How much are you spending on your master bath remodel?

nbptmomto3March 27, 2010

Surprise surprise. We're overbudget. We live in a fairly large and fairly nice 1990 colonial, builder's grade everything. Formica & linoleum throughout. We've lived here 5 years and keep plugging away at things, this is our first major major project though. Total gut and redo of master bath, moving toilet, tub, shower, adding washer/dryer....our very good friends are the plumber and contractor (thank goodness) and well looks like we're in it for $40,000. Imagine? How much did your master bath remodel cost?

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This is a touchy subject. Every time it comes up there is a debate about location and comparing apples to oranges.

Here in Vancouver, when I screen my emails for new leads I like to send this one liner in my first follow up.

"I'm often asked what my bathroom renovation cost my clients. Most of our projects average between $500 - $800 per square foot all in. Some of our over the top work can exceed the $1,200 + point. Some of our face lifts as low as $250 - $300 a square foot."

If you have an average bathroom (say 6' x 9' or 54 square feet) you can expect to pay between $27,000 and $43,000. This is for a custom high end bathroom with fine finishes, custom millwork, curbless entry etc.

We have done many 54 square foot bathrooms for under $15,000 over the years and these usually are new stock cabinets, new tile, old fixtures, new light etc.

That's my ball park pricing, we work from there and come up with a timeline and scope of work for each client. No two jobs are the same. I can charge more for labour here in Vancouver than guys can in Florida - you will pay the current market rates in your city as plumbers, tilers, electricians, dry wallers all seem to settle into a group rate based on what each other are charging.

4 years back in Vancouver it was so busy you couldn't find a good tradesman. I remember buying some shut off's at my plumbing wholesaler and over heard a conversation between 4 plumbers talking about "Jim" getting $1,200 per fixture - their was a good laugh - some head nodding and then the group was like "$1,200 per fixture it is..." No science, No rules just supply and demand and it's rawest state.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 9:29AM
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I haven't done my bathroom remodel - which isn't a master - but I asked my two CKBD friends what it typically runs for a complete bathroom remodel. This is of course not DIY or a particularly budget minded estimate but they both said minimum $30K for a space like mine which is small. I also got a preliminary estimate for my 7 x 7.5 bathroom from a contractor and that was around $27K. As I've been pricing things out I can see how it quickly adds up to that amount and this is a pretty minimalist bathroom not a large master with all the things that might fit in there. I can also see how I could do it for much less but that approach would lead me to just keep what I have and do another band-aid facelift - and I don't really want to do that again.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 11:34AM
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That's a good ballpark formula, I think. Where I have a 100 square foot bathroom, and I'm getting some wholesale products and fair labor, I'd say I'm doing pretty good at 400/sq ft. Plus I live in the Northeast (coastal MA) where things and labor tend to be expensive. There! I new I could justify it!! I'll tell my husband, he'll be thrilled ;)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 11:53AM
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We gutted our jack and jill bathroom and converted it into a master bathroom. We moved walls and some electrical, closed off one entry from the hall and widened the 2nd entry from the master bedroom. We installed a new door, widened and installed a new window, removed a tub, changed the plumbing and built in a shower pan, sealed in the shower, added all new semi custom cabinetry & linen closet, granite counters and new double sinks, 12 x 12 slate on floors, mix of slate in shower w/wall feature, bench, shelf & large niche, new toilet, new lights, new fan, sinks & shower fixtures, new shower door, new trim and paint for just shy of 13,000 including all labor and materials. If you calculate it by sf, we have 80 sf & it came out to about 150/psf.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 5:27PM
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Well, I feel like the frugal one. This winter we updated one of our bathrooms. No plumber was involved as physical fixture placement changes were not made. My DH is a DIY'er and did everything except install the new tile and, of course, fabrication of the countertop.

The bathroom is fairly small - approximately 5' x 8'. We painted the existing cabinet adding a granite top, new marble tile floor, new medicine cabinet, new light, new sink and faucet and all new hardware. Retained the tub and tiled shower but removed the by-pass enclosure in favor of a curved shower curtain.

Our ourlay was around $2,200 plus about a month of his time. It should be a good investment/improvement based on retail costs others are describing.

Here is a link that might be useful: Before and After Bathroom

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 7:29PM
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fnmroberts: Your marble floor is stunning and the bathroom is elegant. Congratulations on a fabulous renovation.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 10:53PM
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fnmroberts: Congratulations! You did a beautiful job. Love the wall color; can you tell me what it is?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 12:46AM
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cupofkindness and lizbeth-gardener

Thank you both for the kind words. I do not want to steal this post. My reason for commenting was just to point out that significant changes can be made for a relativly modest investment of $'s and time so that readers do not become discouraged with the high price of a full remodel.

The paint is C2, Monday Morning in an eggshell finish. There are comments about several of the photos below the pictures.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 10:40AM
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nbptmomto3 - it is rather staggering how much you can spend in such a small space, isn't it. I had the same kind of sticker shock when we remodeled our kitchen only on a larger scale. In the case of my kitchen I just had to give myself time to come to grips with it because I wasn't willing to make "lesser" choices and absolutely no time or talent for DIY. I think the same will be true for me on the bathroom. At first I say no way am I spending that amount of $ on a small bathroom so I just haven't taken the plunge. In the meantime I keep researching and planning and seeing how I could easily spend that much and more and how I don't want to make the less expensive choices.

We have a guest bath that is also in major need of an update. Fortunately in that case I think it can be more minor - a new non-custom vanity, lighting, maybe a new shower door, paint and accessories and I can probably find the time to strip the old wallpaper myself. So hopefully that one can come in with a budget more like fnmroberts!!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 10:56AM
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$ per square foot is helpful IF you really have a handle on the material/fixtures you are going to use and the cost of the labor. There is a huge range for fixtures and materials in a bathroom. Glass tiles take a lot of installation labor - stone can cost a lot to purchase. custom cabinets from the most expensive cabinet maker in town can be 5 times the price of prebuilt- high quality cabinets. The list goes on and on for a bathroom (and kitchen for that matter) The big elements that drive the cost are the materials you choose, the design (are you moving a lot of pipes, wires, and walls) who does the work (you on the low end and the highest priced GC on the other) and where you are located. this website has good calculator to give you an initial cost estimate.

Here is a link that might be useful: Remodel Cost Estimates

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 3:15PM
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We did our hall bath 3 years ago. removed one wall, removed a closet, replaced the tub and toilet, replaced vanity. installed all wood cabinets (1 linen closet and 3 wall cabinets) moved plumbing and added additional lighting. changed to quiet fan, opened wall and installed window (on stucco siding).put in washer and dryer. The porcelain tiles on the floor and wall. all new fixture and accessories, grand total 24K (include washer and dryer)
we did most work, but hired plumber and electrician. we even installed window ourselves, the reason for that was no window companies wanted to open holes on stucco siding. we used Rolh plumbing fixtures, all wood cabinets. Toto cast iron tub, Toto one-piece toilet and Toto sink. Samsung Washer and dryer. RH mirror, towel rack and TP holder/hook/towel bar. regular and hand shower fixture with grab bar. casement window. we are very happy with the results. The design-built companies will charge 40k for all that. the bathroom is 9X11'.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 4:25PM
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just want to add on to my post, we did the hall bath in almost one year (DIY), it was a long process.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 4:30PM
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We just finished a complete remodel of our 7x7.5 main bathroom (no master bath) in our 1927 Dutch Colonial on the 2nd floor. We hired out a contractor to do everything - neither my husband or myself is handy enough to undertake. We kept all fixtures in the same place so there were no plumbing changes to deal with. Electrical involved adding tons of LED lighting, 2 over the tub/shower enclosure, 3 potlights in the ceiling along with a fan/light/nightlight combo and one over the vanity along with one new outlet. New vanity (Lacava walnut base w/cararra marble top), tub (white American Standard Princeton), tile (white Daltile Modern Dimensions 4x8 subway tile), floor tiles 12x24 slate grey porcelain, shower doors, toilet (Toto Aimes), fixtures (Hansgrohe) and storage cabinet. Our contractor also refurbished the existing radiator by sending out to his auto mechanic and bake in an autobody shop, which turned out great. Labor was $10,000; construction materials around $1700 and all new fixtures around $10,000 so total reno put us at around $22,000. We live in northern NJ so part of the metro NY area. Not cheap but labor at $10k was the least expensive bid we received. We could have made different choices in fixtures (ie Lacava vanity,Starphire shower doors, toilet) but we went for the look we wanted given this is our main bathroom. We love our new bathroom - it is bright, clean and white!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 10:30AM
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Just finished a 10x5 guest bath remodel. Everything was replaced, but no new or moved structural, electrical or plumbing. New tub, sink, plumbing fixtures, light, vanity, carrara counter, tile floor and tub/shower surround, mirror, medicine cabinet, prime/paint, accessories, baseboards. Total was $15K. Labor was $8400 and included tile allowance, plus his construction materials. I paid separately for the counter, but it's included in the $15K. No DIY on my part. I live in the SF Bay Area and prices are generally high.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 2:26PM
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We're about to spend $34k on our master bath (ouch). That includes taking it down to the studs & redoing everything - moving plumbing lines (and we're on a slab), new drywall, new porcelain tile floor (continuing into the adjacent walk-in closet), new shower with frameless glass door, subway tile walls & marble basket weave floor, new wood vanity & Caesarstone top, custom recessed mirror with subway wall tile, new lighting, new fixtures - as well as a whole-house re-plumb (we're in an area of Florida that has issues with pinhole leaks in copper piping, so we're getting that taken care of at the same time).

I was a bit freaked out by the cost, but this thread actually made me think it seems reasonable. So thanks. :)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 3:58PM
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We live in NC about 40 miles from a large city and just had our master bath remodeled down to the studs. The room is about 115 sf and every single fixture was moved. The original layout was so bad that there was no way to work with it. Luckily the bathroom is on the main floor and the house is on a crawlspace so moving the plumbing wasn't as big a deal as it could have been. Still, it wound up being $21,500 including everything - built a new linen closet, widened 2 doorways, built a 42x 72" tiled walk in shower with a rain head and a hand held on each on their own controls, tiled & heated floors, moved electrical switches and outlets, added lights in the shower, frameless shower door and panel, double recessed medicine cabinets. I bought the fixtures, wood vanity, granite counter, medicine cabinets, vanity lights, and the contractor bought everything else. I did go big box for the stuff that we bought which probably saved us a bunch of money, but in all honesty they were the ones I liked the best. There was no DIY in this one. Just didn't want to deal with the mess and since we're new to the area we really didn't have those all important connections with the trades. It took 10 weeks, mostly due to a couple of things having to be re-done. A long time, but apparently not as much money as it could have been in other areas of the country. So glad we did it. So glad it's finished. I original got bids from 4 contractors and they ranged from $16K - $26K excluding the stuff that I bought. We didn't go with the lowest or the highest, but with the one we felt could do the job the best. I think we made the right decision. We're very happy with the results.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 5:00PM
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$25K is the estimate my contractor has given me for a standard master bath remodel. I'm in LA area. I have a five-piece, 10'x14' bathroom. I've not started demo yet.

My contractor said that the costs increase by adding luxury items, but that won't change the labor costs as much. For example, plumber's charge for installing a $2000 Kallista tub faucet will be about the same as installing a $300 Price Phister tub faucet. The total estimate for Kallista plumbing fixtures (for shower, tub, and 2 washbasins) came to over $9K.

Some luxury items will bump up the labor costs - e.g., replacing my existing inoperable sky light with a remote-controlled, rain-sensor, UV-protected, operable sky light will add labor - and it looks like I will need to replace the sub panel for electrical. A $2K wall-mounted, Toto toilet would be more costly to install than a $700 conventional toilet.

Some luxury items are controlled by code. For example, in the shower, I can have water coming out of only one fixture at a time (the carwash shower approach is not an option in an area where water conservation is an issue, unless it's completed after inspection.) No chandelier over the tub unless ceiling is raised to 11'. Steam shower requires ceiling tile; optional, otherwise.

A big Jacuzzi tub on a platform with lots of tile work would not be standard. There's also the cost of maintenance to consider.

For me, the budget challenge is in deciding which luxury items I really want, since it would be impractical to add them later (floor heating, towel warmer, linear drain, chromotherapy, ceiling tile, electric mirror with inset TV, tub spout in the ceiling).

I would need to hire a housekeeper to keep this bathroom looking pristine.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 2:57PM
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I'm planning around $17,000 for my master but most will be DIY...except plumbing, shower floor, shower glass door surround and countertop. We have it down to the studs now. I'm hoping to be under this but we all know how that goes.

This post was edited by jterrilynn on Mon, Jul 14, 14 at 15:54

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 3:50PM
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I am hope to stick to around $10,000 but won't feel too bad if it comes to $12,000. My budget is a little low on labor costs.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 3:54PM
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