Numbers will always vary from project to project, and per contractor, but the main point of this post is to address the sticker shock that comes with receiving an estimate.
Typically speaking, a bathroom is a much smaller space in comparison to say a kitchen. The size and function both play a factor in why so many people can’t believe the cost, especially right now with material pricing skyrocketing.
One of the things we always say to our clients when designing out their bathroom spaces – it should be a place that gives you energy yet also relaxes and helps you unwind. It’s a space where you start and end each day, and this area can set the tone for your day and night. A space where you’re truly free, serene, and an area where usually inspiration strikes. Where you decompress and rest and empowers you a new day. We love to incorporate unique touches, design statements, combine textures and textiles, incorporate a spa-like feel. Colorful cabinetry, free standing tubs, statement showers and floor tile, and earthy decor throughout is a few of our favorite things.
Because of the complexity, it’s impossible to answer the question, “how much does a bathroom remodel cost” but we can give you a breakdown of where the money goes and average costs.
This is why at construction2style we don’t give construction estimates until the designs are finalized.
Note: This list does not cover all areas of bathroom remodels, but covers the areas where the money is mostly spent and is contingent on the size of your space.
Bathroom Remodel Costs
It’s easy to forget about permits and how much they can cost.
We’ve had cities where we go to pull a permit and they say we don’t need one, now the cost is $0. Then we go to other cities and the permit alone costs $800- $4K.
In addition, some cities require lead inspections if your home is of a certain age (1977), which can cost thousands of dollars.
Note: You can call your city to inquire about permitting costs and what yours will cost in your area.
Dumpsters, here in Minnesota, cost $400-$600 per dumpster (depending on the size). When a dumpster is full, it’s exchanged and each job can have as many as 1-4 dumpsters throughout the project.
It all demands on how much there is to demo and how much additional stuff the homeowner wants to throw away. FYI, they charge more for “not construction” materials.
A lot of times, with a demo, we find unexpected things that you probably didn’t get included in the bid. Such as black mold, asbestos, rotting, things not up to code, etc. These are things no contractor or designer can account for ahead of time.
And if you do happen to have things such as asbestos, you have to hire a professional company to come and remove it, which then will cost more (trust me, you don’t want to do this one yourself).
Contrary to a kitchen, more things that are stuck in place need to be removed. For instance, a shower often has tile walls and a sloped pan, and getting the tile off the walls and breaking up the shower floor can take a couple of days, not to mention if the rest of the bathroom floor is tile.
Then you have accessibility, of which we have never run into a master bathroom that is next to the front door. Usually, it’s tucked away in the bedroom upstairs at the end of the hall, and this makes hauling all the material to the dumpster quite a challenge.
Between the demolition of your bathroom, getting it down to the bones, and the time it will take getting the area cleared, we would recommend planning for around $2,000 for this portion of the project.
Electrical & Plumbing
Often homeowners get blown away by this portion of the bathroom remodel cost the most. Being skilled costs money, and in these areas, it shows, and electricians and plumbers are not cheap, nor should they be.
They have a specific set of skills that they have been educated and licensed to do. The exact cost is dependent on how much you need to be done. If you are adding a ton of can lights and removing old ones, along with taking your shower across the room to add room for an additional toilet, well, that will all cost money.
They also have to pull their own permits and have inspections (on top of the general contractor’s permits) which take additional money and time. At the end of the day, they carry a great deal of liability for your bathroom remodel.
On the lower end of things, I would plan to pay your plumber/electrician combination around $3,000- $7,500.
Note: typically, they don’t give your contractor an estimate unless you pay them the time to come out. Otherwise, they just bill them.
Framing costs anywhere from $7 to $16/square foot, and generally, is not a huge cost to remodel your bathroom. If you are taking down walls and rearranging the layout, you’ll have framing costs.
Tile is typically one of the hardest things about a bathroom remodel. Anyone can lay and grout tile, but very few people can achieve a high-quality tile job.
There is prep work needed to ensure that your bathroom lasts without leaking or getting moldy. While every bath remodel can vary in complexity, things like a custom shower will require a ton of skill and time, ranging from 3-5 days of work!
The tile itself ranges from about $5-$30 per square foot, and installers, on average, labor costs will range around $30-$50 per hour. Typically, we spend around $5,000- $10,000 on tile/labor per job for shower and floor tile, and of course, this cost can vary, depending on the size and the finishings you choose.
Note: Tile is one area where we always advise our clients not to DIY because they’re often displeased with the results.
Cabinetry plays a big part in any bathroom remodel cost, and we always recommend custom cabinetry as it greatly increases the overall design and functionality of your space.
A big factor to this can be if you are single, married, and how much of your own space you need. From there you will dive into how many storage drawers and electrical outlets within the cabinets for your blow dryer and curling irons, shaving devices, etc.
Do you want cabinets with pull-out drawers, all drawers, makeup stations, additional cabinetry for storage beyond your vanity? All of these details play a big part in the overall design and pricing of your space, and each drawer or pull-out costs more.
Cabinetry is between $2-5k, depending on whether you go prefab or custom. Then on top of the cabinetry, remember you have the countertop, sink, faucet, and hardware, and don’t forget about the labor cost.
Your plumbing fixtures are bathtubs, sinks, showers, tubs, toilets, and faucets. And don’t forget about the pipes, drains, and valves that are part of a home’s plumbing system that supplies water to each of the plumbing fixtures and also drains it away. A lot of the plumbing fixtures that don’t get accounted for are the systems that you don’t see that are behind the walls. All of these costs add up to remodeling your bathroom.
- Free-standing jetted tub: $2,500-5K.
- Free-standing tub faucets: $2K.
- Shower fixtures: $2-3K.
So within our bathroom projects, the plumbing fixtures alone can come in at $6.5-10K, and this is just for the materials.
This is where you can really save money, in my opinion (if you need to). But if this is your forever home, saving money typically leads to regret within a couple of years.
All of the additional finishings we’re referring to are things such as the countertop, toilet, soaking tub, towel bars, toilet paper holders, and hardware.
Common Additional Charges
Painting: $500-$2K. This depends on whether you hire someone and what kind of paint you use. Typically, a can of paint costs about $40-80, and painters charge about $1.50 per square foot.
Trim: Some choose to use their old trim, which will be detached and reset, and some want brand new, and both will cost money. We recommend new trim and having it painted by a professional, most trim costs about $2 per square foot, and labor varies, generally, our trim/labor costs around $1,200.
Drywall: Within a bathroom, there isn’t a ton of surface or wall area. Often you can get away with minimal patching and repair work. But during any construction budget, drywall should be accounted for and costs can range from $750-$2,000.
Ceilings: Are you scraping popcorn off and want knockdown or flat? Account for anywhere from $1,500-$3,500.
Note: These are just a few of the common additional charges
Listed are some of the things we see common requests for in bathrooms once things are underway that we would consider to be extra or out of the ordinary for most bathrooms.
- In-Floor Heat: $1500-$3000
- Steam Showers: $3000-$6000
- Custom Glass Shower Doors: $1,200-$8,000
- Screen or Backlit Mirrors: $400-$800
- Outlet Drawer Inserts: $500
- Jacuzzi Tub: $1500-$3000
- Walk-in Closets: $400-$3000
- Organization: $150-$300
- Mirrors: $100-$500
If you’re hiring a contractor, you need to remember that they have additional expenses and time that they have to take into account, such as permits, taxes, subs, and front-end labor, then you have all the time emailing back and forth, the process of design, going to apply and pick up permits, which all adds up. Then they have in-house items such as insurances and payroll that are allocated throughout the year in all the projects.
The biggest misconception is that people are getting rich off of one project or off of YOUR project, and that’s simply not the case. Everyone needs to get paid for the work they are doing and when you have this many skilled laborers the costs add up.
Okay, But How Much in Total?
In a nutshell here are all of the line items that go into an average bathroom remodel:
- permits | drawings for city approval
- disposal, dumpster
- tile shower surround
- shower floor
- niches, benches, shelving in the shower
- restructuring shower
- main tiled floor
- in-floor heating
- vanity, cabinetry
- shower head
- plumbing | new toilet, set toilet, new traps, plumbing permits, new shower valves
- electrical | permits
- free-standing soaking tub
- custom glass shower door
- lighting- sconces, pendants, recessed
- paint walls
- towel bars, hooks, hangers
- project management
- account management
- meetings, consults, 4-hour windows waiting for products and/or appointments with subs and city inspectors
The average bathroom remodel cost can range from $40,000- $65,000 just depending on the size of your space and the finishes you put into it when hiring a bathroom remodel out.
Hopefully, with the information provided, you can plug in your numbers and have a ballpark idea of how much you might spend before diving into a project. Aside from the costs involved, a bathroom remodel can be a fun and exciting upgrade to your home that you will enjoy for years to come.
If you want to learn more about bathroom remodels or other projects, check out our other blog post. And of course, feel free to reach out to us with any inquiries or questions for your projects! We are always excited to help in any way we can.