How Much Does A Bathroom Remodel Really Cost?

How Much Does A Bathroom Remodel Really Cost?

You have heard in the news and seen articles online …

A bathroom remodel is one of the top ranked remodeling projects that you can do for your home.

If you are considering putting your home for sale on the market, you surely want to get a fair market value and attract buyers. A bathroom (and/or kitchen) is typically the ultimate deciding factor that can push a prospective buyer into the "I'll take it!" conversation or just the opposite and send them running to the next house. You want to be sure that your master bathroom lives up to its full potential and a remodel is just what you need to make that happen.

In most circumstances, homeowners like you do not have a true desire to move. A new neighborhood, all of the packing and unpacking, having to get all new window treatments and landscaping will begin to add up, the risk of losing the spacious bedrooms or walk-in closets that you have come to appreciate are all very good reasons not to move into a new home. The solution is easy! Skip relocating and Remodel. Incorporating a few Universal Design practices into a bathroom remodel would provide you the flexibility and durability that you need to continue to grow and remain in your current home.

As you start thinking about the possibilities of renovating, naturally the first questions you're likely ask are …

"What does a bathroom remodel cost? Can I afford it?"

Home remodeling projects, bathrooms in particular, can incorporate various components that have the ability to sway the overall cost involved quite drastically making it difficult for you to budget. In general terms, a typical bathroom remodel will cost anywhere from 6%-18% of the value of your home depending on the level of work needed. During the initial planning and consult stage that our professional design team will go over with you, we'll explore what that level of remodeling is in order to give you your dream space. There are basically 3 levels which we will explain below for approximation and budgeting purposes only.

Budgetary Cost: $10,000 - $20,000

Maintaining the existing bathroom layout without any plumbing relocation, utilizing the existing flooring, taking into account minimal electrical changes and/or updating the GFI. This level is generally for homes that were built up to current building codes and are within 10 or so years old.

A few common projects within a basic level remodel could be:

  • Cabinet DoorsRemoving and replacing with a new builder grade or mid-level durable vanity cabinet back into the same location. If your existing cabinetry is in good working condition, you can consult with your design professional about refacing it with new cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Don't forget about including new cabinet hardware.
  • Replace the vanity top with a new durable countertop that includes an integrated sink bowl. If your new style for the space is more contemporary and sleek, you may want to look at the square integrated bowls.
  • Upgrade from the aging marble or acrylic paneled tub/shower walls with a more modern look. This could be in the form of porcelain, granatex, tile or other durable material choices.

TIP: Keep in mind that any slight adjustments the footprint may result in flooring repairs being needed and an additional cost that you may not have factored into your budget. Talk to your contractor about this possibility and the costs involved.

  • Update the plumbing fixtures, while keeping them in their existing locations. This includes the sink, toilet lines and tub/shower fixtures. Delta, Moen and Kohler are the top three brands on the market that you are likely to be looking at. All three offer superb assurances on their products, and a variety of styles and finishes to choose from. Note: The costs associated with relocating plumbing lines is not included in a basic level remodel.

Budgetary Cost: $20,000 - $35,000

Involves slight modifications to the layout of the space, including relocating the sink(s) and vanity, along with minor updates to meet current building code regulations. New flooring is included. Additional lighting and minor electrical to be performed. This level is generally for homes in the 10-30 year old range.

Here are a few of the typical projects completed during an intermediate range remodel:

  • Vanity and SinkDemo of the existing tub and shower to create a more spacious area for a roomy and safe showering experience. This level of remodel will include some plumbing relocation, upgrades as needed, and new values and lines. Most common nowadays, luxury showers consist of gorgeous tile with decorative tile accents and a tile floor giving you the opportunity to bring in a few coordinating colors and material options.
  • Updating of all plumbing fixtures. Again, all of the best brands on the market offer an exceptional selection of styles, finishes and features to compliment your new bathroom.
  • Replacement and relocation of the vanity and sink. Have you considered going from a single bowl vanity to dual sinks?
  • Full flooring replacement. Let's face it, doing a remodel that includes updating all aspects of your bathroom with fresh clean materials and a sleek look will not be complete without new flooring. No more dingy flooring here.

Budgetary Cost: $35,000 - $50,000+

This level is classified as a major overhaul of the space, including more elaborate modifications such as changing the layout of the room, moving walls to open up or expand the space. Includes new fixtures, toilet, plumbing, electrical, lighting and flooring. This level is generally for homes over 30 years old that were not built up to current building codes.

  • You've seen above what is included for the basic and mid-level remodels, however for this extensive remodel it's time to add all of those special features to completely personalize your bathroom and create the ultimate spa experience. Your remodel contractor will work with you on the showering layout in regards to things such as …
    1. Do you need a seat of any sort? We're not talking about white foldable and hospital like chair. Think bamboo or tile. Fold down seating, corner seat ledges or built-in benches to sit down and relax while taking in the steam after a long day kind of seat.
    2. A foot ledge for shaving? Work with your designer letting them know what a comfortable height is.
    3. Any spa-like features that you've been dreaming about like body sprays, aromatherapy features or a rain showerhead?
    4. A drying area? This is a separate space before entering the shower where you can undress, dry off, hang towels and robes, etc. Many homeowners choose to include a place to sit when there is available space.
    5. The ability to turn on your shower remotely? Turn on the water and choose your temperature without getting wet. Better yet, depending on the technology package that you choose you can have the ability to actually turn on your shower from your smart phone or auto set it to come on at a certain time.
    6. Do you want your new shower to be full enclosed with a glass door to enter or completely open? Some homeowners like the free feeling of not having a door, while others prefer a bit more privacy. If you are the latter, you may want to look at frosted glass or rainshower glass for an added level of seclusion.
    7. Let's not forget the niches! Contemplate the items that you store and use in the shower now such as shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, facial soaps, body washes, razers, etc. and their size. If you tend to buy the Costco size bottles of shampoo and conditioner, you'll want to make sure that your shower design includes niches large enough to hold oversized bottles.
  • Sink and Countertop AreaTalking about changing the layout, how nice would it be if you had separate his and hers areas? Your own sink and countertop area to get ready for the day, without the hassle of someone else trying to share the sink with you. Be sure to talk to your designer about cabinetry features that you can include, such as soft close hinges, specialty drawers for holding blow dryers and hair tools and even undercabinet lighting to add personalization to your space.
  • Wrapping the new shower exterior in a stacked stone to bring in a new material and feel to the space.
  • Have you seen the new toilets on the market that come with technology and self-cleaning packages? No one likes to talk about toilets, but do yourself a favor and look up all of the options you now have.
  • Need more space to accomplish your dream makeover? An experience general contractor can work with you on how to find more footage by bumping out a wall or two. For those that have an extra bedroom or under-utilized closet on the backside of the wall, this could be a viable option to steal some square footage from.
  • Obviously drywall repairs will be needed, and complete painting of walls, trim and ceilings to complete the space.

True project costs will vary with each job and are dependent on the scope of work and labor costs associated. Bearing in mind that these are very rough ballpark numbers, you certainly can use them as a rule of thumb.

Is It Worth It?

Now that you've gotten a glimpse into the cost factors of a bathroom remodel, the next question might be, is it worth it? There are numerous things to take into account from home value to your safety and your goals for your home. While you cannot put a price on your health and wellbeing or the idea of being able to continue living in your home, we can explore a few of these key points to help in your decision making process.

How will a bathroom remodel affect the price of your home?

According to HGTV, a minor bathroom remodel is the #1 home update that pays off, stating that it has a "recoup rate of 102 percent." Taking that a step further, they say that a major remodel has a recoup rate of over 93%. The bathroom(s) and the kitchen are known to be the most important rooms of the house, especially to buyers. Having a bathroom that is out of date or unsafe could negatively impact the value of your home.

If your motivation behind remodeling is to put your home on the market, then you likely have a different outlook on the type of remodel that you want or need to do. In many instances, a bathroom renovation is needed for resale purposes to attract the right buyer or more buyers and boost the perceived value of your home. A buyer walking into a home with a broken or worn down dingy bathroom may think that it's a project that will cost them too much or be too complex for them to handle, thus turning them away from making an offer. On the other hand, you do not want to go overboard on your remodel pricing your home out of the surrounding market. Remodeling for resale is a tricky balancing act and one that we recommend you consulting with an experienced remodel contractor and real estate agent on before you begin.

Do you have unhealthy flooring?

Luckily in recent years, the home building industry has steered clear of putting carpet flooring in the bathroom any more. If your home still has carpeting in the wet area, it is definitely past its prime. Carpeting does not stand up to years of repetitive heavy moisture or the foot traffic that your bathroom gets. The moisture in the air from hot steamy showers and soaking baths gets into the carpeting causing damage and mold. Not to mention collect bacteria that may be in the toilet vicinity.

Other considerations should be to make sure that your flooring is free from damage, trip hazards and minimizes the risk of slipping. Wet areas, such as the bathroom in general and shower are prone to slips and falls with the amount of moisture that can be present.

Are the current materials in your bathroom discolored or damaged?

Countertop TileDiscolored marble is the most common complaint we hear in older bathrooms. If your once bright white countertops are now a shade of yellow or cloudy color it may be time for some updates.

Cracked tiles or damaged laminate can become a safety hazard. Laminate countertops have a tendency to crack, chip and peel in wet areas due to the amount of moisture in the air within a bathroom.

Does your bathroom have an over-abundance of one particular material?

Chances are if you have one main material or color that covers your bathroom, you have grown to hate it over the years. We must admit that the home building industry had a great run with gold-toned oak, but it's time to let it go.

A room covered in one solid color, such as entire space done in mauve or green for instance. We're talking countertop tile, shower tile and wall color! It's definitely time for a fresh new look if this reminds you of your bathroom.

Does it fit the needs of your family?

If your bathroom has reached the point where it no longer meets your needs, then it is time to consider a remodel. The layout of your bathroom could be causing safety concerns making it uncomfortable to use. An example of this could be the inability to safely step in and out of the tub to bath. Tripping and scalding hazards could be another issue or even limited access to all of the features within the bathroom. Is there sufficient space to utilize the toilet, vanity and bathing areas should a member of your family need the stability of a walker, crutches or a wheel chair? You never know when something critical can happen limiting mobility. These assistance aids, whether needed temporarily or for a longer period of time do make it difficult to use the restroom if the layout does not lend ample space to turn around. Nowadays bathrooms are designed using a Universal Design theory which focuses on forward thinking and making all areas of your home accessible to all members of your home, of any age, and all mobility levels. The last thing that you want is a bathroom that you or your loved ones cannot use safely or at all.

The cost of a remodel is more affordable than going through the process of buying a new home. Chances are a new home will not precisely fit all of your needs either, and will require some slight modifications to get it just the way you want as well. Consider the time and money of a new purchase when deciding whether or not to remodel and stay in your home.

Questions to Ask Before You Begin

As you've seen, the cost and complexity of a bathroom remodel can vary drastically depending on your needs for the space. Before diving into your bathroom remodel project, it's important to ask yourself a few important questions. Keep in mind that when meeting with a designer, they are likely to ask you these as well, so it's time to do some thinking about how you'll answer.

  • Why do you want to do a bathroom remodel?
  • Who uses the bathroom now? Is it primarily for guests, children, aging parents, or your personal retreat to unwind?
  • How many people could be utilizing the space at once? For example, does your spouse get ready for work at the same time as you do or do you have multiple children that get ready together? Does there need to be space for a parent or caretaker to be in the room?
  • Are you planning to resell your home anytime in the near future, or do you plan to live in it for the long haul?
  • Are you satisfied with the layout of the space or could it use some improvements?
  • What are your needs versus wants for the space?
  • What is your goal for the remodel that you want to accomplish?
  • What budget are you comfortable with and want to stay under?
  • What do you like best about the space currently?
  • What do you like least about the space?

After answering these questions honestly, you'll have a good grasp on whether you're looking at a basic, intermediate or upscale renovation project ahead of you. The next step is to find and hire the best contractor for your remodel.

5 Keys to Hiring A Home Remodeling Contractor

Key #1: Check that the contractor is licensed and insured. While many companies provide this information on their website, those that do not won't mind handing over this information. That is unless they are not licensed and insured and if that is the case, find someone that is.

Key #2: Check reviews and testimonials. Everything you want to know is online, but you still want to use caution and look at reputable sites like the Better Business Bureau, Angie's List, Houzz, Rosie on the House, Yelp and others. Many of these sites have procedures in place to make sure reviews are honest and legit, and that the companies are not soliciting these testimonials.

Key #3: Meet with a couple contractors. As you know, all companies do not offer the same level of customer service, quality and procedures, so you'll want to choose one that you are comfortable with and trust. An example of this might be jobsite cleanup or scheduling programs available. At TWD, we utilize an online software project management program that we give our customers access to, so they interact with our team, see daily progress notes, approve change orders, make payments and so much more from the comfort of anywhere they might be. Very few contractors offer such a valuable tool as this to their homeowners.

Key #4: Sign a contract. This contract should outline in detail the full scope of work of your project, including all material selections and finishes, an all-inclusive price of the project with a payment draw schedule (if applicable), terms and conditions, and a workmanship guarantee. You'll want to beware of any contractor that does not provide these important details, and one that includes material allowances. Your contract price should always include everything for your project.

Key #5: Paying a reasonable deposit amount up front is typical for any type of contractor that will be purchasing the materials for your project before starting. Experienced tradesmen will purchase, quality check and stage all of the materials for your remodel before beginning. This is done in order to eliminate any product issues, outages and backorders that could cause delays in your project. The deposit amount should be large enough to cover that cost, while not being too much. Any contractor that requires full payment or a deposit larger than 50% upfront is one that you should take caution from.

Closing Thoughts

Closing ThoughtsWhen it comes time to take the plunge and start the process of designing your dream bathroom, the choice is simple. Your first call should be to the team at TWD. As one of the leading full-service remodel contractors in Phoenix, they have built an impressive portfolio of thousands since opening in 1996. They offer free no-obligation consultations, access to their design showroom and an on-staff design team that will work with you every step of the way.

Your initial consultation with a TWD designer will be a no-pressure appointment. Our team will get to know you and your family, your needs for the space and it will be educational. They will explain your options and possibilities that you can do in the space, along with material suggestions that align within your budget. Lastly they will provide you with a ballpark project budget based on your feedback of what you'd like to accomplish with your remodel.

Beyond that, the benefit of working with a bathroom design expert like Todd Whittaker Drywall Inc. (TWD) is that we will dig deeper into your project upon entering into a design retainer and detail out your final contract amount with the exact material choices for the entire project. No general material allowances. Rest assure that you will know the exact fixtures, flooring specifics, countertop slab, and every other finite detail that will go into making your bathroom the luxury dream you have imagined, along with a fixed contract price!

Ready to schedule your design consultation for your bathroom remodel? Request your appointment today by calling (623) 544-1211 or visiting to experience the TWD Difference!