A Quick but Realistic Look at Costs for Bathroom Remodeling

The bathroom is the first thing you see in the morning, the last you see at night, and probably visit several times after you go to bed if you are over 40. You want it to be safe, comfortable, and attractive, if only for your own satisfaction. In many cases, that means bathroom remodeling.

However, bathroom remodeling is often a major investment in time and money. Time you might have, but money may be a different matter altogether. To get the nice bathroom you have always wanted, you will have to fork out more money that you might think.

Of course, if money is not an issue, then you will probably get what you want in your bathroom remodel. If it is, then you need to sit down and think hard about how much your dream bathroom is likely to cost you. Here is a quick but realistic look at costs for bathroom remodeling.

DIY minor upgrades

granite vanity top
Bathroom remodeling comes in many levels. The minimum would be a surface remodel, which boils down to minor upgrades you can probably do yourself.
You might be looking at somewhere between $100 and $5,000, depending on the changes you plan to make.

Minor upgrades do not include changes in the structural layout of the bathroom. You will not be touching the plumbing, wall base, or electrical wiring. If you are doing something with the toilet, shower, or tub, it will be to do minor repairs or restoration.

Among the improvements you might categorize as a minor upgrade include:

• Replacing the vanity top with granite, marble, or quartz

• Putting in new towel bars

• Replacing the fixtures

• Painting the walls or putting in wallpaper

• Replacing the standalone sink with an RTA vanity

• Putting laminate, vinyl planks or engineered hardwood flooring over the old tile floor (no demolition)

• Replacing the old sink with a similar one, but new

• Replacing the old toilet

These minor upgrades can go a long way towards improving the look of your bathroom without turning your whole world upside down. You can also control the costs considerably by deciding on the extent of the upgrade, the amount of professional help you want, and the quality of the materials.
As a rule of thumb, a minor upgrade is your best choice if you are planning to sell your home, provided your bathroom is in good condition overall. It will help sell your home without making too big an inroad into your pocket. However, if you are planning to stay for the near future, you might want to invest in a major remodel instead.

Major remodel using pros

before and after bathroom remodel
The cost of a major bathroom remodel often depends on the size, as it typically involves structural and layout changes. For a large guest bathroom or a small main bathroom with an area of 40 square feet, the average cost is between $15,000 and $17,500. This would encompass standard fixtures and regular items. Luxury and specialty items would nudge the cost up.

Major remodels typically involve the services of a professional remodeler, as most of the work requires a level of skill and access to tools not usually available to the average DIYer. The estimate from the remodeling contractor would include labor and other costs.

Among the improvements you might categorize a major remodel include:

• Standard toilet installing (not replacing)

• A standard porcelain tub installing (not replacing)

• Installing ceramic tile tub surrounds using 4-inch tiles

• An integrated sink installing

• Installing antiscald valves in showers

• New light installing

• Installing ceramic floor tiles

All these projects require some changes in the core elements of the bathroom, which is not easy or recommend for amateurs to take on. As such, you also have to consider the location, as this will affect the cost of labor and fees associated with bathroom remodeling.
For example, you can expect costs to be on the low end if you live east of the Mississippi. However, if you live in the Pacific Northwest or California, you can expect your costs to be on the high end of the average cost, and even beyond.


Estimating the average costs for bathroom remodeling is always going to be a bit iffy. Many factors can impinge on a particular job that has not come under consideration. This would include seasonal fluctuations in labor or material costs, choice of materials, location, time constraints, demolition costs, permit fees, and current condition of the bathroom in question.

Even when coming up with an estimate for a specific bathroom under the same conditions, you will seldom get contractors to give you similar estimates. This is because contractors work with different suppliers and crews. Some companies may give a higher estimate, not because they have better quality materials and labor, but because they do not do enough jobs to qualify them for volume discounts.

On the other hand, you may find that some remodeling companies get better deals across the board, so they can give you a lower estimate without compromising on the quality of the remodel. This is the case with GBC Kitchen and Bath. We are just the company you need for cost-effective bathroom remodeling in the areas of DC, Virginia, and Maryland areas, specifically Alexandria, Arlington, Washington, Tyson, Vienna, Falls Church, Fairfax, Springfield, Burke, Bethesda, and Rockville.

When you contact us for your planned remodel, the first thing we will do is give you a free design consultation and quote, so you are already ahead without spending a dime. We sell only the best products from the top manufacturers and suppliers in the country and have a proven track record in completing bathroom renovations on time and on budget.

We guarantee the quality of our products. You can see it for yourself in our showrooms in Rockville Maryland and Alexandria, Virginia. We can promise the best customer service, expert fabrication and installation, and speedy execution of any project so that you stay on budget and the project stays on deadline. You will never get that from big box stores.

Contact us today to get a free quote and design for your bathroom remodel!