Your Bathroom Remodel Part 2: Formulating a Budget

Close-up of a calculator, a pen and a sheet of graph paper with notes written on it

In this second post in our series about bathroom remodels, we’re going take a look at how to come up with a budget for your project.

According to industry figures, the national average cost for a bathroom remodel is around $10,000. Of course, your remodel could cost far less or far more than this average, depending on a variety of factors, such as where you live, the size of the bathroom, and the types of materials you choose.

Good, Better or Best?

When it comes to bathroom remodel costs, projects usually fall into one of three categories: Basic, Mid-level and Deluxe.

A basic bathroom remodel is a good choice for you if you’re planning to sell your home in the near future and you’re just looking to spruce things up. The cost of a basic bathroom remodel is generally between $3,000 – $10,000. With a basic remodel, you’ll be able to do things like upgrade your outdated fixtures with new ones, replace countertops with lower-end granite or marble, and add some interest to the room with new paint or a new tile surround for your tub or shower. As for the cabinets, to stay within this budget, you’re probably looking at refacing or refinishing the existing cabinets rather than buying new ones.

If you’re planning to stay in your home for the foreseeable future but you don’t want to make extensive changes to the layout of your bathroom, then a mid-level bathroom remodel may be a good fit for you. For a mid-level bathroom remodel, you can expect to spend from $10,000 – $30,000. A budget at this level opens up such options as new cabinets, better-quality fixtures, and higher-end countertops like quartz. You’ll probably also be able to make some adjustments to the layout, such as adding a second sink or enlarging the shower.

Finally, for those for whom money is no object, there is the deluxe bathroom remodel. A deluxe bathroom remodel can cost from $30,000 – $100,000 or more. With this budget, you’re really limited only by your imagination. You have the freedom to remove walls to make the room larger and place things exactly where you want them. You can indulge in extravagances like natural stone countertops and solid-wood cabinets, and include luxurious amenities such as radiant heating, a steam shower or a sauna. In short, you can have the bathroom of your dreams.

Budget Breakdown

The following breakdown from the National Kitchen and Bath Association shows how a typical bathroom remodel budget is allocated. It can come in handy when deciding where to save and where to splurge on your project:

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

No matter which level of remodel you choose, you should always reserve an additional 10 to 20 percent in your budget for the unexpected costs that can arise during the construction process.

Next time: Your Bathroom Remodel Part 3 — The Keys to a Successful Remodel

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