Bathroom Remodel Costs: 5 Things No One Will Tell You

Kenneth Wilson

Bathrooms are the least explored areas of your home, but they’re undoubtedly one of the most private and personal. Being your momentary space to spend your personal time, it’s crucial to have a bathroom that’ll resonate with your personality. Whether you’d like a luxury, hotel-like bathroom or a simple, rustic aesthetic, you’re up to your bathroom’s design. 

Bidding farewell to your outdated bathroom? Is your bathroom’s appeal not calming and comfortable enough for you? It may be time for a bathroom remodel. Since this will be a home project, expenses should be anticipated and prioritized. 

In this article, let’s have a comprehensive rundown of various costs associated with bathroom remodeling.

Reminder: Everything in this list only serves as an estimate. Thus, take them as a grain of salt for your own bathroom remodel project. Costs may vary depending on the season, your location, market condition, and more.

Why Is Bathroom Remodeling Expensive?

Among various home remodeling projects, bath remodels are one of the most costly next to kitchen remodels. By merely searching up bathroom remodel quotes, you’ll be surprised by how expensive they are. But what makes bathroom remodels so costly compared to remodeling other parts of your home?

Ensuring that a bathroom serves its purpose correctly and safely means that it requires professional work. Bathroom remodel involves all kinds of building trades and contractors—plumber, carpenter, drywall installer, painter, tiler, flooring installer, and more, which play specific roles in the project.

5 Things No One Will Tell You About Bathroom Remodel Costs

Looking forward to your bathroom remodel? Before taking out any amount on your remodel budget, take a look at these things that you’ll rarely know about the costs of the remodeling project:

1. Add a bit of allowance to your budget.

In 2020, Angie’s List estimated that bathroom remodels range between $9,600 to $11,000. Meanwhile, according to Home Advisor, the average cost of bathroom remodel is $10,755, ranging from $6,127 to $15,386. 

If you have a smaller-sized bathroom, you may spend as little as $3,500 to $7,000, and master bathrooms are incredibly expensive at more than $25,000. 

With these fluctuating costs, it would be safer to assume that the remodeling project costs are always more. This way, you can provide leeway for your remodeling budget and ensure that you’re not going anywhere financially critical mid-project. 

Also, working with the bathroom professionals will help you narrow down your costs better, and make sure that there aren’t any surprise costs during the project. Many contractors provide free quotes for your bathroom remodel project.

2. Small bathrooms can be remodeled to look bigger.

Don’t be discouraged on your bathroom remodel project just because you have limited space. A small bathroom space could use a few remodeling and modifications to create an illusion of wider space, and surprisingly, you won’t need to move any walls at all!

Home project costs are typically measured by square foot at $120 to $275 each. If you have a smaller bathroom, remodeling costs are less than larger spaces. To give better light on the bathroom remodel costs according to room dimensions, take a look at these estimated costs:

  • 15 square feet: $1,500 to $4,000
  • 24 square feet: $2,400 to $3,600
  • 32 square feet: $3,200 to $4,800
  • 36 square feet: $3,600 to $5,400
  • 40 square feet: $4,000 to $11,000

3. DIY-ing will cost you more.

In some instances, homeowners plan for a remodel because of existing wear and damage on their bathroom. Unfortunately, most of them might not be prepared for the expenses. Their solution? A do-it-yourself bathroom remodel. 

By DIY-ing your project, you may think that you’re saving a lot more from avoiding labor costs, but it’s completely the opposite. Performing the solutions and improvement without the knowledge and expertise is the perfect recipe to disaster. Thus, don’t think about doing the bathroom remodel project yourself, or you’ll be doing more harm than good on your pocket.

Hiring the pros doesn’t mean you can’t save money, as there are numerous tips for savvy homeowners like you:

  • Don’t move fixtures around as they’ll require a new plumbing design. 

  • Prioritize repairs and improvements first if you have a limited budget. 

  • Find alternatives. Opt for cheaper stock fixtures than customized ones.

4. You can save more on a complete, all-or-nothing remodeling project.

The thought of not remodeling your bathroom completely might have already occurred to you. Yes, making progress with smaller projects seem relatively cheaper than a complete remodel. In a bird’s eye view, unfortunately, it’ll actually cost you a lot more. 

As mentioned earlier, different contractors work on different elements of the remodel project. Plumbers can’t accomplish the drywall insulation and carpenters are inexperienced with tiles and flooring. You have to hire them separately, but they have to work together and coordinate for a successful remodel project.

Imagine having the new bathroom fixtures installed first. After a few months, you then decide to conduct the plumbing work, but the plumbing professionals have found mishaps in your plumbing configuration, and require the fixtures to be changed or modified. Situations like this may happen if the professionals won’t be able to focus on the entire project, and you’ll end up spending more.

5. Prioritize functional value than aesthetic value.

A beautiful and functional bathroom can make a huge difference in your living experience. When performing a bathroom remodel, make sure to take both functional and aesthetic value into account. Make every addition or improvement into your bathroom intentional for your use. 

Here are some functional bathroom features and their associated costs:

  • Vanity and Cabinets: Bathroom storage has the most versatile options, so your expected costs will vary significantly. Prices will depend on the size, material, and customizability of your vanity and cabinets. Customized storage range between $350 to $450.

  • Lighting: The interior lighting designer charges $75 to $150 per hour. Individual lights cost $30 to $40 and multi-light fixtures reach $400 to $500, then $50 to $250 for installation.


Your bathroom is an essential part of your lifestyle. If you’re looking into a bathroom remodel project, you might be surprised to know that smaller bathrooms are almost as expensive as larger ones, but only a bit easier and quicker to accomplish. This is because both small and large bathrooms have the same elements. 

Therefore, be a wise homeowner for your bathroom remodel project. Instead of letting your contractors take care of everything, get involved to know if your project results are worth paying for.

Kenneth Wilson
March 15, 2021
Bathroom Remodeling, Cost Guides

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done. I also operate remodeling design service for homeowners.

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