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Budgeting For Bathroom Remodeling: A Guide To Cost Factors And Options

A luxury bathroom remodeling project completed by Ranney Blair and featuring a statement chandelier

Are you considering remodeling your bathroom? Are you wondering how much you should budget for your bathroom remodeling project? Bathroom remodeling is an exciting undertaking that can transform a mundane space into something spectacular. However, before you begin, it’s essential to be aware of the costs associated with bathroom remodeling so you can create a comprehensive budget.

In this blog post, we will look at all the factors and options that go into pricing out a bathroom remodel so you know what to expect. After reading this post, you will understand how to plan a realistic bathroom remodeling budget so you can create a stunning new bathroom without overspending.

Budgeting For Bathroom Remodeling: A Guide To Cost Factors And Options

Bathroom Remodeling

Before we dive into the various factors that determine how much you will need to budget for a bathroom remodel, let’s take a moment to review how much most people typically spend on a bathroom remodel.

Average Cost Of A Bathroom Remodel

According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report, people typically spend an average of $27,000 for a midrange bathroom remodel. This calculation includes the cost of upgrading all the appliances, fixtures, and finishes within a bathroom that measures 35 square feet.

For an upscale bathroom remodel, most people spend an average of $82,000. This cost estimate includes reconfiguring the plumbing system, installing custom cabinets or vanities, updating all appliances, fixtures, and finishes, as well as making other modifications for a 100-square-foot space.

Keep in mind that these are general cost estimates. The final cost of a bathroom remodeling project can vary greatly depending on various factors, such as the bathroom’s size, shape, and number of fixtures. Deciding whether to keep the existing layout or make modifications can also impact the overall cost. Furthermore, opting for high-end materials and finishes can significantly increase the total expense. You can view details about our bathroom remodeling pricing tiers here.

Now that you know the average cost of a bathroom remodel, let’s take a look at the cost differences between DIYing a bathroom remodel vs. hiring a contractor.

DIY vs. Contractor Costs

Bathroom Remodeling

One of the first things you’ll need to decide when planning your bathroom remodeling budget is whether you plan to do the work yourself or hire a general contractor. Per home improvement expert Bob Vila, labor costs typically account for 40-65% of a total bathroom remodeling budget, depending on the scope of work and the tier of bathroom remodeler you hire (low-end vs. high-end).

However, keep in mind that deciding whether to DIY a project or hire a contractor is not a pure profit equation. You’ll need to determine the value of your own time, as well as your ability to complete the project safely, efficiently, and with a level of quality that you are happy with.

Many bathroom remodeling tasks require specialized knowledge and skills that most DIYers simply don’t have. Other tasks–especially those involving electrical and plumbing work–require professional licenses and insurance.

If you are an experienced DIYer with plenty of time on your hands and are only making minor changes to your bathroom, then DIY might be right for you. On the other hand, if significant changes are required, then hiring a contractor is probably your best option. Not only do contractors have the required licensing and insurance coverage, but they also have the experience and skills to create high-quality work.

Determine Scope

Bathroom Remodeling

After deciding whether you are going to DIY your project or hire a contractor, your next step is to determine the scope of your bathroom remodel.

Are you just updating a few fixtures and giving your bathroom a fresh coat of paint, or are you planning a complete gut renovation, including new flooring, fixtures, and cabinetry? Understanding the scope of your remodel is crucial because it will make a big difference in determining the size and allocation of your budget.

If you’re planning a major remodel, you may need to consider costly alterations, such as rerouting plumbing and electricity or changing the bathroom layout by moving or removing walls. These alterations can add significant expenses to your budget, so it’s essential to plan for them early on.

You should also consider whether you need to hire a designer or architect to help you bring your vision to life. As a full-service design and build company, we at Ranney Blair can offer you in-house bathroom design services, but many other contractors may not offer that as part of your bathroom remodeling package.

Budget For Contingencies

After determining the scope of your bathroom remodeling project, you’ll need to set aside part of your budget for contingencies. This is a crucial step because if anything does arise during the course of remodeling, your contingency budget will prevent you from overspending or having to cut corners with lower-quality materials.

No matter how much planning goes into it beforehand, there are always unexpected surprises when remodeling any space–especially bathrooms! Be sure to set aside 5-10% of your overall budget just in case hidden damages are discovered, or an unforeseen issue arises during construction.

Average Costs Of Materials

If you’re looking to upgrade your bathroom, it’s essential to understand the costs of materials and how to budget effectively. Here, we will discuss the average costs of vanity and cabinetry, countertops, tile, sink, bathtub and shower, lighting, and hardware and accessories so you can plan accordingly. 

Keep in mind that these are averages and that the cost of individual elements for your bathroom remodel can vary widely depending on the brand, quality, and materials used.

Vanity And Cabinetry

Bathroom Remodeling

The bathroom vanity and cabinetry can often end up being the single most expensive component in your bathroom remodel, especially if you are getting a custom-built piece or a double vanity. Low-end, ready-to-assemble cabinetry can cost as low as $40, while a custom vanity with quartz countertops and linen towers can easily cost more than $6,000.


Bathroom Remodeling

The materials you select for your countertops will largely determine how much you’ll spend on them. Budget-conscious options like laminate can run as low as $4 per square foot, while high-end materials like granite can cost as much as $200 per square foot.


Bathroom Remodeling

Similar to countertops, there is a wide range of price points for tiles based on what you select. Plain subway tile can cost as little as $1 per square foot, while decorative graphic tiles can cost more than $100 per square foot.


Bathroom Remodeling

Sinks come in different shapes, such as round sinks or rectangular sinks, as well as different styles, such as vessel sinks which sit above the countertop, or drop-in sinks, which sit below the countertop level. Small basic sinks can cost as little as $50, while designer sinks made of premium materials can easily cost more than $1,000.

Bathtub And Shower

Bathroom Remodeling

The average cost of a shower installation is between $900 to $2,000, but mid-range to high-end shower installations typically run between $2,500 to $13,500. Premium upgrades will further increase your cost, such as ultra clear shower glass that uses less iron in the glass composition or built-in Rain-X protection.

The average cost of installing a tub is around $2,500, but similar to showers, a premium bathtub installation can easily get over $13,500. 


Bathroom Remodeling

Lighting plays an essential role in any bathroom remodel project because it sets the tone for the entire room. Prices start at just a few dollars per fixture but can go up into the thousands if you choose designer lighting pieces or custom lighting solutions–such as recessed lighting.

Hardware And Accessories

Bathroom Remodeling

Hardware and accessories can include everything from towel racks and soap dishes to toilet paper holders and light switch covers. Again, the cost of hardware and accessories will largely depend on the materials you select, but you can expect to spend anywhere from $10 to $300-plus.

Bathroom Remodel Budget Breakdown

As you may have noticed by now, a lot of the bathroom remodeling cost is dependent on the materials you select. So it may be helpful to break down your bathroom remodeling budget allocations into percentages of your total budget.

Per the experts at the National Kitchen and Bath Association, here’s how a typical bathroom remodeling budget works out by percentages:

  • Labor: 20%
  • Cabinetry/Vanity and Hardware: 16%
  • Fixtures: 15%
  • Faucets and Plumbing: 14%
  • Flooring: 9%
  • Countertops: 7%
  • Lighting and Ventilation: 5%
  • Walls and Ceilings: 5%
  • Design: 4%
  • Doors and Windows: 4%
  • Other (finishing touches): 1%

Bathroom Remodeling Budget Tips

Bathroom Remodeling

Keep these helpful tips in mind while planning your bathroom remodeling budget.

Differentiate between a “need” and a “want.” The first step in budgeting for a bathroom remodel is to differentiate between what you need and what you want. Start by researching the costs of many different kinds of products and materials, beginning with the most expensive necessities down to the items you can do without. Start your budget with things you need.

Prioritize your needs. Make a top 10 list of the most important things you need to replace or update in your bathroom. Look around your space and decide what needs to be replaced the most and what can be worked on down the road. Prioritize the different design and safety needs of all family members. For example, if someone in your family has a disability or difficulty with mobility, make sure to prioritize features that will accommodate their needs.

Get multiple quotes. Before you make any decisions, it’s important to get multiple bids from several contractors. Be cautious regarding quotes that are unusually low–for example, a contractor who quotes a project for $30,000 while most other contractors are quoting $80,000. If it’s too good to be true, it usually is!

The lowest cost doesn’t necessarily equal the best value. Instead, aim for the highest quality within your budget. Make sure the quotes contractors provide are thorough to avoid misunderstandings and any overspending down the road. See this blog post for more details on the typical pricing journey that we go through when providing quotes to our clients.

Be realistic. It’s of the utmost importance to be realistic about the cost of achieving your design goals. If you want a luxurious master bathroom outfitted with premium materials, don’t expect to achieve that level of bathroom remodel with a small budget. Take the time to evaluate your expectations and determine what is feasible within your means.

Bring Your Dream Bathroom To Life With The Experts At Ranney Blair

Bathroom Remodeling

Budgeting for bathroom remodeling can be daunting–but it doesn’t have to be. Knowing the cost factors and options available, as well as the general ballpark costs of materials like vanity, countertops, tile, sinks, and bathtubs, will set you up for a successful remodel project.

Now that you have this guide to reference, you can confidently embark on your bathroom remodeling journey, knowing what questions to ask and what decisions to make along the way. For any additional help regarding budgeting for bathroom renovations or other home improvement projects in the Roswell, Georgia, area, just fill out our contact form!