How much does a bathroom renovation cost?

author-avatar By
on March 25, 2022 Fact Checked
How much does a bathroom renovation cost?

Dreaming of a rainwater shower or a clawfoot porcelain bath? Renovating your bathroom can turn your dreams into a reality.

Renovating your bathroom can be an expensive project, but many older homes are frankly in need of it. There’s nothing worse than a shower with no water pressure - particularly if it’s a hair washing day - or a bath that’s too small to lie down. Whether you’re renovating your forever home or an investment property before it gets tenanted; your bathroom could probably benefit from some TLC.

According to tradie booking platform Hipages, a bathroom renovation can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000. On average, a bathroom renovation costs around $17,000 in Australia. But the cost can vary depending on the size of your bathroom, labour costs, materials being used, and the scale of your renovations. Really, the sky is the limit.

In this article…


Advertisement

Building a home? This table below features construction loans with some of the lowest interest rates on the market.

Lender

Variable
More details
GET A DISCOUNTED GREEN RATE
  • Interest Only during construction
  • No monthly, annual or ongoing fees
  • Get Australia’s lowest rate construction loan when you go green
GET A DISCOUNTED GREEN RATE

Green Construction Home Loan (Interest Only)

  • Interest Only during construction
  • No monthly, annual or ongoing fees
  • Get Australia’s lowest rate construction loan when you go green
Variable
More details
100% FULL OFFSET ACCOUNT
100% FULL OFFSET ACCOUNT

Offset Package Home Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 60%)

    Variable
    More details
    BUNDLE YOUR HOME LOAN AND YOUR INVESTMENT LOAN FOR MORE SAVINGS
    BUNDLE YOUR HOME LOAN AND YOUR INVESTMENT LOAN FOR MORE SAVINGS

    Yard Investor Bundle Loan (Bundled with Home Loan)

      Variable
      More details
      AN EASY ONLINE APPLICATION
      AN EASY ONLINE APPLICATION

      Yard Investment Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 80%)

        Variable
        More details
        100% FULL OFFSET ACCOUNT
        100% FULL OFFSET ACCOUNT

        Offset Package Home Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR 60%-70%)

          Variable
          More details
          GREAT FLEXIBLE LOAN OPTIONS
          GREAT FLEXIBLE LOAN OPTIONS

          Basic Home Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR 70%-80%)

            Variable
            More details
            FREE REDRAW FACILITY
            • Pay more to reduce the amount of interest you pay
            • Easily access additional funds in your redraw
            • Great rates and low fees
            FREE REDRAW FACILITY

            Basic Investment Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR < 60%)

            • Pay more to reduce the amount of interest you pay
            • Easily access additional funds in your redraw
            • Great rates and low fees
            Variable
            More details
            • Pay more to reduce the amount of interest you pay
            • Easily access additional funds in your redraw
            • Great rates and low fees

            Yard Investment Loan (Principal and Interest) (LVR > 80%)

            • Pay more to reduce the amount of interest you pay
            • Easily access additional funds in your redraw
            • Great rates and low fees

            Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, fixed, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. However, the ‘Compare Home Loans’ table allows for calculations to be made on variables as selected and input by the user. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the Product Provider’s web site. Monthly repayments, once the base criteria are altered by the user, will be based on the selected products’ advertised rates and determined by the loan amount, repayment type, loan term and LVR as input by the user/you. *The Comparison rate is based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. Rates correct as of June 29, 2022. View disclaimer.


            The costs of renovating your bathroom

            Renovating your bathroom can be an expensive endeavour, but the cost will be highly dependent on what you’re changing. For example, if you’re completely redesigning your bathroom - a rainwater shower, clawfoot bathtub, ‘his and hers’ vanity and enough storage for a small army - it’s going to be more expensive than a fresh paint job and a few new tiles here and there.

            To give you a breakdown of potential budgets, here are the average bathroom renovation costs according to Hipages:

            • Budget or cosmetic: $5,000 to $15,000

            • Standard: $15,000 to $30,000

            • Major: Over $30,000

            This encompasses all costs including labour, materials, and so on. As a general rule, you can expect a plumber to charge around $100 to $150 per hour according to Hipages, and they may also charge a call out fee of $60 to $100.

            Budget/cosmetic bathroom renovation

            Let’s say you like the structure of your bathroom, but you simply want it to look a bit more modern. You could look at a new coat of paint, replacing the mirror or changing the tiles. On the more expensive end, maybe you only need to swap out a thing or two (sink, shower head, etc). Either way, if you’re doing a relatively ‘cheap’ bathroom renovation, you’ll need to keep all the original plumbing and electrics in place, as in you can’t move where the sink or shower head are placed.

            You also may be more restricted in your product selection. Meaning, you may need to choose the ‘generic’ bathroom tiles, bathroom screens or the cheap-ish sink. But you can still give your bathroom a refresh for up to $15,000.

            Standard bathroom renovation

            For $15,000 to $30,000, you can do a pretty standard bathroom renovation which could include some more fancy tiles, better shower screens, and you can even dabble in some plumbing or electrical changes. Note all electrical and much plumbing work will need to be undertaken by a licensed professional. However, you will still need to keep the structure of the bathroom generally the same as moving/installing new pipes can be expensive.

            Major bathroom renovation

            Once you exceed the $30,000 mark, you’re looking at more of a major bathroom renovation project. This means you can change the existing plumbing and electrics. If you’ve got enough cash you can move the position of your sink, your shower - whatever your heart desires.

            You can choose from the best-quality tiles for your walls and floor, have that porcelain clawfoot bathtub, install a frameless shower screen or even one of those fancy Japanese toilets.

            Examples and costs of common bathroom renovations

            We’ve briefly mentioned a few bathroom renovation budgets you could be looking at, but how much do the renovations specifically cost? Let’s look at some costs you could be looking at if you were to renovate these popular bathroom features:

            • Shower

            • Bath

            • Toilet

            • Sink/vanity

            • Tiles

            • Paint

            Cost of a new shower

            The cost of buying and installing a shower can vary depending on the type and size of shower, whether it’s a new or retrofit, waterproofing, fixtures and so on. Shower installation costs can also vary depending on which capital city you live in, but you can generally expect a plumber to charge between $30 and $65 per hour. According to Oneflare, the average shower is about 81 cm squared and prices will start at about $700 - but keep in mind the larger the shower, the larger the bill.

            Cost of a new bath

            Costs of a new bathtub can vary greatly depending on the type and size, whether it also includes a shower, labour costs and plumbing. Prices can also depend on whether you’re replacing an old bath with a new one, or installing a bath in your bathroom for the first time. The latter is going to be more expensive as you may need to install new plumbing, move around the existing structure of the bathroom and so on. As a general estimate, Oneflare said the average cost of installing a bathtub to be between $500 to $5,000.

            Cost of a new toilet

            According to Hipages, the cost of a new toilet can range from $150 to $1,000. This will depend mainly on the type of toilet, whether you’re having it replaced or relocated, and labour costs. An easy installation can cost between $150 to $250 but, on average, you’ll be looking at a $300 to $400 bill.

            Cost of installing a sink and/or vanity

            Though you may need to install the sink and vanity separately, or you could technically just replace one or the other, we’ll group these two costs together. Chances are, if you’re doing a solid bathroom renovation, you will be replacing both.

            The cost of installing a bathroom vanity can vary from around $500 to $1,400 according to Hipages. This will depend on the type and size of vanity, design of your bathroom, and whether you need a carpenter/cabinet maker or just a plumber to install it. Having a bathroom vanity can provide you with more storage, hide any ugly pipes and, of course, hold your sink.

            Installing a new sink can be a relatively cheap project ranging from $160 to $250 according to Hipages. But costs can vary greatly depending on the type of sink:

            • Basin: $150 to $1,600

            • Taps: $100 to $1,500

            Tiles

            There are a number of bathroom tile styles you can choose from. Depending on your bathroom renovation budget, you could look at spending anywhere from $35 to $120 per square metre on tiles according to Hipages. You’ll generally also need to spend around $50 to $70 per square metre for laying the bathroom tiles. Costs can also vary depending on whether the tiles are for the floor or walls.

            Paint

            You’ll usually find that painting a bathroom is cheaper than painting most other rooms in your home, as it’s smaller and there’s less wall to actually paint when sinks, mirrors, and tiles take up much of it. You can usually expect to pay between $150 to $350 to paint your average 70 square foot (6.5 sq m) bathroom according to Services.com.au.

            How has COVID affected the cost of renovating a bathroom?

            Bernadette Janson, host of She Renovates podcast, said she usually allows a budget of $12,000 to $15,000 when renovating a bathroom.

            Ms Janson said supply shortages for both tradies and materials meant that she needed to “add a lot more padding” into the planning and budgets of her bathroom renovations.

            “Tradies are experiencing the same challenges as we are and so we are finding that they are needing more flexibility,” Ms Janson told Savings.com.au.

            “A tradie might be scheduled for a particular day, but turn up early because they have had to wait for supplies on another job.

            “Or [they may show up] two days late because they had been called on to do a last minute job for a builder that provides the bulk of his work.”

            Essentially, Ms Janson’s advice is to be flexible with your tradies and your budget as things may pop up and throw a spanner in your plans. But don’t worry - she provided us with her top tips for planning and budgeting which we’ll get to soon.

            Bathroom renovation essentials: What are the ‘must haves’?

            Ms Janson detailed what her personal preferences are when it comes to renovating a bathroom, having renovated three bathrooms in 12 months.

            In terms of room configuration, she said that the wet room configuration looks modern and spacious.

            “[It also] enables us to include a bath and a shower in a small bathroom without crowding,” Ms Janson said.

            When it comes to bathtubs, she said freestanding baths cost more but they’re cheaper to install.

            “Basically, they are on legs, hidden by a skirt, with a flexible hose to attach to the drain,” Ms Janson said.

            “This makes them very flexible to position.  They are not great for kids because of their thin edge; as in, there’s nowhere to place soap or small people.”

            Ms Janson said niches add another dimension to your bathroom, but they also add onto your budget. You could include a niche in your shower, next to your bathtub, or anywhere really - they’re a great storage pocket.

            “Heated towel rails are a must, especially in family bathrooms,” Ms Janson said.

            “They are relatively inexpensive and they ensure that you don’t have piles of wet towels to deal with on a daily basis.”

            She also said underfloor heating is another inexpensive addition, which can add value to a bathroom in colder climates.

            Lastly, Ms Janson said LED strip lighting is your friend, and takes your bathroom to the next level.

            “Use it to back-light niches, mirrors and to light under cabinets,” she said.

            Bathroom1.jpg Bathroom2.jpg

            Pictured: Bathroom renovated by Ms Janson

            Tips to save and plan for your new bathroom

            Ms Janson also provided us with her top five tips for planning and budgeting for your bathroom renovation project.

            1. Don’t start until you’re organised

            “A bathroom renovation should take around three weeks if you are organised,” Ms Janson said.

            “The secret is to not start until you have all your ducks lined up otherwise it will drag on.”

            2. Hire a tiler who also does waterproofing

            Ms Janson said hiring a tiler who does the waterproofing is important to avoid any mishaps.

            “If the tiler isn’t providing the warranty for the waterproofing, they won't be so concerned about preserving its integrity and it is easy to inadvertently slice a trowel through the membrane,” she said.

            “When it is covered over the tiles, it will be months before the leak becomes apparent.”

            3. Use off-the-shelf materials

            “Design your bathroom with off-the-shelf materials as much as possible,” Ms Janson said.

            “Things like shower screens, doors, vanities, and so on.”

            This can not only be a cheaper option, but it means there won’t be any supply delays- meaning it won’t dig into your timeline or your budget.

            4. Have a contingency plan

            Ms Janson said it’s important to expect the unexpected, and to have contingencies in place for both your budget and your plan.

            “We demolished a bathroom recently in an old terrace and found it had no floor,” Ms Janson said.

            “The tiles had been laid on dirt. So we had to lay a slab before we started the renovation.”

            5. Take photos of the plumbing and wiring

            Ms Janson said it’s important to take photos of the in-wall plumbing and wiring before sheeting over it.

            “It helps to locate fixings when you are installing items such as vanities and accessories, and to diagnose issues such as leaks later down the track,” she said.


            Image by R ARCHITECTURE on Unsplash

            Disclaimers

            The entire market was not considered in selecting the above products. Rather, a cut-down portion of the market has been considered. Some providers' products may not be available in all states. To be considered, the product and rate must be clearly published on the product provider's web site. Savings.com.au, yourmortgage.com.au, yourinvestmentpropertymag.com.au, and Performance Drive are part of the Savings Media group. In the interests of full disclosure, the Savings Media Group are associated with the Firstmac Group. To read about how Savings Media Group manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please visit the web site links at the bottom of this page.

            Latest Articles

            author-avatar
            Rachel is a Finance Journalist, and joined Savings in 2021. Coming from a background in the FinTech space, her interests include the innovation of lending technology, property, investing, and more. With a passion for educating and informing people about their finances, she hopes to increase the financial literacy of everyday Australians.

            Be Savings smart.
            Subscribe for free money newsletters.

            By subscribing you agree
            to the Savings Privacy Policy