Your Complete Guide To The Perfect Bathroom Remodel

If you’ve ever looked at your bathroom and frowned, then there’s a good chance that you want to remodel it. Maybe you don’t know it yet and maybe that’s exactly why you are here! Everyone should remodel their bathroom at least once!

Bathroom RemodelView in gallery

While you may be happy with some parts of it, you can always do a partial bathroom remodel. This involves only remodeling half of your bathroom and keeping the part of the bathroom that you like.

What Is A Bathroom Remodel?

What Is A Bathroom Remodel?View in gallery

A bathroom remodel is the process of transforming a bathroom to turn it into a new and improved bathroom. The term remodel means, “to change the structure or form of something.” In this case, a bathroom.

When it comes to remodeling, there are plenty of reasons to get started. We will go deeper into detail on these reasons later but there are two categories that every reason fits under: changing the look and changing the functionality of the bathroom.

Bathroom Renovation Vs. Bathroom Remodel

Bathroom Renovation Vs. Bathroom RemodelView in gallery

These are two terms that are often confused with one another. Today, we are talking about a bathroom remodel which differs from a bathroom renovation in a few different ways. Learning these differences can be important.

It’s possible that you only want a bathroom renovation and not a bathroom remodel. You see, the difference is that a bathroom renovation simply refreshes the bathroom and makes it new again, using simple fixes.

But a bathroom remodel can take out a wall or completely redo everything making it unrecognizable. This is a key difference that is important to learn as remodels are more intense but renovations are generally cheaper. 

Can You Hire A Bathroom Remodeler?

Can You Hire A Bathroom RemodelerView in gallery

Yes. A bathroom remodeler or contractor can definitely help you remodel your bathroom. But whenever you do hire one, there are general steps that you will go through with them. This may vary, but it will be something like this. 

Consultation

The first thing that a bathroom remodeler will do is visit your home for a consultation. During this consultation, they may give you a quote but most of the time, this is just the initial look at the bathroom and project. 

After they do, then they can discuss the large details such as which walls you will be taking out and where the electric and plumbing is located. These are the important parts of remodeling a bathroom. 

Labor Quote 

After the consultation, the bathroom remodeler can easily give you a quote for labor. This won’t include the cost for installing anything nor the cost for anything unexpected. It is unlikely you’ll get a binding quote.

However, if it is possible to get a binding quote then you should definitely do it. A binding quote will protect you from any huge unexpected costs connected to the bathroom remodeler when it comes to renovating your bathroom.

Planning

After you have decided to hire the bathroom remodeler, as you can cancel any time up until this point, it’s time to start planning. At this point, you may have already paid the remodeler or at least signed a contract.

After this, it’s time to start planning. You will go over exactly what you want to do, look at blueprints, and give them a general idea of how you want everything done. This is definitely the most fun for you. 

Shopping

After you plan out the bathroom, it’s time to go shopping. Okay, maybe this is the most fun! But the thing is this time, you have to look at prices and not just pick out your dream bathroom. This is the reality check.

But that aside, it is super fun! This is where you and the remodeler, sometimes separate, sometimes together, pick out everything that will go in the bathroom from tile to vanities to paint colors. The items may be delivered on separate days. 

Working

Now is the time for you to sit back and watch the bathroom come together. A lot of homeowners prefer to sit out for this part and maybe even take a vacation or visit a friend. It can be stressful for both parties if you’re present.

However, you should always have someone staying at the house as long as there are laborers there. This is for your peace of mind and to have someone available if the laborers have any questions for you.

Finishing Up

Finally, these are the finishing touches. The bathroom remodeler will reveal their final project with you and you will let them know if there is anything you want to be changed. This happens throughout the process.

However, this is the final time they will ask. After this, the bathroom remodel is finished. So make sure you go over every detail. Most of them can be altered afterwards so don’t be afraid to ask about anything.

What Does A Bathroom Remodel Cost?

What Does A Bathroom Remodel CostView in gallery

It’s not always easy to figure the cost to redo a bathroom. Because there are so many different things that need to be considered, but also because you won’t know exactly until you get a quote. And sometimes, you’re not ready for that yet. 

Average Bathroom Remodel Cost

It’s always best to start with the average since it is most likely the closest to what you will end up paying. The average cost to remodel a bathroom is around $10,000. This is what most people will pay.

However, this is when the average toilet, sink, tub, etc. is chosen. You will probably add a few thousand or take a few thousand away but this is a wonderful base cost that you can expect to pay for and budget in. 

High-End Bathroom Remodel Cost

Now we’re going to talk about what it could cost if you found the best of everything for your bathroom. If you want the best of the best, within reason, you will pay around $25,000 for your bathroom.

Yes, that’s a lot of money but this is if you are getting marble countertops and a stone sink. If you are looking for the cost of a bathroom when you are working with a strict budget then keep reading. 

Cheap Bathroom Remodel Cost

If you want a cheap or small bathroom remodel then you are in luck because the small bathroom remodel cost is highly affordable. You can easily remodel a small, inexpensive bathroom for $5000.

Most people can budget this in if they are looking to remodel their bathroom. You can always get items from large hardware stores on payments, even without great credit, so that you can afford this type of bathroom with ease. 

How To Figure Bathroom Remodel Cost

How To Figure Bathroom Remodel Cost

If you want to get more in-depth and detailed when it comes to your bathroom remodel, then you will have to hire a contractor to give you a quote or figure the cost of a bathroom remodel on your own. 

There are many things that go into figuring a bathroom remodel cost, but this list will get you through the basics. Take a look at these crucial things that you may want to purchase for your bathroom remodel. 

Sink – $30 to $5000

A sink is probably the cheapest thing that makes a huge difference in the bathroom. Most people will pay a couple hundred to get a decent sink but not an expensive sink for their bathroom remodel.

However, if you’re on a super tight budget, you can get one for under $100. If you want the best of the best then you can expect to pay thousands of dollars. But again, around $200 is actually the average. 

Toilet – $50 to $1000

The actual cost you’ll probably pay for a toilet has a small range. Toilets are toilets to most people. You can get one for $50 if you don’t care what kind of toilet you have and are okay with a slightly smaller one.

But if you want a good-sized toilet without any special features, you will pay somewhere between $100 and $200. Then there are smart toilets and those with automated flushers that cost over $1000. 

Shower – $500 to $10,000

The cost of a shower varies greatly because there are so many different options for your bathroom remodel. You can get a simple standing corner shower that won’t cost you more than $1000, probably less.

But you can also build a custom shower that will cost you the same as building a small bathroom. These can range anywhere from $1000 to $10,000. Most people choose something in the middle for their shower. 

Bathtub -$100 to $10,000

As you can see, the range for a bathtub is very similar to the range for a shower. This is because bathtubs can be extremely costly, but there are also good options for those who are on a strict budget.

Bathtubs can be cheaper than showers if you do have a strict budget and you can get a shower-tub unit for the price of a shower alone. They are not difficult nor costly to install either, but this varies depending on the type. 

Countertop – $100 to $15,000

Some people feel that this is the most defining feature in their bathroom. Those people who are on budgets will splurge on this before anything else because you can get very nice countertops that look impressive. 

These countertops are made from special materials such as blue Bahia granite. This is one of the most gorgeous pieces you’ll see. However, you can also get something very cheap like laminate and still be satisfied.  

Vanity Or Cabinet – $200 to $5000

You can get the nicest vanity out there are you won’t pay much more than $5000. So this is a smart choice to splurge on as the splurge won’t be all that costly. However, opting for a cheap cabinet is also a good choice.

You can find a unique cabinet for your bathroom for under $200 if you shop around. But if you want a double one for a jack and jill bathroom then you should probably extend the budget to at least $200. 

Plumbing – $500 to $3000

The thing that makes this hard to figure is that you are paying for labor, with very little of the budget going towards materials. PVC is cheap so what you need to find out is how much a plumber costs in your area.

Becoming a plumber may be easy but only if you take all the proper steps and absorb what you learn. So if the plumbers are a little expensive in your area then consider becoming one if you don’t want to pay for one. 

Electric – Unknown 

Now this one is tricky because for a bathroom remodel, you probably won’t have to pay for much. Some remodels won’t require you to hire an electrician. It all depends on whether or not you are taking out walls.

Some walls don’t have electricity in them and in this case, you won’t have to pay for the electrician. But if you do have to pay, expect to pay at least $30 an hour while they are there, plus a base pay for the project. 

Lighting – $10 to $500

Bathroom remodel Lighting - $10 to $500View in gallery

This is not a huge cost and in many cases, you can install the lighting yourself. But this is only if all you have to do is unscrew your old light and install the new one. Otherwise, call an electrical to do it for you. 

Yes, that does say $10 as well. Because if you’re on a really strict budget then you can get a light for your bathroom for $10. These are extremely simple and will do nothing but hold a lightbulb for you.

Flooring – $2 to $10 per square foot

This primarily depends on the size of your bathroom. For example, cheap flooring in a large bathroom will cost the same as expensive flooring in a small bathroom. Let’s say that your bathroom is 70 square feet.

This is a pretty small bathroom but not a half-bathroom-sized room. You can pay anywhere from $140 to $700 for this flooring. But if your bathroom is instead 500 sqft, then you’d pay $1000 at least for cheap flooring. 

Wall Coverings – $1 to $7 per square foot

Unless you’re getting really fancy, you shouldn’t pay more than $10 per square foot for your wall coverings. Again, just like the flooring, the type of wall coverings you choose greatly affects the price, as does the bathroom size. 

You can choose something like drywall, which is one of your cheapest options, or something like shiplap which takes a lot of work and is quite expensive to install in the bathroom. It will need to be waterproofed too. 

Door – $50 to $500

A door should not cost you that much and you may not even need a door. Well, you do need a door, but what you may not need to do is replace the existing door. The door you have could be perfect.

But a lot of people want to change everything and a door is often included. If you are transforming your bathroom into a Jack and Jill bathroom, then you will also need to add another door, and this is where you budget it in. 

What Are The Unexpected Costs Of A Bathroom Remodel?

What Are The Unexpected Costs Of A Bathroom RemodelView in gallery

Now that we’ve gone over the expected bathroom costs, it’s time to get down to the unexpected bathroom costs. These costs are not only unexpected but difficult to give an average on. So we will simply discuss them. 

Labor

The labor for your bathroom remodel will consist of the bathroom remodeler and his crew remodeling your bathroom. But the thing about this is that the plumber, electrician, and other contractors will be third-party.

Very few remodeling companies have their own plumbers and electricians unless it is a large company like Home Depot. Otherwise, you may even be responsible for finding your own electrical and plumber. 

Room Size Influences

Room Size Influences View in gallery

The size of your room matters a lot. The bathroom can be as small as 5×5 square feet or as large as you want it to be. The average bathroom size is around 40-50sqft which is equal to a 6×8 bathroom.

But whenever you are figuring flooring and other similar costs, you need to take your room size into account. This will not be the size of your current bathroom but the size of your bathroom remodel. 

Location

Your geographical location matters more than you can understand. Those living in large, populated cities will naturally pay more than those who live in places with a low supply and demand for contractors. 

If you live in a poorer area, expect to pay a lot less than if you live in a richer area. Those in the northeastern areas will pay a lot more than those in the midwest, regardless of how rural the area may be.

Demolition 

Yep, that demolition cost can really add up. But it all depends on how much demolition will be done. Because you may just be paying for a shower or cabinet to be taken out but you also may want to gut the entire thing.

Don’t attempt to do this all alone unless you’re confident and have experience. Otherwise, you may end up paying more as contractors do not like it whenever the job is half done when they get there. 

Repairs

Repairs are usually inevitable. Most bathrooms that are being remodeled will require a few repairs before they are done. This can be minor or it can be major, it all depends on how gently the bathroom was used and how old the bathroom is.

Some bathrooms need very few repairs and these repairs may not need to be done if you’re demolishing anything. But others need intense repairs that go deep and can cost more than the remodel itself. 

Permits

Permits are usually taken care of by the bathroom remodeler. But you will still be the one paying for them one way or another. Not all regions require permits for bathroom remodels but your remodeler will know.

Ask them ahead of time and if they say they don’t know, then they probably aren’t professional enough to hire. Otherwise, trust them and the process they go through so long as it fits within your budget. 

Random Price Spikes 

Random Price Spikes View in gallery
image from tradingeconomics

This is to be expected. In 2021, the price of lumber skyrocketed like it never had before. In January, it started at around $500 per 1000 board foot. But in pay, it had more than tripled that price and was over $1600 per board foot. 

The change was made more drastic due to the fact that in 2020, there was a drop that caused the price to be half of what it normally was. It was down to just over $300 per board foot. So as you can see, these prices change drastically. 

Mold, Asbestos, Or Other 

This is different than doing repairs. Mold, asbestos, and other similar dangers can be expensive to take care of. Because not only is this a visual effect but it affects the health of your family, making it crucial to remove it.

You will definitely need to hire a professional that gets rid of whatever it is you’re dealing with as soon as you find it. Chances are, it will be hiding under something you’ve demolished, so be careful when doing so. 

Bathroom Remodel Finishing Touches

Bathroom Remodel Finishing TouchesView in gallery

When it comes to the base of the bathroom, the bathroom remodeler will be hands-on. But there are many other things that you will be solely responsible for. Such as decorating your new bathroom. 

Pictures And Wall Art

Wall art and family pictures aren’t quite as common in the bathroom as they are in other rooms in the house. However, you can still come up with some alluring and creative art that is appropriate for the bathroom.

Something simple, artful, and calming is a good idea. Adding family photos is okay but it isn’t the norm. Instead, adding some nice laminated posters or interpretive artwork is better and will keep a good flow. 

Mirrors

While you can get help installing mirrors in the bathroom, you will have to pick the mirrors out on your own. For a double sink, you can either use two classic mirrors above the vanity or one long one.

For a single sink, any single mirror will do. But it’s important that the width works with the vanity. Make sure that the mirror is the same width or narrower than the vanity or else it may look quite silly. 

Shower Curtain

Shower curtains can be boring if you let them be. But they can also be quite interesting. Finding the right shower curtain hooks and the perfect shower curtain can be a great way to transform the rest of your bathrooms.

There are many different types of shower curtain hooks and many of them are similar to hooks for drapes. Make sure you add a wall hook so you can hold the curtain back when it’s not in use to show off your shower. 

Towel Hooks

Towel hooks come in many different forms. There are towel hooks that look more like knobs, then there are towel rods that you hang the towel over. Both of these look good and serve the same purpose. 

If you want them to take up the least amount of space then choose a towel hook or knob. But if you want something that looks neater choose a towel rod. Finally, a towel ring will be the best balance.

Standing Art

This refers to figures, vases, and other pieces of art that will be placed on a shelf or on the floor. Large pieces of art are usually found on the floor while smaller ones need to be placed on a shelf on the wall.

Art comes in so many different forms that it can be difficult to find the right art for your room. Bathrooms are even more difficult because you don’t want something loud or distracting. So choose wisely. 

Shelves 

Shelves are a great way to store bathroom items that look good. Towels, art, and even baskets of cloths and more can be stored prettily on a wall shelf in the bathroom. But beware of storing other items.

Items that are “bathroom items” should be stored away from view so that you can’t see them when you walk into the bathroom. If you don’t have a cabinet, you can add doors to your shelf to create a cabinet. 

Ways To Make Your Bathroom Remodel Unique

Ways To Make Your Bathroom Remodel UniqueView in gallery

While the things above will definitely complete your bathroom, what you really want to do is go beyond complete. These are some things you can do to make your bathroom exceptional, during the remodel and after you have finished it. 

Backlit Mirror

This is a very simple way to take your bathroom to the next level. A backlit mirror makes a huge statement and it looks so good. You can achieve this look fairly easily with a simple LED light added to the back of the mirror.

We have a guide on backlit mirrors to help get you started but feel free to customize yours in any way that you like. Add incandescent lights if that’s what works for you. But LED is safer and looks standard. 

Use Marble

Marble can be very expensive, but if you shop around and start small, you can easily afford something marble in your bathroom. Start by looking for works of art. You can even choose something that doesn’t normally go in the bathroom.

Maybe a cutting board to place different things on as it sits on the countertop. If you want something more standard for bathrooms then consider choosing a soap dish that is inexpensive even if it is made of marble. 

Using Chalkboard Paint

There are two very different paints here to discuss. Chalk paint is similar to any other type of paint but it is made with chalk. However, what we are referring to here, is chalkboard paint. This is different.

Chalkboard paint transforms any surface into a chalkboard. So you can use it on your walls or even on your mirror if done right and you can use chalk to write on the surface in the bathroom. Great for notes!

Paint Your Radiator

Have you ever considered painting your radiator? Old bathrooms often have radiators and it’s always a good idea to paint them. It’s important to follow safety steps when you do if the radiator is operating.

If the radiator is non-operable, then you can go ahead and paint it as usual. Just don’t forget the primer. Find out more about painting a radiator with this guide on how to paint a radiator in your home. 

Room Dividers

Room dividers don’t just belong in the bedroom, they can be used in the bathroom for that classic changing room. Or simply because you like the way that it looks lined up beside the bathtub or in front of the window. 

In fact, you can use it in place of curtains or drapes in your bathroom. Just make sure you get a room divider that covers well and then you can place it directly in front of the window. Check for height differences! 

Repurpose Something 

Have an old piece of furniture that doesn’t work anywhere else? As long as it is water-resistant, you can add it to your bathroom. The most common type of items are ladders used for towel racks and other similar pieces. 

Some people find using something large, like an old bicycle, works for them while others prefer something much smaller. So you need to use what you have or search for that special piece that works for you. 

Get A Fancy Bathtub 

Bathtubs don’t have to be boring. You can start by looking at clawfoot tubs to find something unique or you can get even fancier. You’d be surprised how creative you can get with this simple bathroom appliance. 

Some people use pure stone bathtubs while others use metal tubs, similar to those used hundreds of years ago. But you can get whatever you want for a bathtub as long as it is waterproof and fits in your space. 

Clerestory Windows

Clerestory windows are great windows for the living room, bedroom, and kitchen. But did you know they are also perfect for the bathroom? You can use them as usual or you can make fake windows.

While the windows won’t necessarily be fake, they won’t operate like standard windows that let light in. These windows can be placed on the side opposite of the outside walls to give the illusion of real windows. 

Teak Shower Floors

Teak shower floors are floors that can usually be removed and replaced on a daily basis. They are made of teak because teak is one of the strongest and most water-resistant woods making them perfect for bathrooms.

There are so many advantages to teak shower floors that it’s better if you read the article on teak shower floors as we can’t cover everything right here. But you should know, they are a worthy investment. 

Don’t Forget Plants

Plants don’t belong in the bathroom, right? Wrong. Plants are wonderful for the bathroom! They offer many benefits such as giving “fresh air” to those within and adding some life in a normally drab room.

So check out a list of perfect bathroom plants, taking special care to note any that aren’t safe for kids or pets if you have them. If not, you can have any plant you want to in the bathroom as long as they aren’t easily overwatered. 

Reasons To Do A Bathroom Remodel

Reasons To Do A Bathroom RemodelView in gallery

There are plenty of reasons to do a bathroom remodel. But if you’re wondering why everyone else is doing it, or if you need an excuse to tell others, then check out these top reasons to do a bathroom remodel. 

Bring It Up To Date

If your bathroom is from the 1980s and hasn’t been touched since then, there’s a good chance that you should update it as soon as possible. Any earlier than that and you definitely need to update it.

There were many dangers, such as asbestos, that the public was unaware of in the 1970s and earlier. So if your bathroom is older than 1980, update it with the help of a professional for safety reasons. 

Increase Value

Remodeling the bathroom and the kitchen will always add value to the home. Remodeling other rooms may or may not but a kitchen remodels and a bathroom remodel will always pay you back with some to spare. 

To really increase the value, use key terms that people look for such as granite countertops or tile floors. This will help you sell your home in the future at a higher price, and faster in general as people love amenities. 

Make It Safer

Of course! Even if your bathroom isn’t from the 1970s, there are a dozen ways to make it safer. Installing the proper plug-ins can be one way. The proper bathroom outlet is known as a GFCI outlet

When remodeling your bathroom for safety reasons, it’s a good place to start. From there you can focus on the aesthetics of your bathroom and everything else that needs to be changed after taking care of safety. 

Reduce or Increase Size

You may be interested in taking some space out of another room and adding it to the bathroom. This is usually done when a child moves out or you decide that you don’t need the walk-in closets anymore.

Alternatively, you may decide that you want to add walk-in closets or make your bedroom larger. Both of these can be done by a contractor or bathroom remodeler who specialized in changing the size of your bathroom. 

Should I Remodel My Bathroom?View in gallery

Should I Remodel My Bathroom?

There is only one question that you need to ask yourself and it isn’t this one. Because of course, only you need to know if you should remodel your bathroom or not. The question you should ask yourself is this.

“Do I want to remodel my bathroom?” As long as you can budget in a bathroom remodel and you want to remodel your bathroom, then do it. Otherwise, save the money for something else, like a different remodel.

Don’t feel self-conscious about either choice because you know what your family needs. So if you want to do a smaller renovation instead of a remodel, then go for it. But don’t be afraid to go big either!