You’re considering a bathroom remodel and have maybe even started getting quotes from contractors for the project. After considering the bids, you find yourself with a few questions about how your hard-earned money is being spent. What you need is a breakdown of the cost of a bathroom remodel.
At Lamont Bros. We work with homeowners every day who want to transform their bathrooms. Naturally, many people we work with have questions about the cost breakdown of their bathroom remodel. Where does the money go? Which elements of the remodel cost the most? And what can I do to avoid any unnecessary expenses?
The purpose of this article is to break down the cost categories of a bathroom remodel. We’ll discuss various factors and features in terms of their percentage of the total remodeling cost. With this information, you’ll be able to better understand the cost of your own remodel and work with your design team to value engineer the project to meet your needs and your budget. The specific topics we’ll discuss include:
- Overview of Bathroom Remodeling Costs
- Bathroom Remodel Cost Breakdown Categories
- What You Can Do to Save on Your Bathroom Remodel
How Much Does a Bathroom Remodel Cost?
Before beginning to break down your bathroom remodel into cost categories, it’s important to first understand the overall cost.
The cost of your bathroom remodel depends on the size of your bathroom and how much you want to change. If you only want to update a few finishes in a half-bathroom and don’t plan to change the layout, it may cost as little as $10,000. For a fully customized primary bathroom remodel with an updated layout and new fixtures and finishes, the cost could reach upwards of $200,000.
In Portland, the average bathroom remodel costs $61,000. To learn more about the different types of bathroom remodels and what they cost, check out our Bathroom Pricing Page.
What are the Different Cost Categories of a Bathroom Remodel?
To help you better understand the cost of a bathroom remodel, we’ve broken down the total cost of a $60,000 bathroom remodel into 10 different categories.
Rather than include labor costs as their own category, each line item includes the cost of labor as part of its total. For example, the section on cabinetry includes the labor costs of building and installing the cabinets, and the section on design includes the labor hours spent designing the remodel.
PLUMBING & ELECTRICAL: $15,600 – 26%
Almost any bathroom remodel requires at least some form of plumbing work. The more you change your bathroom’s layout, the more your plumbing costs will increase. Electrical work also costs more when you choose to move lighting fixtures or switches. The extensive work required by skilled tradesmen in a bathroom remodel is why plumbing and electrical is often the most expensive part of the project. Plumbing fixtures can cost between $4,000 to $15,000 and are included in this category, as well.
PAINTING & DRYWALL: $8,400 – 14%
Another major cost factor when changing the arrangement of a bathroom is the walls. Due to the constant moisture, it’s wise to replace all of the drywall in your bathroom during a remodel to remove any drywall that may be starting to show signs of water damage. This means new drywall, texture, and paint throughout the bathroom. It’s also common to paint trim and doors along with the walls.
TILE: $7,200 – 12%
Although tile itself isn’t especially expensive, the labor required to install it is. Tile setting is a complicated process that requires practice and experience to perform correctly. This breakdown factors in an average amount of tile for a bathroom with a tub-shower combo. Custom tile showers, tile floors, or tile backsplashes can take up an even large portion of the budget if you choose to go that route.
FINISH WORK: $6,600 – 11%
After all the major items in the bathroom are installed, the finish carpentry begins. This is the phase where your bathroom goes from rough installation to move-in-ready. The build team will install trim, mirrors, door casings, windows, cabinet hardware, towel racks, and perform any other required polish-ups to get your bathroom ready for you to start using.
CABINETS & COUNTERTOPS: $6,600 – 11%
Bathroom vanities and countertops don’t take up as much of the budget as they do kitchen remodels. However, they can still make a substantial difference in your total cost depending on the cabinet line and countertop material you choose.
DEMOLITION: $4,200 — 7%
In order to get a new bathroom, the old one has to go. Believe it or not, demolition is more than just destroying things with a hammer until there’s room for the new bathroom. The process of demolition requires great attention to detail in order to prep the surfaces for new items to go in.
GENERAL & ADMINISTRATIVE: $4,200 – 7%
Any construction company you hire to do a remodel will have overhead expenses to cover. As a rule of thumb, the more value a contractor brings to the project, the higher their overhead will be. This may include company vehicles, warehouse and shipping costs, and administrative personnel.
DESIGN: $3,600 – 6%
If you want a bathroom remodel that meets your needs and reflects your style, a good design is the best place to start. It sets expectations clearly from the beginning and gives your builders clear instructions on what needs to be done.
FRAMING: $3,000 – 5%
For bathroom remodels with major structural changes, the framing costs can make up a big portion of the bill. The most obvious case where you’ll need framing work is if you are enlarging your bathroom. However, it can happen if you add or change the size of a window, move your shower, or need water damage repair.
CLEANUP $600 – 1%
Any courteous construction company will make sure to leave your remodel space squeaky clean before you move in. Sometimes, this involves cleaning out the space themselves. At Lamont Bros., we hire a professional cleaning service to deep clean the entire remodel space so it’s ready for you to start using.
What Can You Do to Save Money on Your Bathroom Remodel?
Based on the cost breakdown of a bathroom remodel, here are some practical ways you can keep the cost of your project under control.
1. Minimize Plumbing & Electrical Changes:
As Plumbing and Electrical work make up the largest portion of the budget (26%), reducing changes in these areas can significantly decrease the overall cost.
If possible, try to maintain the original layout of your bathroom to avoid relocating plumbing fixtures and electrical switches. Not only will this reduce the amount of work for skilled tradesmen, but it will also decrease the need for additional drywall and painting tasks associated with moving fixtures.
2. Consider Alternate Wall Treatments
Tile work forms another significant part of the budget (12%) due to the labor-intensive process of installation.
To cut back on tile costs, consider alternate wall treatments that are less labor-intensive but still durable and visually appealing. Wetwall shower wall panels offer great visual appeal and waterproofing but at a much lower material and installation cost point. If you’re set on using tiles, limit their use to certain areas (like the shower) and balance with less expensive options elsewhere.
3. Limit Major Structural Changes:
Framing costs (5%) can escalate quickly when you alter the structure of your bathroom, such as moving walls, adding windows, or expanding the bathroom’s footprint. To keep costs down, consider limiting the scope of your remodel to the existing structure. This can help you avoid additional framing costs as well as potential increases in other categories, such as Plumbing & Electrical and Painting & Drywall.
While this may somewhat constrain your design options, careful planning and creative use of your existing space can still result in a beautifully remodeled bathroom that meets your needs and design preferences.
Want to Learn More About Bathroom Remodeling?
Now that you have a better understanding of how different cost categories can affect the overall price of your bathroom remodel, take the next step in your research. Download our free Bathroom Remodel Buyer’s Guide for expert tips on how to effectively plan for your bathroom remodel.
The best way to have a successful bathroom remodel is to begin with a clearly defined, detailed plan. If you’re planning a bathroom remodel, click the button below to schedule a free design consultation with a member of our team. We’ll help you design your bathroom remodel and plan the process so you can have a successful project free of unwanted surprises.