If you’re thinking about remodeling one or more of the bathrooms in your home, your first question is probably about cost. After all, renovation projects are notorious for going over budget. However, homeowners who plan carefully, including making room for unexpected overages, can often make it through the project with minimal financial strain.

Whether you’re looking to complete a small bathroom remodel or an entire overhaul of the primary bath, carefully examine your options to make sure you know where you can save a little money and where it pays to look for higher-quality materials. Additionally, even if you’re an accomplished DIYer, be realistic about your limits when it comes to things like plumbing and electrical work. Below, we’ll break down the various factors that go into remodeling costs and address some FAQs about bathroom remodeling.

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Typical Price Range: $2,000 - $18,000
Full Bathroom Remodel

Prices can range from $2,000 to $18,000 depending on the type and scope of the project.

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A bathroom with tropical green wallpaper, light brown wood floors, a white built-in bath tub and shower, and a bamboo-wood vanity, with a sink and mirror
Wet Area Remodeling

Professional installation can start as low as $600 and cost up to $10,000.

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Updating Cabinetry

Depending on the type of cabinets, prices can range from $50 - $2,000 or more.

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Average Bathroom Remodel Cost

The average cost of a bathroom remodel is around $5,500, according to our research. Prices can range from $2,000 to $18,000 depending on the type and scope of the project.

Of course, the total cost of your bathroom remodeling project will depend on the size of the bathroom and the extensiveness of the project. For example, making cosmetic changes to a powder room will cost far less than high-end changes to a large primary bath.

Bathroom Remodel Cost chart

How Much a Bathroom Remodel Costs

Looking at all bathroom renovation projects combined, here are some recent averages:

RemodelCost
National Average$5,500
National Minimum$1,600
National Maximum$100,000+

Bathroom Remodel Cost by Type

Since size is such a significant determiner of cost, here’s a breakdown of different sizes and types of bathrooms, as well as how long they typically take. The total cost usually ranges from $100 to $200 per square foot.

Type of Bathroom RemodelAverage CostAverage Time
Half-bath remodel$2,000–$5,0005–7 days
Full bath remodel$6,000–$15,00010–14 days
Primary bath remodel$10,000–$30,00015–25 days
Wet room installation$11,000–$18,00010–30 days
Luxury bath remodel$50,000+15–30 days

Factors in Calculating the Cost of Bathroom Remodel

Beyond just the size of your bathroom, the areas that you pick to renovate and the materials you choose can go a long way in determining the final price tag. Apart from hiring a professional for the planning and drawing stages, the wet area, vanity and countertops, and tiling are the most expensive material costs.

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Remodeling a Wet Area

The wet area of a bathroom is the portion of the room that is waterproofed because it’s designed to get wet. Typically, this encompasses the tub, shower, or combination of the two, as well as the walls around it. It’s also usually the most expensive part of a bathroom remodeling project.

Since there are so many projects possible with the wet area, the time and expense of this renovation can vary greatly. It might take as little as a few hours if you’re just having the tub refinished or a liner installed. However, large projects like converting all or part of a bathroom into a wet room can take several days to a week, since they involve substantial demolition.

Regarding wet room fixtures, a new bathtub alone can cost $600 for a simple alcove tub to $5,000 or more for a jetted bathtub, not including the labor to install it. When it comes to a shower remodel, the cheapest option is a prefab unit, which you can install as a DIY project for a minimum of about $525. However, professional installation of a custom shower can cost up to $10,000 since it usually includes new tile, replumbing, and more.

Updating Cabinetry

Upgrading or refinishing your cabinets is typically not as expensive as many other parts of the project. Ready-to-assemble cabinets can cost as little as $50–$200 per unit, and you can install them yourself, though they won’t last as long as more durable materials like solid wood or hardwood. But, of course, more durable material costs more, and a high-end double vanity can cost $2,000 or more. Remember that bathroom cabinetry needs to withstand more humidity than cabinets in other rooms.

Updating Countertops

Cabinets usually go hand-in-hand with countertops, and you’ve got a choice of materials here, too. Additionally, bathroom countertops don’t have to stand up to the same level of use as kitchen countertops, so you have a few more options.

The least expensive materials are laminate, tile, and sealed wood, though these may be difficult to clean or be susceptible to damage. Granite, marble, and solid surface materials like quartzite are more expensive and durable, but they need to be properly sealed and may show stains.

Changing Faucets and Plumbing

Faucets themselves are a relatively minor expense, and you can change them yourself for a few hundred dollars. This hardware is available in zinc, stainless steel, and brass in several finishes. Chrome-finished plastic is also available, and though it’s the least expensive option, it’s not recommended because it’s often flimsy and lacks durability. Good hardware will come with a substantial, even lifetime, warranty.

Although the faucets themselves are inexpensive, making substantial changes to the plumbing isn’t. When you start tinkering with the layout of your bathroom and the existing plumbing—changing the location of the toilet or tub, for example—you’ll need to hire a licensed plumber to do the work. Plumbing work typically costs $75–$130 an hour.

Upgrading Your Toilet

Depending on the condition of your old toilet, you may decide it’s time for an upgrade. A new toilet costs an average of $600 for both the unit itself and the installation, though you may be able to find a bargain model as low as $100 if you install it yourself. Alternatively, you could look into higher-end models like dual flush toilets, bidets, or smart toilets.

Installing New Flooring

Bathroom flooring is another factor that provides many options, including some that can save you a substantial amount of money. Natural stone and hardwood are higher-cost options, but new options in vinyl and laminate flooring can mimic their appearance at a much lower price. Floor tile made of ceramic or porcelain is another popular option, and it can be quite inexpensive, though tiles are harder to install and keep clean because of the grout.

All these options are priced by square footage, so the larger your bathroom, the higher the material and labor costs. The amount of time the project takes also depends heavily on the size of the tile you choose. If you want a more luxurious bathroom floor, you can opt for a radiant heating system under the tile work. The cost range for such a system is typically $16–$25 per square foot.

Replacing Light Fixtures

Another inexpensive fix is choosing new light fixtures for your bathroom. Once again, if you’re just swapping out existing fixtures, you can often do this yourself for a relatively low price. However, moving lights around or adding new ones means you’ll need to hire an electrician, which typically costs between $40 and $120 an hour. Electrical work, particularly in an area that needs to handle so much moisture, should be completed by a professional. Even general contractors usually employ subcontractors for this job.

Ventilation

Ventilation is essential to ensure that your bathroom can dry between uses so that mold and mildew don’t become a problem. Typically, this takes the form of an exhaust fan. Replacing this fan costs between $250 and $500, but if you need to install one from scratch, you may also need to install ductwork and vents. For this, you should hire a professional, driving the price closer to $1,000.

Other

The above is not an exhaustive list of bathroom renovation options. Here are some other factors that can go into a primary bathroom remodel:

  • Tub and shower wall surrounds, including waterproof drywall
  • Shower doors or curtains
  • Hardware (drawer pulls, towel racks, toilet paper holder)
  • Medicine cabinet
  • Mirrors
  • Bidet
  • Sauna
  • Hot tub

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Additional Considerations

Although cosmetic renovations don’t require a permit, more extensive remodeling projects do. Changes like adding new windows, installing or removing new plumbing, moving an outlet, and replacing a water heater typically require permits.

You may also need a permit if the total cost of the remodel exceeds a certain amount. Since building codes vary from city to city, make sure to check with your local planning or building department when designing your new bathroom and making your budget. As the homeowner, you are responsible for the permits, though some contractors will assist you with applying for them.

Finally, bathroom accessibility is becoming a growing concern, particularly as a large segment of the American population ages. If you or a family member is experiencing reduced mobility, adding features like grab bars and shower seats can make your bathroom safer and more comfortable.

On the higher end of the cost spectrum, installing a walk-in tub with no ledge to climb over can also significantly increase safety. Certain renovations can also make bathrooms more accessible for wheelchair users, like corner toilets and roll-in showers.


 

Bathroom Renovation versus Bathroom Remodel

Some people use the terms “renovation” and “remodeling” interchangeably. However, others use “renovation” to refer to cosmetic changes (such as new fixtures or replacing old tile) and “remodeling” to refer to more substantial plumbing and layout changes (such as tub-to-shower conversion or rewiring). In this sense, renovations are less expensive, and you can often do them yourself. However, you’d want to hire a general contractor for the more substantial changes of a remodel.


 

Should I Remodel My Bathroom?

The decision to remodel your bathroom will likely come down to your budget and tolerance for disruption to your daily life. On the one hand, bathroom remodeling often has a substantial return on investment (ROI) when it comes to your home’s value.

According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2021 Cost vs. Value Report, a midrange bathroom remodel costs an average of $24,424 and recoups an average of $14,671 for a 60.1% ROI. Universal design and upscale remodels cost more and have a slightly lower ROI (57.9% and 54.8%, respectively), but they still add resale value to your home.

Additionally, if you want to change your home’s energy efficiency or you or a family member are experiencing reduced mobility, a new bathroom may be a necessary component of these changes. You can improve the safety and energy efficiency of your bathroom with new fixtures. Above all, you can make your bathroom a more comfortable place to suit you and your family’s personal needs.

However, not everyone has remodeling money in the budget. As with all remodeling projects, you need to assume that there will be some unforeseen expenses. Therefore, we recommend planning for a 30% cushion in your budget. That means if the average cost is $5,500, you should be prepared to spend at least $7,150. And while bathroom renovation has good ROI, other projects can add more value, such as window and siding replacement (67.4% to 69.4%) or mid-range kitchen remodeling (72.2%).


DIY versus Professional Remodel

You may still be wondering whether to hire a bathroom remodeling contractor or do the work yourself. Here’s a quick summary of the pros and cons of each option.

Pros and Cons of DIY

Pros You can save money on installation costs. You’ll have more control over the time, expenses, and scope of the project. You won’t deal with the hassle of having strangers in your home.
Cons It will take longer. Unless you’re an expert, there are jobs you just can’t do, such as plumbing and rewiring. If you make a substantial mistake, you may have to call in professionals anyway.

Pros and Cons of Professional Remodel

Pros A professional can walk you through design options for your given space and budget. You don’t need to put in the time and effort personally. There’s a higher chance that a professional will get the job done right the first time.
Cons It’s almost certainly more expensive. You may be subject to delays you don’t have control over. Some people find it uncomfortable having strangers in private areas of their homes.

Our Recommendation

If you’re intimidated by the average cost of a bathroom remodel, know that some choices can bring the price down. For example, you might consider an inexpensive flooring option that looks expensive, or you can refinish your tub instead of replacing it. In addition, you can reduce labor and plumbing costs, which are typically the most significant part of a home improvement project, by avoiding substantial changes to the plumbing and electrical system of the bathroom. Finally, while you obviously can’t plan for the unexpected, intentionally having some extra room in your budget will significantly reduce your stress level.

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FAQs About Bathroom Remodel Costs

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