Where Does Your Money Go for a Bathroom Remodel?

modern bathroom

Per square foot,

no room in the house takes more work or costs more money to remodel than the bathroom.

The combination of plumbing, electrical wiring, and decorating ideas packed into the smallest residential spaces create some quite unique demands.


these same demands also place unmatched value on bathrooms, whether in terms of day-to-day living or home property values.

Finished Products vs. Labor and Expenses

white modern bathroom

Just like a kitchen remodel,

there will be substantial costs involved from flooring, bathtubs, shower surrounds, countertops, cabinets, and many bathroom fixtures.

These products, however...

...don’t typically have the same price tags as major kitchen appliances and full cabinet and countertop installations do.


bathroom remodeling is a more labor-intensive process between tearing out old bathroom cabinets, countertops, and tedious tile and plumbing installation.  60-70% of bathroom remodel costs are labor and expenses and about 30-40% is finished product. 

Difference Makers: Plumbing, Bathroom Designs, and Bathroom Tile

tablet with bathroom remodel layout

The biggest difference-maker is plumbing and bathroom design.

Already one of the costliest and most involved,

...is if a homeowner's wish is to relocate a toilet, sink, or bathtub within the bathroom, extensive plumbing installation will be required, which causes quite a spike in the cost of labor and other expenses.

In fact,

if you are going to relocate your bathroom plumbing...

...not only will you need a substantially larger budget, but you will also need more contingency room in your budget, as any number of obstacles can arise once the walls are torn out.

Another reason bathroom remodeling cost tends to increase in labor costs and expenses is the bathroom flooring and shower tile.

Even the size of the tile will play a role in the cost breakdown of your new bathroom floor. Smaller tiles may cost less from the manufacturer but will require more labor to install. 

The Huge Cost Differences of Bathroom Remodeling

bathrrom remodel in progress

You might be able to find a low-end shower door, for as little as $300, while luxury shower doors can run more than $3,000.

A bathtub can range from $400 to more than $8,000 to buy and install.

For a master bath with a separate shower and tub, installation costs can range from $3,500-$12,000.

These huge differences in cost are also supported by the Remodeling Magazine Cost vs. Value Report

Average Bathroom Remodeling Costs

According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2018 Cost vs. Value Report,

the average price for a mid-range bathroom remodel in the U.S. is just over $19,100. This estimate accounts for updating all appliances, fixtures, and finishes in a 35 square foot bathroom.

A large master bath remodel can easily go over $50,000.


it’s important to know not just the total cost of the estimates you receive from bathroom contractors but also where that money is going.

Understanding this cost breakdown will help you choose the bid with the best overall value and, hopefully...

...identify contractors who may be giving you unrealistically low, and/or misleading quotes. 


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