With more to think about than almost any other room in the home, primary bathrooms can cause quite a headache to design and budget for. This guide will attempt to alert you to every consideration and the associated pros and cons of design features.
The overall costs of a primary bathroom can become well over budget, however, if you plan accordingly and look for deals on your favorite fixtures, you should be able to come in under budget and end up with a bathroom you will enjoy.
1. Costs Summary
Here’s a quick list setting out the cost range of a bathroom remodel:
- Tub / Shower: $400 to $8,000
- Toilet: $130 to $780
- Sink(s): $190 to $6,500
- Flooring: $800 to $7,000
- Plumbing: $1,000
- Electrical: $120 to $4,000
- Permits: $100 to $3,000
- Backsplash: $950
- Vanity: $100 to $5,000
- Lighting: $120 to $4,000
- Cabinets: $1,200 to $13,000
- Extras: $1,200 to $4,000
Total bathroom remodel cost range: $5,110 to $57,230.
Please note the cost range involves many variables and it’s meant only for guidance and it does not serve as a quote.
The exact costs of a primary bathroom will depend greatly on the size and features you decide to install. If you are remodelling, you will incur extra costs for the demolition and removal of the old pieces and should plan for this as needed.
In a new primary bathroom, you will have to install all new electrical as well as plumbing and should consider all of your options before deciding on a permanent type or style.
On the national average, a standard size primary bathroom will cost about $9,500 to remodel and at least double to that install a new one.
You need to check with your local offices to see if you need a permit as well. Plumbing and electrical additions in structures will usually require a permit. If this is the case, you can expect on average about $900 for a permit.
Of course, depending on where you live, your zoning laws and policies, these numbers will vary. On the low end of a remodel you can expect to pay about $2,500 and upwards of $23,000 or more on the high end.
Your budget should plan for all the expenditures and permits, as well as the cost of contractors and plumbers for the installation. You can save money with a DIY installation. However, you will have to ensure that your work is up to the code for your area.
2. Fixture Considerations
When deciding on your fixtures, the overall size will determine which ones and how many you can place. Will you have double sinks? Perhaps you want a stand-alone shower and a tub, or a tub/shower combination.
Whatever you decide, you should double check your plans with a professional contractor to ensure all plumbing and drainage is adequate and set up correctly.
We should note that after you have designed your primary bathroom, the installation should be left to professionals. Unless you have extensive knowledge of city and state codes, plumbing, electrical, drainage and flooring, a professional contractor will be your best bet.
Contractors will be able to add flooring or recognize load bearing walls if you are renovating to a larger floor plan. They also know the codes and will ensure your new primary bathroom meets all standards.
A. Tub and Shower
Range: $400 to $8,000.
One of the first choices to make is if you will have a stand-alone tub and shower or a combination. Most primary bathrooms utilize a shower and have a separate tub. However, if space doesn’t allow, you may only have the option for a combination set up.
You can save money by reusing your existing tub instead of buying a new one. Resurfacing can cost as little as $100 and make the tub look brand new. A good resurfacing job will last for decades.
Shower installation from low-end range to high-end primary bathroom showers will cost between $400 and $10,000. Your options for these will determine the final price of installation, such as glass doors, multiple spray heads, multiple drains, etc.
Range: $130 to $780
The toilet should not be overlooked. There are several aspects of toilets that go unnoticed. Bowl height, for example, is important for people with disabilities or trouble sitting or standing from a seated position.
You also need to take into consideration the flush rate. Some states will require that you have a maximum flush rate and your toilet must meet these standards.
The national average range for toilet install runs between $130 and $780. This will include the assembly, installation and set up of the toilet as well as flooring and drainage.
Range: $190 to $6,500
When you are designing your sink (or sinks), you should plan accordingly. If you will install double sinks, you will need to add room in your budget for extra plumbing and lighting. Mirrors can become expensive as well, and large ones that run the length of the sink area will cost a lot more than individual mirrors over each sink.
On the average, the low end with a single sink through to the high end with double sinks and vanity mirrors and lighting range between $190 and $6,500.
Range: $800 to $7,000
Flooring may be the most important aspect of the primary bathroom design. You have several options to choose from. Tile, vinyl, linoleum, and even carpet are flooring options in a bathroom.
You also have the option of heated floors, custom flooring and hardwood installs as well. When deciding on your flooring, you need to think about maintenance, cleaning, and upkeep. Some floors will only require a broom and mop to keep up on, while others will need to be sealed and treated annually.
These costs go into your budget to help you plan. If you end up over budget, changing the flooring to a second choice option might bring you back under your allotted spending limit.
The national average for installing flooring in a primary bathroom will range from $800 to $7000 depending on the materials, options, and difficulty.
Average plumbing cost: $1,000 (could be less or more, depending on many factors).
Plumbing is the one thing that no other room aside from the kitchen will have. It is often overlooked in budget plans because it is easy to forget about. However, you must plan for plumbing pipes and drainage as well.
The cost of plumbing will be determined by the number of drains, and inlets you will have. Each sink, toilet, tub, and shower will have water pipes and drainage pipes. The size of each is determined by your local codes and regulations.
On average, you will spend about $1000, depending on materials and length of pipes needed.
Range: $120 to $4,000
As with plumbing, you will need lights and outlets. In a bathroom, because it is considered a wet area, your outlets should be ground-fault indicator circuit (GFCI) standard outlets. They will need to be mounted and installed specifically according to the wet location laws in your city.
Range: $100 to $3,000
Another item usually left off the budget list is the required permits. These can range from $100 to a few thousand. If you are contracting out the work, you should make sure the required permits are included in the contractor bids.
If they are not, you will still be required to have, and pay for them. It is best to always ask about the need for permits and reasons why or why not they are needed.
You will have a lot of options to consider when you have picked out your basic fixtures. The overall aesthetics of the primary bathroom will truly come into focus when you have the colors, lighting, storage and details all worked out.
Backsplashes are a nice touch to the wall, particularly above the sinks up to the base of the mirror. You can pick from a wide variety of colors, styles, and textures as well.
A popular option is to have a glass tile backsplash that surrounds the entire room giving the design an eye-line for appeal.
You can expect to pay an average of $950 for a tile backsplash.
Range: $100 to $5,000
Mirrors and their surrounding lighting are more important in the bathroom than any other room in the home. This is where we take care of our daily routines, and the lighting is important.
Vanities are a great option as they give us a specific place to apply or remove makeup, style our hair and shave. With a near limitless option for lighting, your vanity costs will be determined by your budget and style you choose.
Range: $120 to $4,000
Overhead lighting or wall scones? Maybe you want to use both. The end factor is your wants and needs while still being practical.
Lighting installation will also help budget your electrical costs as you will need to factor in the in-wall wiring for each light fixture.
The national average range is between $120 and $4000 depending on how much material is required and which fixtures you purchase.
D. Cabinets and Storage
Range: $1,200 to $13,000
Not to be overlooked, cabinets and storage space is crucial in a primary bathroom. Linens, towels, cleaning supplies, daily supplies, etc. all need to be stored in the bathroom.
Under sink and wall cabinets are very common and depending on your style and size, can cost between $1,200 and $13,000. If you are also going to be remodeling or installing kitchen cabinets, you can adjust your cost accordingly if you will be utilizing the same style.
You can save on your costs here by reusing your existing cabinets and giving them a new look with paint and new knobs. This will only cost you a few hundred in supplies and can be something you do yourself to save on labor costs.
E. Colors and Styles
Finishing your bathroom with paint and details will bring the room together. Choosing a theme or style will help determine the colors needed and help control the cost of paints and supplies.
This is another option with a high DIY aspect that can save you money over hiring a painter to do it for you.
With so many options in paints, colors, blends, and textures it is hard to say how much it will cost you for your particular project. However, when creating your budget, you should keep in mind that you will need to purchase durable paints that withstand mold and mildew.
F. Other Options
Extras: $1,200 to $4,000
Ventilation will need to be addressed in your new primary bathroom. You can use fans and windows for ventilation, but their costs need to be added to your budget.
Ventilation fans will cost an average of $1200 to install with ducting, and if your city codes allow you can vent directly to the exterior wall without ducting to save some money.
Heating is another option to consider. Heated floors are one way to go, but you can also install space heaters, electric wall heaters or heated overhead fans. Depending on your space and budget, you should pick the one that works best for you.
4. Contractor or DIY?
As we mentioned earlier, a project of this magnitude should be contracted out to a professional. However, there are some aspects most homeowners can do themselves to save money.
If you are able and inclined, you can paint the room yourself as well as installing light fixtures and heating fans.
You may also be able to save money by purchasing backsplash tile pieces from a home improvement store. These will come in large blocks that you just glue to the wall with adhesive glue. You can save over $300 by doing this yourself.
When it comes to the plumbing, drainage, and electrical wiring, we suggest you get a few bids from at least three contractors before trying to tackle the project yourself. It may cost a little more, but in the long run, you will have warranties and assurances that everything is done correctly and up to code.
Total Cost Range: $5,110 to $57,230
Whatever you decide, your new primary bathroom should reflect your style and personality when it is all said and done. With some inspiration and guidance, you can have the ultimate relaxing primary bathroom you have always dreamed of.
You can also browse our galleries of bathrooms for further ideas and inspiration to help you get the most out of your project.