How much should a bathroom remodel cost?

Remodeling a bathroom can be an expensive but worthwhile investment. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Jennifer S. of Burbank, Calif.)

Remodeling a bathroom can be an expensive but worthwhile investment. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Jennifer S. of Burbank, Calif.)

If a dripping faucet or stained bathroom walls have you dreaming of the brushed metal, glass tile and ultra-modern sinks in a remodeled bathroom, you’re not alone. According to Consumer Reports, the bathroom is the second-most dreamed about room for remodeling (after the kitchen). There are numerous benefits in bathroom remodeling - improved aesthetics and safety, comfort and an increase home resale value (more than 60 percent).

The average bathroom remodeling project cost $17,735 in 2014, according to National Kitchen and Bath Association spokesman John O'Reilly, with about 20% of that being labor cost.

Here's a cost breakdown on what percentage of the overal cost of a bathroom remodeling project will typically be spent for cabinets, countertops, flooring, lighting, etc. and how much for labor.

Source: John O’Reilly, of the National Kitchen and Bath Association.

Remodel all at once or in stages?

If you’re suffering from sticker shock, don’t worry. Bathroom remodeling isn’t all or nothing. It can still benefit from a lighting or ventilation update followed by a new vanity or Formica countertops. You can always upgrade later down the road.   

Choose quality over quantity. Especially based on the amount of traffic the bathroom gets. It’s a waste of money and a source of future aggravation if you buy a cheap toilet that leaks after you’ve redone the floor.

Prepare for inconvenience

Hopefully your contractor won’t forget to mention the inconvenience that comes with bathroom remodeling. When the second busiest room in the house is unavailable, chaos is sure to follow.

It’s tough to predict an exact timetable for bathroom remodeling, here are a few things to consider ahead of time:

  • Have alternative bathrooms on-site or nearby during construction 
  • Keep lines of communication open with your contractor; be on the same timetable page of when things will be finished and when you can use your new bathroom
  • Plan for at least three weeks of an unusable bathroom.

    Editor's Note: This is an updated version of a story originally posted on Dec. 10, 2012.

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20% labor price ---out of the question----I'm a Building Contractor, If you are totally remodeling a bathroom, where is the cost for demo of existing???? Demo can easily run an extra 10%- factors: 1) Age of existing---many factors here to adjust price, 2) Accessibility ---Getting materials out of and to the bathroom, and protecting present surroundings of owner. 3) Cost to dispose of debris 4) Where is the Contractor's O & P ??? The avg price stated may be true but the breakdown surely is not correct.

i like it

Those prices are way too high. I redone my bathroom and didn't spend anywhere near that.

You forgot to mention the tile work for the tub area or shower. Just to note in the above response this is a national survey.

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