Show Me the Money: A Breakdown of Bathroom Remodel Costs

Kenneth Wilson

Bathroom remodels are one of the most popular home improvement projects for many homeowners. In fact, bathrooms are the second most popular area of a home to remodel, with only kitchens being more popular. This is no surprise, as bathroom have a very high return on investment, a major benefit for homeowners hoping to increase their equity. They are one of the projects that typically provide more than 100% return on investment, with a recent study in Baltimore seeing bathroom remodel returns of 182 percent.

However, if you take a look online, you are likely to find a lot of information about the range of costs for bathroom remodels but not much information about how that breaks down. This can be rather confusing for a homeowner seeking to create a detailed budget for their remodel. Thus, let’s take a look at the typical cost breakdown of a bathroom remodel to see where your money goes.

What Does a Bathroom Remodel Cost?

The answer to this question varies extensively based upon the size of your bathroom, the quality of products you use, whether it is DIY or you hire labor, and where you live among other things. In fact, an internet search will reveal estimates from a few thousand dollars to upwards of $40,000.

On average, a low-end bathroom remodel costs approximately $5,500. Meanwhile, a typical bathroom remodel costs just under $9,000. Finally, a high-end or luxury remodel will cost over $15,000 typically. 

Where Does My Money Go?

Labor. The most extensive cost of your bathroom remodel is not individual products but rather labor. In fact, approximately one-fifth of your budget is likely to be spent on labor. This is because bathroom remodels can be a very labor-intensive task compared to many other projects as they can involve quite a bit of plumbing work. Additionally, removing a bathtub or removing tile can be more labor-intensive than other typical remodeling tasks.

Cabinets & Hardware. When we think about bathroom remodels, we typically think about things like faucets, plumbing, toilets, showers, and baths. However, cabinetry is the most expensive product in a typical remodel. This will typically account for a little over 15% of your overall budget.

Fixtures. Just below the cost of cabinets, you will find bathroom fixtures at 15% of budget. This is not surprising as showers, bathtubs, and toilets have a fairly high cost overall compared to other products. Shopping around can help you find a good deal as major home improvement stores tend to have large sales on holidays. You want to ensure that you don’t sacrifice quality though as that can lead to costly repairs down the road.

Faucets and Plumbing. This is probably the area that is most variable as well as an area where you can take advantage of lower-priced products without sacrificing a great deal of quality at least in terms of faucets. This are will typically cost 12-14% of your budget. It could be higher if you are doing a huge remodel that involves running plumbing to a new location.

Flooring. High quality flooring is very important for a bathroom. It is important to choose flooring that is attractive but even more essential to pick a product that can hold up against moisture. Fortunately, bathrooms tend to be small meaning that despite being a high cost product, the typical overall cost of flooring is relatively low, accounting for 10% of your budget.

Countertops. Like flooring, this is an area that tends to be expensive but is saved by bathroom countertops tending to be rather small. This will typically comprise 5-7% of your budget. With countertops, understanding recent trends can help increase return on investment.

Everything Else. There are many other small costs that add up to comprise the remaining budget of your bathroom remodel. This will be roughly 20% of the cost and can include things like walls, doors, windows, paint, design fees, and other things. This is also the area that will vary the most depending on the scope of your project as some projects may have very little of these aspects while others may have more intensive remodeling with moving walls.

What Are the Costs of Individual Items?

Many people who are embarking upon a bathroom remodel want to get a sense of the cost to budget for individual items. These definitely have ranges and again can be minimized or spread out by taking advantage of things such as sales or special financing. Additionally, trendy items will often cost a bit more but will also often provide greater return on investment. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular items.


A shower is often the centerpiece of a bathroom. Depending upon your preference, you can spend as little as $500 or as much as $2,000.


If you are opting for a full bath instead, you will actually see a bit of savings. Low-end options can be found for $400 while high-end options can be purchased for $1,500.


Sinks have quite a bit of variability in price but even a high-end option will not break the bank. Here, you are looking at spending between $175 and $900 on average.


This is an area where there is much less of a range in terms of product pricing. A toilet will likely set you back $125 to $250.

Final Thoughts

Bathrooms are one of the more expensive remodel projects; however, they are also one that will historically provide greater appreciation than what is spent on the cost. As such, many homeowners opt to focus on their bathrooms when they remodel.

When doing a complete bathroom overhaul, consider using this information as a guide for budgeting. As always, look for deals but ensure that the products you are purchasing are quality. If you are handy, you can always save some money by doing some things yourself. Additionally, many people opt to gradually remodel a bathroom, breaking it up to several projects over time. This will increase the overall costs a bit but spread it out.

Kenneth Wilson
April 5, 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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