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Bathroom Remodeling in San Mateo, CA: Where to Splurge and Where to Save

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Roey & Gil

Meet your one-phone-call-away remodeling team - Clever Design & Remodeling. We will deliver 110% customer satisfaction with every project we remodel.

After months or even years of planning, saving, dreaming, and flipping through countless design magazines, it is finally time to renovate your California bathroom. Unfortunately, you don’t have an unlimited budget, meaning you must utilize your cash wisely. This, of course, begs the question: Where should I splurge, and where should I save on my bathroom remodeling budget?

At Clever Design & Remodeling, our talented team of bathroom designers can help you decide where to allocate your bathroom design and renovation budget. With several years of experience assisting our excellent San Mateo, San Carlos, San Jose, and Santa Clara-area clients, you can rest assured that when you worth with Clever Design & Remodeling, you will be wowed by our sense of style and your beautiful new bathroom!

Splurging vs. Saving: What Does That Mean?

In the realm of home improvements, you heard the buzzwords “splurging” and “saving” but aren’t really sure what these terms mean for you and your budget.

A “splurge” refers to a high-end, luxury product, service, or upgrade that takes up more of your budget. However, just because you are “saving” in another area doesn’t mean you have to settle for an inferior product.

Instead, when you save on an item, you look for a lower-cost alternative to a luxury item or upgrade that will still make your primary bathroom or guest bathroom feel like a luxury spa. In addition to opting for lower-priced products, you can save in many other ways. For example, you can purchase final-sale items, buy the items used, or even purchase misorders or returns at your local home improvement store or local showroom.

bathroom project costs
Depending on what kind of work needs doing, the size of the project, as well as your location in the Bay Area, costs can vary from $15 to $50k

What Is the Average Cost of a Bathroom Remodeling Project in San Mateo, CA?

Several factors will inevitably influence the overall cost of your entire project, including:

  • Construction materials
  • Labor costs – including your general contractor, design team, and subcontractors
  • The bathroom’s size
  • Plumbing and Electrical
  • Unexpected changes and incidental costs

Your location will also impact the costs. For example, you will typically pay more living in the Bay Area on the cost of materials than in other parts of the country – such as the Midwest. On average, a San Mateo homeowner can expect to pay between $15,000 to $50,000 for a bathroom remodeling project.

Do you need help understanding the bathroom remodel cost or creating a preliminary budget? The fantastic team at Clever Design & Remodeling can help you not only realize your future vision but also determine how much your new bathroom will cost.

countertops and cabinets
Countertops, cabinets, and fixtures are all good starting places from which to launch your bathroom makeover

Remodeling Your Bathroom: Where to Splurge

For most homeowners, shopping is the best part of any bathroom remodeling project! You are ready to start visiting bathroom showrooms and working with your professional bathroom remodelers to purchase all the necessary materials. Here are a handful of instances when you should splurge on your new bathroom:

cabinetBathroom Cabinetry and Countertops

Your bathroom vanity and countertops are not only the focal point of the bathroom, but both will take a lot of damage from everyday use – especially if you have kids. Instead of repainting your outdated vanity, choose a stylish option that provides additional storage space. Custom cabinetry is a great option that adds value to your home. Otherwise, you can purchase a stock vanity for a reasonable price.

Natural countertops are always an elegant way to transform even a small bathroom into a beautiful oasis. Quartzite, granite, slate, and basalt can withstand the humidity and constant temperature changes that naturally occur in the bathroom. Each type of natural stone has its own pros and cons. For example, granite comes in various styles and colors but requires more care and cleaning than other types of stone.

bathroom tapFixtures and Hardware

Splurging doesn’t mean you must drain your wallet to create a unique guest or master bathroom. Purchasing high-quality fixtures, faucets, and hardware is an excellent example of how you can customize your bathroom for less. Brass is a timeless finish that will work with any aesthetic. The best part of brass is that it is naturally resistant to mold and bacterial growth.

For a more modern look, opt for the installation of matte black, single-handled faucets. Upgrading your bath fixtures to models featuring the latest technologies, including pull-down sprayers and touchless technology, will attract potential buyers and raise the value of your home.

Once again, luckily, most luxury brand faucets and hardware are relatively inexpensive compared to other upgrades, such as radiant floors. This just makes sense, financially, whether you are selling your home or staying put for many years!

bathroom lightingLighting

The importance of proper and well-planned lighting in the bathroom cannot be overstated. In addition to ensuring you have enough lighting to style your hair, shave, or put on makeup, adequate lighting is a safety issue. An improperly illuminated bathroom can be dangerous, especially to older people or individuals with mobility issues.

Mount a ceiling fixture in the center of the room to ensure every nook and cranny of the space is well-lit. Wall scones and pendant lights are two excellent ways to add some dimension to the room while guaranteeing you have enough light to perform your everyday tasks safely.


In addition to proper lighting, appropriate floors are another integral safety issue in the bathroom. Opt for unique flooring that not only looks great and is slip resistant but can withstand the constant moisture from your kids splashing in the bathtub! However, before you assume you must settle for your mother’s beige tile flooring – think again!

Almost any type of flooring will work inside your bathroom – from natural stone or wood to high-end laminate. However, ensure the flooring is rated for use in the bathroom. If you prefer the look of natural stone, treat the granite, slate, or marble with a non-slip coating to prevent an accidental fall. Porcelain tile is a timeless option that is ideal for bathroom floors because the material is non-porous and can withstand constant water exposure.

bathtub and showerTub and Shower

Nothing compares to slipping into a hot bath after a long day. For resale value, splurge on upgrading your shower and bathtub. A standing shower is more attractive to buyers, especially if you pair a tile shower with sliding glass doors. A freestanding soaking tub is not only a great way to enjoy a spa-like experience at home, but it will also increase the value of your home.

Tubs are an excellent option for your second or guest bathroom, especially if you have younger kids. However, if your kids are older or the full bathroom is exclusively for guests, a tub-to-shower conversion is a great way to modernize the space without spending a small fortune.

Are you seeking inspiration before remodeling your San Mateo, California, guest bathroom? Aren’t you sure which type of new floors will work with your master bath? Check out the tub-to-shower conversion and other stellar before-and-after photos of kitchen and bathroom remodels on our website!

bathroom lighting
Professional modelers will be able to assist you in targeting areas of your bathroom for makeovers and also where you can save money

Working With Bathroom Remodeling Contractors in San Mateo: Where to Save on Your Guest or Master Bathroom

In addition to your kitchen, the bathroom is one of the most essential rooms in the house. Just think about how much time you spend in the bathroom each day! Now that you’ve determined where you should splurge, it is time to explore the areas in your bathroom where you can save some money.

wallpaperPaint or Wallpaper

Nothing transforms the spaces throughout the home like color – and this is especially true if you have a small bathroom. The right color can make the room seem much bigger. Choose the wrong color, and your airy bathroom will quickly become a dark and dingy dungeon. A fresh coat of paint is often all that is required to cover any discolorations on the bathroom walls.

However, if you notice water stains, hire a professional to determine if there is a plumbing leak behind the walls before painting or adding wallpaper. Otherwise, the water stains will reappear on your freshly-painted walls and continue spreading until the repair is completed.


Let’s face it: No one gets excited over buying a new toilet. In the majority of bathroom projects, unless the toilet is broken or severely outdated – think 1970s-style yellow toilet – you do not need to replace your existing toilet. Another instance that might require a replacement is if the toilet is low and someone in your home has limited mobility and specific requirements in the bathroom, such as a high-profile toilet.

bathroom layoutYour Bathroom Layout

You’ve been mentally reimagining your master bath and have decided, after much deliberation, that the layout just isn’t functional. However, before you start working with design companies to alter the configuration, realize that the cost of moving plumbing and electrical is often much higher than you would imagine. Changing the bathroom layout can add hundreds or even thousands to your budget. Instead, save your cash and leave the layout as it is.

bathroom towelLinens and Finishing Touches

One of the last steps in your bathroom remodel is purchasing new linens and decorative items. If you splurge on a beautiful, custom vanity and gorgeous marble floors, you don’t need to dress up the space with unnecessary clutter. Instead, opt for minimalistic finishing touches, such as accessories that complement your faucets and crisp, white hand towels.

Keep any cabinets below the waistline and opt for a slimline mirror instead!

Tips for Adding Your Personal Style to the Bathroom Without Breaking the Bank

The bathroom is a very personal space, and you want to reflect your unique personal style in yours. Luckily, you can introduce your aesthetic without draining your wallet.

artworkAdd Inexpensive Artwork

Although most save this until the project’s end, purchasing decorative touches is still essential. If your budget is busted after the remodel, adding inexpensive artwork is an ideal strategy to add a much-needed pop of color or simply make the room feel more like home.

bathroom mirrorNot Your Mother’s Medicine Cabinet: Hang a Statement Mirror

Medicine cabinets were popular for several decades – and for a good reason. However, although medicine cabinets are functional, they aren’t always aesthetically pleasing. Hanging a large, ornate, or modern mirror is a very inexpensive way to make the room look expensive. A large mirror also reflects more light, which makes the room feel much bigger, especially when the door is open!

bathroom faq
Let us know if you have any unanswered questions about your bathroom renovations!

People in San Mateo also ask

Are you planning a small bathroom remodel in your San Jose home? Want to learn more about the finer points of redoing your master bathroom? Here are the answers to some questions you might have about redesigning your bathroom:

added valueWhat adds the most value to a bathroom?

If you want to maximize your remodeling budget, the bathroom remodeling project that adds the most value is actually a new construction bathroom! However, if room additions aren’t in your budget, add a new walk-in shower and upgrade the vanity and floors to achieve a maximum return on investment or ROI.

timeframeHow long will my bathroom renovation take?

The time it takes to completely finish your bathroom, from creating the initial budget to the final walkthrough, depends on several factors. For example, the size of the bathroom will play a part. The availability of materials is another factor. If you are financing the renovation with a home equity loan or line of credit, the bank’s approval can slow down the process.

Typically, the entire process from start to finish can take anywhere from one or two weeks to a few months to complete. Once again, if you have any issues with the timeline or any other questions about how long the process will take, we are available to answer them!

budgetWhat comes first in bathroom remodeling?

Before shopping for a replacement bathtub or even hiring award-winning bathroom remodel contractors, including the fantastic team at Clever Design & Remodeling, the first two steps in any bathroom remodel are creating a budget and understanding your vision for the space. Here is a simple breakdown of what you will traditionally spend on each aspect of your remodeling project:

  • Labor: 20%
  • Cabinets and vanity: 15%
  • Miscellaneous plumbing and faucets: 15%
  • Fixtures: 14%
  • New Flooring: 9%
  • Countertops: 7%
  • Walls (including painting): 4%
  • Doors: 4%
  • Design firm fees: 4%
  • Miscellaneous fees and other incidentals: 20%

These numbers are approximated, and your remodel budget will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Once the budget is formulated, set your expectations for the remodel. This is where the help of a world-class design firm will come in handy – including the remodeling experts at Clever Design & Remodeling!

expensiveIs it expensive to change the layout of a bathroom?

Unfortunately, changing your bathroom’s layout is often cost prohibitive, and unless the layout is very dysfunctional, this step should be avoided. This is because when you alter the configuration, you must reroute the plumbing, hire an electrician to relocate the wiring, and in some cases, even tear down or add new walls.

If your main goal in changing the layout is adding more floor space, there are other ways you can accomplish this. For example, swap out your existing vanity for space-saving, modern floating shelving. Take advantage of the vertical space by adding more wall storage rather than standing shelves.

permitDo I need a permit to remodel my bathroom in San Mateo, CA?

Per the City of San Mateo, California, you will typically require a building permit if you are building, altering, demolishing, or performing extensive repairs on your property, whether it is your house or garage. The process of applying for a permit can be very confusing, which is why when you work with Clever Design & Remodeling, we will handle this step for you!

bathroom tiles
There is really no wrong answer when it comes to choosing tiles. Ceramic tiles have been around forever and have yet to lose their charm!

bathroom tileWhat type of tile is best for bathrooms?

From ceramic and porcelain to glass, linoleum, and vinyl, several different varieties of tiles are used in the construction or renovation of bathrooms. However, which is the best for your project?

Traditionally, porcelain and ceramic tiles are installed because both products are stylish, inexpensive, and slip-resistant. Stone tiles will achieve a more sophisticated, modern look but are costly. Glass tiles are another traditional option that will add depth and interest to the space.

floorWhat is the best color for a bathroom floor?

When it comes to your bathroom floors, stick with a neutral color palette. Some of the best colors for any type of bathroom floor include:

  • Soft gray
  • Beige
  • White
  • Eggshell
  • Light green
  • Light blue

Cool tones will work with almost any popular tile colors and give your bathroom a fresh, airy look. Avoid darker colors, especially if you have a smaller bathroom, because it will draw the eye downward and make your bathroom seem even smaller than it is!

master bathroom design
Have fun with our 3D modelling program where you can mix and match designs from the comfort of your computer and no cost!

Contact Clever Design & Remodeling For Free Consultations and a Free Estimate in San Mateo, CA

Are you ready to design and construct the bathroom of your dreams? Want to work with an established business in the San Jose area that understands the latest techniques in design and construction – including 3D technology?

Look no further than the fantastic team at Clever Design & Remodeling. With several decades of experience serving our amazing customers in San Jose and other popular locations throughout west central California, we take great pride in all of our work!

3d modelHow Can I Benefit From 3D Design Technology?

Unlike other design firms in the San Jose, California, area, Clever Design & Remodeling is proud to offer the latest in 3D design technology. A three-dimensional image of your new bathroom, kitchen, or bedroom lets you understand the finished product better – while allowing our designers to provide you with precisely what you want from the design process. Check out our easy-to-use 3D design tool before planning your kitchen, basement, or bathroom renovations!

exterior home design
Our team of professionals are skilled in all areas of home renovation, inside and out!

Services We Offer in San Mateo, CA

When you search “bathroom remodel near me,” one of the first design firms listed is “Clever Design & Remodeling” – and for a good reason. If hired, we will work tirelessly to ensure your bathroom remodel is perfect! Not convinced? Check out some of the bathroom remodeling reviews from our past satisfied customers!

kitchenKitchen Remodeling

Are you ready to plan your ideal kitchen? Want to upgrade the cabinets, floors, and appliances? The crew at Clever Design & Remodeling and kitchen remodel experts. We can walk you through every step of the entire process – from the initial design to the construction of custom cabinetry and the finishing touches. We have designed hundreds of kitchens, and we can guarantee if you work with our award-winning designers, your future vision will be realized on time and within budget!

homeHome Remodeling

Need to give your entire house a facelift? At Clever Design & Remodeling, no job is too big or too small for our expert team of designers! We can help you renovate all the spaces in your San Mateo or San Jose home – from the master bedroom to the basement, living room, or main living area. Want to beautify every room in the house? We can help!

deckingExpert Deck Builders

Want to add more livable space to your backyard? Are you tired of hosting barbeques on the lawn? We are experts in constructing quality and durable decks – no matter what your budget. Our team of talented designers and outstanding contractors can help you determine the cost of your deck and which material is the best option for your needs.

For example, did you know that a custom deck has a massive return on investment and can mean the difference between selling your home or your house sitting on the market for several weeks or months? Whether you want a small vinyl deck or a massive, wrap-around deck constructed from the highest-quality tropical wood, we can help you realize your wildest dream!

aduAccessory Dwelling Units

The accessory dwelling unit, or ADU, craze is alive and well throughout California. Accessory dwelling units are essentially secondary houses or apartments that are either attached or detached from the main property. The ADU can be used as a small home for an aging parent, a place for your college-aged student to have some privacy or a supplementary rental income.

The construction of an ADU is subject to a lot of oversight, and the laws in California can be very confusing. This is why if you want to construct a quality ADU on your property, you should leave every step to the professionals at Clever Design & Remodeling, from the initial design and permits to the finished product.

call clever design
Call our team today for a free estimate and consultation on your remodeling projects.

Quality Focused Work

When you work with Clever Design & Remodeling, you, as our client, can always rest assured that we will provide you with quality, focused work, integrity, and expertise through every step of the process. We are truly your one-stop shop for all your design and remodeling needs. Contact us today for a free estimate and consultation on your remodeling projects.

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