A remodeling project is an excellent way to learn a new skill, increase property values, or breathe new life into your home. But every home improvement project has a price.
So, how much does the average bathroom remodel cost? According to data collected in 2021, most homeowners spend between $6,597 and $16,367 on a bathroom remodel, but some spend upwards of $25,000.
With such a wide range of reported values, how can you possibly ballpark your bathroom remodeling costs? When prioritizing home projects, the bathroom might be a great place to start. In this guide, we’ll break down major elements of bathroom renovations and explore potential cost savings.
One of the most important determining factors in bathroom renovation is a little obvious: the size of your bathroom.
Size Matters…Or Does It?
Square footage is a significant element of bathroom remodeling costs. Whether you’re renovating a master bathroom, a downstairs half bathroom, a Jack-and-Jill style bathroom, or a pool bath with an exterior door, the type and size of the bathroom can determine:
- Flooring selection and cost
- The number of fixtures (half baths, for instance, don’t require shower hardware)
- Space for cabinetry
- The need for decorative elements like crown molding and tile details
The assumption that larger bathrooms cost more to renovate isn’t true in every case. This is why the average bathroom remodel cost can vary so greatly. Only replacing the flooring in a master bath could be significantly cheaper than a complete gut job for a half bathroom.
So, while the size of your bathroom matters, the scope of your remodeling project is an equally important consideration when determining cost.
Casework and Millwork
Home renovation is not for the faint of heart! Woodworking elements are currently some of the most expensive elements in residential remodeling. Between April 2020 and April 2021, lumber prices skyrocketed by more than 89%, the largest 12-month increase since 1927.
Naturally, casework (cabinetry, enclosed shelving, and tub decks) and millwork (molding, baseboards, and door and window frames) are more expensive to manufacture than ever before.
But, homeowners can save money on their bathroom remodel by re-using their existing wood elements:
- Instead of replacing cabinets, repaint or restrain existing cabinetry.
- Consider creative paint, wallpaper, or tile solutions instead of board and batten. Repurpose existing cabinets to create enclosed wall shelving.
The extent of the changes to your casework and millwork can drastically impact your bathroom remodeling costs. But, with a little creative problem-solving, you don’t have to surrender to high lumber prices.
A bathroom mirror is just as crucial as a toilet or sink. But, completely replacing a mirror can be an expensive proposition and the average cost can vary. For unskilled DIYers, it can even be a dangerous one.
If you plan to remove and replace a wall mirror, proceed with immense caution. Wall mirrors break easily in transit, and they’re attached with high-grade adhesives, making them quite difficult to remove.
Mirror installation is best handled by trained professionals, who can advise keeping or repurposing an existing mirror during a bathroom remodel. Like any other skilled trade, glass professionals are worth every penny.
Showers and Baths
Altering showers and baths can get expensive, especially if the plumbing is involved. Between plumbing fixtures and installation costs, plumbing can quickly add up. While adding new materials can increase costs, so can demolition and removal of existing bathtubs and showers, especially in older homes:
- Cast iron tubs are infamously tricky to remove due to their immense weight. If a magnet sticks to the side of your bathtub, it’s likely cast iron.
- Clay, ceramic, or stone tiles are also heavy; removing them sometimes requires specialized equipment.
- Building code requirements change often. If you demolish an old shower or bathtub, you may have to purchase additional materials to comply with updated codes.
Consider keeping your existing shower or bath to save money on both materials and demolition.
Flooring costs in a bathroom remodel depend on three major factors:
- The square footage of your bathroom
- Your chosen materials
- The intricacy of your desired flooring design
Tile details like mosaics and offset patterns are costly, partially because of additional material waste. But, the trade labor shortage currently afflicting the nation has also driven up skilled labor prices due to a reduced supply of skilled tradespeople and increased demand for their services.
To save money on your bathroom remodel, consider:
- Keeping your existing flooring
- Choosing a cost-effective material
- Ensuring your design is as simple as possible
While we discussed opting for creative finishes in place of board and batten to avoid steep lumber costs, numerous other wall treatments can amp up the price tag for your bathroom remodel:
- Light fixtures
- Towel bars, rings, and hooks
- Wall tile
When doing a bathroom remodel and when calculating remodeling costs, improving your wall treatments is an impactful way to breathe new life into your space. Bathroom fixtures can be one of those things that add up. But, be realistic about what you can afford, and think up creative DIY alternatives to expensive materials and installation:
- Instead of wallpaper, consider sponge-painting (if you’re a rookie) or painting a mural (if you have artistic gifts).
- Instead of buying new light fixtures and towel-hanging hardware, remove your existing fixtures and spray-paint them to match your new color palette.
- Instead of wall tile, opt for tall tile skirting. It’ll provide an elegant wall enhancement without breaking the bank.
Suppose you find yourself with a limited budget for wall treatments. In that case, there’s one inexpensive improvement that never fails to transform a space: a fresh coat of paint. When it comes to things to repair before selling your home, this is a great place to start!
Windows and Doors
Windows and doors come at all shapes, sizes, colors, and prices. While the windows in your bathroom—or exterior doors, in the case of a pool bathroom—may need a facelift, there are a few ways to cut costs on these critical building envelope elements during your remodel project:
- Choose materials that fit your budget.
- Consider replacing only the glass if your window frames are in good shape.
- Add high windows instead of installing a skylight
Be up-front about your cost parameters when requesting a quote for windows and doors. Any glass contractor worth their salt will suggest products, materials, and solutions within your budget.
Considering a Remodel Project? The Glass Guru Can Help
While a bathroom remodel cost varies depending on several factors, homeowners can cut costs by making smart material and design choices, opting for some lower-cost DIY solutions, and being up-front with potential contractors about what they want to spend. While it’s helpful to look at average bathroom remodel costs as a guide, remember that renovations can increase your home value in the long run.
At The Glass Guru, we’re all about creative problem-solving. Suppose you’re planning a bathroom remodel but want to stay on the lower end of the average cost range. In that case, we’ll work within your budget to provide stylish and functional door, window, and glass solutions that will enhance your bathroom for years to come.