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Putting Your Bathroom Remodeling Budget in Perspective

Posted by on Nov 9, 2018 in Bathroom remodeling |

Bathroom remodeling and kitchen remodeling have a lot of similar elements. With either of these projects, you need new cabinetry, flooring and countertops, all of which make up part of your budget. What most people don’t realize about bathroom remodeling is how labor intensive it is.  Even though its a smaller space than your kitchen, you can’t necessarily assume it will be a fraction of the expense of a kitchen remodel.  If you’re in the beginning stages of a bathroom remodel, here are some things you should know about the budget so you can start planning appropriately.

Budget Basics

Depending upon which bathroom you’re remodeling and if you’re rearranging or adding elements, your budget can vary widely. A secondary bathroom might cost significantly less for a basic remodel as compared to a master bath with all the bells and whistles.   Remodeling magazine’s Cost Vs. Value Report shares some information regarding averages for remodeling projects, but even that report can’t give you any indication what might be involved with electrical and plumbing upgrades necessary just to get started on the project.  For instance, if you are replacing a tub/shower combo with a shower, you are likely going to have to upgrade the drain from 1 1/2″ to 2″ to meet current code for a shower.  Considering this would impact the floor framing, you can imagine how this would dramatically impact the budget for a bathroom remodel.

Because of the labor-intensive nature of tile, the more tile you have in your bathroom, the costlier your remodel. Between labor and materials, tile can be the most expensive element of a bathroom remodel. The vanity is the next major element, followed by the countertop and sink. If you’re moving plumbing or adding or moving electrical, your budget will be higher than if you’re simply refreshing an outdated look. As you set your budget, use the 70/30 rule: keep 30% of your budget in reserve if you’re moving water and electric. Use the 80/20 rule if you’re simply duplicating the current floor plan. This will give you funds for the unexpected costs that invariably arise in home remodeling.  The other option would be to work with a qualified design build remodeling company, who would take the time to evaluate the necessary code upgrades in advance instead of just planning on hitting you with a bunch of change orders after the project starts.


As you begin to look at the tile you’d like in your bathroom, keep a few things in mind. First, there are two classifications of tile: porcelain and ceramic. Porcelain tile is less porous than ceramic and therefore more water-resistant, making it a great choice for bathroom flooring and shower walls. If you’re looking to save money on labor costs, the more variety of tile and the more intricate the pattern you want on the walls or floor, the more expensive the labor. Also, extremely large tiles are expensive to lay because they require two people to lift and install, therefore large-format tile can also increase your installation costs.  In older homes, that have had some settling over the years, tile might not be the best option, todays premium vinyl products are awesome looking and budget friendly, as well as warmer on your feet.

The Vanity

As you work with your bathroom remodeling company to select your vanity, make sure the options you’re looking at will withstand the moisture of a bathroom. Not all cabinetry is well-suited for moist environments.   Cheap cabinets aren’t engineered to avoid water wicking in from the underside of the cabinet, this is a get what you pay for scenario.

The most popular countertop option is granite. If you have a small countertop, ask the granite supplier what they have in their remnant area that is large enough for your needs. If you can find something that you like, you can save a portion of your budget for another area. Vessel sinks are among one of the most popular trends in bathroom remodeling, but they do cost more than traditional under-mount or drop-in sinks.  Working with a qualified bath designer would be a great way to work through all of these choices and come up with the best overall plan.

Bathroom remodeling budgets can vary greatly depending on the size of the bathroom, the features, and how involved the job. If you’re ready to talk to a bathroom remodeling professional, call G.M. Roth. Our properly trained and certified Kitchen and Bath Designers can help you with all aspects of your bathroom remodel, from design to completion. Schedule your no-obligation consultation by calling (603) 880-3761.

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Category: Bathroom remodeling

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