Remodeling a Bathroom

The first thought that pops up when you consider a bathroom remodel is cost - as in how much and for what, and whether you dip into personal savings. We’ve put together an average national cost for bathroom remodeling to help you make informed decisions for bathroom projects.

Complete Update

To do a complete makeover in a 5 by 7 bathroom will cost in the $15,000 range for the following:

  • Removing all fixtures,
  • Add a 30 x 60 inch porcelain tube with a tile surround;
  • Add new faucets;
  • Add a new standard toilet;
  • Add a vanity counter and sink;
  • Add a recessed medicine cabinet and light;
  • Install ceramic tile flooring; and
  • Add wallpaper or paint.

Ouch! I don’t know of many homeowners who have an extra fifteen grand right now, so you may want to rethink that complete remodel!


Are the tub, sink and toilet in good condition and salvageable?  If so, one way to save a good portion of the cost is to make them over rather than replace.  The tub in particular will be your biggest expense, though affordable custom hot tub designs can be found.  You'll also need a shower curtain. 

The sink is your highest impact replacement for the least cost.  Pedestal sinks and vanities can be purchased and installed for under $500 if your remodeling your bathroom on a budget.  Toilets are also inexpensive, and cost under $150, and are actually not a difficult DIY project to install.


If your fixtures are in decent shape, consider updating faucets as a budget alternative to replacing bathtubs and sinks.  You can find some of the best bathroom faucets for under $100. An easy do-it-yourself project, this may give you the change or update you are looking for in the bathroom. 

Wallpaper and Paint

Again, wallpaper and paint is a fairly easy do-it-yourself and inexpensive update to a bathroom.  Wallpaper isn’t always practical in bathrooms due to the moisture in the room, as well as it being a more difficult installation due to all the fixtures.  A coat of paint may be just the quick fix that boring bathroom needed.


If your flooring is in decent condition, consider adding area rugs to cover it, rather than replacing it.  Outdoor rugs in particular are an easy addition to bathrooms to hide flooring.  A tile upgrade is a good idea in the long run for flooring if you have vinyl floors. 

Vinyl flooring can actually decrease the value of the house for homes in the upper price ranges.  While installing ceramic tile is more difficult than painting and faucets, it is a do-able DIY project.  One thing to remember, smaller tiles are easier to work with than larger ones.

If you’re suffering from a boring bath or looking for an update to a dated bathroom, consider your options for cutting the costs to a more budget-friendly project.  Small changes in a small bathroom could have big impact, and be just the update or change you were looking for.