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Even if your bathroom is small, outdated fixtures and cracked tile can quickly make it a place nobody wants to spend their time. Remodeling can not only increase your enjoyment of the space, but it may also increase the value of your home. We’ll break down the 5×7 bathroom remodel cost and give our top tips for making the most out of a small space without breaking the bank.
If you’ve walked through a home improvement store this year, you’ve likely noticed increased prices and back-ordered products. These factors continue to influence construction costs and timelines, including the cost to remodel a small bathroom. With that said, HomeAdvisor reports the national average cost to remodel a small bathroom is $6,500. However, making some smart choices can lower costs while splurging for high-end features and/or forgoing proper planning can lead to increased costs.
Read on to learn more about the factors that influence the cost of a 5×7 bathroom remodel.
Real-life 5×7 bathroom remodel: What did it cost?
While remodel costs will vary depending on the extent of the remodel, the quality of the materials, and local labor costs, it can be helpful to look at a real-life example. To get some real numbers, we spoke to Donald Olhasen Jr., a real estate investor based out of San Diego, CA.
While he has been involved in hundreds of bathroom remodels over the years, here are some numbers from a recent 5×7 remodel.
|5×7 Bathroom Project||Labor||Material (estimate)||Total cost|
|Install vanity sink||$500||$229 for a basic gray vanity or a floating vanity with a Scandinavian vibe||$729|
|Install bathroom faucet||$150||$89 for brushed nickel faucet||$239|
|Replace shower hardware and trim kit||$150||$89 for a basic option||$239|
|Install bathroom vanity light||$100||$44||$144|
|Install shower door||$750||$150 for a clear glass door||$900|
|Install shower tile||$2,500||$68 for tile that costs about $2 per square foot||$2,568|
|Install luxury vinyl plank||$1,500||$98 for flooring that was a little over $3 per square foot||$1,598|
Olhasen said this remodel utilized middle of the road materials — not the cheapest available but also not high-end. If you’d like to opt for high-quality items, you can expect to add on a few hundred to a few thousand dollars more for materials costs.
While this remodel comes in a bit higher than average, remember that San Diego has a high cost of living. As Olhasen said, labor costs in San Diego are higher than the national average.
When you break down the individual costs, you’ll also see that $2,248 went towards painting the walls and installing baseboards. So if your walls and trim are already in good shape or you can DIY these jobs, you can save some serious cash.
Breaking down potential 5×7 bathroom remodel costs
When you’re evaluating the costs of your remodel, you’ll want to consider material costs, labor costs, and the impact of your choices.
The materials you choose will have a big impact on the 5×7 bathroom remodel cost.
Floors: Due to the bathroom’s small footprint, you won’t need a ton of flooring. However, the type of floor you choose can still have a significant impact on the cost. While tile flooring can range from $2 to $12 per square foot, a mid-range stylish hexagon ceramic mosaic tile will cost $7 per square foot. HomeGuide reports tile flooring will cost $7 to $14 per square foot to install.
Another flooring option is water-resistant and low-maintenance luxury vinyl plank. This material mimics the look of wood while costing less and standing up to traffic.
Vanity/sink/countertop: In a small bathroom, it typically makes sense to opt for a single vanity. A basic white vanity with a single sink can cost around $200 while a higher-end floating vanity can go for about $500.
Sink faucet: A sleek brushed nickel faucet will run about $100.
Shower fixtures: According to a 2020 Homelight Agents Report, the majority of home buyers prefer a rainshower head or a dual shower head. You can expect to spend between $100 and $250 for a decent showerhead and faucet combo, such as this rain shower and handheld combo. No matter what fixture you choose, choose brushed nickel, gold, or black rather than outdated polished chrome or brass.
Bath accessories: For your towel bar, hand towel holder, and toilet paper holder, plan to budget at least $100. If you choose to install these accessories yourself, make sure you attach them to the studs or use high-quality drywall anchors if studs aren’t available.
Toilet: You can find an affordable toilet for $100 and a slightly nicer one for around $350. However, if your original toilet is in fine shape, you may be able to get away with just replacing the toilet seat for $25.
Lighting: When it comes time to choose your lighting, you have a wide range of options.
Paint: If you’re repainting your bathroom, you expect to spend $50 to $70 for a gallon of satin or semi-gloss paint. As far as color goes, choose natural tones such as October Mist from Benjamin Moore or a warm neutral like Dover White from Sherwin Williams.
Shower and tub: This is where dollar signs have the potential to add up — adding a new shower or bathtub. Many alcove tubs that will fit into a tiny bathroom will cost between $500 and $1,000. You can also opt to install a square shower base for around $400 and then install tile. Bathroom tile can cost between $2 and $50+ per square foot, but many options fall in the $5 to $10 range.
The labor costs will vary depending on the extent of the remodel, as well as your location. However, there’s no denying construction labor costs have increased in the past few years. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average earnings for residential building workers increased by 6% between February 2021 and February 2022.
Ralph Severson, owner of Flooring Masters Pro Remodelers, says that his company charges $120 an hour for bathroom remodel labor. This includes any job, whether that’s “replacing fixtures, the vanity, or the flooring, or tiling a new backsplash.” Severson says that if homeowners complete a demolition ahead of time, his crew could complete a remodel in one long day.
Of course, your location will impact your labor costs. Areas with a higher cost of living will typically have higher labor costs than areas with a lower cost of living. So if you live in Brooklyn or San Jose, you can plan to spend more on labor than those who live in Tulsa or Cincinnati.
Complete an impactful remodel without breaking the bank
As you’ve read above, the costs associated to remodel a small bathroom can vary quite a bit! If you’re looking to give your bathroom a fresh look on a small budget, there are some ways to decrease costs.
However, make sure to not DIY what’s above your skillset or skimp too much on materials. “If you do it cheaply, and it looks like it, then you might as well not have done it,” says Robyn Burdett, a real estate agent in Fairfax County, Virginia with 34 years of experience.
Complete your own demo
Severson says that completing your own demolition can help save you multiple hours in labor costs. So if you’re on a budget and willing to get your hands dirty, it can pay off to remove old fixtures, components, tile, and flooring yourself.
Keep the plumbing where it is
Since 5×7 bathrooms are pretty small, there often aren’t many options regarding where to locate the toilet, sink, and shower. With that said, it’s financially advantageous to keep the layout as is. If you choose to swap the location of the toilet and sink, you’ll have to pay for the costs associated with rerouting your plumbing.
According to Fixr, it can cost between $240 and $600 to move the location of a bathroom sink and between $200 and $400 to move a toilet.
Look for materials in the odd lots section
“The easiest way to minimize the costs of renovating a bathroom is to source and purchase the materials yourself,” Olhausen says. “Oftentimes contractors will add on additional costs to the materials they buy for you. By getting separate quotes for labor and material, you can purchase the materials yourself to ensure a contractor is not marking up the price on your materials.”
To save even more money, head to the odd lots section of a home improvement store or showroom. This section contains vanities and cabinets that were returned or arrived in the wrong size, as well as small amounts of tile or flooring that were leftover from a larger order (and are perfect for small bathrooms).
Only replace what’s necessary
If some parts of your bathroom are in decent shape, you don’t need to replace them! And if your tile floor is grungy or the toilet seat is broken, you may be able to improve the appearance by completing a deep clean or replacing a single part.
Burdett recalls a recent project where the tub was white and tile was in good shape around the wall. However, the floor was showing age. They simply retiled the floor and bought a new vanity. “The whole thing looked brand new,” she says.
Tips for remodeling a 5×7 bathroom
Don’t choose a small tile
While you may naturally gravitate toward small tiles for a small bathroom, think twice. “Smaller tile makes it feel more chopped up and makes it feel smaller,” says Burdett. Whereas larger tile can make the room feel longer than it really is. She always opts for a 12×24 tile to create the feeling of expansiveness in the small space. Plus, choosing larger tiles can help decrease installation time and therefore labor costs.
Consider ditching the bathtub/shower combo for a statement shower
If your budget allows, creating a standout, spacious shower can make buyers overlook the overall size of the bathroom. “It does sell houses,” says Burdett.
But what about the bathtub? In her experience, not having one in the primary bath typically won’t deter buyers as long as you have a bath tub somewhere in the house.
Skip the polished chrome and brass hardware
One of the simplest ways to give your bathroom a fresh and up to date look is by choosing modern sink and shower hardware. Skip the cheap-looking polished chrome and outdated polished brass. Instead, opt for brushed brass or nickel.
Ditch the floating sink for a floating vanity
While floating sinks were once in style, they now scream dated. If you’re looking to stray away from the normal sink and vanity combo, consider going with a floating vanity. These vanities add a modern touch while also making the room feel a bit bigger.
Connect with contractors early
Despite supply chain issues, construction jobs are still zooming along. A recent survey by the Association of General Contractors reported that 47% of contractors expected residential construction jobs to increase from 2021 to 2022.
With that said, a shortage of skilled labor can lead to long wait times when it comes to projects like remodeling your bathroom. If you hope to complete your remodel within a certain timeframe, it’s a good idea to speak to multiple contractors ahead of time to make sure there is labor available to complete the work.
Improve your bathroom with a remodel
Whether you’re looking to enjoy your home for years to come or looking to list your home in the market in a year, remodeling your 5×7 bathroom can be a smart move. Remember that the materials you choose and local labor costs can have a big impact on the total costs, so start by speaking with remodelers in your area.
Header Image Source: (Point3D Commercial Imaging Ltd. / Unsplash)