Bathroom remodeling cost guide

Bathrooms are one of the most frequently used rooms in every house; this is why bathroom remodeling projects are the most common among homeowners. While the project is usually a pricey one, it easily pays off regarding resale costs because on average you will be able to refund 56-70% of the initial project cost. In order not to go over your budget in the process of a bathroom remodel, make sure to plan it carefully.

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Bathroom remodeling can include various services such as a bathtub or toilet replacement, tile laying, pipes checking, enlarging of bathroom space, and any other maintenance or replacement.

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The average cost of the bathroom remodeling ranges between $5,700 and $18,000 per project. The lower end price is possible for DIY bathroom remodeling projects. This budget allows to replace the floor with a luxury vinyl plank, remove any vanity and replace it and the sink, install/replace the toilet and purchase a new mirror; sometimes wall repainting can also be fit into the project cost.

In the Pacific Northwest, the average top end is about $18,000, while in the Southern states, it is about $15,000. This cost includes installation of new counters, tub, toilet or shower cabin, replacement of old tiles on both walls and floors with the help of professional (it means that labor is included in this price).

Bathroom remodeling services provided

How can I plan the budget for a bathroom remodel? / What is included in the bathroom remodeling cost?

The average cost of a bathroom remodel is about $14,700, while people tend to spend about $9,600 per project. Regardless of the most appropriate and affordable sum of money, the total budget can be divided into categories that require investment. Here are the categories and percentage of the total budget that are usually required:

  • Labor - 20%
  • Cabinetry and hardware - 16%
  • Fixtures - 15%
  • Faucets and plumbing - 14%
  • Flooring - 9%
  • Countertops - 7%
  • Lighting and ventilation - 5%
  • Walls and ceiling - 5%
  • Design - 4%
  • Windows and doors - 4%
  • Other - 1%

What additional costs can be in a bathroom remodel?

Above you can find the basic lines of expense for any bathroom remodel. However, any remodeling project always needs to have reserve stock for emergencies. It is essential especially if you plan a complete makeover with pipes replacement and opening-up of floors, walls, and ceiling.

The most common problem is mold and severe water damage. In this case, repairs may require anything from $500 to $3,000. Destruction of new materials shouldn’t also come as a surprise because new pipes, for instance, may be of lower quality or not suitable for your project. It is advised to account for additional 10-20% in costs.

How much does it cost to install tiles in the bathroom?

Tiles vary depending on the quality and type of the material; installation cost will vary as well. The most common type of tiles is ceramic, and its price is about $1-$5 per square foot; should you go with the top-end flooring such as ornamental mosaics, be ready to pay as much as $100 per square foot.

How much does it cost to install countertops in the bathroom?

The lower price for laminate, tile, or cultured marble countertops is $4 per square foot. Yet, if you go with the upscale materials, like natural quartz, marble, or stone, the cost will get up to $100 per square foot. Granite is very common for bathroom remodels and it may cost as much as $200 per square foot.

How much do cabinets and vanity cost?

Pre-built cabinets for vanity and storage can be very affordable, especially if look at such stores as IKEA. The low-end cabinets cost about $40-$90. The average price of mid-range options is $200-$700. Customized cabinets for unusual sinks can start from $2,000+.

How much does a sink cost?

Sinks come in all shapes, colors, forms, and styles because this is one of the central elements of any bathroom. The most affordable sink can start from $50, while designer options can easily cost over $1,000.

How much do hardware and accessories cost?

Hardware and accessories for bathroom decoration are the finishing touches in any bathroom remodel and will be the most affordable purchase of the whole process. Look for sales in home improvement stores, like Home Depot. You can get any piece of hardware from $10 to $250, depending on the quality and material.

How much does it cost to install showers and tubs?

The average cost of a shower installation is $900-$2,000, but special constructions and designs may require even $6,000 for installation only. The price includes not only the installation itself, but also purchase and installation of the valves, shower doors, flooring, and the surrounding walls. Installation of a mid-range tub usually costs about $2,500.

If you are not sure which shower or tub to choose, read a detailed guide to the features and important qualities of bathtubs.

How much does bathroom lighting cost?

Lightning is one of the most important and yet complex things. It’s advised if not cooperate then at least consult a lightning expert before purchasing any bathroom fixtures. Light in the bathroom should be comfortable and bright enough for grooming or putting on make-up. An individual light fixture costs about $40-$100. Upscale fixtures may cost hundreds of dollars.

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Price-related questions

Do I need to hire subcontractors?

Hiring a single bathroom remodeling contractor who will deal with the whole renovation and cooperate with additional subcontractors is significantly cheaper than dealing with every expert on your own. For example, if you hire a work superintendent, you can discuss your total budget and decide on what works are possible to complete. In case you choose to take the initiative in your hands, be ready to pay extra to each contractor separately, and increase your initial budget by 2-2.5 times.

What flooring material is best for the bathroom?

Natural stone or ceramic tiles are the best options existing today. They both are durable and aesthetically pleasing. However, the price of these materials installation is tangibly higher than the cost of vinyl or other tile flooring types. The difference is in the price and service. The former (more pricey) options, will require little maintenance but always need a flooring expert for installation; the latter materials are cheaper and can be done as a DIY project, yet they require more maintenance and their durability is much lower. Consider your budget, and whenever possible go with natural materials.

Do I need a shower or a tub?

Unless you choose a freestanding tub, ordinary tubs are more versatile since you get both a tub and a shower in one. The cost of an average tub varies between $300 (for fiberglass tubs) and $3,000 (for marble tubs). Showers usually can’t offer the please of tubs, yet they are more practical for small bathrooms. The average cost of a shower is between $230 and $1,450.

How much do heated floors cost?

The cost of radiant flooring in the bathroom on a large scale depends on the square footage of your floor. The cost of radiant flooring varies between $5 and $9 per square foot where the bigger the coverage area is, the cheaper the installation will be. The cost also depends on the type of heated floors you choose: radiant (electric) floors cost $8 per square foot, while hydronic (water-based) are cheaper - $6 per square foot. Radiant flooring is advised for bathrooms with tile or wood floors, less frequently they are installed for laminate, stone, or carpet floors due to the low thermal conductivity of these materials.

Ways to cut on bathroom remodeling

Should I change my plumbing?

The typical lifespan of home water supplying pipes is about 80 years. This means that if you live in an old home, then replacement of the pipes is a great idea in order to avoid leaking problems in the following ten years. However, if your home is not old and your contractor doesn’t find any urgent pipe problems you can leave them be. Generally, you will be able to save about $1,100.

How can I save on wall finishing?

Bathrooms have a great magic wand that can cover up half of the walls in the bathroom and save your money on walls finishing - it’s a mirror. Install a big mirror above the sink to get a better view and save money!

Do I really need toilet replacement?

In most cases, toilet replacement isn’t necessary. Unless your unit is vividly leaking or is too old and dirty to be cleaned, stay with the old toilet. To spruce it up, get a new toilet seat and a cover, but keep the unit. It will save you about $200-$400.

How to save on bathroom appliances?

The easiest way not to overpay for the new toilet or bathtub is to look for leftovers. Check local stores, go online and search for the best offers online shops have to offer. Very often last year’s models are offered at a great price simply because they are for the past collections. If you don’t care much about the trends and think about your own comfort and budget, then shopping for the sales and stocks is a perfect opportunity to save on bathroom remodel.

Other frequently asked questions

Do I need a permit?

Permits are required for bathroom remodeling projects that are performed on a DIY basis. If you are hiring contractors to do the job, then just make sure they are licensed and leave permits problems to them.

Will my family need to move out of our home during construction?

If bathroom remodel is a part of a whole-house renovation then yes, it’s important that you move out. However, only bathroom remodeling projects in most cases let families stay in their houses and even leave the possibility to use the basic bathroom elements whenever needed.

Do I need to be at home during the remodel?

In most cases, you will need to be present only at the beginning of the remodel to help the contractor get around. Later on, the presence of the homeowner is not obligatory.

Is it necessary to have a bathroom exhaust fan?

The building codes don’t require exhaust fans in bathrooms with a window, however, it’s highly advised to install one. This will minimize the mold problems in the future and add general comfort to the new bathroom.

Bottom line

Bathroom remodeling is generally a costly home improvement project, however, there are ways to cut the costs. In order to calculate the tentative budget needed for the bathroom remodeling, it's recommended to make a thorough plan of all the changes you want to see in your new bathroom including the payment to remodelers and other pros who are going to perform the work let along the materials which are to be used. Should you have any additional questions, don't hesitate to comment below and get extensive answers from our experts.

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