How Much Does a Bathroom Renovation Cost?

How Much Does a Bathroom Renovation Cost?

Date of publication: April 9th, 2020.

With the proliferation of highly Instagrammable photos of bathrooms, which are becoming increasingly luxurious with the broadcast of home decor shows, we have a very bad idea of the real costs of a bathroom renovation.  Although it’s the smallest room in the house, when it comes to renovating a bathroom, there are several factors that can cause costs to vary.

And the question that comes up most often is this: “Yes, remodelling my bathroom, but at what price? How much do I have to set aside to renovate my bathroom?”

Today, in collaboration with interior designer Mathilde Rousseau, we decided to reveal the real price of a bathroom renovation in 2020.

Mathilde recently renovated her bathroom. And who is in a better position than her to talk to you about all the costs related to renovations?

Mathilde, could you tell us how to properly organize a bathroom renovation to control costs?

First of all, I think the most important thing when you’re starting a bathroom renovation (especially if it’s the first time) is to have a game plan. You should keep in mind that the prices of a bathroom can vary enormously according to several factors. From a budget standpoint, I always prefer to overestimate. I prefer it to cost less during the renovation than the opposite.

For my part, this was a bathroom renovation in the context of a house flip—that is, we renovated the entire house (by the way, you can follow along as we document this adventure on my YouTube channel).

So, being familiar with renovations, I always start by making a list of all the things that we have to renovate/replace.

This list is often divided into seven categories:

  1. The arrangement of the plumbing elements (will they stay in the same place?) 
  2. The arrangement of the lighting elements (addition, removal, etc.)
  3. The flooring (to be replaced or not)
  4. The plumbing fixtures (toilet, bathtub, shower, and faucet)
  5. The fixed cabinetry elements (custom vanities or not) and the types of materials used (melamine, polyester, quartz, laminate, etc.)
  6. Labour (doing your renovations yourself or hiring a professional) = about 30% of the budget
  7. Other expenses (décor and unexpected costs).

Why is it essential to rely on a designer?

Even though it’s a small room, there are many things to consider. Whether it’s in terms of the project or the choice of materials, the steps aren’t always simple. 

That’s why dealing with a designer is a great way not to mess up your renovations. The designer will help you devise and follow this game plan. It should be said that you will do maybe two or three bathroom renovations in your lifetime; a designer does between 10 and 15 per year!

Once the game plan has been made, you can estimate your budget. It’s no secret: two bathrooms of the same dimensions can easily vary between $5,000 and $15,000.

In your opinion, what is the most expensive part of a bathroom renovation?

Specifically, to show you the real costs, let’s use the bathroom that we renovated as an example.

salle de bain viellote avant une rénovation complète

It had a lot of work to do, right?

So, we made the game plan (according to the model presented above). Then we proceeded to the second step.

The second step, which I call the cool part, is the “inspiration” step. The idea is to bring together all the styles, decor ideas, and colours you want for your bathroom.

For my part, here are my two main inspirations:

When I do a renovation, I always like to keep a little of the style of the house. For our part, this is a house from the ’70s, a little Mid-Century, in a neighbourhood where the houses are really funky. This is the guiding principle that I wanted to represent in the bathroom.

When dealing with a designer, it’s certain that there are many other steps before starting. For example, I always advise my clients to take the 3D option, because it lets them preview the result of the bathroom before starting. This step helps reduce the time spent searching for materials and the risk of error.

For my part, starting the 3Ds, I knew very well that I wanted a slightly funky ceramic to represent the desired style. That’s why I turned to La Tuilerie, because they have an impressive selection of special ceramics at affordable prices. I also represent the new custom furnishings using the 3D.

So, what are the benefits of following all these steps before you run out to buy everything nice that you can find in the stores?

Well, that way, you ensure a guiding principle in the design, avoid unnecessary costs, and save time. Once everything is planned out, it’s much easier to go buy the materials and plumbing accessories and to request a quote for the furnishings without forgetting anything, because you can see everything it takes visually on the 3D.

Finally, what is the total price of this bathroom renovation?

$9,200 (plus taxes)

Let’s break down this price:

  1. The flooring (floor and shower, materials only) = $1,500
  2. The plumbing fixtures (toilet, bathtub, shower, and faucet) = $2,350
  3. The fixed cabinetry elements (custom vanity/linen closet) = $1,850
  4. Labour (plumbing/electrical/ceramic installation/painting) = $3,000
  5. Other expenses (decor and unexpected costs) = $500.

As you can see, it’s necessary to consider many details before renovating. Ask yourself the right questions and don’t hesitate to ask a designer for advice in making your plans and conducting your searches, and make sure to build a project that fits your budget. 

Anything is possible, and there are solutions out there that won’t break the bank! Consider renovating your bathroom in stages. Again, a good designer can help you find solutions that suit you.


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