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No two bathrooms are exactly alike. Every bathroom remodel sits on a vast design spectrum that spans from purely functional to opulent, somewhat in accordance with disparate sizes, locations, and budgets. As a result, it’s near impossible–and somewhat misleading–to establish a single average cost of a bathroom remodel.
Though it may be hard to pinpoint a national price tag given these variables, let’s delve deeper into the question so frequently asked: How much does it cost to remodel a bathroom in the United States these days?
Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value report provides a wealth of information regarding home renovation costs around the country. Its 2018 findings cite that the midrange renovation national average stands at a $19,314. This project includes updating an existing 35 square-foot bathroom with new tile, fixtures, and finished materials.
On the other hand, the average upscale reno runs as high as $61,662. This drastic endeavor involves expanding a 35 square ft. bathroom to 100 square ft. It also includes add-ons such as heated floors, heated towel bars, an extended HVAC system, separate tub and shower, and custom millwork.
In metropolitan areas costs nearly always run on the higher side of that range. The New York Times suggests budgeting at least $25,000 for your bathroom remodel if you live in New York City, with luxury options driving the total price upward of $70,000. So if you’re looking to turn your apartment bathroom into something a little more than “okay,” be prepared to pay top dollar.
Without a doubt, labor constitutes the largest portion of overall spend. While cost of labor varies with quality and the region, it’s not uncommon for construction to make up ⅔ of the total budget. Even for a DIY remodel, you will likely have to hire a plumber for part of the installation to ensure quality.
Dependent on supply and demand, the cost of labor differs drastically from one state to the next, and even within states. For example, while Manhattan and New Jersey neighbor each other, there exists a $3k difference in their average spend for a bathroom, primarily due to cost of labor.
Unfortunately, no matter how closely you work with contractors to assess pre-existing conditions, unforeseen obstacles and issues often arise and manifest in pricey change orders. For example, builders may discover post-demo that the pipes of an old building show too much wear and need to be replaced. Even if these damages are limited to a single area, some buildings require that the entire plumbing system of the room be replaced.
Of course, the fixtures and materials you choose can either save you a lot of money, or bring on additional costs. Toilets themselves can cost anywhere from $100 to over $10,000, not including installation. Cabinetry and vanities can also have a high price tag, depending on their material makeup and customizations. Countertops ranging from formica to luxury granite can go from $70 to $700 per square foot.
Staying on budget while outfitting your remodeled bathroom with an aesthetic that makes you happy is absolutely possible. For one, choose your fixtures wisely in terms of where to splurge and where to save. Designers, even though they require a larger upfront cost, can inform you of all your alternatives in order to trim down on material and even labor costs.