How Much Does It Cost To Remodel A Bathroom? 2023 Update
The time will come for every bathroom when it will feel small, outdated, and ugly. Styles come and go but bathrooms get used every day. Eventually, something better is going to come along and people are going to want it in their own homes. The question then becomes, how much does it cost to remodel a bathroom? Are bathroom remodels affordable? That depends on a number of factors.
The bad news is that bathroom remodels are getting more expensive. New data suggests that the cost of bathroom remodels is up 13% meaning it is going to cost a lot more to get the bathroom you want. However, that does not mean that bathroom remodels are prohibitively expensive or out of reach. The average cost to redo a simple half bath is between $3,000 and $4,000.
Why Update Your Bathroom?
The average size of a bathroom in the United States is growing. Decades ago, most bathrooms were between 20 and 40 square feet. That was just enough room for a toilet, a sink, and a small tub. Today, bathrooms can easily take up 150 square feet or more. That is because bathrooms have gone from a place that you have to use to a place that you want to spend time. Bathrooms are getting larger, more spa-like, more luxurious, and more desirable with each passing year.
The expectation for new home buyers is a large and spacious primary bathroom and multiple updated family bathrooms. That is a far cry from how bathrooms were designed in older homes.
There are multiple reasons to want to upgrade your bathroom. Sellers looking to get top dollar for their home will need to have the latest and greatest when it comes to a home’s bathrooms. Maybe you are just sick of sharing a small bathroom with your spouse or kids. Perhaps you visited a friend’s house and were jealous of how relaxing their bathrooms were.
Updated and spacious bathrooms can add value, functionality, and zen to any home if done properly. The only question is how much it will cost you to get the bathroom of your dreams.
There are many different types of bathrooms, and that leads to a large number of potential price points for a bathroom remodel. For example, a small downstairs half bath is going to cost a lot less than a full owner’s suite redo. Installation and fixtures make up the bulk of a remodeling job’s costs, so the larger the job, the higher the price. A bathroom with two fixtures (a toilet and a sink) will cost substantially less than a bathroom with five fixtures (two sinks, a shower, a bathtub, and a toilet). Each additional fixture adds a sizable amount to the labor and material cost of a remodeling job.
Percentage Of Cost By Scope of Work
|Cabinetry & Hardware||16%|
|Faucets & Plumbing||14%|
|Walls & Ceiling||5%|
|Design & Consulting||4%|
|Windows & Doors||4%|
|Other / Waste||1%|
Average Cost of Redoing a Bathroom
The average cost to redo a simple half bath is between $3,000 and $4,000 but you can give a small bathroom a refresh for as little as $2,000. If no plumbing needs to be moved and the fixtures don’t need to be replaced, you will save a lot on a simple remodel.
The cost to redo larger family bathrooms can be as high as $10,000, depending on the size, the number of fixtures, and the location of the bathroom.
Owner’s suites and custom bathrooms have the largest price range out of any bathroom. A large owner’s suite getting a full remodel can run as much as $35,000. That is the price for a top-of-the-line, large, spa-inspired owner’s suite bathroom. Smaller, simpler owner’s suites can typically be remodeled for around $15,000.
Note, that these prices are all-inclusive, barring any unforeseen issues lurking behind the walls. Some contractors might also give you a price per square foot and a price per fixture. Plumbers work largely on fixture prices while general contractors give inclusive bids.
The cost of your particular bathroom will depend on the size, the number of fixtures, location, and type of pipes that you have, and how many extra upgrades you decide to splurge on.
|Per Square Foot||$125||$275||$200|
Whenever you start ripping out old plumbing fixtures and exposing old pipes there is a chance that you could be staring a re-piping job in the face. This problem will often arise in older homes that were built before the mid-1990s. If your plumber, general contractor, or inspector runs into old and failing pipes they might flag them for replacement – even if you didn’t have it in the budget.
There are numerous batches of old pipes that have a history of failing suddenly and catastrophically. If you have any of these types of pipes, which often include aging cast iron pipes and Chinese copper pipes, you might need to have them replaced before an inspector will close the job or before you can proceed with your bathroom remodel.
Depending on the size of the house and the location of the pipes, a re-piping job can run anywhere from $1500 to $5000.
Rot or Water Damage
Another common cost that people run into while upgrading their bathrooms is the presence of rot or water damage. Slow rot or a gradual drip can cause hundreds of dollars in damage and be completely invisible for years at a time. You won’t know that you have an issue until you start demolition in the bathroom. Rot can happen behind the tile of any bathroom and affect the insulation, the studs, and the subfloors.
If you run into rot or water damage, it could set you back anywhere from $250 to $2000, depending on the scope of the damage. Black mold is another issue that can also be hiding in your damp insulation behind the walls. Unfortunately, there is no good way to detect these problems ahead of time, so it is best to figure that you have some level of water damage lurking out of sight before starting your project.
Home Layout Changes
Another big cost that can creep up on you while doing a bathroom remodel comes from potential home layout changes. If you are looking to expand your bathroom or reconfigure a master suite to get more functionality out of your bathroom, you might run into costs associated with your home’s layout. Moving walls, doorways, and plumbing fixtures can get pricey fast. Moving a load-bearing wall can add to the cost of new support beams. A wall could be hiding hard-to-move HVAC or electrical parts.
The bigger the remodel and the more expansive the job, the more likely you are to run into potential surprises when reconfiguring your home’s layout.
Plumber vs. General Contractor
If you are planning to do a full bathroom remodel, you should always choose a general contractor over a plumber. The reason why is simple; general contractors can sub out plumbers when they need to, in addition to being able to do the rest of the work themselves. If you need to have drywall installed, electrical moved, walls added or subtracted, or anything else that does not strictly revolve around the plumbing fixtures, you should hire a general contractor.
If you want to just update a shower or move a toilet, you can probably get away with hiring your local plumber, but those types of changes do not often fall into the category of a full bathroom remodel.
Even though prices continue to rise, bathroom remodels are still doable. The price will depend on the size and scope of the project. Large bathroom remodels are bearing the brunt of the price increase but you can still get smaller family bathrooms and half bathrooms redone at a reasonable price. It all depends on what you are looking for and what your budget is.
Featured Image Credit: Steven Ungermann, Unsplash