The Ultimate 2021 bathroom renovation Guide (How much does it cost)

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A Bathroom renovation is one of the most frequent renovations done in a home because of the functionality, and frequency of use.  If you are planning a bathroom renovation in 2019, this guide will help learn what it will cost you and keep it all organized.

1. How much does a bathroom renovation cost?

You can typically spend between $3,000 to $30,000 or more on a bathroom renovation, depending on the size of the bathroom, style or quality of the materials used, and labour costs involved.

The main things that can impact the cost of a bathroom renovation are:

  • The size of the bathroom
  • The materials you choose
  • Labour costs

On-a-budget bathroom renovations: $3,000 – $10,000

Bathrooms renovations don’t need to be expensive. To save money on this project, focus on the high impact areas. For example, retiling the entire bathroom can significantly change the look of your bathroom; the same goes with changing the vanity, toilet or the bathtub or simply painting or changing the faucets.

  1. Limit the retiling to the shower: By doing this you can reduce your total spend by over $1,000 without compromising on the overall scope of the project.
  2. Paint (the facelift): This is still the cheapest and most effective way to give any area a new look, but be sure to use light colours as these make smaller areas look more spacious.
  3. Get a new vanity and toilet: Updating these two things will give the space a new look.
  4. Upgrade the fixtures: You can update the light fixtures, shower head, faucets, and drawer pulls for a small investment while giving the area a refreshing new look.
  5. Use accept pieces: A bathroom-friendly rug, flowerpots, candle stands or other decorations can add personality and style to any bathroom.

Median range bathroom renovations: $10,000 – $20,000

Most people spend about $10,000 to $20,000 on their bathroom remodel. This type of renovation includes ripping out everything down to the studs and replacing everything new.

When it comes to the materials you choose, there are many options to choose from. To help you make your choices of materials consider the following:

  • Showers can in difference shapes are sizes, from round, to oval or rectangular with many door options including sliding door, panel, or pull out. If your budget is tight a tub-shower can be a good alternative.
  • Bathtubs can be cast iron, steel or acrylic which is the most popular choice because it is durable and easy to clean.
  • Drawers & Cabinets should of water resistant material since these are in constant contact with water and moisture.
  • Toilets come in a few sizes, such as one-piece, two-piece, and wall-mount. Before buying make sure you measure the toilet area to ensure it fits on your space.
  • Countertops come in synthetics, laminate, and marble.

Premium or luxury bathroom renovation: $20,000 +

This type of renovations include luxurious free standing bathtub, and luxurious tiles.

Cost Breakdown

  1. Cabinetry: 16% ($1,820)
  2. Countertops: 7% ($800)
  3. Faucets/Plumbing: 14% ($1,600)
  4. Lighting/Ventilation: 5% ($550)
  5. Walls & Ceiling: 5% ($550)
  6. Doors & Windows: 5% ($500)
  7. Fixtures: 15% ($1,700)
  8. Flooring: 8% ($1,000)
  9. Installation: 20% ($3,000)
  10. Other: 5% ($500)

2. The planning process

Planning beforehand is an integral part of the whole bathroom remodeling project, and it is where your creativity and inspiration can go a long way. To get some design ideas, browse bathroom design samples, and catalogues for inspiration so you can get a sense of what to include on your bathroom remodel.

During this stage you should think about and decide the layout, functionality, and the location of every item in your bathroom. There needs to be a logical flow to all the major elements, including the bathtub, vanity, toilet and shower.

Do your research
Never settle for the first vanity, or furniture you saw. Go for quality pieces, but be mindful of the cost; remember your bathroom is an area of relaxation, so it is important to feel comfortable with the materials you will be buying. The key is in finding a balance between quality, durability and the cost that translates into.

Choose your lighting

Always aim to utilize as much natural light as possible, but when it comes to the light fixtures these should include the following:

  • Ceiling lights that enhance visibility

  • Decorative lighting to add décor and ambience


Painting the ceilings and walls with a light color (yes, ceilings and walls all the same color) can do wonders in giving the illusion of a brighter, bigger space. To bring more color in the area, use accessories that make the area feel airy, and relaxing with a spa-like ambience.

Bathroom Remodel 1
Bathroom Renovation 1
Bathroom Remodel 2

Does my bathroom renovator need to be licensed?

Yes. Work such as plumbing, tiling, the electrical, and waterproofing requires the use of a licensed contractor.

Questions to ask a bathroom renovation contractor

When it comes time to hiring a contractor make sure they are right for your job. Ask question such as the following:

  • Are you licensed?
  • Are you insured to work in my home?
  • How long will my job take?
  • Can you provide a written quote?
  • Do you have references that I can speak with?

The best way to find a great contractor is by getting a recommendation from friends and family members that have previously used the same contractor and were happy with the work.

You can also go online and find reviews of certain contractors and if the contractor has a website, check it out as they most likely have a gallery of their previous works there which you can use as reference.

3. Prepare an itemized spending plan (the budget)

As with any other renovation, you can quickly lose control of the cost if you simply go with the flow, so I highly recommend you prepare a brief summary of what you want to do, setting realistic expectations, and the associated costs (prepare a budget plan).

Bathroom tiling costs
The larger the area that needs to be tiled, the higher the total cost. For a median sized bathroom you can expect a total cost of about $2,000 to retile the floors and walls depending on the size of the area, and quality of the materials used.

Standard ceramic tiles cost $1 – $5 per square foot, while luxurious mosaics can run as high as $100 per square foot.

Bathroom bathtub costs

Baths range in price from affordable and versatile acrylic, to durable cast iron and flexible fibreglass to high end natural stone. New baths can range from as little as $700 to thousands of dollars, with stone freestanding versions at the upper end of the scale.

Shower screen costs

Shower screens vary in price according to their size and if they are framed, semi-frameless or frameless, with the latter being the most costly. Expect to pay in the region of $400 to have a basic framed shower screen installed. Frameless shower screens use thicker glass, and are consequently more expensive – expect to pay in excess of $600 depending on the size and number of panels.

Toilet cost

Depending on the toilet you choose, these can cost from $150 to $750 or more for a floor-mounted hidden cistern or wall hung toilet. On average, a good quality floor-mounted vitreous china toilet costs between $275 and $450.

Vanity costs

Bathroom vanities range in price from:

$467 for a 900 mm wall hung vanity with hidden handles

$849 for a 750 mm floor standing console vanity

$999 for a 1500 mm double bowl vanity

$1360 for a 1200 mm wall hung vanity with integrated ceramic basin

Waterproofing costs

Expect waterproofing to cost anywhere from $500 to $750 for an average sized bathroom.

Prepare for the unexpected
Any renovation has the potential to present you with an unpleasant surprise behind the wall or floor that’s about to opened or torn down.  The smart thing to do is to allocate an extra 20% cushion to your initial budget for unexpected setbacks that might creep up when you start the renovation.

4. How long will my bathroom renovation take?

The most time consuming part is the planning and research stage; this includes:

  • Time to develop the design
  • Getting the required permits from your municipality
  • Selecting the materials and fittings to be used
  • Getting quotes and selecting the right contractor
Delays with bathroom renovations and how to avoid them

The planning and research stage can take anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks depending on how fast you can obtain a building permit; however, once the planning and design stage are out of the way, and you have a selected a contractor, the project should take from 1 to 2 weeks max.

Delays with bathroom renovations and how to avoid them

There are many trades involved with a bathroom renovation, and you might find days where no work in done. You may need to book an electrician, plumber, or others, but their skills are always in demand and you have to find the way to make it all fit within your schedule.

Here is a summary of things that can delay your new bathroom project:

  • The contractor is working on other concurrent projects
  • Wrong or managed materials are delivered to you
  • Delays with the construction permit

Two years ago I successfully completed the renovation of both my kitchen and my two bathrooms at my home. Since I have two small kids, construction delays was something I was very much scared of, so I prepared a plan.

My plan was to have the work completed as fast, and as efficiently as possible. Here is how I did it

First, I visited some expos, kitchen & bath stores for design ideas, preselected all the accessories, and hired a contractor that came well recommended.

I would have no patience if I was doing a remodel and days went by without work being done because the contractor or his guys were busy with other projects, so I made sure my contractor would work on my project only.

The contractor and I agreed on a payment schedule that was based on installments as the work got completed, and we kept an open communication throughout the project.

By using a contractor that worked on one job at a time, and being clear of my expectations from the beginning, the work was completed successfully and on-time. It was a win-win.

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    5.  Bathroom remodeling ideas

    The best remodeling projects have three factors which you should keep in mind when designing your bathroom renovation, these are:

    1. Select low maintenance, durable materials
    2. Make it bright with energy efficient fixtures
    3. Use light paint colors, but add personality using accent accessories
    1. Select low maintenance, durable materials

    Use durable materials are keep looking like new for longer while requiring little maintenance.

    Consider the following ideas for a low maintenance bathroom:

    • Quartz countertops instead of marble
    • Quality faucets that can last longer while looking new
    • Glass shower doors treated with an anti-spotting refinish
    Bathroom remodelling
    Bathroom renovation ideas

    2. Make it bright with energy efficient fixtures

    When planning your bathroom remodel, these items maximize energy efficiency:

    • Low flow toilets, and faucets
    • LED lighting instead of traditional lighting fixtures
    • Insulated windows
    • Radian floor heating

    When adding light fixes choose more small light fixtures, vs. one big one in the center of your ceiling. The extra lights will add more illumination to the room which in turn will make it appear bigger and more inviting. 

    Small bathroom remodeling ideas

    1. Use the same tiles on the floor and walls

    The continuous run of tiles from the floor to the wall creates a more spacious feeling. If doing that feels too neutral, you can easily add personality to your bathroom with accent accessories, hung-up towels, and ornaments to give it the spa-like feeling you are looking to get.

    Renovate bathroom

    Image credit: Polly Eltes

    1. Decorate with a light color scheme

    Light colors make the space look brighter and more spacious. This will ensure your bathroom remains welcoming rather than cold.

    Remodel bathroom

    Image credit: Tim Young

    1. Install a towel heater rack

    A perfect space saving idea is to install a towel heater rack to keep your towels toasty warm and easily within arms reach when you are hopping in and out of the shower. A straight vs. a curve towel heater rack works better for a small space as it utilize vertical space.

    Renovation of a bathroom
    1. Soft edges

    Soft, rounded edges give the sense of smooth, welcoming spaces. Opt for rounded toilet seas over a square one and consider vanity units with soft edges handles.

    Remodeling a bathroom
    Bathroom Renovation in USA

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