Homeowners have many options when they remodel a bathroom and the total cost depends on style and budget. The average bathroom remodel costs $9,348, but you can spend less - between $3,500 and $7,000 - to fix up the essentials in a small- to medium-sized bathroom. On the other end of the spectrum, you could spend $13,000 to more than $20,000 turning your master bathroom into an oasis. Most homeowners spend between $5,666 and $13,031.
Bathroom remodels provide some of the highest resale returns as a home improvement project. However, it is not by any means cheap, and it can take a long time to complete. Therefore it is essential to gather and plan your bathroom remodeling ideas ahead of time for the room and then find the right remodeling contractor for the job. Asking questions, setting realistic expectations, cost estimates and budgeting from the start can mean the difference between finding a contractor you trust and enjoy working with versus a long and trying few weeks.
Find more information below on the costs of common accessories included in a bathroom remodel, along with design ideas and considerations concerning hiring a remodeling bathroom contractor. You want to get the best bathroom possible for your dime, so make sure you are armed with plenty of knowledge before you start calling.
Determining your budget could be tricky when planning your renovation. A large factor in determining cost will be the size of your bathroom, ranging from small to medium or master bathroom size. The fixtures you will need to fit in your bathroom will range in price depending on their size. The list of fixtures involved in remodeling a bathroom can include elements like faucets and fixtures, floor plan changes, new showers or baths, new flooring, countertops, cabinets and lighting. This long list of comes with a lot of different prices and options to compare before choosing what to buy for your bath remodel.
Here is a chart with some of the many options involved in a bathroom remodel, including the least expensive (small) to most expensive (master) costs for each:
Remember: you don't have to include all of these items in your bathroom remodel, unless you're building a whole new bathroom from scratch. You always have the option to add some pieces–sink, toilet and lighting fixtures–after you've done the bigger projects to spread out costs. Also consider that some of these projects–bathtub installation, shower installation or cabinet installation–have smaller, cheaper alternatives. For example, you can refinish cabinets to make them look brand new and flow with the new bathroom for less money. There is also the option of replacing faucets and other plumbing fixtures, which costs less than replacing bathtubs and showers.
Small bathrooms are often less expensive to remodel than larger bathrooms because they have less square footage. This means fewer materials involved to make them look brand new, and their cost will be on the low range of the chart above since you need less of them or their smaller sizes to fit in the bathroom. The cost of labor will also be lower because the time spent to remodel a small bathroom won't be as long as a large bathroom, unless the professionals run into snags with the electricity or plumbing. However, there is still a lot of heavy lifting, planning and general time involved in the process. Here are some cost factors you might deal with in the midst of a small bathroom remodel:
Changing the layout: If you decide to increase the square footage of the small bathroom, it will increase the total cost of the remodel. This means changing the electrical wiring in the walls, adding more flooring, and possibly more plumbing. All of this will increase materials and labor cost.
Fixtures and appliances: If you replace any of your current fixtures and appliances in the bathroom--countertops, bathtub, toilet, sink, etc.--this will increase the cost because the professionals will need to remove the originals and install the new ones. You can save on this cost by refinishing some of the appliances or buying the materials yourself.
Plumbing and electrical: Any issues with your plumbing or electricity during the renovation will add onto the cost of the remodel. You might have them checked by separate professionals ahead of time just in case. However, there could be issues that occur during the renovation that can't be planned for.
Why do you want to remodel the bathroom? Is it to modernize the functionality of your current bathroom? To update the style and color? Who is this bathroom for: female, male, adult or kid? Ask yourself if the bathroom design style should be classic or contemporary, mid-century modern or Bohemian chic. How will it flow with the rest of the house based on the style you choose?
Does your bathroom fit your lifestyle? Maybe you live a fast-paced lifestyle where you never have time for more than a quick shower in the morning. Perhaps you like a long, leisurely, relaxing soak in a jacuzzi tub at night. Either way, how you plan to design the bathroom reflects both your aesthetic taste and lifestyle, and all of this impacts your costs and price range for accessories.
Approach your contractor with many examples of your remodel ideas, including pictures from home decor magazines, links to bathroom design ideas on the web and paint chips from the hardware store. The more information a contractor has ahead of time, the more your bath remodel will turn out exactly how you want it.
Here are some remodels that might help you define how to remodel your bathroom:
Once you have ideas for your renovation planned out, the next step is to find bath remodel accessories in your price range. If your idea for the bathroom doesn't fit exactly within a type of style like modern or contemporary, you may need to hire a professional craftsman to custom build accessories like the vanity, countertop or mirror frame. These specialized contractors will have different prices for their work depending on the material you want the accessories made from and how they calculate their prices: by the hour, job or otherwise.
However, if you want to stay close within your budget, there is the option to buy accessories like sinks, toilets, countertop materials, cabinets and different lighting options at home improvement stores. They have a variety of options when it comes to items like bath lighting, toilets, sinks, vanities and cabinetry because they come straight from different manufacturers. Of course, you might leave the selection to your general contractor if you're uncertain about buying what fits best within your budget and design. Contractors often also have wider access to bath remodel accessories because of their personal relationships with manufacturers. This also means they could buy them for better prices than at a home improvement store.
An experienced contractor should be able to give you a written schedule and list of the construction tasks they are going to perform and what their deadlines are for the completion of each task. This helps prevent disagreements along the way and gives you clear expectations about how long the project should take to complete.
A bathroom remodel is often a lengthy project, and thus a contractor may ask for money in advance of the work being started and after completion of specific milestones along the way. Make sure that the payment schedule and total amount is agreed upon and put in writing before the start of the project. Then at the end of the project, the contractor will be able to give you an itemized list of everything included in the remodel and how much it costs in total.
A bathroom remodel involves various areas of expertise: construction, plumbing, electrical and lighting. Talk to your bathroom remodel contractor at the start of the project about how they deal with mistakes, damage and repairs that may arise. Make sure the work will be backed up by an expressed warranty or guarantee. You want to get the value of a new bathroom for the amount of money you are paying the remodeling contractor. What you don't want is the additional cost of repairs and maintenance for mistakes made in the initial remodel.