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Average cost of a bathroom remodel


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Renovating your bathroom won’t just bring you that steamy shower or deep soaking tub you’ve been dreaming of. It could also improve the resale value of your home.

Bathroom renovations have an average return on investment (ROI) of 60% to 68%, according to HomeGuide, with some upgrades adding more value than others. But you’ll need to spend some money before you can increase the value of your home, enough that you’ll need to consider home equity loans or other financing to pay for it. You should expect to spend 5% to 10% of your home’s value on a bathroom remodel, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association. Based on that, if your home is valued at $200,000, your bathroom remodel could cost between $10,000 and $20,000.

While there are a variety of factors that affect bathroom remodeling costs, from materials to room size to labor, understanding the average cost of a bathroom remodel can help you plan your budget.

How much does a typical bathroom remodel cost?

The cost of a bathroom remodel will vary depending on the scope of the project, the cost of materials, the size of the room, and other factors. Choosing to do your project yourself can lower costs, while hiring a contractor or plumber will add to your bill.

Smaller, low-cost changes could include painting walls, changing fixtures, or refinishing a bathtub. The most expensive remodels could be installing a shower, re-tile, or replacing cabinets.

“Bathroom remodels can range in scale from a simple update, with cosmetic fixes like painting cabinets and replacing mirrors, to a total renovation that involves installing a new luxury shower, replacing your sink, re-tiling, and more,” he says. Allie Weiss, USA, Digital Director of Architectural Digest. “Replacing outdated plumbing fixtures is a common project and usually an easy one to execute, as is adding extra storage and repainting to make a mediocre bathroom feel fresh.”

Here are the average bathroom remodel costs you can expect, according to a survey by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, depending on whether you’re looking for a minor or major upgrade:

Type of bathroom renovation. Average cost
Minor $3,567
Important $23,557

Bathroom Remodel Cost Breakdown

Remodeling a bathroom has always been an expensive undertaking, but costs have been rising lately due to supply chain issues, labor shortages, and inflation.

“Labor costs are only going higher and higher because of inflation,” says Jeremy Maher, director of operations at Phoenix Home Remodeling. “If someone got a quote from a contractor six months ago and then wanted to start a project now, the price is just not the same anymore, unfortunately.”

Your costs could also increase if you need to stay elsewhere during your bathroom remodel, says Weiss. “Have a plan in place for whether or not you can realistically live through the renovation,” she says. “It may be beneficial to stay elsewhere for a while, if feasible, as access to the toilet and shower may be limited.”

From showers to cabinets to flooring, here are some of the main costs to expect when remodeling a bathroom:

pro tip

The average cost of a bathroom remodel can vary depending on the scope of the project, the size of the room, and the materials you choose. Estimating your costs in advance will help you keep your project within budget.

Shower

Adding a new shower is a major project that can add to the cost of a bathroom remodel.

“The most expensive thing per square foot is a custom tiled shower floor,” says Maher. “With the tile floor, the glass shower walls, the automated shower fixtures and things like that, the shower is one of the most expensive areas for sure.”

The average cost to install a new shower is $6,576, according to HomeAdvisor, with a typical range of $3,000 to $10,000.

Flat

Replacing the flooring will typically cost between $800 and $3,500, or between $7 and $20 per square foot, according to HomeGuide. Costs will vary depending on the material you choose and the size of your bathroom. Vinyl and linoleum will cost less, while wood and tile will cost more.

cabinets

Cabinets can be another big issue, though costs will vary depending on whether you’re installing new cabinets or refinishing existing ones. Expect to pay $500 to $3,600 for cabinet installation and $200 to $800 to refinish existing cabinets, according to HomeGuide.

Cabinets have also gotten more expensive lately due to the current shortage of wood, says Maher. “With the cost of lumber and inflation, everything is going up,” says Maher. “That’s another reason cabinets can be such an expensive part.”

countertops

If you want to replace your bathroom countertops, expect to pay between $15 and $60 per square foot, or an average cost of $450 to $1,500, according to HomeGuide. Materials like ceramic or porcelain tile, laminate, and Formica will typically cost less, while higher-end materials like quartz, granite, and terrazzo will increase costs.

Plumbing and electricity

If you are going to make major structural changes, you may need to hire a plumber or electrician. Installing plumbing pipes costs $450 to $1,800 per fixture, while rerouting electrical wiring can cost $2 to $4 per square foot, according to HomeGuide.

When completing these projects, you may also need to purchase permits from your city.

“Each city has different requirements,” says Maher. “You may need a permit if you are removing a wall, changing the electrical, or working on the plumbing. There are some places that even make you get a permit to change the water heater.”

Work expenses

If you need to hire a general contractor, expect the average cost to drop to around $4,000, according to Angi. As Maher mentioned, labor costs have been going up lately, so you may have to pay more today than you did a year ago.

“It’s a supply and demand issue,” says Maher. “It’s getting harder and harder to find workers.”

How to finance a bathroom remodel

Once you have your bathroom remodel vision in place, it’s time to figure out how to finance it. Unless you cover the entire cost in cash up front, here are some financing options that might help.

HELOC or Home Equity Loan

A home equity loan or line of credit (HELOC) can be an affordable way to borrow against your home equity. Lenders generally allow you to withdraw up to 85% of your available equity, which is the difference between the value of your home and the amount you owe on your mortgage.

A HELOC is a revolving line of credit that you can draw on when you need it. A home equity loan, on the other hand, works like an installment loan: You get a lump sum up front and pay it back with fixed monthly payments over a set period of time. Be careful: Because both are insured against the value of your home, you risk losing your home if you don’t pay them.

A HELOC may be preferable if you want more flexibility and don’t mind an adjustable rate. After all, your bathroom remodel may cost more than you bargained for. However, a home equity loan may be better if you know exactly how much money you’ll need at the start of your project and prefer a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan.

Refinancing with cash out

Another option to consider is a cash-out refinance. With this strategy, you’ll replace your existing mortgage with a new, higher mortgage and keep the difference for yourself. You can use the additional funds to finance your bathroom remodel.

However, with interest rates rising, a cash-out refinance isn’t as affordable as it was a year ago. Also, you should be careful about adding time to your payment term or overinflating your mortgage.

“There is a lot of talk that home prices could go down,” says Maher. “If you take a cash-out refinance and the value of your home goes down, there’s a chance you actually owe more than it’s worth.”

personal loan

A personal loan is another financing option for your bathroom remodel. Some lenders allow you to borrow up to $100,000 for your home renovation.

Like a home equity loan, a personal loan is an installment loan that you’ll typically pay in fixed monthly payments over a period of two to seven years.

However, because most personal loans are unsecured, you may need excellent credit to qualify for the lowest rates.

bathroom remodel vs. bathroom renovation

People often use remodeling and renovation interchangeably, but there may be some difference between the terms. A remodel often refers to changing the appearance of a bathroom with cosmetic updates, while a renovation can involve larger structural alterations.

“A remodel may involve cosmetic and functional improvements, but maintaining the overall structure and framework of your bathroom, whereas a renovation is likely to be a larger project that might require demolition, moving pipes, etc.,” says Weiss. “Some aspects of a remodel may be fine for DIY enthusiasts to take on alone, while a renovation requires hiring a team.”

Because a renovation is a more extensive project that might require a contractor, plumber, electrician, or other professional, it’s likely to be priced significantly higher than a remodel. But if you plan to sell your home, you might get your money back in the end.

“High-tech touchless toilets and faucets are popular, and people love the look of sleek, ripple-free showers,” says Weiss. “All of these investment features can absolutely help with ROI. For much lower cost upgrades, updating your bathroom fixtures to a consistent color like brushed brass, making sure your space has adequate lighting, and painting your cabinets white can also improve ROI.”

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