by Ron Wolf, civil engineer, and DIY enthusiast. Edits, and additions by Jeff Campbell
Wondering about bathroom renovation costs for an upcoming remodel?
If you are thinking you can’t have the bathroom of your dreams without it costing an arm and a leg, you‘ll be surprised to hear that you CAN.
Many people are able to keep bathroom renovation costs to around $3,500 although the average is a little higher than that.
In addition to being relatively inexpensive, this revamp project has a good resale value. While, on average you aren’t likely to recoup more than 60% of the costs when you sell, finding creative ways to cut costs while beautifying your bathroom will put more of those dollars back in your pocket.
In the end, it all depends on your budget, on the size of the project and your ideas.
Before starting the bathroom overhaul, there are a few bathroom remodel cost breakdown considerations you need to look at.
Here are just a few to help you get started:
How much does cost to remodel a bathroom?
The current national average in the US is just under $10,000. However, that can vary greatly depending on whether you re-use some existing fixtures and buy the new fixtures used. We’ll get into that below in our bathroom remodel cost breakdown.
Low-end bathroom remodels can come in as low as $2,500 and higher end remodels can come in as high as $25,000 or more.
How much of the work you do yourself will also have a big impact on the bathroom remodel cost breakdown too.
Check out this handy bathroom remodel calculator to get some good estimates for your project.
How much does demolition cost per square foot?
Before introducing new bathroom features and layouts, it’s of utmost importance to remove the existing fixture in the bathroom. This is commonly known as the demolition part of a remodel.
For this particular job, you can either hire a professional, who will remove the elements with precision, or do the job yourself.
By taking charge of this task yourself, you can save a lot of money.
The average bathroom remodel cost breakdown for demolition is about $2.50 per square foot if you hire someone.
Of course, costs will vary a lot by area, state, and country. If you have an old house possibly containing asbestos or lead paint, those factors could possibly add to that cost.
If you do it yourself, just know that when you are tearing the bathroom apart, you need to be careful so you avoid damaging anything not being removed.
Also, make sure to avoid hitting electrical wires as well as pipes. Make the whole job easier by renting a dumpster where you’ll throw the debris.
1. The big savings from reusing your bathroom fixtures
When renovating a small bathroom, replacing all the fixtures could cost you from $8,000 to even $10,000, which is a fair price.
Even if you are planning to add a new bathtub, some modern cabinets and new tiles, the price won’t vary a lot.
However, if you are looking for bathroom fixtures that are made for special purposes, the price is definitely higher. For example, when you want to make the bathroom handicap –accessible, the price of materials can raise from $2,000 to even $3,000.
Therefore, take a look which materials you can reuse and which you should remove.
Another good tip is to consider reglazing that old tub or toilet. The national average in the US for this on a tub is just under $500. Compare that to the cost of ripping out an old one and putting in a new one, and you could save big time!
But for everything you ever wanted to know about toilets and bathroom renovations, my friends over at Toilet Lounge cover all the bases.
Want to save even more? Refinish the tub (or sink, tile or toilet) yourself with this Rust-Oleum Tub And Tile Refinishing 2-Part Kit. It’s under $30 on Amazon Prime. Unlike reglazing, it works on Ceramic Tile, Porcelain, Fiberglass, Acrylic, Cast Iron or Steel Surfaces.
It goes on just like paint. 2 coats and you’re done; instant bathroom remodel! 4 stars and almost 2,000 reviews can’t be wrong!
2. For a fresh look on existing sinks and tubs, consider the small investment of simply changing the faucets!
Check out the bathroom sink faucets with free shipping and at least 4 stars available on Amazon and start saving today!
Also, make sure to check out matching bathroom tub faucets with free shipping and at least 4 stars on Amazon too.
Getting rid of those old gold or brass fixtures that are water stained or chipped can instantly make it look like you replaced the entire fixture for a fraction of the price!
3. New vs. used bathroom fixtures
As previously mentioned the bathroom remodel cost breakdown will rise according to your demands and needs.
In case you wish to remove all the old fixtures and add new ones, don’t just head off to your local home center, because you probably won’t find the desired fixtures at the best price.
Instead, opt for buying used or even recycled fixtures online.
Reused sinks and tubs can be good as the new ones, without blowing your bathroom renovation costs.
Another idea is to refurbish your bathroom on a budget by refinishing and fixing up your existing bathroom. This can be much less costly than a complete remodel.
Everything including the kitchen (er, bath) sink!
Of course, it might surprise you to realize that Amazon has a lot of freestanding bathroom sinks with free shipping and at least 4 stars and many are well under $1,000.
4. Flooring solutions that work for any budget
When it comes to the flooring of your bathroom, most people choose tile; ceramic, marble and granite being common choices.
Instead of blowing most of your bathroom renovation costs on fancy and colorful tiles, opt for a just few that make a bold statement as wall accessories.
Then, purchase some white tiles that will complement the colorful ones.
These days more people are choosing simple raw materials such as bamboo or stone. Covering the floor with stone pavers instead of tiles will give your bathroom that rustic and warm feel. Much easier for maintenance and practically forever lasting.
Of course, if your existing subfloor is concrete, you can Stain Your Concrete in 5 easy steps for a beautiful and inexpensive floor.
5. Let in more light while being easy on your budget
More light makes a lot of difference to a room, especially in the bathroom.
Instantly, it becomes more spacious and inviting. However, adding double pane windows can be expensive and really skyrocket your bathroom renovation costs.
A popular renovation trend is a solar tube that serves as a skylight for top floor bathrooms.
Not only does it provide enough light, but it’s not expensive to install. The highest price is about $400, but you can install it yourself for $200.
This sun tube is placed between the attic’s rafters, thus, enabling the sunlight to enter the bathroom. And there is no need to demolish a wall for the sun tube.
The Natural Light Energy Systems 10-Inch Tubular Skylight from Amazon comes with free shipping, 4.5 stars and is under $200. It provides the equivalent light of up to 500 watts.
If your existing windows struggle with moisture trapped between the glass, learn how you can Remove the Moisture Between the Glass. That post is almost always the most popular post on our website.
6. How the bathroom walls can make or break a remodel budget
Although tiles are the most typical choice for the bathroom walls, there are other ways of redoing them on a budget.
For example, instead of covering the whole bathroom with them, just cover the walls around the tub.
Then, paint the remaining walls in a white or neutral shade so as to make the room look bigger. Put a faux beadboard in order to add a classy touch.
Beadboard, sometimes called wainscoting is simply paneling that you attach to the walls on the bottom third. It’s been used for centuries as a decorative accent, to prevent or sometimes cover up wall damage. Most typically it is capped off, as you see in the picture, with some decorative trim.
You can install beadboard yourself quickly and easily using this handy Boulanger Primed MDF Beaded Wainscot Kit on Amazon Prime. It’s under $120 and has 4.5 stars and is an Amazon’s Choice Product so you know this will be great!
Each kit comes with 24 panels so it covers 48 square feet.
Since it even comes with the molding at the top, simply attack (probably glue and caulk would be best) and paint and you’re done! Since the bathroom is prone to moisture make sure and use a mildew resistant paint for easy long-term care and maintenance.
Compare that to the cost of adding tiles to your walls and you can save big!
As a result, your bathroom renovation costs can come in way under budget and have a new lovely bathroom to enjoy.
Did we cover everything you wanted to know about bathroom renovation costs?
As you can see, there is no need to invest tens of thousands to get the most out of your bathroom renovation costs. You can do some (or all) of the work yourself and save big. Save even more by reusing your fixtures and/or buying used fixtures.
And when it comes to fancy tiles and bold colors; sometimes less is more (and fewer dollars too).
Hopefully, by following these bathroom remodel cost breakdown guidelines, you‘ll be enjoying the bathroom of your dream in no time.
And you’ll save big on your bathroom renovation costs.
Any tips, suggestions or questions on a bathroom remodel cost breakdown?
About the author of this post.
Ron is studying to become a civil engineer by day and a blogger by night. He learned construction by spending summers working for his father’s construction company in Australia. Since his mother was a landscape artist he has the complete vision and experience for even the toughest DIY projects.
Want to write for Middle Class Dad too? Check out everything you need to know on my Guest Blog Page.