How much does it cost to remodel a bathroom?
The bathroom is arguably the most frequently used room in the home. So, if it’s out-of-date, not functioning properly or beginning to show signs of where, it may be time to remodel.
There are a wide range of costs associated with remodeling a bathroom, including size, the type of materials, its current condition, and the location. Homeowners spend on average between $15,000 and $25,000 in their bathroom renovation. For example, the average cost of a 100 square foot master bathroom with tile walls and flooring, new fixtures, double vanity, and walk in shower with separate tub is around $20,000.
Most bathroom remodels will include some degree of layout or planning. Small bathrooms can be planned by a contractor, but larger rooms should involve the work of a bathroom designer to help make the most of the space. This service typically costs between $1,400 and $4,000, and in some cases, the costs can be recouped during the renovation, as designers can help you save money in other areas. This phase of the project generally includes not only planning, but also drawings, and the selection of the materials that you want to go into the room. The time frame for this phase can last several weeks depending on layout and what you ultimately want the room to look like.
Following the planning, your bathroom project will involve ordering the new materials, and waiting out the lead times for them to arrive. It is not uncommon to wait up to 12 weeks for some specialty items to arrive.
Once your new materials have arrived, the tearout begins. This involves removing everything from your bathroom right down to the studs. At this point in time, if there are issues with water leaks or mold, they can be addressed. It is at this stage that hidden issues are usually uncovered. Keep in mind that issues can dramatically impact your costs, depending on what is found. For example, mold remediation starts at $500 and water damage can cost as much as $2,700.
After the tearout, the plumbing and electrical are updated throughout the room to accommodate your new layout and fixtures. Then new backer board and subflooring 1 are put in, followed by tiling, and finally the installation of fixtures, lights, and accessories. From tearout to completion is usually a two to three week timeframe. Costs for this phase of the project range from $45-$65 for a plumber to $65-$85 an hour for an electrician and $5-$10 a square foot for flooring and tile preparation.
Master bathroom vs powder room
Often times, people confuse the difference between a master bathroom and a powder room. A master bathroom is a large bathroom that is attached to the master bedroom in a house. It is often big in size and contains a sink, toilet, shower, and bathtub. The bathtub and shower are either together or separate. A powder room is different in that it is a small bathroom only containing a toilet and a sink. Sometimes the name powder room is interchanged with guest bathroom or half baths. Powder rooms do not contain a shower, and is usually located on the first floor of a home. The purpose of a powder room is a bathroom for guests to use without feeling as if they are intruding into your home.
In most cases, a bathroom remodel will include a total tear out. However, this isn’t always necessary. Partial and cosmetic remodels may include the removal and replacement of only some areas of the bathroom. Even in full remodels, you may choose to include some options while passing on others.
|Full master bath remodel||Separate tub and shower
|$20,000 – $40,000|
|Partial master bath remodel||Shower
New vanity top and sink
|$10,000 – $30,000|
|Full bathroom remodel||Tub/shower combo
|$5,000 – $15,000|
|Partial bathroom remodel||New tile
|$3,000 – $10,000|
|Full half bath remodel||New flooring
|$3,000 – $10,000|
|Partial half bath remodel||New sink
|$500 – $3,000|
Bathroom designs ideas
There are nearly as many bathroom designs as there are houses in this world. The design that you ultimately choose should work with your home’s architectural style and age, as well as with your personal preferences and lifestyle. Some popular design ideas include:
Typically white mosaic flooring, white fixtures, and subway tile 2 walls may include some black, cobalt blue, or gray tile accents.
Lots of terracotta and handpainted tiles, tile countertops, and warm colored fixtures.
Mosaic patterned floors and decorative tile walls, usually with console or pedestal sinks and decorative toilet tanks.
Beachy colors like blue, green, and tan, lots of natural stone and beach glass, as well as ceramic tile.
Penny tile 3 or mosaic tile floor, subway tile 2 walls with accent colors in 4-¼-inch squares.
Heavy emphasis on peaceful design, river rocks, soaking tubs, and waterfall faucets are common.
Emphasis placed on comfort, river rock floors, performance or steam showers, and soaking tubs.
Each of these designs may influence your total costs depending on what materials you use. Ceramic tiles are less expensive than natural stone, for example. Some designs may naturally gravitate toward pricier options, however, there is no one set cost for each design.
Parts of the remodel
There are many different pieces that can make up a bathroom remodel. And each of the different pieces comes in a range of options and styles as well, which can impact their cost:
|Remodel option||Cost range|
|Sinks||$50 – $5,000|
|Toilet||$100 – $1,000|
|Countertop||$200 – $2,000|
|Vanity||$200 – $20,000|
|Bathtub||$500 – $5,000|
|Shower||$2,000 – $6,000|
Sinks are integral to the bathroom, and you have several choices available to you. If you are choosing to use a standalone sink, rather than a cabinet, your choices will include:
- Pedestal Sinks: $50-$250
- Wall hung sinks: $80-$500
- Consoles: $600-$1,000
- Sink legs and a countertop with a drop in, undermount, or vessel: $2,000-$5,000
If you do use a vanity, you will still have several choices for the sink including drop-in, undermount, and vessel sinks of several materials, shapes, and sizes. Most sinks range in cost from $50 to $500.
Vanity cabinets can range from a simple, 18-inch sink base to a full room of custom cabinetry with linen towers, multiple drawer banks, and two sinks. Vanity costs range from $200 to $20,000 depending on how many you are purchasing, the type of wood, and whether you choose stock cabinets or have something built custom to the room.
Toilets are also integral to the bathroom. They come in three standard rough-in sizes, with 12-inches being standard and costing the least, and 10 or 14-inch roughs coming in fewer options. Toilets come in one or two piece options with round or elongated bowls. Toilets also come in two heights, a standard 15-inch and a taller, ADA approved 17-inch. Costs for toilets start at $100 and can go as high as $1,000 for some higher end designs.
Showers have several more options available to people than they may realize. The most common type of shower is the combination tub/shower, featuring an alcove tub installation with a single showerhead and a pressure balance valve and tub filler. A pressure balance valve tub and shower set costs around $150.
Thermostatic shower valve systems give better control and allow for more than one water source. For the basic valve, expect to pay around $550, but with body sprays and handshower, the cost can reach $1,000 or higher.
Showers without tubs or with standalone tubs nearby cost the same for the valve setup but may have additional costs in shower doors, $2,000 for frameless, as well as shower benches for $200-$500. The average cost of a shower installation is around $6,000.
The most common tub used in a bathroom is the alcove tub installed with a shower. Alcove tubs come in several widths and colors and cost around $125.
Standalone soaking tubs give you more options for size and depth and can cost between $500 and $3,000.
Adding jets, airbath technology, or chromotherapy to the tub can increase costs to as much as $5,000.
Bathroom countertops have even more options available than kitchens, with many colors and materials, as well as styles.
|Lots of options for color and style
Holds value well
May etch from dropped toothpaste
Many color options
|Can be difficult to find for small vanity tops|
Many edge options
|Scratches and stains easily|
|Dulls and scratches easily|
Easy to find and install
|Edge may peel with moisture
Drop in sink use only
Lots of options and styles
|Drop in or tile in sinks only
Grout may stain or discolor
Tile is another integral part of the bathroom, with most baths including tile on both walls and floors. For tile, you have several options:
Can be used on walls
Some options for floors
|Mosaics||Any tile measuring 2-inches or smaller
Ideal for shower floors and non-skid areas
|Porcelain||Clay tile with color-through body
Suitable for walls or floors
|Natural stone||Marble, limestone 4, slate 5, granite, or travertine tile
Suitable for walls or floors
Needs to be sealed in wet areas
|Large format||Any tile measuring over 12-inches in size
Ideal for small spaces
|Glass tile||Glossy or matte tiles
Suitable for wall use
Some rated for floors
The angles where any two planes meet in a wet area, such as the shower, tub, and countertop need to be filled with a flexible material to absorb movement and seal up this section to keep it watertight. This is usually done with some form of caulk, either latex or silicone. A tube of caulk costs around $20 and this is usually installed with the tile, shower, or counter with the cost included in the tiling.
Update wiring and outlets
Most bathrooms need to be rewired or have their wiring updated as part of the remodel. This includes adding a GFCI outlet to help prevent electric shortages where water is involved. The average cost of rewiring is around $65-$85 an hour for an electrician, with at least two hours of work required for a total cost of $130-$170.
Bathroom storage is also important, particularly if you don’t have a linen closet or other storage area already built in. Bathroom storage options may include:
|Hotel shelves||Holding and storing towels and linens||$20-$100|
|Over-the-John cabinetry||Holding toiletries and bathroom tissue||$50-$200|
|Linen towers||Holding additional towels and linens out of sight||$200-$1,000|
Bathrooms traditionally have few to no natural lighting sources, so any lights that you include are important to the function of the room. Lighting helps not only with the use of the bathroom, but specific task lighting in the vanity and shower areas help enhance your experience there. Lighting for the bathroom can take several forms. The most common include:
|Shower light||Illuminating shower area||$20-$40|
|Sconces||Illuminating vanity area||$40-$100|
|Light/fan combinations||Providing ambient light
Helping to dehumidify the room
Most bathrooms include at least two different light sources for best results.
A bathroom fan is necessary to help remove excess moisture from the room to help prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Fans cost between $40 and $100 and usually include a light option.
Labor makes up a significant part of the bathroom renovation. It’s common to hire a contractor who will subcontract out most of the work while overseeing. Therefore, in a bathroom renovation, you may have:
- Plumbers: $45 – $150 per hour.
- Carpenters: $70 per hour.
- Electricians: $65-$85 per hour.
- Tile installers: $5-$10 per square foot.
- Bathroom designers: $58-$160 per hour.
In some cases, a small bathroom may be remodeled by a handyman. Typically, half bathrooms or baths under 100 square feet may be best handled by a handyman at a rate of $60-$90 an hour, as these types of projects are often too small for larger contractors to handle.
Custom built vs store bought accessories
It’s becoming increasingly popular to purchase custom items for the home, including the bathroom. While not everything can be made to order, custom cabinetry can help you make the most of the space. This type of work can typically cost significantly more than ready-made and can take approximately 12 weeks to complete. Carpenters typically charge at least $70 an hour for built-ins 7, while can raise the cost of things like cabinetry to $2,000 per cabinet, with many bathrooms using a minimum of 3 or more.
Enhancement and improvement costs
- Many bathrooms today include Bluetooth devices including speakers, with a cost of around $99-$300.
- Televisions are also frequently included in bathroom designs, with an average cost of $200-$500.
- Radiant heat and towel warmers are also common additions at a cost of $500-$1,000 for the heated floor and $1,000-$5,000 for towel warmers.
- Separate tubs and showers are also common now, with walk-in shower costs starting at $6,000.
- If desired, a fireplace can be added to the bathroom. Electric fireplaces are common at around $300 for a plug-in unit.
- Hot tubs are also common in luxury bathrooms with an average cost of $3,500.
- If adding a soaking tub or performance shower, a new, larger water heater may be necessary at a cost of around $600-$800.
- Separate water closets are also popular, which hide the toilet from the rest of the room. Expect to pay at least $1,125 additional.
Additional considerations and costs
- If you have pets, you may want to include some features that make the room pet-friendly, such as a handshower ($20-$50) to make washing easier, and porcelain tile for the most maintenance free cleaning.
- Follow bathroom size guidelines at the NKBA to make sure that you leave enough room at each fixture to pass bathroom codes.
- Locate all water shutoff valves and ensure they are turned off before tearout to ensure no flooding occurs.
- Make arrangements to use another bathroom during the renovation if necessary.
- Use plastic sheeting to contain the dust during tearout, particularly if you do this job yourself.
- Interview at least three pros before hiring, and get references and recent portfolio pictures to ensure they are reputable and right for the job.
- Make sure everything arrives before you begin the tearout. Open each box as it arrives to ensure nothing is broken and that everything has arrived correctly.
- Be prepared to find hidden damage due to water leaks or mold during tearout. A contingency fund of around 20% can help make room in your budget for these issues.
- Look for water efficient appliances like low-flow faucets to help save money and water each year. Most companies now include low-flow water options that are the same cost as competitors products without low-flow restrictions.
- Consider adding universal design to your bathroom layout to accommodate ADA guidelines for aging in place or future resale.
- Bathroom remodels take time; do not rush the process as you may overlook important elements.
- Always get a written schedule and list of deadlines with your contract to know what to expect.
- Make sure that your payment schedule and total amount is agreed upon and put in writing into your contract before the project begins.
- How much does it cost to remodel a bathroom?
The average cost of a bathroom remodel is around $18,000, but costs can vary depending on size.
- How much does it cost to remodel a small bathroom?
A small bathroom of 40 square feet costs around $5,000 to remodel.
- How do you remodel a bathroom?
Bathroom remodels start with a new layout and design, followed by material selection, tearout of the existing room, and installation of the new materials.
- How much does it cost to remodel a kitchen?
The average cost of a kitchen remodel is around $20,000.
- How much does it cost to install a new bathroom?
The average cost of a new bathroom is around $18,000.
- How much does it cost to do a home renovation?
Home renovations typically cost around $100-$150 per square foot.
- How much does it cost to remodel a bathroom per square foot?
The average cost of a bathroom remodel per square foot is $125.