Oh, and this will of course increase the value of their homes.
But before you dive into it, check your wallet. Bathroom remodels typically range from $6,000 to $16,000 with a national average of $10,788, or about $70 to $275 per square foot, according to the latest data from home improvement website Angi. But this is a project with infinite variations, and costs can quickly climb much higher. Back in 2020 — long before the words “inflation” and “underemployment” became realities of life renovation — homeowners were already pumping $20,000 to $30,000 into remodeling their primary bathrooms, according to a study by the National Kitchen Association. And the bathroom. Many of them can run up to $50,000, or even more.
However, even as their cost has risen, so has their popularity: Bathroom renovations have grown steadily in popularity since 2018, according to the 2021 Houzz & Home Study. They ranked second among the best home service projects in the Home Advisor Real Cost Report 2021, done by nearly a third of surveyed households.
Here’s what you need to know before you get started.
How much does a bathroom remodel cost?
The cost of a bathroom remodel depends largely on the extent of the remodel. For example, a low-key bathroom update (cosmetic upgrades, like cool new towel rails and a clean new coat of paint) could drain just a few hundred dollars from your savings account. Replacing or replacing some items, such as the toilet, vanity, and medicine cabinet will cause a few thousand to disappear.
For those who want to tear down the tile, sink, toilet, vanity, and cabinetry in favor of brand-new fixtures, the bill quickly swells to more than $10,000, according to Angie. But when you start playing around with planning, prices hit the serious five digits. With a complete renovation of a basic bathroom, using upstairs materials and fixtures and/or moving pipes and wires, costs can exceed $25,000.
Operative word: transcend. A “luxury bathroom remodel,” as the trusted trade magazine Remodeling calls it, can cost more than $75,000, once all relocations and fixture replacements have been considered, as well as space expansion.
Half bathrooms and a hall
This is why hall bathrooms cost 36 to 40 square feet to remodel compared to master/adjacent bathrooms: in part because they have fewer bells and whistles and luxurious finishes (see ‘Personal Haven’ above), and because Partially it is smaller and therefore has less space for items such as, for example, a separate shower enclosure. Depending on Options, Angie says, the square foot price is usually around $70 for a low-level update, then rises to $150 or more for a high-end hall remodel.
Needless to say, half of the bathrooms (powder rooms), just 18 to 32 square feet, cost even less to remodel, averaging $1,400, Angie says — not just because of the size but because they contain less. See, ma, no basin.
Factors affecting the cost of bathroom remodel
Now you’re starting to wonder: How can renovating a room the size of a parking space cost more than a Tesla Model 3 — or two?
The answer to that lies in part with your geographic location and the usual disparities in cost of living and services. A bathroom remodel in Peoria, Illinois, according to HomeAdvisor, a matchmaker among homeowners and contractors, typically costs anywhere from $3,780 to $10,000. Another online service, Sweeten, says that a “middle class” job in Houston will cost anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000, while a sophisticated remodeling and expansion in that city could start at $30,000. Meanwhile, in New York City, Sweeten says, a typical basic 100-square-foot bathroom can be remodeled for $60,000 to $85,000.
No matter where you live, though, there will be a range of prices for reusing bathrooms, when costs will increase as the project gets bigger. The reasons for this are two things: materials and labor costs.
A bathroom remodel includes a surprisingly large number of products and materials: porcelain sinks, chrome faucets, ceramic tiles, glass shower doors, nickel-plated towel rails, motorized ventilation fans. The good news is that there is plenty of wiggle room out there for those taking the time to compare.
The price range for a washbasin faucet from the main Delta brand, for example, ranges from $64 to $942. Want to take it higher? Luxury brand Waterworks makes a beautiful sink set with grooved cross handles, and a stylish gooseneck faucet—and a list price of $4,325.
Labor costs play a large role in any price tag for a renovation project, but bathroom remodels feature a wide variety of contractor personalities.
These contractors and subcontractors can include the designer, building permit worker, remover, carpenter, plumber, electrician, tile setter, drywall, and painter. “Coordinating many professions is like designing a dance troupe,” KBB (the official publication of the National Kitchen and Bath Association) noted in a recent article on bathroom renovations. “Scheduling becomes a good balance to give everyone time to complete the tasks assigned to them and keep the work going.”
Sometimes literally: If a worker punches a hole in the wall for a sink drain pipe without studying the vanity’s specifications, another worker may not be able to install that vanity at the correct height. If the bathtub is planned before the fixtures arrive, and someone forgets to measure the new toilet, the design may not comply with building codes. (Yes, there is a minimum distance between the wall and the focal point of the toilet).
Bathrooms designed for universal access or simply aging out of place can be more difficult (read: more expensive). Some homeowners may want a designer and contractor certified as aging specialists by the National Association of Home Builders or at least a designer and builder experienced in general design. More importantly, ADA-compliant bathrooms require extra wiggle room, so the job may require carving out more space. When a small bathroom needs to be expanded to meet ADA requirements, costs tend to double, in part because the number of square feet is greater, according to HomeAdvisor.
Choosing a bathroom contractor
Some homeowners try to take on the bathroom remodel themselves, stashing products and materials one by one in the garage while lining up their subcontractors (plumbers, electricians, and carpenters) in the hope that they will arrive on time and in the correct order. This method leads to costly delays, errors, and overruns. Unless the job involves just a few cosmetic upgrades, a thorough bathroom remodel shouldn’t be done by yourself, but by the professionals.
Experienced restorers tend to look for an experienced general contractor—there are those who specialize in kitchens and bathrooms—while perhaps drawing design advice from space planners on staff in retail showrooms where they know they want to shop; Ikea, for example, offers a service called Bathroom Planner. Armed with a detailed drawing, a general contractor can do the hard work of obtaining a building permit, ordering products and materials, and coordinating submarines.
For others, the best solution is a so-called building design firm, a one-stop shop that takes responsibility for every element of remodeling under one roof, from layout design, sizing the vanity and sizing the right height of the toilet paper holder to finding the most beautiful moisture-proof wallpaper And an expert to comment.
How a bathroom remodel affects the value of your home
Realtors like to say that when it’s time to sell, a sparkling, updated bathroom can be a real selling point. Renovated bathrooms rank among the top five projects that attract buyers and are most likely to add value to a home for sale, according to a recent remodeling impact report from the National Association of Realtors.
It does not mean that homeowners are returning more than they put into the project. In general, bathroom remodels average an average return on investment of about 57 to 60 percent. Interestingly, the more generous the remodel, the lower the cost recovery. According to Remodeling, a “mid-range” bathroom remodel, or one that cost $24,424, increased the home’s selling price by $14,671 (a 60 percent return on investment). Spend $75,292 on a “high-end” remodel—and some people do—and the rate of return drops to 54.8 percent.
How to finance a bathroom remodel
If you’re ready to remodel your bathroom because you need more space or it’s outdated and badly in need of an upgrade, you’re probably wondering how best to finance this project. Fortunately, you don’t have to pay for it all at once.
Use a personal loan to finance your bathroom remodel
Personal loans come with fixed interest rates, a fixed repayment schedule and a fixed monthly payment that will never change, making it easy to plan.
One of the advantages of using a personal loan to renovate bathrooms is that, unlike other borrowing options, you do not have to provide collateral. And since personal loans are unsecured, the application process is usually less complicated so that you can get your money sooner.
Use a Home Purchase Loan or Line of Credit (HELOC) to Fund Your Bathroom Remodel
Another option is a home purchase loan. Like a personal loan, home equity loans come with a fixed interest rate, a fixed repayment term, and a fixed monthly payment. However, the difference is that a mortgage requires you to pledge your home as collateral.
Home ownership lines of credit, or HELOCs, also require your home to be used as collateral, but instead of a fixed loan amount, you get a line of credit against which you can borrow — usually at a variable rate. Like equity loans, HELOCs tend to come with low rates and fair terms because you are using your home as collateral.
Either way, if you use the money to fund home improvements, the interest may be tax deductible.
Use a credit card to finance your bathroom remodel
If your remodel is a little more modest, consider getting a credit card — but not just any credit card. Some balance transfer credit cards, which can also be called “0% APR credit cards,” come with no interest on purchases for up to 18 months.
The upside to using one of these offers is the fact that you will get an interest-free loan to pay for your remodel. And you may get points or rewards for spending a lot during the introductory period as well. Since these offers don’t last forever, you need a plan to pay off the entire bathroom remodel before resetting the interest rate to the regular rate.
The bottom line on bathroom remodel costs
From dimmable sconces to ombré steam shower doors, a beautiful new bathroom can provide joy and comfort at a time when many homeowners can use more of both. But don’t be fooled by the size of the space; The square foot cost of a complete renovation can run into hundreds of dollars. It is essential to plan and budget for the best value products and services, and to find a contractor who can carry out the work with expertise and with the least amount of disruption. Financing is also key, whether you decide to draw on savings or take out a loan or line of credit.