Are you trying to decide on a remodel and not sure what you want to put money into? This post is going to compare different aspects of a kitchen and bathroom renovation to hopefully help you in your decision-making process. The reason I focus on kitchen and bathroom remodeling and not something like say, a basement or deck is because kitchens and bathrooms generally get more attention, and tend to be hotspots of the home. The kitchen is where you cook and socialize with family and friends. Whereas bathrooms are about taking care of your bodies. You can go ahead and spend a great deal of money on a deck and it could go unnoticed, but invest in a kitchen or bathroom and you are bound to get compliments on your home.
WHICH IS CHEAPER?
Short answer: Bathroom
Pulling some figures from 2016, the average bathroom renovation costs $9,348 for small to medium-bathrooms. Smaller projects can cost between $3,500 and $7,000, whereas larger more elaborate projects can cost you $13,000 to more than $20,000. Most homeowners spend between $5,666 and $13,031 on a bathroom remodel.
Using the same set of data for 2016, the average Canadian homeowner reports spending an average of $20,556 on a kitchen remodel. Smaller kitchens costing between $10,000 and $15,000, which may include painting, refacing cabinets, sink upgrade, and installing a tile backsplash. Larger renovation projects that include custom cabinets, new flooring, high-end appliances, stone countertops etc., can run upwards of $30,000. The vast majority of Canadian homeowners, however, spend between $12,759 and $31,733.*
Which is less invasive?
Short answer: Kitchen (by just a tad bit, but it depends)
Since eating, bathing and doing your business are all equally important things, it’s a close call. If there was only one bathroom in the house and you were to choose between a kitchen and bathroom renovation, you could probably do without a kitchen for a while since you can go to restaurants, order delivery, or microwave and hotplate.
On the other hand, if you only had one bathroom in the house, and it’s going to be out of commission for a bit, there are little to no alternatives. It’s going to be disruptive to your lifestyle. You could make friends with a neighbor for when nature calls or take advantage of a gym membership and use the showers there.
However, my answer would quickly change to a bathroom being less invasive if there was a second bathroom in the home.
WHICH IS FASTER?
Short answer: Bathroom
You can expect a bathroom renovation to last between 2-3 weeks on average, given there are no major hiccups. Whereas a kitchen remodel really depends on what's being done. Minor upgrades can be done in about 2 weeks, however, a comprehensive kitchen renovation can vary anywhere between 4-12 weeks. Again, this all depends on the time for design, demo, lead-time for products and materials (custom products take longer), and installation.
WHICH IS BEST FOR RESALE?
Short answer: Kitchen
This is another "it depends" answer, it depends on your geographical area and what buyers are looking for. I recommend talking to a real estate agent in your area to get a more accurate picture of what homebuyers are really looking for. Albeit, a larger majority of real estate professionals (52%) find the kitchen one of the most important rooms that influences a house sale according to consumer reports. They also have a higher return on investment over bathrooms on average. Although, the range for ROI is very similar for both renovation projects, ranging from 65% to 100%.
Put simply, kitchen renovations are more invasive and expensive than bathroom renovations. Yet renovated kitchens tend to provide more homeowner satisfaction and value added over bathroom renovations. However, every situation is different, you just need to weigh out these factors and consider which room is more appropriate to renovate for your specific needs.