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What to Know When Remodeling Bathrooms

Updated: Mar 9

A bathroom remodel is a pretty big project, even if its for a small bathroom. If you're planning on remodeling a bathroom, you've come to the right place to help you plan for it.

You obviously cannot use the bathroom being worked on until it is finished, so if you don't have another bathroom you can use in the meantime, you will need to plan on renting a portapody and showering at a friend or families house until it's finished.

How much does it cost to remodel a bathroom?

The first question most people want answered is, "How much does it cost to remodel a bathroom?" Depending on the type of person you are, it's either going to cost about as much as you think it will, about twice as much as you think it will, or about half as much as you think it will. In my experience, most people fall into the category of the project costing twice as much as they think it will.

Now, regardless of the size of your bathroom, the absolute minimum it could possibly cost to do a full gut and remodel of your entire bathroom is about $5,000 to $10,000. Materials alone are going to be almost half of that, and if you get really expensive materials, the price will increase and cover more than half of that. In general, your shower and vanity are going to be your biggest material expense.

If you are planning on changing the floor plan of your bathroom and moving your shower, vanity, and toilet to different locations, then you now have the additional cost of re-plumbing the entire bathroom. Plumbing is already one of the biggest labor expenses, so if you need to save money, stick with the current layout.

If your bathroom is old and outdated, you may need to update the electrical to bring it up to code, that would also be an added expense. So, too if you need to add a ceiling exhaust fan or heated floors or something.

While tile is traditionally the best way to go for flooring in a bathroom, today Vinyl Plank Flooring is just as good and will help you save a lot of money. They cost relatively the same in material, but vinyl flooring installs much faster than tile flooring.

Obviously, the larger and/or more complex your bathroom is, the more it will cost. But it doesn't come down to square feet in the end. It comes down to time spent on labor and the material cost, plus overhead and management fee's.

Are there ways I can save money on remodeling my bathroom?

Absolutely! In general, if your home is more than 20 years old, it's usually best to do a full gut and remodel so we can inspect the integrity of the walls and insulation and update them. But removing this from the equation will save you a several hundred dollars.

If affordability is a factor, then don't try to change the current layout of the bathroom. Changing the layout always increases the price dramatically, so unless it's absolutely necessary, or you can afford to do whatever you want, it's best to work with what you got.

The biggest savings you will find in a bathroom remodel choosing a simple to install shower/tub kit rather than having a custom tile shower installed. A simple 1 to 4 piece shower/tub kit with direct to stud installation can be finished in a single day. A custom tile shower however will take almost a week in and of itself.

It's difficult to compare the material cost between shower kits and custom showers because there's a wide variety of brands and styles with a wide variety of prices on both sides.

Do you need to have a glass shower door? A glass shower door adds a minimum of $2000 to the project between parts and labor. Glass doors are nice, but if you need to save money, best to just get yourself a simple shower hanger bar and a shower curtain.

Also, does your toilet need to be replaced, or does it work just fine? It's a couple hundred bucks for a new toilet, and it's no additional labor whether it's being replaced or reinstalled. So, it's up to you.

Finally, as mentioned before you can save money by choosing vinyl plank flooring over tile or hardwood. Hardwood isn't a great option for a bathroom anyway. Vinyl flooring can be install much faster, and it can look just like hardwood or tile.

Custom Tile Shower or Prefabricated Shower Kit?

A Custom Tile Shower is going to be more expensive to install than a Prefabricated Shower Kit. That said, quality depends on price, not type. You can get a really high quality Prefabricated Shower Kit and save a lot of money on installation.

If you do get a really high quality Shower Kit, chances are the whole ordeal will end up costing about as much a simple and humble Custom Tile Shower. On the other hand, if you get really complex and fancy, a Custom Tile Shower could become very expensive very quickly. But complex and fancy have their benefits if you can afford it.

If you're a traditionalist like me, you would rather have at least a simple Custom Tile Shower. But if you need to save money, there are some pretty decent Prefabricated Shower Kits for under a grand.

Tile, Hardwood or Vinyl Flooring?

Traditionally, tile is the proper floor to have in a bathroom. There is never not a puddle on the floor after a bath or shower. As such, hardwood floors are a terrible option for bathrooms. Not only are they susceptible to water damage, but all the mess from every day hygiene can end up between the cracks of the floor. When those messes can include biological tissue and hygiene products, that means they can potentially grow bacteria, mold or fungus between the cracks in your floor.

However, there is a very inexpensive option available called Vinyl Plank Flooring. It's just as water proof as tile, it's more bacteria, mold and fungus resistant than tile grout, and less expensive than hardwood. Furthermore, it can be manufactured to look like anything, so there's a wide variety of styles that look like hardwood, tile and stone, so you can have the same look for less.

Prefabricated Vanity or Custom Vanity?

Most people probably don't know that you can build a custom vanity. At it's very least, it's nothing more than a cabinet with a countertop and a sink. You aren't limited to the wide variety of Prefabricated Vanities. That said, there are some very nice one's.

But if you wish to get creative, you can use any floor based cabinets you want or even have something custom built for you. As for the countertop and sink, you have a stone countertop manufacturer make you a custom stone countertop and sink for it, or you can get creative build a custom concrete, epoxy or tile countertop and install a vanity sink into that.

In general, the least expensive option is goint to be installing a Prefabricated Shower because that option will always include the least amount of labor.

What does it cost to expand a bathroom?

The cost will, of course, vary from situation to situation, but in general the process includes demolishing at least one wall, building one or two walls. Then the additional plumbing needed in that area needs to be installed. That means additional floor space needs to be demolished, and we have to demolish the floor down to the joists. After the rought plumbing is done, then we need to reinstall subfloor and finish the walls. Then both rooms need to be painted.

If we were doing a full gut and remodel for say, $10,000 to $15,000, and you wanted to add an extension onto that, it would add, at a minimum, approximately, $ 7,500 to $10,000. So that would make the minimum cost of expanding a bathroom with a full gut and remodel cost around $17,500 to $25,000 depending on size and complexity.


I hope this article helped answer your questions. If you have more unanswered questions feel free to email me at

Would you like us to give you a consultation for your Bathroom Remodel? Give us a call now to schedule your first appointment! 860-817-7191

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