Since Airbnb was founded nearly a decade ago, it’s become one of the most popular ways to find and host short term vacation rentals. And with so many global users in search of the perfect homestay, it’s no surprise so many homeowners are turning to the service to make an extra buck.
To make any home the ultimate hospitable abode, it’s important to focus on the room where cleanliness matters most: the bathroom. These remodeling and styling tips will help create a 5-star rental bathroom no renter can resist.
The Importance of a Well-Styled Bathroom
Regardless of how clean or stylish the rest of a home is, it all goes to the wayside when the bathroom isn’t sparkling clean. According to Heather Bayer of Cottage Blogger, bedrooms and bathrooms are the two most important rooms to prioritize when renting. Being aware of small bathroom details, like baseboard scuffs and window cracks, will help take a bathroom from being an acceptable (but ordinary) space to a luxe vacation spa.
It’s also important to keep in mind how people feel when they’re in a bathroom. Get Paid for Your Pad explains that bathrooms are intimate spaces, and guests should feel safe and secure using them. When planning a remodel, check for mildew in the shower and look for areas that collect dirt. These are the spaces that need to be worked on in order to attract high paying guests and garner good reviews.
When a future Airbnb host doesn’t spend time or money making at least simple bathroom changes, they risk losing out to the competition. As MultiBriefs explains, many of today’s homeowners are willing to spend extra money on high-quality, custom bathroom projects. And when a future guest is comparing two rentals that are similarly priced, the one with the more luxurious bathroom is going to get the booking.
Bathroom updates are critical in Airbnb remodels. But, consider simple hardware changes before committing to a full sink or bathtub replacement. For example, adding a new towel rack or shelving unit can greatly enhance both form and function. Design Vice adds that strategic towel racks make room for matching towels and bathrobes, which can add a touch of hospitality.
To determine how many towel racks a bathroom needs, consider these terms by Astrid Lindstrom of Evolve Vacation Rental Network. Lindstrom suggests including two hand towels and bath towels and one wash cloth per guest, plus two outdoor towels per person. Keep these numbers in mind when adding hooks, shelves and other hardware to a rental bath.
When choosing hardware, go for options that are in style but also timeless. Refinery29 Art Director Anna Jay says that brass is a popular color for making Airbnbs look fresh and modern. Replacing chrome with brass in the kitchen provides an easy update, and this same change can be made in the bathroom for consistency throughout the house.
Sinks and Countertops
The sink is one of the first elements that guests see when they walk into a bathroom. If a sink is cracked, stained or outdated, a new one can have a huge impact on the entire space. Randal Weeks, founder at Aidan Gray Home, recommends first taking note of whether the sink is undermount or overmount. An undermount sink can be difficult to remove and the cost can add up fast, so opting for new faucet fixtures might be the most efficient option for sprucing up a sink.
Mashvisor suggests using durable, yet low maintenance materials that can withstand increased use and traffic. Laminate countertops instead of granite, for example, can save money and still look sleek. Opting for cheap materials isn’t a good idea, however, as these can wear out sooner and create more work overall.
Baths and Showers
A bathroom without a top-notch shower or bath tub just isn’t going to go far in the Airbnb world. If a tub or shower needs to be replaced, consider options that’ll add a hospitable, spa-like touch. Jarrod Leonard of Buxton Real Estate explains that freestanding bathtubs are extremely popular in modern rentals. While tubs might get less use than a standing shower, they add an irresistible touch of charm that all guests enjoy.
Another way to make a rental more attractive is to focus on the master bathroom. Mary Waldman of Summit Mountain Rentals adds that since the person paying for the rental usually stays in the master bedroom, the ensuite is more important than smaller guest bathrooms. Changing a large shower into a steam shower or adding a jacuzzi tub can make all the difference for adding a “wow” factor to the space.
An easier, more affordable option is to upgrade a small shower with a more open design. Mike Foti of Innovate Building Solutions suggests adding a glass block shower wall that mimics Japanese shower screens and adds both light and tranquility to the space.
Another important aspect of a profitable Airbnb rental is having toiletries on hand. Soap, shampoo, conditioner, towels and plenty of toilet paper all score extra points with guests, explains Ian Balina. And while it is important to include a range of bathroom essentials in a bathroom, they shouldn’t clutter up counter tops and shower shelves. Meridith Baer writes that it’s important to keep such necessities tucked away from view with strategic storage options. In a renovation, add wall shelves, a floating cabinet or extra cabinets under the sink to create space.
Good lighting makes all the difference in any bathroom. In addition to making the space look bright and fresh, it also helps Airbnb owners take enticing photos to upload. Good lighting can also be used to enhance the illusion of space in a small bathroom. Old World Interiors recommends installing recessed lighting for wall-washing–strategic light placement that illuminates a wall to make a space feel larger.
To further update a bathroom’s light options, Alice Chiu of Miss Alice Designs suggests including a dimmer switch, as well as pairing wall sconces alongside the bathroom mirror. These can create flattering illumination that helps guests look and feel their best when getting ready.
Paint and Color Schemes
Bathrooms are spaces that should evoke a sense of peace and tranquility; an escape from the busy schedule of everyday life. Writer Nadia Alic says to stick to neutral tones for an Airbnb rental, as muted hues create a calm and soothing environment.
Opt for white walls too, but be sure to add pops of color with plants and other accessories to keep things interesting. White walls can also be made more intriguing by choosing elements with texture. For example, applying textured wallpaper or using textured paint in the bathroom can make walls more dynamic. Normandy Remodeling writes that textured tile, glass, and other metals can spice up white on white schemes.
Need a new bathroom floor? It’s critical to evaluate all options before opting for traditional tile. If removing and replacing the floors is an essential project, Christine Chang Hanway recommends heated flooring. Heated floors are a coveted, energy-efficient option that can keep guests warm during the winter months. Materials that work well with heated floors include those that conduct thermal energy, including stone, concrete, and ceramic tile.
If heated floors aren’t in the budget, think about choosing materials and colors that can withstand more use. For example, the blog Studio M by designer Michelle Wiebe suggests using black grout alongside white or light-colored tile. The contrast is eye-catching and the dark grout is much easier to keep clean.
Images by: David Mark, Pexels, Skitterphoto