No one wants to get ready for the day in a dingy, dated bathroom or shower in a tiny stall with mildew. So when it comes to popular rooms to remodel, bathrooms are often at the top of the list, behind only the kitchen.
According to online sources, the average cost of a bathroom remodel can range from $6,600 – $16,400 depending on square footage, labor, plumbing, and electrical needs, and the types of fixtures and amenities.
HomeAdvisor’s latest True Cost Report for 2021 estimates the average cost of a bathroom remodel to be $13,400, but the total expense can go much higher for large, upscale bathrooms. Issues like corroded pipes or the decision to relocate major fixtures will also push costs higher.
Sherry Wiggs, a top real estate agent in Westchester County, New York, says the average cost of a bathroom renovation in her area is anywhere from $15,000-$20,000, but it could easily surpass that when dealing with larger spaces, more expensive homes, or higher-quality materials.
In this guide, we’ll break down bathroom remodeling costs and design trends so you can calculate how to get the greatest impact for your spend on a budget you can afford.
After COVID, everything went up substantially. Also, it’s hard to find contractors, so homeowners are paying a premium right now.
- Sherry Wiggs Real Estate AgentCloseSherry Wiggs Real Estate Agent at Houlihan Lawrence
- Years of Experience 18
- Transactions 489
- Average Price Point $568k
- Single Family Homes 312
How has COVID-19 affected bathroom costs in 2022?
According to data from home remodeling site Angi, the cost of total bathroom remodels went up 13% in 2020, and homeowners can expect to see a continued spike in remodeling costs, a side effect of pandemic-induced supply chain delays and material shortages.
Wiggs also estimates that she’s seen a greater 30% pricing increase in remodels since the pandemic. “After COVID, everything went up substantially,” she says. “Also, it’s hard to find contractors, so homeowners are paying a premium right now.”
Bathroom costs as a percentage of home value
The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) says that as a general rule, you should expect to spend between 5% to 10% of your home’s value on a bathroom remodel. That means for a $250,000 home, the project may cost an average of $12,500 to $25,000, and for a $500,000 home, you could pay anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000 or higher.
Average cost by bathroom type
As you would expect, the project cost will vary widely depending on the type of bathroom you’re remodeling.
Primary bathroom ($10,000-$25,000)
Sometimes referred to as an “en suite,” this type of bathroom is connected to the main bedroom, and is usually the largest in the house.
It is typically a full bathroom (sink, toilet, shower and bathtub) or a three-quarter bathroom (sink, toilet, and standing shower, but no bathtub).
Some primary bathrooms have a door separating it from the primary bedroom, but others have an open entrance off the bedroom with a separate water closet (a small room housing the toilet) with its own door.
According to data from Angi, remodeling a primary bathroom costs between $10,000 and $25,000, with the average cost around $18,000. However, a large primary bathroom with luxury elements could go as high as $50,000 or more.
Wiggs has seen primary bathroom remodels exceed $50,000, and even go as high as $70,000 if the designs were very elaborate.
Guest bathroom ($3,500-$10,000)
This is usually a full bathroom with a bathtub, shower, toilet, and sink. Typically adjoining a guest bedroom, it can also be located in a hallway for more general access.
The home improvement site Fixr estimates that the cost of a guest bathroom remodel ranges from $3,500 to $10,000.
Half bath/powder room ($1,500-$4,000)
A half-bath, also commonly called a powder room, has only a toilet and sink. It is usually located near the foyer or entryway of the home. Given its small size, it is the least expensive to remodel — between $1,500 and $4,000, according to Fixr. However, costs will be location-dependent. In her New York market, Wiggs sees half-bath remodels cost around $13,000.
Average cost per square foot
Bathroom sizes may be proportionate to the home. A primary bathroom in a large estate, for example, will likely be grander and larger than one in a smaller, more modest house. For that reason, it can sometimes be helpful to calculate average remodeling costs by square footage.
Angi shares these average cost ranges based on the size of the bathroom:
- 3’ x 5’ (15 square feet): $1,500 to $2,250
- 4’ x 6’ (24 square feet): $2,400 to $3,600
- 4’ x 8’ (32 square feet): $3,200 to $4,800
- 5’ x 8’ (40 square feet): $4,000 to $6,000
- 7’ x 9’ (63 square feet): $6,300 to $9,450
- 8’ x 10’ (80 square feet): $8,000 to $12,000
- 9’ x 10’ (90 square feet): $9,000 to $13,500
Average cost by location
Just as average home prices vary widely in different areas of the country, certain cities can be more or less expensive in terms of remodeling costs. According to HomeAdvisor, here’s a breakdown of average ranges for some major U.S. cities:
|City||Cost range||Average cost|
|Cincinnati||$4,105 – $10,933||$7,282|
|Miami||$5,452 – $13,626||$9,378|
Items to budget for in your bath remodel
Now that you have an idea of the cost ranges for each type of bathroom remodel, you might be wondering what those dollars will go toward. Below, we break it down across each of the main components to give you an idea of what to budget for each.
|Item||Material costs||Installation costs||Product example|
|Bathroom vanity||$1,500||$2,000-$9,000 (HomeAdvisor)||Ridgemore 71 x 22 inch vanity in white ($1,050)|
|Bathroom vanity countertop||$75 – $300 per linear foot||$300-$3,800
|Granite top and white sink included in above|
|Shower door||$500-$1,000||$2,000-$9,000 (HomeGuide)||Kohler Levity frameless sliding shower door ($480)|
|Kohler Bellwether 66-inch Rectangular ($1,249)|
|Tilework||$3-$24 per square foot||$900-$2,800
|Jeffrey Court Subway Gloss Ceramic shower wall tile ($3.99 per square foot)|
|Lighting||$100-$200 for a wide bathroom vanity light||$120-$900 (HomeAdvisor)||LNC Farmhouse 3-Light Wall Sconce ($109)|
|Plumbing fixtures||$200-$400 for sink faucet, $500-$800 for shower / bath system||$600-$1,600 per fixture||Chrome shower system with 8-inch rain shower head and hand shower ($532)|
Other costs to account for include paint, mirrors, and additional cabinetry or a bathroom linen closet. As you decide where to spend your remodeling dollars, consider that the top bathroom feature homebuyers seek is a double-sink vanity.
How are bathroom remodeling costs allocated?
The National Kitchen and Bath Association provides this general cost breakdown:
|Walls & Ceiling||5%|
|Doors & Windows||4%|
Sample bathroom remodel quote
Jesus Soto, owner of Soto Bay Construction in Hayward, California, provided us with an example of a real quote he prepared for a primary bathroom remodel.
|Demo Existing Bathroom||$3,000|
|Waterproof and wet walls||$1,500|
|Install tile for custom shower with a bench and shower walls||$4,500|
|Tile bathroom floor||$1,200|
|Grout and sealer for tile||$1,500|
|Drywall and taping level 5 in walls||$3,500|
|Install new toilet, vanity, faucet, and mirror||$2,500|
|Install new bathroom fan||$700|
|Estimated cost for mid- to high-level finishes||$4,850|
|Mid- to high-quality finishes|
|Total Project Cost||$30,950|
Main factors that influence cost
Soto identifies the following components as the biggest drivers of the ultimate project cost:
Labor and subcontractors
This includes the labor for demo, plumbing, electrical work, drywall, and tile. For a primary bathroom remodel, Soto estimates that labor can account for up to 50% of the total price.
“Our bid process starts with our initial start value, which is dictated by the style of the bathroom, such as bathtub, shower, or jacuzzi,” says Soto. “Then, we add to the starting price based on finishes, such as what type of door, single or double vanity, tile in walls, stone in walls, additional lighting, etcetera.”
Soto says this can have a huge impact on cost. “It’s extremely hard to foresee any water damage in framing before doing any demolition,” he explains. “In fact, the majority of contractors have a clause in their contract to protect them in case of any water damage behind the walls.” Soto has personally seen water damage that increased the total cost by roughly 33%.
What are the most expensive parts of a bathroom remodel?
In general, two of the most expensive parts of a bathroom remodel are moving a waste line and replacing a vanity, says says Douglas Huebner, CEO of the home design and renovation company The Habitatilist and a top New Jersey real estate agent serving the Maplewood, Montclair, and South Orange areas.
If you change the bathroom’s layout, that involves moving the toilet, sink, or tub and needs the help of a professional plumber. This can cost anywhere from $70 to $120 per hour before trip fees and materials.
For a 40-square-foot bathroom, hooking up new fixtures to current plumbing plus cleanup takes an estimated 46 hours and costs roughly $2,070 and $2,990; moving any fixtures more than three feet costs an additional $500 to $1,000.
As for a vanity, prices vary whether it’s premade or custom built, but a vanity can easily cost about $1,300 to $1,800, Huebner said.
Here’s how other materials and features affect pricing:
- Wall and floor tiles: Natural stone, porcelain, and ceramic are popular in bathrooms. Natural stone costs between $3 and $50 per square foot, while porcelain costs between $3 and $20 per square foot.
- Countertops: Prefabricated countertops cost less than natural stone. Quartz costs about $50 to $200 per square foot compared to cultured marble at $30 to $100 per square foot.
- Faucets: Chrome is a less expensive finish than brushed nickel; matte black, antique bronze and brushed brass cost more. Also consider the type of sink (pedestal, wall-mounted, console) and whether the faucet is wall-mounted or touchless. The Farrington 8-inch two-handle high-arc faucet in matte black by Glacier Bay sells for just over $119, for instance, while Zurn’s Aqua-FIT Serio Series Hydropower Touchless Single Hole Bathroom Faucet in Chrome costs $348.
- Bathtub: An alcove tub installed with a shower is the most common type of tub and comes in a variety of widths and colors, Fixr.com says. Bootz Industries sells a 30x60x74.5-inch alcove bath and shower kit with left-hand drain in white for $775. Integrated grab bars can be an additional cost. A standalone soaking tub costs from $500 to $3,000, as does adding jets or other features.
- Shower: If you have an alcove bath and shower combo, add about $150 for a basic pressure balance valve tub and shower set. Shower valve systems that add varying body sprays or allow for better water control can cost about $550 and up. Tired of that rod and shower curtain? DreamLine has a 56x60x76-inch frameless sliding shower door in brushed stainless steel for about $1,070.
- Toilet: Prices vary from about $295 to $3,000 depending on the size of the “rough-in” (the distance from the finished wall to the floor drain), height, having a round or elongated bowl, water efficiency, and added features, such as a bidet toilet seat.
Can you save money by going DIY?
A do-it-yourself remodel will have a significantly lower cost than hiring a professional contractor — perhaps even half the cost or less, Soto estimates. He recommends using SPC flooring, which is 100% waterproof and much easier to install than tile, and prefabricated shower walls. However, he points out that you’ll have to use the exact same layout of the bathroom in order to avoid any electrical and plumbing work.
“The main risk is that you are not updating plumbing and electrical,” Soto points out. “Pipes and wires can be in really poor condition and might not have much life left, while the rest of the bathroom will be completely remodeled with 20-30 years of lifetime. A water or electrical problem can be big enough that you have to do a complete remodel.”
Header Image Source: (fran hogan / Unsplash)