Bathroom remodel tips for moderate income rental property?

7 Replies

I'm looking for material that will stand the test of renters who may or may not care about the property. I'm looking for durability and ease of access for repairs. I would like the materials to look nice but not costly. 

As of now, I'm looking to get a really good toilet and a bathroom exhaust vent that is on a timer. Any other tips are appreciated.

Ceramic Tile floor to ceiling in shower and half way up around the rest of the bathroom. Inexpensive and durable.

John D. Glacier Bay fixtures at Home Depot work well and are inexpensive. I have these in my primary. I feel it's worth the few extra $ to install the taller toilet. Most folks over 45 will appreciate these, the elderly will love them. Makes a good selling point. Here is a link to a timer switch for the vent. It is at HD as well. It installs in place of the light switch. http://m.homedepot.com/p/Defiant-20-Amp-60-Minute-In-Wall-Spring-wound-Timer-with-White-and-Almond-Wall-Plate-49823/204209953/
Most toilets structurally are the same, really. The guts/porcelain design are the only real difference, but all will need to be dealt with over time. The all in one glacier bays for 80 something have been fine for my baltimore rentals....however, if there is a toilet seat you can find that somehow never comes loose, get it.

I find a good bathroom fan helps to cut down on moisture and mold problems.  I've been installing this one by Broan lately. 

http://www.lowes.com/pd_10064-14-QT140LE_1z0z4ih__?productId=3747685&Ns=p_product_price|1&pl=1&Ntt=broan

It uses a 6 inch duct instead of a standard 4 inch, so it sucks a lot more air.  You can wire it directly to the light, that way if someone is using the bathroom they will never forget to turn on the fan.  It's pretty quite and I have had no complaints when doing that.  Or you can install a humidity sensing switch like this one. 

http://www.amazon.com/Leviton-IPHS5-1LW-Humidity-Sensor-Control/dp/B00H3QQD64/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1435501004&sr=8-1&keywords=humidity+switch

That way the fan will come on when the humidity level is high and keep blowing until the humidity level is reduced.  Even if the person has left the bathroom and turned out the lights, then fan will stay on until the humidity is gone.   

There are some fans that have the humidity sensor right on the fan, but hey cost a lot more.   I like the features on this one, but $377 is a bit too much for a cheap rental.  Maybe on a high end unit it would be ok.   

http://www.lowes.com/pd_539628-14-XB110HL_1z0z4ih__?productId=50061657&Ns=p_product_price|1&pl=1&Ntt=broan

I also have been using some mold killing primer in bathrooms.  I don't know if it works or not, but I figure it's worth a try.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_617619-90-276049___?productId=50290469&pl=1&Ntt=mold+primer

Many older bathrooms will have windows in the showers in my area and I prefer to remove them when I get a chance.  They are a maintenance headache.  Water sits on the window sill and warps the wood.  Replacing the wood sill with a piece of granite or stone helps.  But I'm always caulking them, and they lead to water and mold damage behind the shower surround.  I have 2 left and as soon as those tenants move those windows are coming out. 

I use the caulkless tub surrounds.  We love them.  Easy to install, low maintenance.  Menards has a great selection of them.     

@Randy Landman Use this for Molds and Mildew, just mix them together with your paint, I use Glidden Paints since I get 45% off, i buy it from them, and they mix it on my bathroom paints, and I paint around 150 of them at a time. http://www.rustoleum.com/product-catalog/consumer-brands/zinsser/cleaners-and-mold-and-mildew-proof-paints/add-2-prevent-mildew-mildewcide-additive. Works well. Use plastic gloves if you do it yourself, they are toxic.

Here in the Washington, DC area we have several non-profit stores that re-sell donated construction materials and finish materials. It can be hit or miss on what is available on any given day but I often see really nice tile (floor and wall) that would probably be great in small bathrooms or as a kitchen backsplash. You can also find items like vanities, cabinets, and toilets. Sometimes used (gently or heavily) and even brand new.