Nowadays, bathrooms are much more than just a functional space; they require just as much attention to details as the rest of the house. If you are thinking about remodeling, you might have come across various costs and designs; however, the bathroom remodeling cost is high.

Despite the high prices, there are ways for you to minimize costs without completely sacrificing your choices. This article will discuss various ways through which you can cut the bathroom remodeling cost.

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Image source: EURO Design Build

This article will also discuss the prices of various bathroom appliances and fixtures from different ranges, such as low, mid and high range. Alongside this, it will also discuss different techniques through which you can reduce the bathroom remodeling cost.

The average cost of a bathroom remodel

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On average, a bathroom remodel costs about $10,199. However, if you take proper measures, you can plan a bathroom remodel between $3500 and $7000, in a small or medium sized bathroom. On the other hand, a master bathroom might be remodeled up to $13,000.

There are many questions when thinking about a bathroom remodel as the total cost depends on how you design and style your bathroom. A bathroom remodel provides the highest returns as a home improvement project, but it takes ample amount of time to complete.

Therefore, it is crucial to plan the remodeling process and ideas beforehand in order to make the right decisions when remodeling, and getting the perfect contractor to get the job done.

Some important tasks that you should perform are asking questions, setting expectations that are realistic, estimating the costs and setting up a budget, and finding the contractor to fit your requirements.

You should also find out information on the various accessories that will be added to the bathroom as well as design ideas and different contractors in order to plan the best bathroom remodel.

Estimating costs

Determining budgets can be very tricky and a large factor in determining the cost of the remodel depends on the size of your bathroom, as well as the range of the equipment you install.

For example, installing a bathtub of a low range will cost less than installing a bathroom of a high range. If you wish to install fixtures and appliances of a lower range, you will have more money to do other tasks and eventually, save money.

Remodeling costs of a small bathroom

A small bathroom remodel is usually less expensive than larger bathrooms as they have less space, which means fewer materials will be required, and they will usually have a lower price range as lesser amounts or smaller sizes are required.

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  • Layout change:

    If you plan to change the whole layout of your bathroom, through maybe increasing the square footage of the bathroom, this will increase the costs of the bathroom remodel. This will require changing electrical connections, adding more flooring and plumbing, which will increase the labor cost.

  • Appliances:

    If you plan to replace your old fixtures and appliances such as cabinets, sinks, tubs etc. this will increase the bathroom remodel cost as you will need to purchase the new appliances and getting professionals to install them. You can, however, reduce costs by installing the equipment yourself.

  • Plumbing and electrical:

    If you face any problems related to the plumbing or the electricity during your renovation, this will add more cost to your bathroom remodel. You might even have different professionals come to check, adding to more cost.

Remodeling ideas

There are so many questions to ask when thinking of remodeling, for example, who is the bathroom for? What colors should be updated? What design should be used? Will it go well with the other bathrooms of the house?

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Maybe you are a fast-paced person, with no time to take long baths;therefore, a shower will work best for your bathroom. Maybe you like relaxing and taking a dip in the Jacuzzi at night.

You could also have an aesthetic taste leading to pricier accessories and hence, increasing the bathroom remodel cost.

The best way to tackle these questions is to find different bathroom remodel ideas through magazines, the internet, as well as samples from the store. After you have gathered all your ideas, it is ideal to approach the contractor.

This will ensure that your bathroom is remodeled exactly according to your needs. Knowing the design options you want before remodeling will also save you money, as you will know what you want and will only look towards finding cheaper alternatives.

Types of accessories

After you have decided on your ideas and designs for the remodel, the next step is to find the perfect accessories to go with your bathroom, in an appropriate budget. If your bathroom does not have a particular style, such as modern or contemporary, a professional might be needed.

These professionals will make custom accessories to match your bathroom. They have different prices depending on the amount of work they have to put in, by the hour or other. They are usually costly.

However, if you wish to remain in your budget, you can purchase the accessories, such as sinks, toilets, cabinets etc. from various home depot stores. They have a variety of options to choose from and are cheaper.

It is best to leave the selection process to your contractor if you are unsure about what to buy that will best fit your ideas and budget. They have a wider access to bathroom remodel accessories through their personal relationships with manufacturers.

This means that they can also get them at cheaper prices than accessories present in home depot stores, hence reducing the bathroom remodel cost by a significant amount.

Unexpected costs

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These costs are the result of a blown out budget. This occurs when the tear-out phase of the remodel starts to take place, which results in many surprise expenses. This is because walls and floors are opened up and all the prior damage is now brought to attention.

Things like mold and water damage are the most common and the cost to repair them can range from $500 to $3000.

Even if you are lucky and avoid surprise expenses, you still have to replace all the items that you thought were fine, and previous plumbing might require updating as well, increasing the bathroom remodel cost.

Project price and agreements

This is a very important part of the remodeling process. Your contractor will give you a list of all the tasks they will be performing and the deadlines they will be meeting for each task as well as a written schedule.

This will help in the prevention of any disagreements that may arise due to miscommunication. It will also give you an exact idea of what to expect, as well as the period of the project’s completion.

A bathroom remodel is a long and tedious process, which is why your contractor might ask for money in advance, before the work starts, and after completing various milestones during the remodeling.

One thing you should make sure of is the amount of payment agreed upon, which should be put into writing.  Towards the end of the project, the contractor will give you a list of all the costs and other expenses.

Redoing the shower

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As the bathtub or shower is the main part of your bathroom, it can be the most costly when remodeling. Tubs have a starting price of $140 and can go all the way to almost $10,000. This only depends on what range you wish your bathtub to lie in.

More people prefer installing frameless glass shower doors, which cost $900 to $1,300, than installing a normal shower curtain. People also like to spend a good amount of money on the showerheads, which can reach up to $2000.

Getting rid of boring flooring

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Another important addition could be replacing the flooring.Vinyl and linoleum flooring are very common nowadays and are the cheapest when flooring. They will cost $1,450 on an average, whereas ceramic or porcelain tiles might cost about $2000.

Another flooring idea could be using marble or other stone tiles that cost almost about $2300

If you wish to go even further, invest in flooring heating that is expensive, with an addition of almost $675 to $1045, but is worth it on cold winter nights.

Material costs

As contractors charge a commission when purchasing materials through them, an effective way to save costs could be through purchasing materials on your own.

The contractor, however, would best purchase materials like insulation and drywall, but you can still purchase individual materials like mirrors, lights, appliances etc.

Next, a quick overview of different bathroom remodels materials will be discussed.


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Like most of the materials of a bathroom remodel, the cost of the tiles you buy depends on the type of tile you choose. Standard ceramic tiles are comparatively cheaper than ornamental mosaics.

It should be kept in mind, however, that the bathroom should only have tiles. Wooden floors are a strict no in bathrooms as the water might get absorbed. This is why tiles with a low seepage rate should be bought.


Countertops come in many low-budget varieties like laminate, tile etc. and they also come in high-scale varieties, like natural stone, quartz which cost about $100 per square foot.

One material that is loved by many homeowners and contractors is granite, which is expensive but also worth it. You can choose between solid countertops or thinner slabs.


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You can either choose from pre-built cabinets for the vanity of your bathroom, or custom built ones. Pre-built ones are cheaper and can be found in outlets like IKEA between the range of $200-$700.

If you wish to have custom-built cabinets, the price will depend on the fee of the carpenter you hire as well as the type of wood you select. This could reach almost $2000 per cabinet.


Sinks are usually very artful and bring the whole bathroom together. Cheaper sinks start at about $50, whereas artful, designer sinks cost more and add to the bathroom remodeling cost.


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The hardware and appliances are usually the least expensive items to look at when planning a bathroom renovation. There are a variety of options available at home improvement stores.

Examples of these include towel racks, rings, and toilet paper holders which all depend on the material and quality of the product.

Bathtubs and showers

Showers and bathtubs are the most important part of the shower and are definitely priced accordingly. On an average, a shower installation costs $900-$2000, and they are only the cheaper ones.

High-end showers cost more, almost as much a $6000. This includes buying and installation, shower doors, the floor as well as the walls. A standard tub/shower combo costs about $500-$1000.


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It is no secret that the place where you groom yourself the most is in the bathroom, therefore perfect lighting is essential. It is appropriate to have a single overhead light, as individual light fixtures cost about $40-$100, and they may even have built-in fans for ventilation.

High-end lights, on the other hand, cost even more and their installation labor might also be higher, adding to the bathroom remodeling cost.

Tips to cut down the high costs

1. Your own demolisher

Before installing your new shower stall, you will have to tear apart the existing fixtures. Usually, people hire professionals for the teardown phase, which can be as costly as $1000. By tearing down some of the fixtures yourself, you can save some of the bathroom remodeling cost.

However, this also requires a lot of thought and planning, as you will need accurate tools such as a sledgehammer, a crowbar as well as a claw hammer.

It is also important to know what is behind which wall before you start tearing down the walls. This can save you money too as you can avoid plumbing and electrical damages.

Lastly, it is also important to know that doing it yourself will also cost you, as you will need the right tools, you will also have to rent a dumpster and a special service to carry away the debris from the teardown phase.

2. Recycling center

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Another good method to reduce costs could be by visiting a recycling center and looking at lightly used and recycled fixtures as potential additions. You can find anything from tubs to tiles and even windows and flooring there.

You can find many different collectibles there for cheaper prices such as a vanity with a built-in sink for only $100.

3. Lighting, not holes

Adding windows is essential, as it will also provide for a natural source of light in the daytime, but also makes the bathroom more breathable. However, they are a pricey solution, and instead of making a big hole in your wall to make room for a window, alternatives can be used.

One example is the sun tube or the solar tube, which can be installed to give off solar light. They range from 10 inches to 20 inches in diameter and are easy to install, as only a small hole has to be made.

They cost about $200-$400 as compared to a $1,500 window installation.

4. Subway tiles

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If you have a beautiful mosaic tile for your bathroom renovation, it is better to keep it for only one wall, and keep it as a feature wall and use white subway tiles for the rest of the walls, this will be cost-effective and look sophisticated.

Subway tiles are as cheap as $3 per square foot and are a timeless beauty.

5. Painting

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Even the cheapest of tiles can put a huge dent in your budget, therefore; you do not necessarily need a floor to ceiling tile coverage to make the area stand out.

You can simply paint the walls in the shower area and keep the tiles to the floor only.

6. Realism

It is also important to plan your budget in real terms, and not think about a luxurious bathroom with a limited budget. You should evaluate your expectations and then act accordingly.

7. Delay predictions

The bathroom renovation process is long and tedious as well as expensive, therefore delays can only add to the cost. This could lead to more payments, replacements and alternative hires, therefore, it is important to predict any delays and take preventative measures.

8. Design planning

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If you have not put proper thought into your design planning, you can discover many faults in your plans mid-renovation, which might lead to last minute changes in plans and hence, increase costs.

It is important to go through your design plan thoroughly in order to avoid any last minute errors such as not having enough space or interfering factors.

9. Resisting “scope creep”

If you have the habit of making any last minute changes or additions, keep in mind that they might be costly when mid-construction. Therefore, try to avoid stacking more things.

10. Getting the best contractor

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If you wish to cut more costs, it is important to not set on the first contractor you come across. Look around and find a contractor that gives you value for money and offers a good deal that fits your requirements.

This will minimize your costs as well as promote a healthy work environment.

11. Research materials

A bathroom renovation requires background research before reaching final decisions regarding designs and ideas, for example, if you like a tile, you must ensure that it is durable and if it is designed for walls or not. Wooden floors in bathrooms are not promoted because of seepage.

Therefore, the tiles absorption rate should also be looked into. It is best to go for a tile with a <7% rating in terms of seepage and a <3% for shower flooring.

You can also save money by painting the walls rather than ordering bath-specific paint.

12. Ready to assemble cabinets

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Another method of reducing costs is through purchasing ready to assemble cabinets for your bathroom vanity. You can later add a custom look to them by refacing the cabinet doors and adding high-end hardware, rather than getting the whole cabinet custom made.

13. Avoid moving things

Simplicity is key, is a phrase that almost always stands its ground. It will definitely save money if you maintain the simple and basic outlook of your bathroom. Moving the tub or shower and especially the toilet requires a lot of plumbing changes and hence increases cost.

14. Shortcuts

Another cost-effective method is to buy the materials yourself and then hire the contractor to install them. Many designers offer a “design only” service, which means they will design the space; you just have to purchase the material and get a contractor to get the job done.

15. Affordable alternatives

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Another method that can help you save money and reduce your bathroom remodeling cost is to have flexible expectations. This can mean, for example, choosing stock fixtures from local home improvement stores rather than custom pieces.

Custom pieces are comparatively expensive and if you have a smaller budget, it is best to stick to stock produced fixtures for your bathroom renovation.

Ending thoughts on the bathroom remodeling cost

if you wish to keep your budget in check and save money on your bathroom remodel, avoid purchasing any custom made or high-end fixtures for your bathroom, try to do as much work as you can, this means purchasing the material yourself and working as much as you can.

Alongside this, plan your ideas, designs and the methods of achieving these goals thoroughly. This will remove any miscommunication and promote a more accurate result of the bathroom remodel you are looking for.

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