It’s been proven repeatedly that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. If you’re planning to move within the next few years, it’s a good idea to invest in a quality remodeling job that includes the best bathroom finishes you can afford. You will likely earn back your investment—and then some—when it comes time to sell your home. Historically, the return on investment in a bathroom remodel is between 60 and 70 percent.
If a move isn’t within your forecast, remodeling your bathroom is still a great thing to do, particularly if it is outdated or needs repair. A new penny tile bathroom floor, a waterfall bathroom faucet, and a new bathroom door can brighten and modernize this much-used room.
“A bathroom remodel is not as simple as some people might think. It’s not just tearing it out and putting it back,” says Brad Bachand, CEO of Home Love Construction in Tampa, Florida. This is because removing tile and flooring also rips out the drywall or other backing material, essentially leaving you with a bare-bones room.
According to Bachand, the total cost of a main or primary bathroom remodel can range between $18,000 and $28,000, depending on the square footage and the materials used. However, the high cost of a quality bathroom remodel is worth it. “You’re going to keep that same bathroom for 15, 20, 30 years. The way that we’re doing bathrooms right now, they’re never going to leak,” Bachand says.
Home info site HomeGuide says that a small to full bathroom remodel could be as low as $2,500, while a custom or homeowner’s suite bathroom could cost as much as $30,000.
When planning a bathroom remodel, it’s important to add room in your budget for costs that may not initially come to mind. These estimates from HomeGuide include:
If you’re changing the layout of your bathroom, you’ll also need to account for the cost of installing new plumbing pipes. That can cost between $450 and $1,800 per fixture. A new layout will likely require hiring an electrician to reroute the wiring and install new bathroom ceiling light fixtures. If so, rerouting fees should run between $5 and $17 per square foot, while new light fixture installation should run between $150 and $1,500 each.
You may also need to upgrade your electric panel if an oversized bathroom requires more electricity, such as with a jacuzzi bath remodel. If so, that should run between $850 and $2,500, depending on the complexity of the job.
Once you budget for the foundational work, consider the average cost of the new items you’ll be adding to your bathroom space:
The reason these costs have such wide margins is that the options for each item are virtually unlimited. For example, regarding bathroom flooring ideas, you could choose inexpensive slate style vinyl tiles for $3.89 per square foot. On the other end of the spectrum, this Carrara marble illusion 3D cube tile is over $30 per square foot. If you need to replace the bathroom subfloor or want to add in-floor heating, your total budget for flooring can be even higher than the averages above.
Labor costs are in addition to your material costs. Naturally, if you DIY your bathroom renovation, this is the area where you can save the most money. Here are the average pay ranges for remodeling labor:
A bathroom renovation may seem out of reach if you’re on a tight budget. Still, it is possible to do a beautiful remodeling job without spending a fortune. Do as much work as you can yourself, but be realistic about your DIY skills. It may be possible to install a simple ductless bathroom fan yourself, such as this Broan bathroom fan for $21. But you might find it too challenging to DIY a new bathroom wall heater or bathroom ceiling heater without the help of an electrician.
Remodeling in stages can make the process more affordable by spreading the costs over time. You can also save a huge amount of money by not moving key fixtures such as the tub, toilet, sink or shower. Always reuse whatever you can, turning an old vanity into a farmhouse bathroom vanity with a simple distressed paint finish. If you need more storage, hang inexpensive floating bathroom shelves or buy a bathroom mirror with storage instead of investing in a closed bathroom towel cabinet.
If you like the look of quartz shower walls but need more money for the real thing, consider a lower-cost one-day bathroom conversion project from a company like Re-Bath or Bath Planet. Ceramic tile refinishing is another cheaper option to update the bathroom. Look up Miracle Method tile refinishing and learn more about the process that adequately covers your existing style with a beautiful, stone-like finish that will last for ages.
When money is no object, hire a designer to create a bathroom with plenty of natural daylight—even if that means creating new windows or skylights. Splurge on the toilet with the heated seat and bidet, and install multiple rainfall shower heads in your new expansive stall. Other luxury bathroom remodel features include a fireplace, TV, wine fridge and towel-warming bathroom ladder shelf.
Finally, bypass the Target bathroom rugs and invest in the most luxurious linens you can afford. This is one of the best ways to elevate an ordinary bathroom to a truly posh space. This plush Sofia bathroom runner rug by Abyss & Habidecor is $485 at Neiman Marcus. Or drop into the Ritz Carlton Shops online and bring home the pure cotton towels enjoyed by elite guests worldwide.
If the bathroom you’re remodeling has a small footprint, there are ways to maximize the space you have. Bathroom space saver tips include installing a floating countertop that allows you to store items in baskets on the floor beneath. Or replace an ordinary vanity with a corner bathroom cabinet and countertop to open up more floor space.
Simplicity is key when planning a small new bathroom for man cave dwellers. Men’s bathroom decor is often modern and minimalist, without a lot of bathroom shelf decor or other distracting features. An oversized mirror will visually expand a small bathroom, so factor that into your remodeling budget. Buy a mirror fitted with bathroom LED lights and you won’t need to leave space for a separate light fixture.