Last updated: December 19, 2023

Home Ownership

Bathroom remodel costs and financing options

Two contractors remodeling a bathroom with a new vanity installation

A bathroom remodel can be a great way to update and refresh one of the most frequently used rooms in your home. Like with any renovation project, it’s essential to consider the costs involved and explore your financing options before diving in.

Bathroom remodel costs

The cost of a bathroom remodel may vary depending on several factors, including the size of your bathroom, the extent of the renovation, and the quality of materials used.

Here’s a list of common bathroom upgrades categorized by what you might expect to pay to complete a project:

  1. Basic bathroom remodel: A basic bathroom remodel may include upgrading fixtures, such as the toilet, sink, and bathtub or shower, as well as replacing flooring and painting walls. The costs for doing only these replacements or enhancements typically tend to be lower on the scale for what you can expect to spend to renovate or remodel a bathroom. You might be able to save additional money on labor costs if you want to purchase the fixtures and install them yourself.
  2. Mid-range bathroom remodel: A mid-range bathroom remodel may involve more extensive upgrades, such as replacing cabinets, countertops, or installing new tile or stone flooring. Depending on the extent of the project, this type of work will typically be more expensive than a basic remodel but more affordable than making luxury or high-end upgrades.
  3. High-end bathroom remodel: A high-end bathroom remodel may often include installing luxury fixtures, custom cabinetry, high-end materials, and advanced features like smart showers or heated flooring. Costs for a high-end project will typically be the most you could spend for a bathroom remodel. Though you may be able to find ways to lower costs, the quality of materials typically used for high-end remodeling may increase the overall price of the project.

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Bathroom remodel product ideas

Once you have determined functionality requirements, start making decisions about specific bathroom remodeling products. These range from simple items that will make your bathroom more convenient or attractive, to expensive amenities to make the room more luxurious.

  • Fan: You’ll want to protect and preserve any of the upgrades you make. One of the best ways to do this is by installing a powerful fan with minimal noise that can draw humidity and moisture out of the room before it can seep into walls and cabinets.
  • Paint: Fresh paint can cover problems ranging from marks and gauges to dated colors. Look for washable paint that is specially formulated for bathroom use. Moisture can bead up on painted bathroom walls and leach out paint components, leaving yellowing drips and streaks as it dries.
  • Plumbing: Unless the inspection identifies problems, your basic water supply and waste lines should be adequate for new replacement products. Modifications may be needed for tankless water heaters, shower steam installations or heated floors. If your water heater is due for replacement, consider doing it as part of the remodel project to avoid another disruption with a later install. You may save site prep and service call costs too.
  • Vanity, countertop, and basin: The vanity is a major focal point as you enter the bathroom. Make it functional and attractive with plenty of workspace and an eye-catching countertop. Granite has become popular because it delivers a luxurious look at a reasonably low price if you purchase a low-grade product. Replace the basin if it has any stains or chips, or if it doesn’t match the desired room décor.
  • Fixtures and hardware: Shiny chrome fixtures for faucets, lights, drawer pulls, towel racks and other items catch the eye, but make a bathroom look dated. Oil rubbed bronze and brass are popular modern options. You should also coordinate all the fixtures to match.
  • Shower or bathtub: While using a shower or bathtub is generally a personal preference, think about the long-term impact when you make this decision. Home buyers may expect every bathroom to have a tub with a shower head, not just a standalone shower. The exception is a luxury master walk-in shower if a bathtub is available in another room. If you have a bathtub, consider installing attractive tiles around the existing tub. You can also install a single unit shower and tub surround at a low cost. Shower rods and curtains are preferred over sliding glass doors attached to the tub, especially in bathrooms that may be used for bathing children. Think carefully about how high to install the shower head. A below-standard-height installation may work for you, but it may become an issue when you go to sell your home later.
  • Toilet: Even if you don’t need a new toilet, consider replacing what you have with an eco-friendly, low-flow model to match your décor. Reduced water usage may deliver a payback before you sell your house.
  • Bidet: Some consider a bidet a luxury item worth installing, while others see it as a mysterious bit of bathroom furniture, or worse, an eyesore. If you expect to use a bidet daily, install it. If not, save the money and space for something else. If you do choose to install a bidet, you may incur additional costs for removal when you’re ready to sell your home.
  • Accessibility items: Many modern bathrooms are equipped with items to enhance accessibility like hand-held shower heads, a shower seat, curbless shower entry and non-slip tub or shower surfaces. These features are helpful for elderly and disabled users, but they can also be helpful for any member of the family. Plan a bathroom that can accommodate for mobility and accessibility restraints as you grow older. For example, you may not want to grab bars for the shower or tub now, but you should select a design that will allow you to add them later.
  • Flooring: Nonslip flooring is an important feature to consider for a bathroom where water can create a slippery surface. Consider replacing old linoleum or other surfaces with tile. If this is a do-it-yourself project, be sure to account for the extra height tile will provide. If you don’t, and you reinstall the toilet, you may end up with a major leak. For cost savings, use basic tiles and choose a few tiles with a more expensive pattern to use as an accent.
  • Lights and electric: You probably have an electrical outlet near the sink for a razor and hairdryer. Add a few more outlets for modern devices such as phones, laptops, notebook computers, and speakers. Install adjustable light fixtures that allow bright lighting for makeup application and dimmed lighting for a relaxing bath. Consider a Wi-Fi enabled sound system, intercom or even a TV screen placed discreetly.
  • Steam, spa or sauna: What could be better at the end of a long workday than a relaxing steam or spa shower in your private luxury bathroom?
  • Finishing touches: Be sure to include enough money in your budget to make your finished bathroom glow. While the remodeling work is underway, do some shopping. Get rid of fraying bath towels and soap slivers. Invest in new coordinated bath linens, with backup sets for laundry day. Candles, soaps, flowers or plants, floor mats, trash cans, laundry hampers, wall hangings and decorative pottery will complete the look. Find these items at discount department and home goods stores, through mail order, or at luxury bath stores.

Once you’ve got an idea of what features you’d like to include as part of your bathroom remodel, search for products and services using the internet to get a sense of pricing.

There is no one-size-fits-all price tag for completing a bathroom remodel – your total project cost will depend on the design and functionality choices you make. It’s important to do research and find competitive pricing on items by comparing what’s offered by different sellers.

When you put together an estimate of what it might cost to complete the upgrades you’re thinking about, then you can budget and explore financing options with a better understanding of what you may have to spend.

Financing options for bathroom remodels

To fund your bathroom remodel, you may have several financing options available to you depending on your personal financial situation. Here are a few popular choices:

  1. Savings: If you have enough savings set aside, funding your bathroom remodel from your personal savings may be the least expensive option. Using can help you avoid interest charges, loans, or credit card debt.
  2. Home equity loan: A home equity loan allows you to borrow money against the equity in your home These loans typically have fixed interest rates and are suitable for larger bathroom remodel project because they typically have minimum limits where you have to borrow at least a certain amount based on your lender’s requirements. While these can be a great resource for funding home improvement projects, remember that home equity loans are secured using your home as collateral. If you can’t make regular payments back on the loan, you may risk foreclosure.
  3. Personal loan: Personal loans are unsecured loans that can be used for home renovation projects. They typically offer a fixed interest rate and a fixed repayment term. While personal loans typically have higher interest rates than home equity loans, they may be a good option to consider if you don’t want to borrow money from your home’s equity.
  4. Credit cards: Credit cards can be used to finance a bathroom remodel — especially for smaller projects. However, if you use a credit card to make purchases for your bathroom remodel, be mindful of high interest rates and try to avoid carrying a balance for an extended period.

Your bathroom remodel: functional, luxurious, or a bit of both?

Another suggestion as you plan how to remodel your bathroom is to first think about the specific needs and wants of the people who will be using the bathroom now and in the future.

An adult working couple sharing a bathroom may need functionality:

  • More space
  • Double sinks for getting ready for work simultaneously
  • Privacy door for toilet area
  • In-room linen cabinet
  • Accommodations for accessibility issues

Alternatively, homeowners may want more luxury:

  • More space so the bathroom fits in with a large primary suite
  • A larger shower size
  • Walk-in shower with in-home steam or spa capabilities
  • Updated bathtub or bathtub removal to provide more shower space
  • Heated floor
  • Fashionable fixtures
  • Mood lighting
  • Electronics – sound system, intercom or TV

Fixing up a guest bathroom, or a Jack-and-Jill shared space, for multiple kids can offer additional fun and functional opportunities:

  • Multiple sinks to encourage space sharing
  • Separate toilet enclosure for privacy
  • Tub and shower combination in the kids’ bathroom
  • Lots of color through accents rather than permanent fixtures and features
  • Additional closet space for linens and supplies

Your finished bathroom can be designed to look like a showroom, but remember, it will get regular daily use. Design your bathroom for your personal needs and wants, not what you think is trendy when it comes to resale appeal.

Before you move ahead with your remodel, clean and inspect the room. Now is the time to check for any structural damage, such as rot or mold in floors and walls, especially in areas closest to water supply or collection points. Make all necessary repairs before installing new features so you won’t have to rip apart your newly completed bathroom if problems become evident later. Build time and money into your budget for this first step. Ideally, you’ll have an alternate bathroom to use during the remodel so you can continue living in your home, even if there are any delays or unexpected problems.

Closing thoughts: Bathroom remodel costs

As you’re working on a plan for how to remodel your bathroom, create a plan to pay for the project. Your remodel strategy should include a detailed budget based on realistic estimates of the full installation costs for all components.

Make sure you have the monetary resources available from start to finish; you don’t want to run out of money and must stop in the middle of the project. Besides using dedicated savings, taking out a home equity loan is one method of obtaining the funds you need without maxing out credit accounts.

Save money with a bit of do-it-yourself work, such as painting and decorating. You may even find money-saving components at surplus stores. Take on carpentry, plumbing or other advanced tasks if you have the skills. For safety, make sure you have a licensed electrician make any modifications to electrical outlets and install GFI protection, as needed.

When all the work is complete on your bathroom remodel project, enjoy a steamy spa treatment by filling the bathtub with scented oil, lighting a few candles and slipping into the water with a glass of champagne so you can admire your brand new bathroom.

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