Whether you’re looking for a spa-like sanctuary or need a simple refresh, a bathroom update can be a wise investment in your home. So how can you remodel yours without breaking the bank? Here are 6 key things to keep in mind when budgeting for a bathroom remodel.
Bathrooms can be one of the most cost-effective ways to add value to your home. In fact, research shows the average bathroom can result in up to a 75% return on your investment. But you want to make sure your vision aligns with the budget you have available. That’s where a little planning can go a long way.
1. Decide whether you’ll be changing your bathroom’s footprint
One of the first things to plan for when budgeting for a bathroom remodel is the big stuff, starting with layout.
Is there something about the layout of your current bathroom that just doesn’t work for you? Do you need to move the shower in order to make room for a second vanity or for a larger closet?
Changing the existing layout of your bathroom will be one of the biggest expenses in your budget. As soon as you start moving around the shower or the tub, that means new plumbing, and it may require additional structural work, such as reframing for that new shower area. Even moving a toilet to a new location can make a dent in your budget.
If you’re ok with your existing bathroom footprint, a pull-and-replace bathroom refresh may meet your needs. This involves leaving your key elements like the shower, tub, toilet, and vanity where they are and updating them with things like new tile, fixtures, and flooring.
Either way you go, determining whether or not you need to alter your bathroom layout should be high on your planning list.
2. Shower, tub, or both?
A trend we’re seeing with a lot of clients is a shift away from tubs and toward larger showers. In many cases, clients are having existing tubs removed to make room for expanded shower areas — especially deck-mounted tubs which can take up a lot of space.
If you decide to go with a larger shower, you’ll want to think about materials and finishes.
For materials, do you want a preformed shower or are you looking for a custom tile shower area that you can help design yourself? The latter will be more expensive, but offers much more flexibility when it comes to size and design options. Chances are, if you’re looking to do a complete bathroom overhaul, a preformed shower won’t be right for you.
When it comes to bathroom finishes, the options can seem limitless, so taking some time to plan out exactly what you need will help give you a more reasonable budget figure. For example, do you need six body sprays, two rain shower heads, and temperature controls all managed by a central digital interface, like this Kohler digital showering system?
Or will something a bit more simple, yet still elegant and functional, suffice? Deciding on the type and style of your fixtures should definitely factor in to your budget planning.
3. How many vanities?
If your current bathroom has a single vanity, adding an extra one as part of your remodel can be a great way to add comfort and value to the space. Not only can it provide more elbow room and more space for morning and evening routines, it can also add extra storage.
Along with the possibility of adding an extra vanity, you’ll also want to decide on what type of vanity or vanities you want: traditional ones that are anchored to the floor or more contemporary floating options? Floating vanities can be a bit more expensive, but they can also give you more design flexibility.
4. Where you shouldn’t skimp
It may be tempting to try and DIY parts of your bathroom remodel, but there are some things you simply shouldn’t attempt to do on your own.
Unless you’re a skilled professional, trying to tackle the plumbing in your bathroom remodel is probably not a good idea. There’s a reason plumbing is a specialized trade. The last thing you want is for your brand new showers to spring a leak? Or for that leak to start causing water damage inside your walls. When it comes to plumbing, it’s best to leave it to the experts.
The same can go for tiling your shower. There can be much more room for error with tiling a shower than, say, a kitchen backsplash. For instance, you need to make sure the shower membrane and pan are properly sealed to prevent any leaks. Depending on the type of tile you use, it may require a lot of precise cutting.
And you want to make sure you lay and set the tile in the right order. You don’t want to tile the floor before you do the walls, or you could damage it by stepping on the floor tiles with your work boots.
5. Tips on how to get started
A great way to get started in budgeting for your bathroom remodel is to head online. Check out sites like Pinterest and Houzz and look for designs that match what you’re going for. Then you can begin comparing different elements like tile and fixtures to start compiling basic budget figures.
Once you have an idea of what you want to do with your bathroom, you can start confidently looking for contractors. At Lamont Bros., since we have teams of designers and builders in-house, we can help you with both the design and construction of your new bathroom, from start to finish. And we’ll advise you on ways to get the most out of your new space and help stretch your budget dollars. In fact, here’s a bathroom design pro-tip from one of our designers…
Bonus bathroom design pro-tip
Consider adding heated floors to your bathroom. Not only is it an inexpensive upgrade, it can also help keep your bathroom dryer and less moldy. That can make for a healthier space and it can extend the longevity of your tile floors.
6. Average costs
As we’ve noted, the cost of your bathroom can depend on a lot of factors.
To give you a more specific idea of what a bathroom remodel may run you, here are some examples.
Hall bathroom remodel
A basic 5×8 pull-and-replace bathroom remodel with a tile floor, tub with tile shower surround, semi-custom vanity, Quartz countertop, new plumbing fixtures, new mirror or medicine cabinet and new lighting will likely range from about $32,000-$45,000, depending on some variables. Can it get below that? Sure, but that all comes down to figuring out what compromises you want to make and how to make design decisions that save you money. Can it be above that? Of course–there’s always another cool feature that can be added.
Master bathroom remodel
A basic pull-and-replace master bathroom is typically much larger than a 40 SF hall bathroom, and it often includes both a tub and a larger custom tile shower, either two vanities, or a double vanity and sometimes a separate water closet. The cost for this type of project can range anywhere from about $48,000-$75,000. As you work through the design process you’ll find that every decision you make about each aspect of your remodel will push that budget lower or higher in that range.
For more information, check out our bathroom costs page.
Are you thinking about doing a bathroom remodel? We’re happy to discuss your project and start working with you on building your dream space. Simply schedule a conversation with us!