Kitchens are usually seen as the heart of the home, but bathrooms are the muscle. A poorly planned bathroom could affect the way you feel about your home for years to come. What’s more, it’s one of the most expensive rooms to renovate. If you’re building your own home, it’s important to get the bathroom right the first time. Your builder should have a list of standard options and upgrades, but how do you know which bathroom upgrades will add to your home’s value?

Repeat after us: Bathrooms should be the most functional rooms in the home. Choosing the right bathroom upgrades means you’ll love your bathroom for years to come — no matter what. Invest in these bathroom upgrades to get the most value for your money.

Collect this idea

bathroom upgrades master bath

A master bathroom is a major selling point. Image: Clay Construction

Master bathroom

If your chosen floorplan offers the master bathroom as an option, take it. Master bathrooms are one of the most desirable features for resale value. If your current home layout doesn’t include a master bath, it might be worth your money to have your architect design one for you. As one of the most used rooms in the entire home, a master bathroom is a must. It gives adults a place to relax, separate themselves from the kids and stay sane. It’s one of the more expensive bathroom upgrades, but anything you spend on a master bathroom will pay you back tenfold in functionality and investment.

Collect this idea

bathroom upgrades plumbing

Save money by plumbing your basement bathroom now. Image: Classic Homeworks

Basement plumbing

Adding basement plumbing during the build process is cheap and easy, so pay your builder to have it done before you move in. Sure, it’s not the most exciting upgrade. Still, opting for plumbing in your basement — even if it’s not finished — makes sense. You’ll likely finish your basement sometime in the future, and having the plumbing installed during the building process saves you money. When you’re ready to finish it out, you won’t have to break up concrete or rip out walls to install plumbing. Instead, you can hook right into the existing plumbing and skip ahead to framing and drywall.

Collect this idea

bathroom upgrades tile

Invest in better tile for a lasting look. Image: Broad & Turner

Tile and flooring

Ask anyone who’s lived with bad pink tile for 10 years: Tile is hard to replace. It requires a major demolition, and, in most cases, you’ll put it off or learn to live with tile you hate. Don’t settle for standard tile if it’s not something you love, because trying to replace it down the road is costly and time-consuming. Upgraded surfaces enhance the look of your bathroom so it’s something special. Follow the same principle with flooring, choosing long-lasting materials that you find attractive. You can always change paint color and fixtures, but tile and flooring will be there for a while.

Collect this idea

bathroom upgrades storage

Bathroom storage is worth its weight in gold. Image: Mark Williams Design Associates

Extra storage

If one of your options for bathroom upgrades is increased storage, your answer should be yes. Bathroom storage is one of the features you may not think about initially but can make huge improvements in your lifestyle. Extra cabinets, built-in shelving and organizers make the difference between a cluttered cave and a serene retreat. Opt for upgrades that build out the space you have and help you keep your bathrooms totally organized.

Collect this idea

bathroom upgrades lighting

Upgrade your lighting package if you don’t have natural light. Image: Larsen Development

Better lighting

Builder-grade lighting is rarely inspiring. It’s usually standard over-the-mirror lights that are cheap to buy and install. You can upgrade your lighting package on your own by procuring better fixtures and even planning for can lights. While natural lighting is always best, windows aren’t always feasible in a bathroom. Make up for a lack of light with upgraded fixtures that are outfitted with bright LED lights that’ll last.

Collect this idea

bathroom upgrades tub shower

A separate tub and shower gives a spa feel. Image: Two Hawks Design & Development

Separate tub and shower

One of the simplest bathroom upgrades with which to get a return on your buck is a separate tub and shower. Separate spaces increase your home’s worth and offer more functionality — particularly in the master bath. A standard tub and shower combo might do the trick, but it doesn’t have a wow factor. A separate tub and shower isn’t exactly a weekend renovation, so if it’s something you want, upgrade during the building process instead. You’ll thank yourself later.

Kitchens might sell homes, but any homeowner can tell you that a comfortable, functional bathroom is just as important. Function and style should come together to create spaces that keep your family organized, so look for upgrades that are compatible with the way you live. In most cases, spending a little more on thought-out bathroom upgrades can increase your home’s resale value — and your family’s satisfaction.

Have you made any of these bathroom upgrades in your own home? Do you have any more to add?