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Bathroom Remodel Cost: Our Full Budget Breakdown

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.

scalloped marble bathroom backsplash and wood vanity

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.

bathroom renovation before

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.

bathroom renovation cost after - shower with ceramic marble look tile and frameless glass door

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…

picture frame molding in a bathroom with wall shelves and toilet with wood toilet seat

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 renovation cost breakdown after water mitigation

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.

timeless bathroom renovation with white picture frame molding, marble countertop, and wood 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.)

modern Parisian bathroom remodel wall mounted faucet

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.

shaded sconce lights in bathroom with Venetian mirrors

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.

marble look ceramic tile shower with shower niches and glass shower door

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.

glass shower door knob

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.

scalloped marble backsplash with wall mounted gold faucets and venetian mirrors

Bathroom Remodel Materials Cost

The rest of the materials and decor we ordered ourselves, listed below.

bathroom shelves decor

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.

shower room with frameless shower door

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.

bathroom remodel cost before
Modern Parisian wood bathroom vanity

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?

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16 Comments

  1. Ok, so… when we see on cable shows that their bathroom remodel is $10,000 (in California, no less) that’s gotta be a straight up lie! We remodeled our master bath, hall bath and tiled our small laundry room in 2019 and the total cost for labor and supplies was about $35,000. I kept thinking that we were SOOOO overpaying! Thank you for posting this. It’s a relief to my thrifty heart!

    1. Whew! Who knows? Maybe labor and materials costs have increased that much? Maybe those people get a discount for remodeling an entire house all at once? Maybe they buy their materials wholesale to get things cheaper? Whatever the case, I’m hearing more and more that what we paid is very much the norm. HGTV, especially shows filmed just 3+ years ago, don’t generally depict an accurate representation of a remodel’s cost.

    2. I live in Ca (Bay Area) and remodeled an 80 sqft foot bathroom last year. Turned a tub into a tub-shower, added tile around the tub and behind the new vanity, to the ceiling. Had new flooring (hard wood) put in, over head lighting in two places, wall sconces, bought new shelves, decor, towels, all fixtures, shampoo, soap, and conditioner dispensers, everything was new, (I did make the vanity mirror out of an antique frame a friend gave me but had mirror custom cut for it), had two niches built- one tiled, one with a wood shelf insert, added a small decorator wall between the toilet (that was new) and vanity-to give the room some character, and it cost me about $16,000 total. It was finished July 2121. I did get a great deal on the vanity and I’m really good at getting a credit if there is any issue on anything I purchase. I also demo’d the old vanity (the drawers are now on wheels under my bed for added storage) and I demo’d the old tile. Both of which were easy and fun! If you’re irritated about something… Just demo! 🤣. My contractor is using my bathroom in his ad. It’s probably one of my favorite rooms in my remodel thus far. Soooo happy with it. But not nearly close to what has been quoted. Just saying there are ways.

  2. Hi Lauren, what a gorgeous bathroom! Thank you for being so generous and letting us know the costs involved! Did I miss the price of your marble vanity top, or did it come with the vanity?

    1. We got it from a local fabricator. The labor and material was $2,178.64. We had a piece cut from the remnant to use as our shower ledge as well, so that’s a part of that cost.

  3. it turned out nice – but YIKES! Good post to show how one can certainly save some money with product selection and labor costs, as they certainly vary from contractor to contractor and in your particular state. In all our homes, we’re our own contractor which saves a ton. Typically, buying cabinets and hardware from your contractor is very expensive as that’s their gravy, so to speak. Many people just find it easier to go in a showroom and choose, but again, that’s very expensive. We shop around and buy our own, but that’s what we do. And just a tip to avoid paying high vanity costs – consider a cool dresser – they can easily convert into a vanity. Bottom line for anyone considering a big remodel like this: choose your own products. It’s not as scary as it sounds! lol. And bathrooms are personal, if you want to splurge, splurge. To each, his/her own!

    1. Yep! And again… we would have LOVED to find a cool old dresser to convert but this was an emergency job that we had no time to plan for, unfortunately. If we’d had a couple months to plan this remodel, we definitely would have taken our time to find one to convert or build one. So this whole experience definitely gave us a good measuring stick from here on out to use for how much we could be paying if we chose not to DIY. It’s even more our “why” now that before. We love to DIY. We love finding thrifty things. And while we loved the outcome of this bathroom, this experience proved to us that continuing to DIY and find things secondhand will always be our bread and butter.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing the true costs! This is extremely helpful as I face a full bathroom remodel due to a leaking tiled shower that was remodeled only a couple years ago, poorly, before I purchased the house. You guys are a true resource for homeowners!

  5. Lauren, Thank you so much for sharing the cost. This gives me a really good idea to compare to and know that in my estimates for mine, I am being overcharged. lol I know location makes a difference but I am being quoted 55-85k for a bath remodel going from tub to shower and moving a wall. I am willing to frame and move a wall and DIY the demo, so that cost is for them to do the shower, move the toilet and tile. It’s crazy expensive especially when you mention wheelchairs!
    Thanks for being so open about your budget and putting it all out there for us. I truly thank you!!
    AND It looks gorgeous!!!!

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