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The national average cost of remodeling a small bathroom is $6,500. However, the cost can range from $1,500 to $11,000 or more for high-end fixtures. Typical small bathrooms measure about 40 square feet. You can expect to spend about $70 per square foot for low-end fixtures during a complete remodel. You’ll likely pay $250 per square foot for high-end fixtures done by licensed contractors.
This guide will help you with the necessary information about the cost of remodeling your small bathroom.
How to Save on Small Bathroom Remodel Costs
The bathroom and kitchen are the most common areas of the house that homeowners love to change. However, the project can be expensive. You can implement a few cost-saving measures when revamping your small bathroom. Consider the following tips:
Retain the load-bearing walls: Load-bearing walls support your home’s roof and second floor, if any. Removing or moving a load-bearing wall involves structural changes and is a major project. Instead, consider expanding your bathroom by removing or moving non-load-bearing walls. Non-load-bearing walls are easier and cheaper to bring down than load-bearing walls, which a contractor can handle best.
Save the drywall if possible: The bathroom’s drywall needs to be completely replaced due to the moisture levels in the room. It would be best if you replaced any drywall affected by mold. The drywall around bathtubs and showers often requires replacement. However, you can save on your costs by keeping any section of the drywall in good shape.
Refinish bathroom elements instead of replacing them: Removing and replacing existing shower or tub bases and plumbing fixtures add to the cost of replacement fixtures. Are you replacing the items for aesthetic or functional reasons? Consider dressing up the items if you feel they are unattractive. You can paint your bathroom cabinets or apply an attractive, protective coating to your bathtub instead of replacing it.
Retain the bathroom’s layout and size: Rearranging or enlarging a bathroom may involve moving plumbing pipes, the sewer pipe, or the toilet discharge. A project involving moving objects that are not easily movable can be costly. Only alter or resize the bathroom when it is necessary. Weigh the benefits of the change against the financial impact on your budget.
Do it yourself: You can save a considerable amount of money when you carry out the remodeling project instead of hiring a professional. However, consider a pro if you’re not experienced with electrical and plumbing work. A DIY bathroom remodel allows you to be creative as you bring your dream bathroom to life.
4 Types of Small Bathrooms
Most houses have one or more types of bathrooms. It could be a full bathroom, a half-bathroom, or a three-quarter bathroom in different combinations. As a homeowner looking to sell your property in the future, knowing the type of bathroom is crucial to fixing an accurate value of your home. Most homebuyers consider the bathroom types when researching homes. These include:
1. Full Bathrooms: They feature a sink, toilet, shower, and bathtub/shower combination or a separate shower and bathtub. A full bathroom is valuable if you have a relatively small bathroom.
2. Three-quarter bathrooms: These have a sink, toilet, and either a separate bathtub or a separate shower. The bathtub is left out in most three-quarter bathrooms, and the third component is usually the shower.
3. Half-bathrooms: They have a sink and a toilet. Also called powder rooms or guest bathrooms, they allow the homeowner more privacy as visitors can use the toilet without entering the bathroom area. Half bathrooms tend to have a minimum amount of storage space.
4. Quarter bathrooms: Also called utility toilets or utility showers, they are small rooms with either a toilet or shower stall. They are commonly installed by the homeowner and can be found in the basement or lower levels of a home. A quarter bathroom is handy for a homeowner or handyman working outside as they don’t have to walk through the house to access the toilet or shower.
Primary bathrooms are connected to the largest or primary bedroom in a house. Also called an attached or en suite bathroom, it typically features a full or three-quarter bathroom. A door leads into the primary room, and another opens to the bathroom. Rarely does a home have one primary bathroom since it’s meant for use by the user of that particular room.
Bathroom Layout (Gutting and Demo)
Your bathroom layout depends on your lifestyle and how you use the space. Keep in mind that if you plan to move the plumbing for your new design to fit in, the cost of your project will be higher. After preparing for a remodel, the next step involves getting rid of the current bathroom. If you’re hiring a professional to handle the remodel, it’ll cost you between $1,000 and $2,300 for demolition.
If on a budget, you can do the demo work yourself. It might be strenuous, but the work doesn’t require special skills; you can accomplish it using simple tools.
The Average Cost of a Small Bathroom Remodel
It will typically cost you $6,500 to remodel a small bathroom. The cost can, however, vary depending on the scope of the work, ranging from $1,500 to $11,000. HomeAdvisor says you will likely pay $70 per square foot for a complete low-end fixtures remodel and $250 for high-end fixtures installed by a professional. A typical small full bathroom measures about 40 square feet, while a half or three-quarter bathroom can be 20 square feet or less.
As for labor, expect to spend anywhere from $50 to $110 per hour for a licensed professional. Fixtures cost an average of $3,000, and $100 per square foot for labor.
When it comes to the cost of materials, it varies depending on the quality. High-end and custom-made materials cost two to three times more than median-grade materials.
Shower Remodel Cost: Sizes and Types of Showers
If you want a basic new shower, it can cost you up to $1,000 for a simple setup.
If you intend to install luxury fixtures like a walk-in shower, expect to spend up to $4,000 on materials alone.
For a custom frameless glass door, expect to spend between $900 and $1,300. The average shower door cost is $1,000, while the installation fee comes at about $300.
Shower and Tub
The national average for installing a shower or tub replacement is about $3,000. If you plan on installing both, the average cost for tub and shower fixtures falls at about $6,000.
Bathtubs Remodel Costs
Installing a bathtub costs about $7,176. The total cost depends on the scope of the project and the type of tub. The average cost for both labor and materials ranges between $4,122 and $10,739.
Replacing a bathroom sink costs around $480 to $760 on average. Porcelain sinks can range between $70 and $300. High-end sink options like artisan-designed or vessel sinks may exceed $1,000 to purchase.
Cost of Bathroom Fixtures
Bathroom fixtures like lighting, towel rails, toilet paper holders, or customized mirrors vary in price. However, going for high-end fixtures can drive your budget up.
Cost to Redo Bathroom Floor
The standard flooring options for a small bathroom include tile, vinyl, ceramic, and porcelain. New tiles cost you anywhere between $4.75 and $7.25 per square foot. Enhancing old tiles can be cheaper than new tiles. Remember to select a material with a high waterproof ability.
Bathroom Remodel Materials Cost
If you’re working on a budget, opt for inexpensive materials. Porcelain, vinyl, and laminate materials are commonly used because they serve their purpose and last for years. To top it up, they are pocket friendly. Opt for functional materials and install affordable cabinets or countertops.
Also, avoid labor-intensive materials. Quartz and natural stone tile countertops require hours to install, which can cause a strain on your budget when you pay your licensed pro per hour.
Work and Installation Costs Break Down
The cost of labor when revamping a small bathroom can take 40% to 60% of the total budget. Plumbing repairs and tile installation require the most work. Installing flooring requires between $350-$650, while installing countertops can cost from $50 to $150. Installing a bathtub costs between $450 and $600, while labor for lighting fixtures costs from $150 to $220.
Shower Remodel Cost: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
If you decide to DIY, ensure you meet the required inspections. Research your local and national codes, get the proper permits, and complete all the inspections. Failure to follow the set codes may pose a hazard and incur additional renovation costs during a resale. DIY remodels or renovations are an excellent way to save money. However, ensure you have the proper knowledge, experience, and tools to pull off an entire bathroom and achieve a quality remodel. If a DIY goes wrong, it can present a safety hazard and affect your property’s resale value.
Since most homebuyers check the bathroom before ticking off their checklist, consider hiring a pro if you intend to resell. A pro takes care of all inspections and permits, ensures your home is up to code, and gives your bathroom a professional revamp per your liking.
Bathroom Remodel Cost Breakdown
Converting to a full bathroom requires a new bathtub which can cost an average of $7,200 when installed. If your bathroom is small, you might have to redesign its layout or increase the size of your current bathroom.
A half bath installation can cost an average of $6,600. If the room is not big enough to accommodate your new shower, there may be additional costs to create more space or change the current layout.
Additional Cost and Pricing Factors for Bathroom Remodeling
The cabinets and countertops are the focal points of a homeowner’s kitchen or bathroom remodel. The countertop serves to show off décor pieces and a free space to hold bath kits and cosmetics. The cost of the bathroom cabinets and countertops affects the overall budget of your remodel project.
Plumbing fixtures are affected by moving sinks, toilets, and showers to a new place. Plumbing services could be pricey if they weren’t in your budget.
Altering your bathroom’s layout to create room for a new design can add to the remodeling expenses.
The type of décor you settle for is another factor that affects your revamp pricing. Steam units, body sensors and sprays, Jacuzzi tubs, heated floor tiles, saunas, and a centerpiece chandelier all come at a price tag. Their installation, too, will cost you money, and should be factored in the overall cost of the bathroom remodel.
Shower and Bathroom Remodeling FAQs
How do I Remodel a Small Bathroom on a Budget?
When working on a budget, go for inexpensive materials that are functional. Vinyl, laminate, and porcelain are durable yet budget-friendly materials. You can also do the demo work if you understand how to bring down a wall without wreaking havoc on your plumbing and electrical wiring. To save more on your remodel project, avoid changing the current bathroom layout, as doing so can lead to excessive spending. Finally, avoid materials that take hours to install since they add on to the labor cost.
Should I Pick a Standing Shower or a Bathtub for My Small Bathroom Remodel?
On average, a standard shower stall or walk-in shower uses 9 square feet. On the other hand, a standard-sized tub takes up 13 square feet. A shower should be your go-to option if your bathroom is smaller than average.
What Factors Influence the Cost of Remodeling a Small Bathroom?
A few factors can influence the cost of your bathroom remodel. Such factors include the bathroom layout, where a design that requires plenty of overhauls can result in a significantly higher price. A simple setup without taking down walls or installing dividers saves a lot.
Another aspect to factor in is the cost of labor. Since labor can cost almost half the price of materials, consider setting aside a considerable amount to cover labor costs.
Thirdly, the cost of materials significantly affects the cost of an entire project. The cost of new sink faucets, fixtures, showers, tiles, and the bathroom layout affects the overall budget. You can consult a pro to get an approximate budget and foresight.
How Much Does It Cost to Remodel a Small Bathroom Yourself?
A DIY small bathroom remodel project can cost between $1,000 and $ 5,000. In terms of square feet, it costs $70 to $ 100. Redoing a bathroom requires electrical and professional experience and can cut labor costs by about 50%. You can hire a professional to handle the areas you are not familiar with. However, consider tackling small tasks like painting walls and trim, installing vinyl flooring, demolishing the walls, and hauling away the debris.
Are Bathroom Remodels Worth It?
Renovating or remodeling a bathroom is done for several reasons, like more enjoyment of the time spent in the bathroom, repairing faulty plumbing or electricals, or improving the resale value. For the resale, you can only recoup about 60% of the revamp cost after you sell your property, according to the Remodeling Impact Report.
A bathroom remodel is totally worth it when you customize it to meet your style and needs.
How Long Does a Small Bathroom Remodel Take?
A small bathroom remodel can take two to three weeks. Extensive demolition can extend the redo timeline up to four or five weeks. Another factor that affects the completion time is ordering materials, depending on the time of year.
How Much Does It Cost to Tile a Shower?
According to HomeAdvisor, it costs between $450 and $1,000 on average to install tile flooring. Expect to spend around $25 per square foot to tile a new shower and $5 to $17 per square foot for ceramic bathroom floor tiles.
Can I Tile My Shower Myself?
It’s possible to tile your shower as a DIY project. It takes a few days with the right tools and equipment.
How Many Hours Does It Take to Tile a Shower?
A DIY tile flooring project can take about 10 to 16 hours, while a professional tiler can spend between 6 to 8 hours to complete it.
Can You Tile Over Drywall in a Shower?
It is safe to place tile over drywall as long as you use the proper mortar for your project and prepare the drywall beforehand.
Do I Need to Waterproof Shower Walls Before Tiling?
It would be best if you waterproofed the shower walls before tiling them. The ideal solution is a separate waterproofing membrane since the cement board or tile bucket is not waterproof.
What Next After Budgeting the Bathroom Remodel Project?
Now that you know a small bathroom redo can cost $6,500 on average, you can start the work. Remember, you can save on project costs by using less expensive but functional materials and the current bathroom layout. You can take up the project yourself or hire a licensed professional to handle your work. As long as you are motivated, you can have your dream bathroom in a small room to meet your needs and style.