Renovated bathroom in Boston area

A Complete Guide to Boston Area Bathroom Remodels

Renovating a bathroom is a project many Boston homeowners will undertake at some point. Knowing the process and costs involved is essential for effective planning and decision-making. Expenses, timelines, and permit requirements for a bathroom remodel in Boston can vary widely depending on several factors, such as your design vision and the requirements of your town or building.

Block Renovation has assisted Bostonians in remodeling over 175 rooms. We've created this guide to address the most common questions homeowners have when starting their bathroom remodel journey. Additionally, we’ll showcase some stunning Boston bathroom remodels that were achieved using Block’s platform.


How much does it cost to renovate a bathroom in Boston?

The cost of remodeling a bathroom in Boston can vary significantly. This variation is primarily influenced by the bathroom's size, the quality of the materials and fixtures chosen, and the complexity of the work required. For example, in Boston, a basic bathroom renovation might cost around $30,000, while a large, high-end remodel can easily reach up to $50,000. By booking a free consultation with Block, your dedicated renovation consultant will help you understand the costs based on the specifics of your bathroom renovation.

Labor is typically one of the most significant expenses, especially if you’re making major changes that involve relocating plumbing, adding electrical work, or structural modifications. Labor costs can vary, so it’s advisable to get multiple quotes. Block Renovation makes it easy to get and compare bathroom remodel quotes from up to 3 top quality, vetted Boston area contractors.

The choice of materials also has a significant impact on costs. High-end finishes such as natural stone countertops, jetted tubs, washlet toilets, or custom vanities can quickly increase your budget.

Unforeseen issues, like discovering mold or structural problems, can add to the overall cost. To be safe, set aside extra funds for unexpected contingencies.


How long does a bathroom remodel take in Boston?

The timeline for a bathroom renovation can vary greatly depending on several factors, including the project’s scope and complexity, the size of the space, the availability of materials and labor, and any unexpected issues that might arise during construction.

The time between deciding to remodel your bathroom and starting the actual work depends on various factors. In Boston, where the industry sees a shortage of contractors, contractor availability has the biggest influence on timelines. Additionally, whether you have completed designs, material lead times, and permitting or approvals will also impact your remodel's start date.

Unexpected situations, such as hidden conditions discovered during the project or delays in material deliveries, can extend the construction timeline beyond initial estimates.


Do you need a permit or approval to renovate a bathroom in the Boston area?

Before undertaking a renovation, it's essential to research local regulations and work with your general contractor to ensure compliance. Permitting and approval processes can vary significantly based on your location in the Boston area, with differences in building codes, zoning laws, and local requirements. For example, Boston has stringent building codes and regulations due to its dense urban environment, and some buildings require approval from condo or co-op boards or historical preservation boards. Suburban Boston, while sometimes having simpler processes, may still have specific zoning laws and environmental regulations to consider. Always check with your local building department for detailed information and consult professionals to help streamline the process and ensure all necessary permits and approvals are obtained.


The Stages of a Bathroom Remodel

Planning Phase:

The planning phase lays the foundation for your bathroom renovation project. During this stage, you’ll define your goals, set a budget, and gather inspiration. Spending ample time in this phase can help prevent issues later on. At Block, you’ll have a renovation consultant to assist you with this process.


Design Phase:

The design phase is where your renovation vision comes to life. There are numerous design decisions to make during a bathroom remodel, so working with an interior designer to develop detailed plans can be beneficial. The design phase typically lasts around 2-6 weeks, but it can vary based on the project's complexity and rounds of revisions and feedback. When you remodel your Boston bathroom with Block, you can add support from expert designers who will work with you to create these plans.



The pre-construction phase focuses on preparation, ensuring everything is in place before construction begins. This phase includes selecting contractors, scheduling, ordering materials, and obtaining necessary permits. Timelines can vary greatly depending on material selection, project scope, and building approval timelines, but on average, pre-construction lasts 5-12 weeks.


The construction phase is when your vision becomes a reality. This stage involves executing the physical work, coordinating with a general contractor, and conducting regular site visits to ensure progress.

Boston Bathroom Design Considerations

Small Bathrooms


Small bathrooms in Boston present their unique design challenges, particularly during a remodel. Despite limited square footage, multiple essential fixtures, and often scarce natural light, you can create a bathroom that feels serene, spacious, and inviting.

Using light colors can make a small bathroom appear larger and more open. Paint the walls and select light-colored fixtures and finishes to brighten the space.

Choosing a vanity with storage, whether standing or floating, can greatly benefit a small space, allowing you to store necessities and reduce clutter. While pedestal vanities are suitable for very small bathrooms, ensure you have storage solutions for items like cleaning supplies to avoid a cramped feeling.

To optimize your small bathroom layout, use wall space effectively by installing shelves or cabinetry. This adds storage options and frees up floor space.

Modern Bathrooms


Modern design, originating in the 1930s and lasting through the 1970s, emphasizes simple form and function and the use of natural materials such as stone, wood, and leather to add warmth. Modern bathrooms often feature open-concept floor plans, luxurious materials like marble and brass, and seamless glass shower doors.

According to House Beautiful, whites, beiges, and even some shades of black are the main color palette for modern design, but it can incorporate color as an accent, so long as it leans toward earthy.” 

Selecting modern shower tiles for your bathroom remodel can be overwhelming due to the variety of colors, shapes, sizes, materials, and configurations available. Modern shower tiles are characterized by clean, straight lines, neutral hues, and a streamlined aesthetic—think black and white subway tile, contemporary horizontal stacked tile, or neutral herringbone tile.

Luxury Bathrooms

Luxury primary bathrooms epitomize relaxation, elegance, and functionality. Designed to be a sanctuary for homeowners to unwind and rejuvenate, these bathrooms feature sleek lines, high-end finishes, and state-of-the-art technology.

Natural materials like marble, granite, and other stones are ideal for creating a luxurious and sophisticated look, with the added benefit of durability and ease of cleaning.

Technology is a key element in a luxury modern bathroom. Features such as heated floors, rain showers, and steam showers are not only functional but also contribute to a spa-like atmosphere. A digital shower system allows you to control the temperature, pressure, and flow of water with the touch of a button, ensuring a consistent and comfortable shower experience.

Historical Home Bathrooms

Boston is known for its historic homes, many of which have bathrooms that require special consideration during renovations. When updating a bathroom in a historical home, it's essential to blend modern amenities with the home's original character and charm.

Preserve Historical Elements: Whenever possible, retain and restore original features such as clawfoot tubs, antique fixtures, and decorative tilework. These elements add historical value and unique character to your bathroom.

Modern Upgrades: Integrate modern conveniences in a way that complements the historical aesthetic. For example, install a modern shower system within a classic, freestanding tub or add a heated floor beneath traditional tiles.

Respect the Architecture: Work with the existing architectural style. Use materials and design elements that are in harmony with the original structure. This might include using vintage-style fixtures and fittings or selecting paint colors and finishes that reflect the historical period of the home.

Consult Professionals: When renovating a bathroom in a historical home, it’s wise to consult with architects or designers experienced in historical restorations. They can help ensure that the updates meet modern standards while preserving the integrity of the original design.

Before And After Bathroom Remodel Makeovers in Boston


This outdated 50-square-foot Somerville bathroom was revamped into a luxurious retreat, complete with elegant brass fixtures and striking Carrara marble.


This 60-square-foot Boston bathroom was modernized with the addition of a larger tub, matte black fixtures, and large-format tiles.


This 50-square-foot bathroom in Belmont transformed from dull to vibrant, featuring an updated bathtub and a spacious vanity that maximizes storage space.

How To Find Boston Area Bathroom Remodel Contractors

Your contractor is the single most important part of any renovation. They’ll be your main point-person, troubleshooter, and expert guiding your project to completion. Because of their outsized importance, it’s critical that you pick the best person for the job. But finding a quality contractor can be confusing and time-intensive. Where do you begin? How do you know which ones are right for you?

Block makes it easy by matching you with up to 3 Boston area bathroom remodel contractors from our elite network. Our robust vetting process ensures that every contractor has:

  • Exceptional construction quality & knowledge
  • Glowing customer references
  • Stellar online reviews with a 4.0 rating or higher
  • Proof of many successfully completed projects
  • Excellent management & communication skills
  • Verified licenses
  • A minimum of $2MM insurance coverage
  • 0 DOB violations or civil lawsuits
  • Clean background checks
  • Passed a rigorous four-week vetting process

Plus, you’ll have an opportunity to meet the contractors Block matches you with when they come to your home for a site visit to prepare your proposals.


Start Planning Your Remodel With Block

The team at Block Renovation has learned a lot from helping more than 100 Bostonians remodel their homes. Our goal is to enable you to tackle your renovation confidently with top quality contractors, warranty and price protections and access to expert resources. Get started by booking a meeting with one of our renovation consultants today.