Have you been considering a spa-like atmosphere in your master en suite or needing more of a kid-friendly durable jack-and-kill upgrade but unsure how to budget for one? Any bathroom may be a much-needed retreat from the noise of the outside world. Bathrooms are also a major requirement to the functionality of your home. Determining the budget for your bathroom remodel depends on the value of your home, the level of renovation you need, and the materials you’d like to use. Once you have these established, finding the right home professional that fits your style, desires and needs will be made easy.

Bathroom Remodel Costs

Remodeling Magazine places the national average cost to remodel a bathroom from $16,128 to $51,374. Your actual costs may vary and will depend greatly upon your location, square footage of the space, scope of the project and the materials selected. For example, a high-end bathroom remodel in the West South Central states may cost you $48,627 whereas in the New England area the average cost is $52,547. Although both are hefty numbers, this type of remodel is estimated to recoup 73% in the South and 64% in New England upon resale.

Turning your bathroom into a luxury retreat requires some high ticket items like ceramic tile, body-spray fixtures, glass enclosures, a whirlpool tub, custom cabinetry topped with stone countertops and matching tile flooring. Electric in-floor heating and even heated bath towel fixtures are extra expenses; be aware that future homebuyers may not place the same value on these high-end improvements as you do. It’s easy to spend large amounts on a bathroom remodel but if resources are limited, simple changes can still add to the value of your home retreat. Read this article on budget bathroom remodeling ideas.

Calculating Your Budget

Trying to decide what your budget should be can be a daunting task when it comes to a bathroom remodel. Experts advise spending between 5% to 15% of your home’s value on an bathroom remodel. If you have $350,000 home, this means you should plan to spend $17,500 to $52,500 on your bathroom.

If you opt for the more conservative number, the average return on investment still brings in a 74% cost value on your home and you will still be able to select quality materials. Items like a porcelain tub with ceramic tile surround, new chrome fixtures, tiled flooring, pedestal sink and a new white porcelain toilet are all very accessible within a tighter budget.

Most National Kitchen and Bath Association members break down bathroom remodeling costs like this:

  • 40% for labor
  • 25% for cabinetry and countertops
  • 20% for plumbing fixtures
  • 10% for lighting
  • 5% for the unexpected

Labor (electrician, plumber, general contractor, etc.) always consumes the majority of your budget, but it’s important to keep in mind that having skilled installers can equate to a more efficient completion process. Professionals know how to deal with complex remodeling issues, understand permitting, know current building codes and have resources among many professionals and subcontractors.

Saving vs. Splurging

The number one priority in a bathroom is functionality. At the end of the day you want quality fixtures that work, adequate water pressure to fit your needs, and an appealing place to escape. Being responsible with the budget means being in control of your spending. If you really need a premium material, for example, then you may need other items to be less expensive. Be mindful of expensive trends that may quickly become dated or unappreciated to future homeowners. If possible, keep track of your ultimate wish list and consider adding on these splurges over time instead of right away. If you do choose to incorporate technically difficult or expensive materials, be sure you hire an experienced pro to do the work so that you aren’t making costly mistakes.

Spending money on a professional doesn’t mean you have to relinquish all control over your bathroom remodel. You can find expert authorities to help with even the smallest of updates to save money, like refacing or refinishing your bathroom cabinets or swapping out that dated shower stall with a glass enclosed tiled-shower or even helping with the selection of hardware.

Need some bathroom design inspiration? Click here to see an array of styles and taste to spark ideas.

Top image credit: Flavin Architects