Ten Tips When Determining Your Bathroom Budget

Written by: Erica Spangler
Design Specialist
(800) 375-3403

I put together what I thought were the ten most helpful tips when planning your bathroom remodel on a budget. From where to splurge to where to save, I wanted make sure that you were aware of the unexpected costs and how to find the right contractor. Just remember to enjoy the process and have fun.


Bathroom Remodel Costs

According to the US Census Bureau, people spent about $2,500 on bathroom improvements with over 35% who did the project themselves. Bathroom remodels range from a small update to an entirely new bathroom.

Bathroom Remodel Costs Vary By Region:

  • West
  • East
  • Midwest
  • South
  • Hawaii
  • Alaska
Bathroom Remodel Budgets by US Region


Bathroom Remodel Budget Breakdown

Here is a typical breakdown of how people budget their bathroom remodel costs.

Average costs:

  • Cabinetry and hardware: 20 percent
  • Faucets and plumbing: 20 percent
  • Fixtures: 20 percent
  • Labor: 20 percent
  • Flooring: 10 percent
  • Lighting and ventilation: 5 percent
  • Design fees: 4 percent
  • Other: 1 percent
Bathroom Remodel Expense Breakdown
Source: Information collection from Consumer Reports


Essential Bathroom Upgrades

If you start with these four fixtures to upgrade first, it will make a world of difference and can change your bathroom's look.
Quality Bathroom Sink Faucets

Quality Sink Faucets

  • Brass construction lasts longer than alternatives
  • Ceramic cartridges improve the water flow
  • WaterSense saves water

Faucet resources:

Quality Bathroom Sinks

Quality Sinks

  • Vitreous China material is durable and most common
  • Glass material is perfect for vessel sinks
  • Different materials will determine the proper care

Sink resources:

Quality Bathroom Toilets

Quality Toilets

  • Elongated toilets are more comfortable
  • Insulated tanks are better for humid areas
  • Antimicrobial coatings are cleaner and more sanitary

Toilet resources:

Matching Bathroom Light Fixtures

Matching Lights

  • Lighting enhances a bathroom’s style
  • Can act as affordable and functional decor
  • Make sure to match finish

Lighting resources:


Luxurious Bathroom Upgrades

Consider choosing one expensive item based what you would enjoy the most. These are typically the upgrades where you may want some professional help.
Radiant Heat Bathroom Flooring

Radiant Heat

  • More comfortable warm floors
  • Works with most floor types
  • Eliminates a need for a bathroom heater
  • Ensures warmer feet in winter
Shop all radiant heat products
Spa Bathtubs

Spa Bathtubs

  • Great for relaxing after a long day
  • Whirlpool tubs offer soft air bubbles for a calm soak
  • Jetted tubs offer extra water movement for a massage
Shop all spa tubs
Bathroom Shower Systems

Custom Showers

  • A spa tub for your shower
  • Many options, including, a handshower or body sprays
  • Fully functional but with touches of luxury
Shop all customer showers


  • Enables natural light to illuminate the bathroom
  • Saves lighting energy
  • Many can open up for natural air ventilation
Shop all skylights
Framed Mirrors

Framed Mirrors

  • Offers a more finished look
  • Replace the larger out-of-date mirrors
  • May need a new light fixture
Shop all framed mirrors


Unexpected Bathroom Remodel Costs

Sometimes unforeseeable issues arise during major bathroom remodels. Make sure be aware some of the most common.
  • Unforeseen damage while remodeling your bathroom, such as, mold or dry rot.
  • Pet boarding costs to ensure your pets are not in the way of the work.
  • Cost of renting or moving if your daily living space is being compromised.
  • Building permit fees can change due to plan changes or other unforeseen issues.
  • Increased property taxes may occur after remodel increases home value.
Installing a Bathtub


Top Ways to Reduce Your Budget

Here are some ways to help balance your bathroom remodel budget. Don't be afraid to do some of the work yourself.
  • Mix luxury items with the essentials -- i.e. heated floors and a WaterSense toilet
  • Find more affordable alternatives -- i.e. choose style and find the same looking fixture at a lower cost
  • Consider doing some of the work yourself -- i.e. changing out the toilet and hardware
  • Consider hiring sub-contractors for the larger projects instead of a general contractor -- i.e. installing a custom shower
  • Reuse some of what you have -- i.e. refinish your vanity
Our DIY Videos
Do It Yourself Lighting Install


Affordable Bathroom Upgrades

You don't have to do an entire bathroom remodel. These four improvements will keep the budget down and will help the look and feel of your bathroom.
WaterSense, Eco-friendly Bathroom Options

Consider WaterSense fixtures

Save water and money while refreshing your bathroom with a new look.

Shop WaterSense fixtures
Bathroom Cabinet Round Knob

Update hardware

Revitalize your space with new door hardware and cabinet hardware.

Shop door and cabinet hardware
Bathroom Three Light Vanity Lighting

Restyle with light fixtures

Highlight various areas of the bathroom by replacing existing light fixtures.

Shop bathroom lighting
Bathroom Single Vanity

Revamp your vanity

Paint, stain or add new cabinet hardware to spice up your current vanity.

Shop cabinet hardware


Plan and Schedule Your Entire Bathroom Remodel

Plan your timeline backwards to make sure there is enough time between different installations. Make sure you have all of your products before the contractor is there to install, this will save a major headache. And remember that this is a guide to the job and doesn't guarantee when exactly the job will be completed.
Bathroom Remodel Checklist


Find the Best Bathroom Contractor

This is one of the most important steps and finding the right one can save you money and time. Make sure you get along with your contractor and see eye-to-eye with them.
  • Check the contractor's license
  • Review contractor's previews jobs
  • Would the contractor's references rehire them?
  • Interview at least 3 contractors
  • Ask for written proposals before you sign any contracts or obligations
  • Sign a contract and stick to your budget
More Contractor Tips
Contractor with his plans


Start Your Bathroom Remodel

Happy Couple Shopping Online

Start your bathroom project off right with us. My team of dedicated bathroom remodel specialists are here to help you through the process.

More Bathroom Research
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