Discover how much you’ll need to dish out to spruce up your bathroom.
Revamping your bathroom is a pursuit that can add significant value to your home, so it’s important to plan ahead to ensure a smooth execution.
The cost of bathroom renovations can depend on a number of variables, including the location of your home, the size of the area, the type of materials used (not to mention the cost of construction materials), the quality of finish and independent installation and labour costs. Find out what you’ll need to fork out for your next project.
Using the Home Design Directory calculator, we’ve estimated how much you may need to spend for a budget, mid-range and premium bathroom renovation project.
What’s the cost of a bathroom renovation?
HomeSafeGroup provides the estimate range for different bathroom renovation projects:
How about the average cost?
As the “average” bathroom renovation cost can be misleading, the best way to budget for your bathroom renovation is to source several itemised quotes from suppliers. Once you have several quotes, you can compare the costs to help guide your budget planning.
According to the 2015/16 HIA Kitchen and Bathrooms survey, the average cost of a complete bathroom renovation in 2015 was on average $17,779.
Part of any good renovation is the cost of hiring professional trades to work on the things you can't DIY, the average cost for trades working on a bathroom renovation is $65 per hour according to a survey run by serviceseeking.com.au, with this rate going as low as $50 per hour and as high as $80 per hour depending on the size of the job and the state or territory you are located in.
Let's put it into practice
For a medium-sized bathroom of 7.68 square meters with a tiled area of 12 square meters, here’s what you can expect to pay depending on your project funds and the quality of finish.
The following numbers have been extracted from the Home Design Directory calculator. The calculator includes the cost of fittings and labour costs. Labour includes the cost of waterproofing, plumbing, tiling and the installation of fittings. The per-square-metre cost for labour is $1,600.
Here is a summary of the costs for each project type:
|Tiles||$55 per square meter|
|Bath tap set||$100|
|Other accessories (such as toilet roll holder, towel rail etc)||$28|
|Approximate labour cost||$12,288|
|Tiles||$118 per square meter|
|Bath tap set||$300|
|Other accessories (such as toilet roll holder, towel rail etc)||$90|
|Approximate labour cost||$12,288|
|Tiles||$166 per square meter|
|Bath tap set||$500|
|Other accessories (such as toilet roll holder, towel rail etc)||$460|
|Approximate labour costs||$12,288|
If you’re unsure of how much you should be paying your tradesmen, we’ve done a state-by-state comparison of the average trade costs in Australia.
Materials, fittings, and fixtures explained
Tiling costs will be a major factor to consider for the cost of your renovation. Depending on the supplier and the finish required, standard white ceramic wall tiles (600 x 300mm) will cost between $20-$28 per square meter. Floor tiles are generally more expensive, starting from around $35-$50 per square meter for ceramic or porcelain tiles and $50-$100 per square meter for high quality porcelain or natural stone tiles.
The average tiler charges around $50 per square metre. Remember to ask your tiler to include the cost of floor preparation and waterproofing in the quote.
For a budget bathroom renovation, you would generally tile the floor and the walls of the shower, using a small skirting tile on the walls.
However, if you’re planning a premium renovation, you’ll be looking to tile all walls from floor to ceiling. Consider using high quality large scale tiles such as granite or travertine. There is a significant price jump between standard to premium for tile costs because for a premium upgrade you typically tile from floor to ceiling, so the total tiling area is doubled in size.
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The type of shower enclosure you choose for your bathroom can have a big impact on the overall aesthetics of the space.
The average cost of a shower enclosure ranges from $600 - $1,200, and the labour cost of installing a shower enclosure is around $50 per hour.
To help minimise costs of installing the shower enclosure, consider using a shower tray, shower walls and a framed glass shower screen.
You can get a budget cubicle-style shower screen for around $500 from Bunnings or a bathroom specialist, and the cost of installation would be around $200 for labour and materials. Otherwise you can consider using a semi-frameless style shower screen. These range from $400 - $900 depending on height, and it would cost around $200 for installation.
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Although not the most glamorous component, the toilet is an important aspect of your bathroom.
The cost average of a toilet suite ranges from $160 - $250. The cost of installation would be around $150.
If you’re looking to cut costs, a budget renovation would generally include a toilet with a ceramic pan and a plastic cistern, and would cost between $120-$200. Installation is around $200. You could chose a low range back-to-wall toilet or a high-end closed couple toilet, both of which have a good Water Efficiency Labelling Standards (WELS) rating.
For a premium bathroom, the model would typically be a back-to-wall toilet. Some styles have a invisible cistern which is built into the wall cavity, and can save you a lot of space. These often come with a soft close toilet seat, and prices vary from $500 to $1200.
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Modern bathtubs make great additions to bathrooms and can help to create a luxurious space. However, installing a bathtub isn't the easiest project and will require the help of a professional.
A bath could set you back between $800 to $2,000 on average for a basic acrylic model. Keep in mind that a high-end freestanding bathtub could cost around $4,000. Depending on the complexity of installation (for instance, a spa bath would need a plumber and an electrician to install), installation could cost between $900 - $1,500.
Bathtubs on the second floor
Be careful if you’re installing a bathtub on the second storey of a property as the floor may not be designed to carry the weight of a bathtub. The weight of a bathtub can be extremely high when it is filled with water and when it is occupied. The room may need to be structurally modified to allow for this weight.
The placement, size and style of the vanity will impact the overall design of the bathroom space.
The average cost for a vanity ranges between $150 - $550. The cost of installation would be roughly $200 - $350.
A budget vanity would generally be acrylic or polymarble and the cabinet would typically be made of laminate timber. Whereas, a high end vanity would consist of quality ceramic or stone and the cabinet would be custom-made from polyurethane by a cabinet maker. A premium vanity would also have soft close doors and drawers and a seamless design.
Proper bathroom lighting is not only important for safety reasons, but it can also enhance the appearance of the bathroom by illuminating fixtures, fittings, countertops or modern designs.
The average cost for an electrician to install bathroom lighting is approximately $77.50 per hour. You should always use a licensed electrician for lighting and electrical work due to the risk involved, especially in older houses with outdated circuit boards that aren’t properly labelled.
For a budget renovation, opt for a standard LED oyster light which would cost $50-$100.
LED lights are becoming increasingly popular in bathrooms as they are energy efficient. These cost around $50 per downlight and the average bathroom would have four downlights, so this could set you back $200. LED strip lights can also be placed underneath benchtops or above shadow gaps to cast light on a specific area. These LED strips could cost around $100-$200, depending on the length.
Some things to keep in mind...
- Budget and timeline
- Once you’ve researched of the costs involved for your renovation, you’ll need to set yourself a budget. Generally, a home renovation is around 5% of the purchase price of the property. For example, for a $850,000 property, a home renovation budget may be around $42,500. From this, you’ll need to work out how much you’ll allocate to the main bathroom. It’s a good idea to speak to a local real estate agent or conveyancer about the amount of value that the bathroom renovation will add to your project. Remember to also set yourself specific objectives and a realistic project timeline. There are several renovation planning apps you can use, such as Home Design 3D, which can help you through the process. If in doubt, speak to local builders, tradesmen and real estate agents. Read our tips about how to stick to a shoestring budget during a renovation project to ensure that you don’t get swayed by luxurious fittings or designs.
- As a homeowner, you should be wary when it comes to asbestos removal within bathroom structures. In older dwellings, the wall lining in bathrooms generally contains asbestos which is a hazardous substance. The cost of asbestos removal can be high and it must be undertaken by a licensed removalist if there is more than 10 square meters of bonded asbestos.
One way to afford your bathroom renovations is through a line of credit loan, which allows you to borrow funds using your equity. These loans are more flexible than a regular loan, and only charge you interest on the amounts you borrow. Look at the comparison table below to find out how you might be able to use one to pay for your bathroom renovation.