5 Outdated Bathroom Features Buyers Always Notice

bathroom with jacuzzi tub, fern plant, and red tile

Real estate experts say that bathrooms and kitchens sell homes, which means that they can also cause homes to not sell as well. Make sure you don't have one of the outdated bathroom features buyers always notice, or you could wait a long time to get a sale.

Outdated Bathroom Features to Get Rid Of

If something is seriously dating your bathroom, you need to strongly consider an upgrade. The bathroom can make or break the sale of a home or make the difference in thousands of dollars of potential profit for the seller.

Take a look around your bathroom and find out if you've got one of the outdated bathroom features that buyers don't want to see.

If you do, you're going to need to know how to upgrade the space so you can get rid of these issues and make your home much more attractive to potential buyers.


At one point, a jacuzzi tub with lots of jets was the feature to have. This could really sell a bathroom.

Those days are gone. Now, jacuzzis have the opposite effect.

In the more modern and more eco-conscious era, jacuzzi tubs are an outdated, water-guzzling nightmare. They look dated and they are disliked by potential home buyers.

What's Wrong With Them?

The jets are difficult to clean and maintain, as jacuzzi tubs are prone to problems that require them to be serviced.

Those jets also use up a lot of water, something that's becoming quite unpopular all around the world as environmental concerns are becoming more commonly talked about.

These tubs are also quite large and tend to dominate the bathroom, creating a rather unbalanced overall design. Jacuzzis are big and ugly and outdated by today's sleeker design standards.

How to Replace a Jacuzzi Tub

The best move is to replace the tub entirely. Swap out the jacuzzi tub for a freestanding tub.

Freestanding tubs look much more modern and they can be a striking bathroom element that actually increases the beauty and the value of the space, which increases the overall property value of your home.

A freestanding tub is a highly desirable element and a selling point, which is exactly the opposite of an outdated jacuzzi with jets.

A Quicker Fix

If you just really can't invest the kind of money and time it's going to take to switch out that tub, there are some affordable DIY fixes you can try. These are less expensive and they can still refresh the look of the room.

First, swap out the faucet and metal tub fixtures for newer stuff. This will allow you to give the tub a much more modern look.

Next, refinish the tub. You can buy all the stuff you need at a home improvement store and do this yourself in about a day or two.


bathroom with pink towels

Once upon a time, it was all the rage to have a pastel bathroom. Wallpaper, carpet, towels...the tub, the sink, the toilet, they were all done in gloriously soft shades of yellow, green, blue, and pink.

What's Wrong with Them?

But that was a very long time ago, especially by design standards. Today, it looks utterly ridiculous and extremely out of style to have a bathroom fixture in any shade other than white or, sometimes, black.

How to Replace Pastel Bathroom Fixtures

If your bathroom has pastel fixtures, the best thing you can do is replace them entirely. For starters, pastel fixtures are visibly older models and this will deter buyers.

It's an investment to replace a large bathroom component like a sink, a toilet, or a tub, or even all f them. But this will pay off in a big, big way when it comes to selling the home.

Pastel bathrooms haven't been in style for decades and colored fixures will immediately date the space and turn off potential buyers.

The entire room will look decades more modern with this change, and it's a huge flex to boast that some or all bathroom fixtures are new.

A Quicker Fix

If you can't replace the fixtures, you can refinish them with products available at home improvement stores. This isn't quite as simple as painting a piece of furniture but it's in the same DIY category.

So if you can paint furniture, you can refinish fixtures with a little time and patience.


In 1960s design, carpet was the living end. It was wall-to-wall and sometimes it was actually on the walls, too.

In the 1960s, people would even put carpet on the ceiling. It was absolutely everywhere in home design, even the bathroom.

So if your bathroom has carpet literally anywhere in the room, rip it out. Fix or replace what is under it and watch your home's value increase.

What's Wrong With It?

Carpet in the bathroom doesn't just look outdated, it's unhygienic. The CDC says this is a bad idea because carpet retains moisture and causes the growth of mold, which you definitely don't want.

Carpet also traps odors and dirt. Carpets are hard to clean and they're difficult to maintain in a bathroom, so it's just not a good idea and any potential homebuyer will know it.

How to Replace Carpeting

To replace carpeting, start by physically ripping it off the floor of the room. Wear gloves and be prepared to use your strength to get this task done.

You may need to use a knife to cut the carpet. It should be removed in strips.

The carpet pad and carpet tack strips must be removed. For this, you might need to use a scraper to remove these materials and the glue holding them in place.

Once the carpet is removed, you will need to put down a whole new floor. This can be a pretty big job and you will need to pull up fixtures and other features of the room, like the toilet.

There is no easy solution or quick fix for this outdated bathroom feature. If you have carpeting, it must be removed and that's a bit of a labor-intensive process.

However, there are plenty of options for flooring that shouldn't break your budget. You can put down a new bathroom floor as a DIY project but no matter what, this will be a rather expensive bathroom upgrade that is necessary.

Popcorn Ceilings

popcorn ceiling above ceiling light

Popcorn ceilings are those ceilings that have little balls and bumps all over them, and they were used in home design for a while for reasons no one can quite understand. They haven't been used in a couple of decades, so this feature will instantly date your space.

You will need to get rid of the popcorn ceiling. This is a labor-intensive and time-consuming process, but it can be done as a DIY job and it isn't an expensive task.

How to Replace a Popcorn Ceiling

You will need to use a drywall knife or a utility knife and get on a ladder to manually scrape a popcorn ceiling. Yes, you will need to use a lot of elbow grease to get this done.

After the popcorn is scraped away, cover dents and nicks and little imperfections with joint compound. Once this dries, sand it all down and repeat the process to get a nice, smooth ceiling.

Next, prime and paint the ceiling. Yes, this project does take a while but it is relatively inexpensive and it makes an enormous difference.

There isn't really a quick fix for a popcorn ceiling. It must be scraped and repainted.

The only shortcut for getting rid of a popcorn ceiling would be to hire a professional to do the work for you, which will save a lot of time but add more money to the cost of the overall bathroom project.


For a long time, wallpaper was used in every single room of the house. Including the bathroom.

Wallpaper has gone the way of the dinosaur and shag carpeting in home design, though some say this trend can and will make a comeback.

It's not likely to make a comeback in the bathroom, however, so if your bathroom has wallpaper, you need to remove it and replace it with tile or paint.

How to Remove Wallpaper

Sometimes, wallpaper can be loosened in the corners with a putty knife and pulled off the wall in strips. In other cases, you will need to use a scoring tool to put holes in the wallpaper and then spray it with water before scraping it off.

With some wallpaper, you may have to use a steamer to loosen and remove the wallpaper. This is by far the most difficult method.

Wallpaper steamers can be rented and this job is much easier to do with two people working.

After the paper has been removed, the walls must be cleaned to free them of glue residue. Now, the walls can be primed and painted or tiled.

Replacing wallpaper with a newer wall treatment will transform the look of the bathroom and completely modernize the room. This change will make the room much more attractive to buyers.


If your bathroom has these outdated features, buyers will always notice and count this as a strike against the house.

These features represent things they will need to fix before they can move into the house happily, and no one wants to do extra work if they don't have to.

Outdated Bathroom Features FAQ

bathroom with dark slate walls

What are some easy, inexpensive ways to modernize a bathroom?

If you're working with a small budget but you want to freshen up the look of your bathroom, try replacing the hardware. Cabinet pulls, towel racks, and toilet paper holders are relatively inexpensive and they can make a big difference.

Give the room more "wow" factor by getting all of these items in the same finish. If the finish also matches all the faucets in the room, you will really turn that wow factor up.

A fresh coat of paint can also do wonders in any bathroom. New paint will freshen up any space and if you choose a color that's popular in modern home design, it will make the room look much newer and more modern overall.

You can also replace the shower curtain rod, hooks, and shower curtain to freshen up the design. A new window treatment can also work wonders.

Clean the grout and give the entire room a deep cleaning. A good, strong cleaning can work wonders to make a room look fresher and newer.

How can you make a bathroom look more modern?

Add some little touches to the bathroom to make it look more modern and make it more attractive to potential home buyers.

Incorporate plants into the space if possible. Even small potted plants add an eco-friendly feel to the space that's highly attractive to modern home buyers.

Choose a more minimalist, neutral look for the room. Stick to a neutral color palette, rather than going for bold pops of color, because this has a more modern look.

Minimalist design is all the rage in home design as well, so avoid clutter and choose smaller elements over bigger ones when possible. You don't need a huge medicine cabinet when a sleek mirror will do, for example.

Lighting can also date a bathroom. Upgrade the lighting to something sleek and modern, rather than the more decorative and ornate lighting fixtures of past home design, to instantly make the space feel newer and fresher.

Which paint colors are best for a bathroom?

Neutral color shades are the best for a bathroom. This creates a soothing and relaxing environment and it's in keeping with current home design trends.

Stick to shades of white, brown, and gray. If you want to use color in the space, try sage green or a soft coral.

Further Reading

Advice on Planning a Bathroom Renovation

Bathroom Stone Flooring Designs

Eco Friendly Bathroom Remodels

How to Replace a Bathroom Sink

How to Sponge Paint a Bathroom

Unique and Inexpensive Bathroom Redecorating

What's the Most Expensive Part of a Bathroom Remodel?