Bathing beauty – how to stage your bathroom to sell your house

When you think about staging your bathroom(s) to sell your house you need to know 2 things:

1. Bathrooms are very private and personal spaces so staging them is really about de-personalising. Think Hotel Bathroom and you won’t go far wrong

2. There’s an assumption that anything to do with bathrooms costs a lot of money. It can do. But you don’t need to compeletely re-model a bathroom before you sell. Think facelift not major surgery. Many of the actions required to get your bathroom looking great are no or low cost – a good clean, personal clutter removed and new fluffy towels can make a huge difference and costs hardly anything.

Here are some pointers to help you get started:

Repairs and Re-modelling.

  • Walls & ceiling: A fresh coat of paint in a soft neutral is one of the best ways to get your bathroom looking fresh. If you have wallpaper or a border remove them – they won’t appeal to everyone.
  • If your wall tiles are dated, old or ugly, replacing them is a big job that won’t reward your investment.  Paint them or get them re-surfaced instead.
  • Carpets on the floor are seen less these days but if you have them replace with Vinyl or tiles. There is something very unhygienic about carpet especially if there are boys in the house! If your flooring is broken or dated it is worth replacing with a good value vinyl or new tiles.
  • If your bathroom suite isn’t white or cream then it dates your house instantly.  The best solution is to get the colour changed – either with replacing the suite or by resurfacing. If you don’t replace your coloured suite then use neutral accessories to play the colour down. For example, if your suite is blue, then pick towels in white and soft grey or paint the walls in soft grey. Don’t add any more blue to the scheme!
  • As with kitchens, the counter tops in bathrooms are an important feature – non coloured is best. If yours are coloured or dated consider replacing or re-surfacing. This is money well spent. When replacing, remember your market. If you are aiming at first time buyers then don’t splash out on Corian.
  • Take a look at your tapware and showerheads. Replacing them with more on trend pieces will have an instant effect. Remember to keep the same finish for consistency eg: brass or silver not a mix.
  • Consider also the handles on your vanity unit – replacing them can make a huge but low cost difference.
  • Grout can look dirty even in the cleanest of bathrooms. For grout your options are to re-grout or to use a special grout pen that basically paints white along the grout lines (you can buy this from most hardware stores) Caulking in bathrooms can get damaged or mouldy quite quickly so a fresh coat keeps this looking new.
  • Look upwards – are your fans working and is your lighting sufficient? Hotel bathrooms don’t have noisy fans and poor lighting. They are light and bright and efficient.
  • Finally, window treatments need to be kept simple and functional. Blinds and frosted glass work well. Please no curtains – it looks old fashioned and feels a bit eughh!


  • The number one turn off in bathrooms is feeling like you’re trespassing on someone else’s very private space. Buyers do not need to see your toothbrush or shaving stuff or that you’ve got very dry skin or a medical problem.  They want to imagine themselves relaxing in the ‘spa like’ room.  You are blind to your stuff – buyers won’t be. Go through every cupboard and surface. Throw away anything past its best or that you don’t use anymore, put into storage things that you want to take with you but that you don’t need now (extra towels for example) and hide the rest in your vanity in a box with a lid.
  • Similar to carpet, any mats on the floor (or the toilet seat!) or hanging over the bath need to go whilst you are on the market. They look at bit unhygienic but also add visual clutter.
  • If you like to read on the toilet know that not everyone shares this hobby or wants to be reminded of it! – store away your Top Gear magazines for your next house.
  • Hide all evidence of cleaning products, whether that be a shower cleaner in the shower or a toilet brush next to the toilet. Buyers don’t want to be reminded there will be work to do
  • Store away any medical equipment kept in the bathroom during viewings.  They add clutter plus ill health or old age are not great selling attributes (sad but true)
  • If you have kids and their toys have taken over the bath the majority need to be packed away. The couple you use whilst on the market need to be stored in a lidded box.
  • Knick knacks and bathrooms don’t go so if you have displays out then you need to put them away. They add clutter and you want to be selling space and cleanliness.
  • If you’ve gone a bit crazy in Howard’s storage world and bought some extra shelves or other ‘on show’ storage solutions then you need to take these down. They add clutter and give the impression that you don’t have enough storage in the room – this may be true but you don’t want to make it obvious
  • If you have a bit of a theme going on in the bathroom (e.g. boats, mermaids, fish) then tone this down. It’s too personal and not everyone will share your interest.
  • If you think the above de-cluttering advice is going over the top, then understand this – 1. buyers will look in your cupboards. They want to see plenty of organised storage so they think they can live like this too. 2. If you leave personal stuff lying round buyers can get quite judgemental. Don’t give them a reason. You want them to be looking at your house not guessing why you’ve got 10 bottles of indigestion formula hanging around (I saw this in a house only the other day!)


  • It goes without saying that your bathroom(s) need to be cleaner than any other room in the house. Know your reaction when you see a hair in the bath in a hotel bathroom? The same is true with your bathrooms. Don’t turn your buyers off because your bathroom is unclean.  Personal dirt should be just that – kept personal!
  • A good scrub may be all that is needed and see contacts below if you need specialist help
Finishing touches
  • Finishing touches in a bathroom are easy, cheap and make all the difference.
  • The number one thing you can do is treat yourself to some new fluffy towels. Choose a white or cream then add an accent colour.  Hang them on a towel rail and fold a couple by the sink too if you want. Make sure everyone knows that theses are show only towels. You can start using them when you move to your new house.
  • If you have a shower curtain then investing in a new one will make a good difference.
  • As stated earlier, use your finishing touches to play down your coloured suite if you have one. In other words if you have a pink suite then don’t buy your towels in pink, choose a creamy white instead
  • If you’re still thinking hotel bathroom then accessorising will be easy – a posh hand soap, an unlit candle, a soap dish with a pretty guest soap (unused!) or a small jug of flowers.
  • Use artwork sparingly. Think natural and calm not statement. And no nudes – they offend some people and are too personal.
Useful Brisbane contacts
  • For Bathroom re-modelling and advice The Bathroom Biz
  • For resurfacing try Dudley and Sons or Re-surface it
  • Need to repair your shower, speak to Megasealed
  • Bad waterstains? Call The Waterstain doctor
  • Spotlight and Freedom have a good range of blinds
  • Bunnings (off course!) for flooring, mirrors, lighting, tapware and paint
  • I like Pillow talk for their bathroom accessories (including those fluffy towels!) They also have very helpful sales assistants

4 thoughts on “Bathing beauty – how to stage your bathroom to sell your house

  1. Hello Dear,
    I am a Realtor in Houston.
    Preparing the house for sell is equally important as the sell price.
    These are some quick tips that I used for a cheap makeover.
    – Neutral colors.
    – Remove all your personal souvenirs.
    -No family pictures.
    – Clean carpets and clean fresh towels in all the bathrooms.
    – Remove all the clutter from the kitchen counter tops.
    – Clean the house inside out!!!
    Do not personality your house for you. Personality your house to be sold!

  2. ib69 says:

    Pleased I could help Mel. Selling houses is all about return on investment and most of these ideas require little or no money

  3. Mel Kettle says:

    This is brilliant thanks. We’re preparing the family home to sell – it’s very tired and we want to spend minimal $ to sell it but these ideas are fabulous and mostly easy for us to do. Especially as we have already done the massive de-clutter!

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