Bathroom remodels provide 60 to 70 percent resale returns as a home improvement project. However, this project isn’t cheap. It is essential to plan your remodeling ideas ahead of time. Then, hire a remodeling contractor for the job. Ask questions, set realistic expectations, get accurate cost estimates and budgeting from the start. Also spend time learning how to work with a bathroom contractor.
Bathrooms traditionally have few to no natural lighting sources, so any lights that you include are important to the function of the room. Lighting helps not only with the use of the bathroom, but specific task lighting in the vanity and shower areas help enhance your experience there. Lighting for the bathroom can take several forms. The most common include:
To give you more of an idea of what you'll pay before a contractor gives you an estimate, here are several cost examples for remodels of different size bathrooms, provided by Thumbtack Pro Viewpoint NW, a bathroom remodeler in Vancouver, Washington. Keep in mind each job was specific to that house. The total cost of each project includes all material and labor costs:
Once your new materials have arrived, the tearout begins. This involves removing everything from your bathroom right down to the studs. At this point in time, if there are issues with water leaks or mold, they can be addressed. It is at this stage that hidden issues are usually uncovered. Keep in mind that issues can dramatically impact your costs, depending on what is found. For example, mold remediation starts at $500 and water damage can cost as much as $2,700.
The angles where any two planes meet in a wet area, such as the shower, tub, and countertop need to be filled with a flexible material to absorb movement and seal up this section to keep it watertight. This is usually done with some form of caulk 6, either latex or silicone. A tube of caulk 6 costs around $20 and this is usually installed with the tile, shower, or counter with the cost included in the tiling.
If you’re suffering from sticker shock, don’t worry. Bathroom remodeling isn’t all or nothing. You can cut down on bathroom remodel costs by going one step at a time. A bathroom can still benefit from new lighting or ventilation updates followed by a new bathroom vanity or granite countertops. You can always upgrade some features later down the road.
This estimate for a 2019 Typical Bathroom Remodel is derived from the unit cost method summarized in the American Institute of Architects Detailed Cost Estimating - Best Practices. This approach is used by professional designers, contractors, engineers and estimators and uses current wages, material costs, worker productivity benchmarks, supervisory overhead and markup rates.

As you might imagine, I once had to sue a contractor. He demanded payments up front during different stages of work replacing a roof and front porch on my house. When he wanted to cheap out and use inferior materials, i insisted he do the job to specifications I had provided to him in writing beforehand. He walked away from the job, half completed, and I had to hire someone else to finish it. I recovered most, but not all, of the money he had stolen.


As the home owner, I am providing about $8,000 in materials. This includes the cabinetry, fixtures, faucets, countertops, lighting, toilet, glass in-line shower door and tile. Received two quotes. One contractor wants $25,000 to demo the bathroom, convert the existing tub to a tiled walk-in shower, tile the floor, and install my materials. The other wants $27,000. Using the previously mentioned 60/40 labor to material rate, I would be paying more than double for labor...that's insane. Some contractor's need a reality check.
I just renovated a 6X12 bathroom. Old cast iron tub removed. Removed and saved existing vanity and vanity top. Removed the toilet and replaced the existing rotten flooring and added on to the existing partially rotten floor joist. Removed the drywall and tile from around the old tub. After the new flooring was in I had to modify the existing plumbing to accommodate the new tub and shower surround. The hot and cold water lines had to be raised to fit the surround because the new tub is taller and the drains had to be installed and moved to fit the new tub. Drywall was finished and painted. New faucets,New tub,Tub Surround, and flooring materials were purchased by the home owner. Labor cost was 4,584.00
Both Lowe’s and Home Depot offer bathroom remodeling services. Home Depot remodels cost $5,000 for a powder room up to $30,000 for a master bathroom remodel. Lowe’s suggests that customers expect to pay at least $100 per square foot on bathroom remodels. Both stores offer repairs on your existing fixtures and installing upgrades or new replacement parts.
Once your new materials have arrived, the tearout begins. This involves removing everything from your bathroom right down to the studs. At this point in time, if there are issues with water leaks or mold, they can be addressed. It is at this stage that hidden issues are usually uncovered. Keep in mind that issues can dramatically impact your costs, depending on what is found. For example, mold remediation starts at $500 and water damage can cost as much as $2,700.
Bathrooms traditionally have few to no natural lighting sources, so any lights that you include are important to the function of the room. Lighting helps not only with the use of the bathroom, but specific task lighting in the vanity and shower areas help enhance your experience there. Lighting for the bathroom can take several forms. The most common include:
Often times, people confuse the difference between a master bathroom and a powder room. A master bathroom is a large bathroom that is attached to the master bedroom in a house. It is often big in size and contains a sink, toilet, shower, and bathtub. The bathtub and shower are either together or separate. A powder room is different in that it is a small bathroom only containing a toilet and a sink. Sometimes the name powder room is interchanged with guest bathroom or half baths. Powder rooms do not contain a shower, and is usually located on the first floor of a home. The purpose of a powder room is a bathroom for guests to use without feeling as if they are intruding into your home.
Everyone wants to save money, but when you start by questioning material costs or markups it can indicate that you may be under budgeting for the project, or will question every choice the contractor makes in the hopes of saving $100. Time is money and when you have a customer who may cause interruptions because they want to buy something themselves to avoid "markup" it can cause major delays. Many times a customer ends up getting the wrong material anyway. This again slows down a contractor that may already be too busy.
Both Lowe’s and Home Depot offer bathroom remodeling services. Home Depot remodels cost $5,000 for a powder room up to $30,000 for a master bathroom remodel. Lowe’s suggests that customers expect to pay at least $100 per square foot on bathroom remodels. Both stores offer repairs on your existing fixtures and installing upgrades or new replacement parts.
Most bathroom remodels will include some degree of layout or planning. Small bathrooms can be planned by a contractor, but larger rooms should involve the work of a bathroom designer to help make the most of the space. This service typically costs between $1,400 and $4,000, and in some cases, the costs can be recouped during the renovation, as designers can help you save money in other areas. This phase of the project generally includes not only planning, but also drawings, and the selection of the materials that you want to go into the room. The time frame for this phase can last several weeks depending on layout and what you ultimately want the room to look like.
A punitive approach to what could be unforseen and atypical delays may be a bad idea. I would suggest offering a bonus for the job being completed early rather than a penalty for it being delayed. If material is ordered, we can't make it arrive faster if something delays the shipment. We recently ordered a bathtub requested by a customer. It was promised by our supplier for a Wednesday delivery. Bad weather hit Texas and it just didn't leave the warehouse until the following Monday. It blew up our schedule for the project and it wasn't anyone's fault or mistake. If we have an employee critical to the project get sick or injured, we may not be able to get things done as originally scheduled. Jobs can get off schedule for a lot of reasons outside the contractor's control. Charging them for those things is likely to turn them away.
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