The bathroom fills a variety of different roles in a house. For many people, it’s the first place they go when they wake up and the last place they leave before they hit the sack. It’s a room that—depending on the day—can be abuzz with activity or serve as a relaxing sanctuary. But no matter how it’s used, the point is that these spaces are some of the most heavily trafficked rooms in our homes. All signs point to a bathroom remodel when that wear and tear becomes too much to maintain.
Whether it’s a piecemeal job or a complete renovation, there’s a lot for a homeowner to consider. If you’ve found yourself already wondering about the average bathroom remodel cost, it’s a good idea to take a step back and put some thought into what you want out of your new bathroom. Here are seven decisions homeowners must make that can determine the average bathroom remodel cost.
Are you happy with the current layout?
Outside of selecting luxury or supremely high-end finishes, perhaps the most considerable influence on the average bathroom remodel cost is the layout. When we talk about layout, we mean the physical footprint of the bathroom, like where the toilet and shower are located. Where we start seeing a big jump in costs is when those plumbing fixtures are moved. Layout changes like removing walls or repiping for the relocation of fixtures can be both time- and labor-intensive, which will undoubtedly have an impact on the overall budget.
Is it a complete renovation?
We mentioned this earlier, but there will be a significant cost difference between a partial and full remodel. Some homeowners go the partial remodel route—replacing just the bathroom vanity or shower tile—to save money and extend the lifespan of fixtures or materials still in working order. On the other hand, a complete renovation (also known as a gut job) often involves ripping out everything in the bathroom and starting from scratch with all new materials and fixtures.
Do you want a bathtub or shower? Or both?
The answer to this may be somewhat constrained by your bathroom’s footprint, but for homeowners entertaining a complete renovation, the sky could be the limit. Depending on who you ask, you’ll get different answers on whether a tub or shower is better, but one thing that can’t be debated is the impact this question has on the average bathroom remodel cost. There are many different styles of freestanding tubs, including ornate clawfoot options, though those can be expensive. There may also be some additional costs involved with plumbing for some freestanding tubs. It’s important to mention that shower installations also have unique costs, but like most aspects of construction, the differentiator here may be the finishes you select.
What type of countertops do you want?
Granite is among the most popular options because it’s both nice to look at and durable enough to last, but it’s far from the only countertop material available. Quartz and marble are more expensive than granite, but you may be able to swing one of these luxurious options depending on the size of your vanity. On the other end of the spectrum, solid surface and laminate countertops bring down the average bathroom remodel cost while still offering an appealing aesthetic.
What type of (and how many) vanities can you fit in your bathroom?
If you’ve looked at cabinets lately, you know that the options are nearly endless. Specifically, within bathroom vanities, you can find a variety of lengths and heights, drawer configurations, and sink set-ups. Will this vanity be used by more than one person? If so, a double sink vanity is what you’ll want. Or, you can also go with two single vanities if you’re someone who prefers your own space. The other vanity decision that deeply affects the average bathroom remodel cost is if the vanity is stock, semi-custom, or custom. Stock cabinets are readily accessible and will cost the least, but if your bathroom is small or uniquely configured, you may have to go custom to find the right fit.
What type of tile do you like?
Gone are the days of carpeted bathrooms—and for good reason—as tile reigns supreme now. But the dilemma around bathroom tile is that you may have to select several different types. In addition to the tile you walk on in the bathroom, you’ll also need to buy tile for the shower floor and the walls that surround the shower. Tile comes in many different sizes and patterns and can range in price dramatically, so think long and hard before making a decision. Of course, there are alternatives to tile (like luxury vinyl planks on the floor and marble shower surrounds), but most homeowners tend to go the tile route with their bathroom remodels.
Are you willing to do some of the work yourself?
It could be anything from acting as a contractor and hiring out specific tradespeople or rolling up your sleeves and taking care of demo or installation, but a little bit of DIY can go a long way toward saving on the cost of a bathroom remodel. If you choose to do it all yourself—and assuming you’re skilled enough to handle it—your only real costs will be materials. The average bathroom remodel cost for someone that goes this route will be significantly less.
What is the average bathroom remodel cost?
Now that you know some of the factors that play a part in the average bathroom remodel cost, let’s look closer at what some of the costs might be. In the past, the National Kitchen + Bath Association (NKBA) has said that homeowners should budget between 5 and 10% of their home’s current value on a bathroom renovation. Using the NKBA’s example, that means a home with a $200,000 value should plan to spend between $10,000 and $20,000. But as you read above, costs for a bathroom remodel can fluctuate greatly depending on your selections and the size of the bathroom. The best way to gauge how much you can expect to spend is by answering the questions above and using those parameters as a guide.