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What Does Renovating Your Bathroom Cost?

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Are you tired of looking at your old or outdated bathroom? Maybe the taps are leaky or you would like to have a new vanity and bathing area. One of the best investments you can make in your home is the bathrooms, because everyone constantly uses these rooms and updated bathrooms are high on the list of home shopper priorities. Perhaps you want to completely renovate a bathroom. How much is this to going to cost? Getting an exact dollar amount is only possible when you have a professional estimate, but it's possible to get a general idea to see what you can or cannot afford. Let' look into bathroom renovations a little closer.

What Kind of Bathroom Do You Want?

There are three basic types of renovations you can do. For example:

  • Budget - with this improvement, you are getting a new bathroom but at the lowest possible costs. It may not be the most beautiful or convenient but everything will be new and in good condition. In Australia, this kind of project usually runs between 10 and 15 thousand dollars when you have the work done by professionals.
  • Mid range - If you spend between 15 and 23 thousand dollars, you can afford to have materials better than budget but not considered to be luxury or premium. For instance, a budget shower enclosure may cost about $600 but with a mid range project you can afford to put in one worth $900 or $1000.
  • Premium or luxury - do you want one of the most beautiful and "feature friendly" bathrooms possible. A premium upgrade will cost you considerably more. Everything inside will be "top of the line". You may enjoy a beautiful sauna or hot tub and a temperature controlled shower. This will cost in the mid 20s all the way to $40,000 or more, depending on what you want.

A Typical Bathroom Renovation

So what does a renovation include? First, the bathroom is stripped down to bare walls and bad wallboard is replaced. You will have new flooring and tiles. All new plumbing fixtures will be installed including taps, toilet, shower or tub and other options. New lighting is installed along with an exhaust fan and if you want a vanity, this too will be part of your new bathroom.

According to the Housing Industry Association, a typical Australian new bathroom costs a little under $15,000. On the other hand, the average bathroom renovation is a little over $15,000. These numbers give you an idea of costs but they can be deceptive. The actual cost of your bathroom upgrade depends on what you want and this leaves a lot of leeway as far as price.

Size Matters

The size of a bathroom is very important, because the larger the space, the more flooring, tile, and fixtures you may need. Tiling can be a major expense. If you want premium ceramic tiles they can cost well over $100 per square meter and installation can cost just as much.

Let's Renovate a Bathroom

Suppose you would like to do a mid range renovation. Let's break down the costs to give you a better idea of what to expect:

  • Bath tap - $120
  • Vanity - $550
  • Tile floor and walls (20 sq metres at $50 per sq metre) $1000
  • Basin and taps - $840
  • Bathroom mirror - $350
  • Bath - $2200
  • New LED lighting - $500
  • Exhaust fan - $100
  • Toilet - $300
  • Shower with rail and enclosure - $1500
  • Toilet rail and holder - $150

Total $7,610

This is only an estimate and the figures can vary a great deal. On average, it costs about $1600 per square metre for renovation labour. The average bathroom is a little under 8 square meters so this comes to around $12,800. If you add this to the materials costs ($7610) it gives you $20,410 for your renovation.

How Can I Save Money On My Bathroom Renovation?

As you can see, the charges can add up quickly when you redo a bathroom. However, there are some things you can do to help keep these costs to a minimum and still not have the cheapest bathroom materials.


Tile can be one of your biggest expenses, especially if you do both floors and walls. However, you can cut this cost. Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Don't tile all the way to the ceiling. Remember, your tile is costing you by the square metre so consider just tiling half way up and painting your walls to match the tile. This can save you in another way. If you go all the way to your ceiling with tiles, you'll need border tiles and this is an additional cost.
  • Check out your present tiles. If the walls are still in good condition, maybe you can repair or replace a few tiles and make the walls look new. The tiles may need cleaning and new grout, but this will still save you on materials. In fact, you can do the cleaning yourself, and you may be able to replace a few cracked tiles to save even more money.
  • Consider a linoleum floor instead of tile. Linoleum is cheaper and the installation is considerably less labour intensive because individual tiles do not have to be set. It comes in a large variety of colours and patterns and your new floor can be set in place all in one piece in very little time.


Do you want to move the toilet or basin? This can be very expensive as drains and pipes have to be relocated. You will save on plumbing costs if you keep things where they are.

Check into Kits

When you shop home improvement products, check out some of the many bathroom shower and tub kits which are available today. These kits are made to be installed by the homeowner, and are not too hard to install.


Is the old vanity still in good condition? Maybe it only needs some sanding and new coat of finish or paint? You can make many old things in the bathroom look like new if you are willing to do some of the work yourself. It may not be as hard as you think either.

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