Remodeling a bathroom can be one of the most rewarding home improvement projects. However, it can also be one of the most expensive. The average cost of a main bathroom remodel ranges between $10,000 and $30,000, with most homeowners spending around $20,000. The final cost depends on the size of the bathroom, the materials used, the extent of the remodel, and if you do it yourself or hire contractors. Let’s take a closer look at the key factors that impact the cost of remodeling a main bathroom.
Size of the Bathroom
The size of your bathroom is a major cost determinant. Larger bathrooms require more materials and labor, driving costs up.
- Small bathrooms (35 sq. ft. or less) typically cost $10,000 to $15,000 to remodel.
- Medium bathrooms (35 to 75 sq. ft.) range from $15,000 to $25,000.
- Large master bathrooms (more than 75 sq. ft.) can cost $25,000 to $50,000 or more.
When budgeting, allocate more if you have a spacious bathroom. Consider your goals too – a bathroom overhaul will cost more than replacing fixtures or tiles.
The types of materials selected also greatly impact the bottom line. Using premium materials like stone, tile, and high-end faucets can escalate costs quickly.
- Fixtures: $1,500 – $8,000
- Tile: $500 – $4,000
- Cabinets/vanity: $500 – $3,500
- Tub: $1,000 – $5,000
- Plumbing: $1,500 – $3,000
- Lighting/electrical: $800 – $1,200
Opting for mid-range or budget materials can trim thousands off a remodel. Developing a clear budget and priorities helps balance aesthetic appeal and affordability.
Labor accounts for 50% or more of a bathroom remodel budget. Hiring a general contractor costs $40 to $80 per hour. Key tasks like tile setting or plumbing may warrant hiring specialized tradespeople, charging $50 to $100 per hour.
For a full remodel, labor costs can easily exceed $15,000. You can cut labor expenses significantly by doing some work yourself, such as demo, painting, trim, and fixture installation.
Extent of Remodel
The scope of work is a major cost driver. At the low end, a simple bath update with new paint, light fixtures, vanity, and tile flooring may cost $5,000 to $10,000. A full remodel usually includes layout changes, new plumbing and electrical, custom cabinets and tile, Jacuzzi tubs, etc.
Here are typical remodel options and price ranges:
- Bath update: $5,000 – $10,000
- Moderate remodel: $10,000 – $20,000
- Full custom remodel: $20,000 – $35,000
- Luxury bathroom remodel: $30,000 – $50,000+
Evaluate must-haves versus nice-to-have upgrades to keep costs aligned with your budget.
DIY vs Hiring a Contractor
Bathroom remodels require expertise in plumbing, electrical, tile, and carpentry work. For homeowners lacking these skills, hiring a general contractor to manage the project makes sense despite higher costs.
On average, homeowners can save 20% to 35% on a bathroom remodel by doing some or all of the work themselves. Basic improvements like painting, installing fixtures, or retiling floors and walls are achievable DIY projects. More complex wiring, plumbing, framing, and tile work are best left to the pros.
Consider a hybrid approach – do demolition, prep work and finishes yourself and outsource specialized trades. Also factor in permit costs if required.
Key Factors That Impact Bathroom Remodel Costs
- Size – larger bathrooms cost more
- Materials – premium finishes raise costs
- Labor – expect to pay $40-$100/hour
- Scope – partial updates vs complete remodels
- DIY – saves 20-35% over hiring contractors
Average Cost of a Main Bathroom Remodel FAQ
How much does it cost to remodel a 5×8 bathroom?
For a 5×8 bathroom (about 40 square feet), expect to spend $8,000 to $15,000 for a complete remodel. The final cost depends on the chosen finishes, if you do any work yourself, and your location.
How much does it cost to remodel a bathroom shower?
Remodeling just the shower averages $4,000 to $10,000. Custom tile, new plumbing, and reconfiguring the layout drive up costs. Expect to spend $1,000 to $4,000 on a basic shower replacement.
What is the cost to remodel a bathroom per square foot?
Bathroom remodel costs typically run $150 to $350 per square foot. The per square foot cost scales up for larger, more luxurious bathrooms with high-end finishes. Expect to invest $200 to $250 per sq. ft. for a mid-range remodel.
Is it cheaper to remodel a bathroom or move?
If your goal is a larger or more modern bathroom, remodeling is usually cheaper than moving. You can remodel an existing bath for $20,000 or less. Moving costs, realtor fees, and hassles average $50,000 to $100,000.
How can I remodel my bathroom on a budget?
To save on a bathroom remodel: do demolition and prep work yourself, install your own fixtures/fittings, shop sales and closeouts for tiles and vanities, use a shower surround instead of tiling walls, and limit layout changes. Focus on simple upgrades vs a full renovation.
Remodeling a main bathroom runs anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000, with the average homeowner spending around $20,000. Exact costs depend on the age and condition of your current bathroom, the scale of renovations, materials selected, use of contractors, and your location. Carefullyevaluate your budget, expected ROI, and the improvements that matter most. With some cost-saving measures and sweat equity, you can transform your bathroom beautifully within a reasonable budget.