Bathroom Remodeling Costs

Find out what expenses to expect in your bath renovation and learn how to manage your budget.

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You set aside an ample budget for your bathroom remodel, but you're probably wondering how much of that goes toward labor and what percentage should be dedicated toward features like lighting, flooring and appliances? The one mistake you want to avoid is blowing the budget on intricate tile work and compromising on the shower or sink. In the bathroom, the fixtures are your No. 1 priority—the space has to function first.

As you work on a budget with your designer or general contractor, ask the firm to supply a breakdown. There are variables depending on the existing bathroom, the scope of the project (complete remodel or facelift?) and the local economy.

The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) breaks down bathroom remodeling costs like this:

  • Design fees: 4%
  • Installation: 20%
  • Fixtures: 15%
  • Cabinetry and hardware: 16%
  • Countertops: 7%
  • Lighting and ventilation: 5%
  • Flooring: 9%
  • Doors and windows: 4%
  • Walls and ceilings: 5%
  • Faucets and plumbing: 14%
  • Other: 1%

These figures are guidelines, not rules, and each project is different. For example, designer Ellen Rady generally suggests figuring 40 percent of the budget for labor and 25 percent for cabinets and countertops, and 10 percent for lighting. She usually sets aside 20 percent of a client's budget for plumbing fixtures.

Lori Carroll, president of Lori Carroll & Associates in Tucson, Ariz., completed a project where plumbing fixtures were about 10 percent of the project, countertops were 10 percent, tile was 10 percent, cabinetry was 15 percent and the rest was labor (electrician, plumber, general contractor, etc.)

In the end, your budget breakdown will depend on where you live and how much you want to spend, but NKBA's guidelines and designer insights can help illustrate where the dollars go.


Next Up

Bathroom Remodel: Splurge Vs. Save

Yes, you can have it all in your new bathroom. If you're willing to make some tradeoffs, you can splurge in some areas and go more practical in others. We'll share our suggestions.


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