The Average Cost to Remodel a Bathroom

Labor, Materials and Other Factors That Affect the Price

Fantasy Bathroom With Tub In Center of Room
••• © Bedrosian's

Ready for your home to have a fresh start? You're among plenty of company. Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies reports that American homeowners spend more than $300 billion annually to make improvements to their homes. 

The ratio tied to the cost of a remodel versus the value it retains is 56.8 percent, according to Remodeling Magazine's 2018 Cost vs. Value Report. This is slightly down from the previous year's ratio, which came in at 57.9 percent. The report includes data on 20 common remodeling projects completed by professionals in 100 major U.S. markets, including bathroom remodels. 

How much does a bathroom remodel cost? 

The average cost for a "midrange" bathroom remodel is just over $19,000, according to Remodeling Magazine's 2018 Cost vs. Value Report. The report describes a midrange bathroom remodel as updating an existing 5-by-7-foot bathroom with a ceramic tile floor. The job includes replacing fixtures with: 

  • A standard white toilet. 
  • A solid-surface vanity counter with a sink.
  • A recessed medicine cabinet that includes a light. 
  • A 30-by-60-inch porcelain-on-steel tub including 4-by-4-inch ceramic tile surrounding it. 
  • A new, single-level shower control. 

An "upscale" bathroom remodel, however, will cost you almost $62,000 to complete. The job includes expanding an existing 35-square-foot bathroom to 100 square feet; adding in-floor heating and heated towel bars; installing a 42-by-42-inch neo-angle shower with a recessed shower caddy, body-spray fixtures and frameless glass enclosure; installing a freestanding soaker tub with high-end faucets, a compartmentalized commode area with a toilet, plus several other improvements throughout the space. 

Here's the cost versus value data for each remodel:  

Midrange bathroom remodel: 

  • Cost: $19,134 
  • Value: $13,422 
  • Ratio: 70.1 percent 

Upscale bathroom remodel: 

  • Cost: $61,662 
  • Value: $34,633 
  • Ratio: 56.2 percent 

Breaking down bathroom remodeling costs 

As you can see, bathroom remodels can come with some significant price tags. But what exactly do you pay for when remodeling a bathroom in your home? Here are some price ranges —from the low end to the high end—for what you could pay for the various installations your new bathroom might need, according to data from HomeAdvisor, a home improvement information site: 

  • Bathtub: $400 to $8,000
  • Cabinets: $1,200 to $13,000
  • Countertops: $900 to $6,500
  • Flooring: $800 to $7,000
  • Lighting fixtures: $120 to $4,000
  • Shower: $450 to $10,000
  • Sink: $190 to $6,500
  • Toilet: $130 to $780

Keep in mind that a huge chunk of your expenses will be dedicated to covering the labor involved in your bathroom remodel—that could eat up 50 percent of the cost or more. Another rule says that labor is generally expected to cost about twice the amount of materials. 

Other factors to consider in your remodel 

Many homeowners are choosing to stay put in their current home instead of upgrading to a new one, which is likely making home improvements more popular. Remodeling Magazine reports that demand has been on the rise, which is pushing the prices of building materials upward as well as the costs of these jobs. 

Additionally, there are certain times of year that might be more suitable to remodel your bathroom. Hiring contractors during a season when fewer jobs are coming in—possibly in the winter—could work to your advantage by being a cost-effective choice. Labor is likely to be cheaper as well as the materials and products you'd need to purchase for the job. 

Another consideration is determining how you'll finance your bathroom remodel. Will you draw from your savings? Will you tap the equity you have in your home through a home equity loan or home equity line of credit? What about a low-interest credit card or unsecured personal loan? 

If you're planning to apply for a new card or loan, be sure your credit history already reflects that you're a credit-worthy borrower by continuing to reduce your existing debt and pay your bills on time. 

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