Bathroom Renovation Cost Depends on Size
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But the scope of the project depends on a variety factors — most of all budget, but also how long you’ve been in the house and how long you plan to stay there. As with most things, there are three levels of bathroom remodeling: good, better and best, says Leslie Molloy, a design consultant at Normandy Remodeling. In this new series, we’ll take you through the planning and execution process for remodeling your main bathroom.
Of course, the costs below are all relative and will depend on a variety of factors, including where you live, how old your home is and what kind of renovations have already been done. Remodeling a bathroom from the 1990s is a lot different than overhauling one built in the 1920s with mud-set floors and galvanized plumbing. “Older houses likely have had a series of previous remodels that we usually have to peel back the layers and see what’s there,” says Brad Little, president of Case Remodeling in Charlotte, North Carolina.
A Look at Three Basic Cost Ranges
The first step is deciding which level of remodeling is right for you. Let’s take a look at three different cost ranges for bathroom remodels and common materials and finishes for each.
Often runs from $3,000 to $10,000
What you might get: You probably won’t be able to move any plumbing around, but you could replace fixtures and other materials with stock, off-the-shelf products like you’d find in a big-box store.
Tile: Don’t expect to tile an entire bathroom, but you could do a bathtub or shower area with ceramic tiles or standard white subway tiles.
Walls: Apart from a bathtub tile surround or counter backsplash, painting the walls is the most affordable choice here.
$12,000 to $20,000
Why the broad range? Well, location, materials, cost of labor and project scope play into it. For example, according to the Houzz Real Cost Finder, the average bathroom remodel in New York costs just over $32,000. In Mississippi it’s just under $14,000.
What you might get: Better fixtures, like a toilet with better flushing capabilities or faucets with better flow. And new features like flooring, a vanity, a sink, lighting, window treatments, hardware, a comfort-height toilet, a 36-inch countertop, a framed mirror that matches the vanity and a recessed medicine chest — all of which are slightly better quality than from a big-box store.
Plus, you can make a few more adjustments to the layout. Maybe you’ll put in a slightly smaller bathtub to make way for a slightly larger shower. Maybe you’ll slide a sink down and move the plumbing slightly to add a tall linen cabinet.
Countertops: A higher-grade remnant or custom piece of granite, marble or quartz.
Cabinets: Semi custom pieces with higher-end finishes — glazed instead of just stained — and decorative details like cabinet legs and intricate door panels. “Maybe something made locally or in the U.S. that maximizes every inch in your bathroom for counter space,” says designer Nathan Reynolds-Poulin.
Fixtures: You can upgrade the fixtures for ones with higher-quality copper or bronze inside, which will last considerably longer than off-the-shelf units.
Tile: At this level porcelain will be your new best friend. It’s more durable than ceramic and slip resistant, and there are more color, size and design options. “Even the low-end porcelain is nearly indestructible,” says Little. Porcelain tiles are designed to mimic natural stone, and the untrained eye can’t tell the difference. “Sometimes if you look closely, you’ll see repeating patterns of the same swirls,” he says. “That’s because it’s basically a photograph of natural stone tile printed on porcelain.”
You’ll have the option of doing more interesting borders and accent tiles, and you can tile the entire room instead of just a shower or bathtub area.
Walls: You can get a bit more creative with materials and do tile walls or real beadboard for a custom look.
Little breaks down the possible costs of a midrange project like this: “The shower faucet, materials and labor could run $2,000; frameless glass, $2,500; tilework, $4,000 to $5,000. You’re already to 10 grand just for the shower,” he says. “A jetted bathtub is $1,500 to $5,000; a toilet, $200 to $500; granite is $1,000 to $3,000. That’s why the dollar amount per square foot in a bathroom is way higher than any other part of the house, including the kitchen.”
But it’s wise to spend the amount in there, Little adds. “You wouldn’t spend $300 per square foot in a bedroom. That’s just drywall, framing and carpeting. In the bathroom there are so many more durable finishes that will last 20, 30, 40 years. So it makes sense.”
$30,000 to $45,000-plus
This level is also known as a full gut job. Everything will go away, and you’ll put things where you want. You might also punch into an adjacent room for more space or punch out the exterior. The toilet and shower might switch locations, the bathtub might go away and a sauna might come in; all-new high-end fixtures, materials, cabinets, lighting and finishes can be added. The room is likely to be larger. Detailed molding, trimwork and tilework might also be included.
Cabinetry: Solid wood construction with custom finishes and decorative accent pieces.
Tile: Natural marble, limestone or granite, all of which are more labor intensive and difficult to cut. Natural stone requires more maintenance, but every single tile has its own unique character.
Plumbing: High-end finishes and parts.
Amenities: Steam showers and radiant floor heating.
A deluxe bathroom remodel is good for you if: You have the funds, obviously. But at this level, you’re really getting the bathroom you want. Maybe you had been saving up for a new house, but with the economy you decided to stay put. Putting some money back into your home and making it more enjoyable for you is a good investment.
Integrity Home Pro can give your Bathroom a complete facelift
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