- Jeff Russell
Remodel Cost Breakdown Part 1: Your Bathroom Renovation
Updated: Jun 30, 2022
This post is part of a 1 part “cost of project” series. For a breakdown of kitchen costs, click here.
How much will my home renovation project cost?
Of all the questions prospective clients have, this is the most common. To help you make the most informed decision on your update or remodel, we’ve put together the following guide on estimated costs of a bathroom renovation.
In order to understand the whole picture in terms of pricing, we want to be transparent in letting you know that it is impossible to give you an exact cost estimate without knowing all the details of what you are envisioning.
We often compare the, “How much does a bathroom remodel cost?” question to the question, “How much does a red car cost?” The answer to that question is dependent on what type of car you are looking for (a Ford focus vs a Tesla, for example).
However, our hope is that by the end of this post, you will walk away understanding some of the factors that affect the costs of your remodel project, along with other considerations.
Below you will find a breakdown of some items to consider in each type of bathroom project (a small bathroom vs a medium bathroom vs a large bathroom), and an estimated range of costs. Please keep in mind that the range will be quite wide as there are many factors that affect costs in a bathroom remodel.
Before we dive in, the first question to answer is what is the size of your bathroom. The size of your project, i.e. square feet in the bathroom, will determine the starting point and base costs for items such as permits, drywall, and flooring.
Another important factor to think through is the scope of the project.
Do you envision a full upgrade, consisting of an entire gut and remodel, which might include moving or changing the arrangement of fixtures (sink, vanity, toilet, lighting, etc.)? The other option is an update, which involves replacing a couple of items in your bathroom, and/or updating finishes, but not a complete remodel. This decision will have a large impact on the cost, and both are included in the range of estimates below.
Part of the process in our first meeting together is to listen to your goals for the project, and to understand your vision for what you expect your remodel to look like. You can find more about that process here.
Small bathroom (AKA a powder room) remodel considerations:
The main considerations for a smaller bathroom remodel are the toilet and the sink. When looking at a new toilet, you will need to decide if you are going to purchase an economy toilet or an upgraded toilet. This will determine the cost of the actual product, as well as the installation costs.
A standard toilet is generally easier to install, will fit more applications, has a traditional two piece design, and costs less. However, some advantages to a nicer toilet, such as a skirted toilet, are that they have a sleeker design, usually one piece instead of two, are easier to clean, and oftentimes more water efficient. Skirted toilets have specific requirements for the installation that may require moving or adjusting waterlines.
The other major consideration for a powder room remodel is the vanity. Many micro decisions go into choosing a vanity, which are outlined below.
The type of vanity/sink/faucet: Pedestal sinks, for example, are beautiful to look at but can be more difficult to install and often need an upgrade to the water and drain connections (because they are visible). If you are looking for a more unique look, keep in mind that that may increase cost. The sink and faucet are an important blend of form and function. You don’t have to spend a lot to get well designed plumbing fixtures that function well. It’s always a good idea to have the plumber provide the fixtures because they will ensure all the correct parts are ordered and warranty them (which is not the case if you buy them yourself from a big box store).
The cabinet: If you choose a stock color and material, it will be less expensive and quicker to install. If your desire is for a custom color and/or custom design, it will raise the amount you will need to invest in the project.
The countertops: Stock granite will be the most cost effective solid surface countertop, while quartz countertops will generally be more. Although, quartz countertops will hold up well to the wear of soap and products used in a bathroom, which is something to think about.
Price estimate for a powder room update: $22,000+ ~ $11,000
A more expensive powder room remodel (left) compared with a remodel that was a lower price-point (right).
Medium bathroom (AKA a hall bathroom) remodel considerations:
In addition to thinking through the type of toilet and vanity you would like in your hall bathroom, oftentimes a bathtub, shower surround, and flooring are key considerations.
There are many options when looking for a bathtub. Acrylic tubs, for example, are less expensive but tend to show wear and tear (such as scratching) easier. Steel tubs are a standard option that are a reliable and economic choice that are often installed in new homes. Cast iron tubs are the most durable, have a strong finish, but are much heavier (more difficult to install) and tend to be more expensive. Other options include soaking tubs, jetted tubs, air tubs, and even tubs with sound and lighting.
Both the design and function of the shower are important to consider when planning your bathroom. You can stay as simple as an acrylic shower surround with a basic shower fixture and shower curtain, or you can integrate a wide variety of design options using tile or large format shower wall systems as well as a multitude of options including niches, shelves, grab bars, shower heads, shower fixtures, and glass shower doors that you can use to create your unique space.
The two most common flooring options we see clients consider for a hall bathroom include luxury vinyl plank/tile (LVP or LVT), or ceramic tile. The more cost effective option is LVT or LVP with the advantage of a wide range of color and pattern choices, and less expensive installation. Ceramic tile continues to be an excellent upgrade that can provide a greater amount of depth and texture to your bathroom.
There are many factors beyond price to think through when choosing each item for your bathroom. Durability, structure of the home, electrical requirements, overall look and feel, and number of people putting it to use are just a few of the items to consider.
Price estimate for a hall bathroom remodel: $30,000 ~ $19,000
A more expensive hall bathroom remodel (left) compared with a remodel that was a lower price-point (right).
Large bathroom (AKA master bathroom) remodel considerations:
Your master bathroom is one of the most important places in the home, so it’s important for it to feel comfortable. There are many pieces of the room to think about, and generally homeowners have a stronger preference about the look and feel of their master bathroom.
Although many of the factors you need to consider are the same as a hall bathroom or powder room, there are additional considerations to take into account.
Many homeowners prefer a larger or nicer tub for their master bathroom. What may work in a hall bathroom is often upgraded in the master. Some may choose air or jetted tubs, which come in many sizes and configurations. A freestanding tub can add beauty and a focal point to a bathroom, but will require more space and will add to the investment.
In addition to a tub, a bigger shower, possibly with multiple fixtures, may be part of your decision making process. There is tile to consider, the type of shower doors, including many variations of glass, and the overall size of the shower. Depending on what you envision with the shower, this may add cost to the overall project.
Flooring plays a central role in the functionality and design of your master bathroom. Your array of choices are very similar to that of the hall bathroom. An upgrade often exercised in a master bathroom is the ability to have heated floors which are available with both LVT and ceramic tile. With this option, you can create both a pleasing design as well as the experience of warm feet.
Similar to other types of bathrooms discussed above, deciding on your vanity is another large piece of the puzzle. Do you envision a single sink, or do you hope for a double vanity? Custom cabinets? Countertops?
All of these decisions will drive cost. Along with the vanity considerations come an array of choices for your sink(s) and faucet(s). In a master bathroom, your sink and faucet are an important aspect of your bathroom’s look and feel. Plumbing fixtures can make a big impact on the cost as well as the aesthetics of your master bathroom.
Price estimate for a master bathroom remodel: $90,000 ~ $45,000
A more expensive master bathroom remodel (left) compared with a remodel that was a lower price-point (right).
The most important piece to think through when deciding on a contractor is to choose someone who is as invested in your project as you are.
If this is the case, you won’t have to make unnecessary changes or updates in the future. Reliability and integrity are key. We like to work with your vision as you consider the options to get your dream bathroom within your budget.
We also encourage you to invest in foundational pieces of the remodel, such as the infrastructure of your bathroom. For example, the plumbing needs to be correct (and in all the right locations!) so that you won’t have to redo it in the future, leading to higher costs.
It’s important to us to stay within your budget, and provide you with the bathroom of your dreams. The first step in the process is to schedule an initial call with us, so that we can help you think through what’s important to you in your bathroom remodel. Click here to get started.