Bathroom Remodeling Costs

Roger Diez | Improvement Center Columnist | December 13, 2011

If you are contemplating a bathroom remodel, remember that it is easy to go overboard: fancy fixtures, marble countertops and floors, and solid teak cabinets are just a few ways to splurge. If your budget can handle it, more power to you. Most of us want to get some serious bang for our limited buck. At the same time, we want to get the job done in a timely fashion, because living without the use of a bathroom is a little too 19th century.

Bathroom budget items

First, determine the extent of your bathroom remodel. A minor facelift will obviously cost much less than a complete renovation. Make a list of everything you will need to buy, including light fixtures, towel racks, shower enclosure, flooring, paint or wallpaper, vanities, medicine cabinets--even a new door if that's in your plans. Get cost estimates for each item, and shop around for the best price. A local home improvement store and the Internet are good sources to determine availability and pricing.

Bathroom remodeling costs and returns

According to Remodeling Magazine, there are two levels of bathroom remodeling: mid-range and upscale. Remodeling Magazine's 2010-2011 survey revealed that the average cost in the United States of a mid-range bathroom remodel is $16,634. This includes a new ceramic tile floor, vinyl wallpaper, a new tub and toilet, double sinks, a vanity with a solid countertop, and a recessed medicine cabinet.

Add a room expansion, new window, re-plumbing to relocate fixtures, stone countertops, an over-sized tile shower, bidet, top-of-the line faucets, or state-of-the-art lighting, and you have an upscale remodel that can easily double the cost of the mid-range project.

You can anticipate an approximate 64.1 percent return on your investment, or $10,668 for a mid-range remodel. Costs and returns vary by location. Along the West coast, a mid-range remodel carries an average sticker price of about $19,490 and a 79.6 percent ROI. The best price point for a bathroom remodel is in the South-central U.S., with an average cost of $14,536 and a 70.5 percent return.

Cost tradeoffs

If you can do some or all of the work yourself, you can reduce bathroom remodeling costs, significantly. On the other hand, a remodeling contractor may be able to save you money with wholesale pricing on fixtures sufficient to offset labor costs. Plus, the cash you spend getting your bathroom remodel done right the first time, often saves you money in the long run. To get estimates from local bathroom remodeling contractors in your area, fill out the form on this page.