the traffic. However, an outdated bath attached to a little-used guest room might justify a simple upgrade in fixtures and flooring.
Major elements (like shower/tub design, cabinetry, and type of flooring) have the greatest effect on the final cost of materials. In addition, installation costs should also be taken into consideration. Although cost per square foot for ceramic tile vs. laminate tile might not be dramatically different, the labor cost to install the ceramic is significantly higher. Relocating fixtures will require extensive reconstruction and plumbing, further increasing the labor costs.
Although you can't control your home's location, you can at least be informed regarding its effect on the project's budget. If you live in the Midwest or the South, you will pay less for a remodeling project than someone living on the West or East Coast. Larger metropolitan areas also see higher costs than more rural areas.
A bath that gets used daily or one attached to a master bedroom usually justifies a higher price tag. Not only will your family benefit from the improvement on a regular basis, but buyers also place the most value on these rooms at resale.
Consider which investments provide the most value. Bathroom remodels can range from $12,000 to more than $30,000 for a high-end project. Most sellers recover between 75 and 90 percent of that cost. Depending on how long you plan to stay in the home, this pay-off could be enough to justify creating your own in-home spa.