How to Keep Costs Down in Bathroom Remodel?

hanna7636May 9, 2012

Next week we are starting to get estimates for our 3/4 bath remodel and would like some ideas to keep costs down. Our bathroom is 4x8 and we are keeping the existing layout. How much more is it to tile all the walls and have a frameless shower door?

Thanks in advance

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Tile costs vary greatly, you can keep costs down checking the big box stores for what they have.

I was going to say, not tiling the walls is a huge cost savings.

Check a bunch of granite shops for remanents in a color you like for the vanity top, shop around for a non-name brand undermount sink. I've had good luck getting some on Ebay and they quality has been good.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 6:52PM
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we saved by refinishing our existing vanity and putting pulls on it and framing the large mirror that is over the vanity. We didn't tile walls, I would guess that would drive the cost a great deal. We got a frameless shower door, it was about $1500

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 6:20PM
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My frameless door was $1300 for our smallish shower. I don't know what a framed door would have been.

If you can, go with chrome for all your faucets and trim - it'll save you a bunch of money.

I would have your contractors do two estimates - one to tile all the walls and the second just the necessary ones - I was very surprised at the low percentage of my budget that went to tile and labor - I expected it to be around 60% of the total, it was more like 30%. This definitely depends on how expensive your tile is and the area you tile - mine was about $4.00 / sq ft., which to me is kind of middle-of-the-road, price-wise.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 6:33PM
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We just did a budget remodel, but were also on a short timeline due to a chip in the tub and availability of the contractor (which was fine with me, I wanted that chipped tub out! Too many problems with this house to risk it). I recently posted some pics.

So for what you see, labor was most of the cost. The window is newer, so that was not replaced, and the drywall not affected by the tub replacement was not replaced.

Where we saved:
- stock vanity from Lowes, I liked a slightly less expensive one a little better style wise, but this one had the dark color I wanted and better construction (dovetail drawers, self closing drawers, coft close door).
- stock counter with sink from Lowes
- tiles were the ones I liked best with the vanity, but ended up being $1.44/sf so that worked well! I also went with a simple layout which kept labor costs down.
- all faucets are Stock from HD, Price Pfister in brushed nickel. I was going to splurge on Kohler but that saga was a fiasco and had to change at the last minute. Happy with the fixtures and they were way less.
- tub and surround were surprisingly affordable and I love them. I had not considered tile as I did not want to worry about grout.

There is an older thread on the first page that with a fantastic budget remodel, and the floor tiles were used on the walls too. If you have an affordable tile in a larger size the cost and labor would be more reasonable.

As much as I love all the gorgeous bathrooms I see here, my house is not a house that would support an expensive remodel.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 11:08AM
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We're saving a lot of money by comparison shopping with several different vendors and by doing a lot of the work DIY.

DH did all of the demo, electrical, and plumbing (old house so lots of issues). We're hiring out drywall and tile because we're on a deadline - family's coming in 2 weeks and we're just installing drywall because of all the unexpected setbacks!

Bought a nice 69" vanity at Builder's Surplus and a granite remnant from a fabricator who had his own smaller supply of granite. It was a piece that he already fabricated so he gave me a great deal w/installation and double undermount sink cutouts.

Definitely shopped around for quotes on fixtures and tub and was able to get the lowest price. Used $10 off coupons for Kohler Archer sinks bought online at Home Depot w/free shipping. Using all chrome fixtures instead of more expensive finishes and using existing toilet.

Tile surplus store for travertine floors (99 cents for each piece of 8x12 honed travertine) and 21 cent subway tiles. Home Depot for glass/travertine mosaic detail that I actually like better than any of the mosaics I found at higher end tile stores. I may use a single piece of carerra tile for the bottom of the niches but there's only a few so it's not too much $$.

I'm having trouble saving money on the hardware though. I have champagne tastes on a beer budget and like pretty things :-) Restoration Hardware for hooks, knobs, pulls, train rack, shower curtain and towels, Pottery Barn for mirrors and light fixtures, and Ginger hand towel bars and tissue paper holder. I could have spent much less money at the big box stores and these things have definitely added to the budget, but I can't resist. I just like the feel of heavy solid brass!

I also splurged on a concealed picture frame medicine cabinet since I wanted extra storage but couldn't recessed medicine cabinets for the vanity mirrors. The concealed cabinet looks just like a picture frame and it's awesome!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 2:04AM
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