The national average cost to remodel a bathroom ranges from $12,500 to $15,000 depending on the size and extent of the project.
The cost to remodel a bathroom varies greatly. Factors like the current state of the space, the specific bathroom remodel design plans and material costs can all impact the overall price. Some bathroom remodel projects involve simple repairs and replacements in a small bathroom, whereas others require major replacements and upgrades, renovation of an entire bathroom or the addition of a whole new bathroom. So what will a bathroom remodeling contractor charge you? Let’s look at the numbers.
What’s in this cost guide?
The national average cost to remodel a bathroom by square foot
Like a home renovation, the unique requirements, materials, and scope of project mean the average cost of a bathroom remodel ranges widely. Contractors or plumbers will probably have to take a look in person before they can provide a free estimate for the renovation.
To give you more of an idea of what you’ll pay before a contractor gives you an estimate, here are several cost examples for remodels of different size bathrooms, provided by Thumbtack Pro Viewpoint NW, a bathroom remodeler in Vancouver, Washington. Keep in mind each job was specific to that house. The total cost of each project includes all material and labor costs:
|Bathroom Size||Remodel Cost|
To remodel a small bathroom, the national average cost is between $1,250 and $3,500. Smaller spaces mean less material, labor or installation costs. Simple projects like tile replacement, sink replacement, and updating light fixtures can improve the look and feel of your bathroom at a lower cost and time commitment.
However, if you plan to add more square footage to your bathroom, that’s where the expenses can really add up. Expanding the size of an existing small bathroom increases the total cost of a bathroom renovation project and lengthens the job’s timeline. Some expansions may require permits, too, which may cost an additional fee and take time to secure.
Example of a small bathroom remodel project
- 64 work hours
- Repaired water damage from a toilet leak
- Removed the old vinyl floor and subfloor
- Prepped the area and installed new tile floor
- Installed a new laminate countertop after removing the old countertop
- Installed a new sink, faucet, fixtures and backsplash
- Installed a new mirror
Adding a bathroom to an existing space costs upwards of $8,000 on average nationally, depending on size of the new bathroom. Material and appliance costs can easily add up when building a new bathroom, so be sure to estimate the cost of every appliance you plan to include in the space.
The more luxurious the materials for a bathroom remodeling project, the higher your budget will be. Using marble for your counters, custom cabinetry or handpainted ceramic tiles for your new shower walls in the master bathroom will look terrific. But it will also raise your material costs considerably more than installing a laminate countertop and low-end or mid-range tiles.
Another major expense for new bathroom renovations is plumbing. Installing a new toilet, sink, bathtub or walk-in shower will incur plumbing costs on top of your material and labor costs. Plumbers with the necessary know-how or trained general contractors must install new pipes, valves and the appropriate drainage systems.
Example of a new bathroom renovation project
- 250 work hours
- Built a spa bathroom out of a plain, carpeted 12×10 room
- Leveled the floor, which was uneven by 1.5 inches
- Built a jacuzzi tub frame with marble surround
- Built a new shower with marble finish
- Built a closet and vanity from sheetrock
- Installed new tile flooring
- Ran new plumbing for the jacuzzi soaking tub
It’s possible to get a high-end look for less than $10,000, says James Tapia of Global Housing Contractors. According to him, here are a few ways to save money on your bathroom remodel:
Skip the fancy toilet
You don’t need to buy a fancy toilet to have a nice bathroom. Tapia recommends American Standard. “They make a very good toilet, out of the box.” Also consider a low-flow toilet, which can save you additional money over time.
Shop around for the best price on tiles
Floor tiles have a big impact on the bathroom, so they’re often a place pros recommend spending a bit more. But you can save money by doing your homework.
“Competition between tile distributors has increased, and there are a lot of players in the market,” says Michael Big of Big Brothers Development. “This means with a bit of shopping, you can find gorgeous tiles at competitive pricing.”
Another pro tip: Look for ceramic tiles that mimic granite. Subway tiles and other more affordable options will also make a huge difference. Learn more about tile installation costs
Avoid high-end retailers for bathroom accessories
Big box stores and online retailers have surprisingly good deals on towel bars and storage. Don’t spend extra money on this stuff at high-end stores and instead buy your faucet, hardware and other common items from cheaper retailers.
Whether you’re re-doing a large bathroom or a small one; tackling it on the cheap or have more budget to spare, finding ideas for your new bathroom is a necessary (and fun) part of the process. We asked Thumbtack Bathroom Remodeler pros about the biggest interior design trends they’ve seen in recent remodel projects. Here are their ideas:
Small changes, big impact
- Retile to spruce up flooring
- Replace or refinish your bathtub, toilet or sink
- Replace or update your shower
- Add or replace fixtures and faucets
- Replace the hardware on your cabinets
- Update your countertop
How to make a small bathroom feel big
- Update paint or wallpaper to all of your walls, or a single accent wall
- Add mirrors or increase the size of your existing ones
- Add or replace light fixtures
- Update or add tiles
- Update your vanity
Popular design trends
- Colorful or specialty wall tiles
- Shower bench
- Marble countertops
Can I see examples of your past bathroom remodeling work?
Read your contractor’s reviews. Comb for details on their punctuality, communication skills, work environment cleanliness and work quality. But if you see negative reviews, don’t dismiss the pro right away. Look at how they respond: if they show strong communication and conflict-resolution skills, they may still be a good fit.
Make sure you also ask for a portfolio of their past work, especially if you have a specialty project in mind. On Thumbtack, you can look at photos of previous work for bathroom remodeling contractors before you hire them.
Do you take on bathroom remodeling projects of my scope?
Some contractors specialize in certain kinds of projects. For example, one contractor may do bathroom additions and master bath renovations, while another focuses specifically on small bathroom remodels. Ask this question upfront to save everyone the time and effort of a site visit.
Also, if you need bathroom design services, make sure to ask if your contractor has design training. If not, consider hiring an architect or designer in addition to your bathroom remodeler.
How many projects do you run at the same time?
You want a company that has time for you and has long-term relationships with its subcontractors. Make sure you and your contractor have the same expectations about how often they will be onsite once the remodel or renovation kicks off. The contractor should be open with you about how long each stage of the project will take, and they should show a good understanding of what factors could potentially push that timeline out.
Who will be working in my home?
Many general contractors serve as the business head and hire foremen to run projects. Ask to meet the project manager and make sure it’s someone you want at your house every day. Depending on the elements of your bathroom remodeling project, your contractor will probably bring in more specialists.
This is a good thing in most cases — you want a specialist for things like drywall, painting, and retiling. But make sure you ask exactly what will be subcontracted out and get background information on those subcontractors.
Are you bonded, licensed and insured?
Any contractor or subcontractor who works on your house should be bonded, licensed, and insured properly according to state and local standards. Insurance can help protect you if your home gets damaged during construction or workers are hurt on site, while hiring a bonded contractor can help protect you if the contractor fails to pay workers, doesn’t pay for permits, or doesn’t finish the work. Here’s more on how to do your research.
What permits does my renovation or remodel need and will you get them?
If a contractor isn’t willing to get the permits, it may be a sign they’re not licensed. You may need permits to make sure the work is up to code and that your homeowners insurance will cover it once it’s done. Make sure to ask whether permits are required and, if yes, ask to see the permits before the project starts.
How do you work?
What time does the work day start and end? Do workers clean up at the end of every day? Will they haul off garbage and debris? If pros are working inside, ask how they’ll protect your hardwood floors from damage. It’s best to talk about all of this upfront and get it in writing. And don’t just take their word for it — make sure to read their previous reviews carefully to see what other homeowners have said about their working style.