A full budget breakdown of what a real master bathroom remodel cost and tips for saving money on a renovation.
It is so hard to know these days how much a bathroom remodel costs.
Supply and demand of materials, what contractors charge, labor shortages, and square footage all leave a big ol’ question mark and vary depending on location, which makes it extra challenging to budget for any renovation when you’re a homeowner.
So I thought it would help to break down how much our recent 60 square foot en suite bathroom remodel cost.
It won’t take away the mystery of budgeting for bathroom remodels entirely, but just maybe it’ll help someone out there have a pretty good ballpark understanding of how to financially prepare.
The Most Important Financial Lesson We Learned While Remodeling
In the beginning, we had no idea what to expect since we were thrust into the renovation very unexpectedly without much time to do our homework. It was a big learning experience.
We’re no strangers to working with contractors. But we were the least prepared we’d ever been with this particular project.
Some of the experience we would have changed for sure.
Better communication with our contractors about our budget from Day 1 and always asking the important financial questions would be one of them. “How much will this part of the project cost?”
In the end, we are really happy with the outcome. So here’s the breakdown…
A few atypical points to note about our bathroom remodel cost first
- The supply chain shortage this summer did cause prices on some materials to skyrocket which caused an increase in our overall spend.
- Because this was a water damage incident that required our old bathroom to be demolished for water mitigation, our homeowners insurance did cover a significant portion of the renovation, so it made sense to update bathroom features we’d waited years to do.
- Normally, we would have been more willing to take on some of these home improvement jobs in the renovation ourselves with our usual DIY approach, but since this all happened unexpectedly, leaving us without a/c in July, requiring us to live with my parents for a month in the summer while we juggled our kids, we felt way too overwhelmed to take on the work.
Bathroom Remodel Labor Costs
General carpentry / painting / contracting labor – $2,275.44
This included demo of our bathroom, disposal of the old materials, hanging new drywall, taping, mudding, patching, placing new sub-flooring to correct old water damage, framing new shower, installing moisture barrier in new shower, installing new shower pan and shower niches, undermount sink installation, and placing the vanity.
Plumbing labor – $4,915.38
Plumbing costs included roughing in new plumbing for two wall mounted sink faucets, roughing in new plumbing for shower faucet, setting the toilet, installing two wall mounted sink faucets, and installing two shower valves and two shower heads. (In a nutshell, wall mounted faucets are beautiful, but the labor to install them is pricey.)
Electrical labor – $1,566.20
This included roughing in wiring for 3 separate wall sconce boxes, installing a can light exhaust fan, installing sconce light fixtures, and adding a dead face GFCI.
Tile labor – $6,613.78
Our tile cost included installation of mortar bed, installation of ceramic tile in a herringbone pattern, installation of ceramic tile on shower walls, on shower ceiling, in shower floor, and in recessed shelves.
Shower door labor and materials – $2,933.56
Because the opening of our shower was a custom size, we had to get a local fabricator make our frameless glass shower door and install it using antique brass hinges matching the knob we selected.
Marble countertop and shower ledge labor and materials – $2,178.64
We chose a marble remnant as our countertop from a local fabricator, who also gave the marble a 12 year UV treatment, cut the scalloped backsplash, and installed everything on site. We also used a piece to fit our shower ledge to make it look seamless as opposed to tile.
Bathroom Remodel Materials Cost
The rest of the materials and decor we ordered ourselves, listed below.
What We Did Ourselves to Alleviate Bathroom Remodel Costs
Towards the end of the remodel, once we were able to live in our house again, we did step in to do some finishing work and save money. Robert and I installed the picture frame molding, hung the mirrors, installed vanity hardware, toilet paper holder, towel ring, hooks, the shelves, caulked, and did some of the patching work on our own.
Bathroom Remodel Total Cost – $29,125.15
We have never ever done a project of this magnitude before, and while it felt so overwhelming in the midst of such a big remodel (including the foyer stairway, and hallway happening at the same time), we feel more prepared for whatever future remodels life throws at us.
With all of the back and forth for 5 months between our insurance company and our contractors, we didn’t know what the final cost would be until about 2 weeks prior to the project being finished. It was a little bit of a sticker shock, and it taught us to be more assertive about communicating estimated costs early on before any work happened so we could pivot around our budget more effectively.
In the end though, I’m so head over heels for this bathroom. It really is so much more than I could have imagined in the beginning.
Takeaways – How to Stick to a Bathroom Renovation Budget
- Estimate to spend at least 20% more on a remodel than what you think you’ll have to pay.
- Communicate your budget early on with contractors and keep those lines of communication open as much as possible.
- Utilize look-alike materials when possible. We used marble look ceramic tile instead of real marble tile to help lower costs.
- Be willing to take on some of the work yourself to cut costs like demo, painting, or finishing work.
Got any others you’d add?