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2014 Home Remodeling Guide – Part 2: The Bathroom

There are so many reasons why a homeowner might want to remodel the bathrooms in their home. It might be that all or most of the fixtures in the bathroom are old and outdated. Maybe, over all the years of your family living in the home, your bathroom has suffered substantial structural damage. Perhaps there’s not wrong with your bathroom besides the fact that it’s too small and cramped. Your bathroom might be very lacking when it comes to the amount of storage space or lighting. The truth is, you might just be bored with your bathroom, which is actually the case for many, many homeowners. All of these scenarios are perfectly understandable reasons for remodeling the bathrooms within your home.


As with any remodel, you need to come up with a plan before you start remodeling your home’s bathrooms. The first thing you should do, as a homeowner, is draw up a sketch of your bathroom and how you want it to be. In this sketch, you will include things, such as the measurements of all of the desired fixtures as well as their exact placements. The sketch will ensure that you purchase fixtures, such as the toilets and sinks, in the right size for your bathrooms. It will also make sure you buy the correct amount of materials like tiles or trims.

Unfortunately, if you have no idea how you want to remodel your bathrooms, you’re going to have to go looking for ideas and inspiration. One can easily find a whole wealth of inspiration from sources like home improvement stores, magazines, and even home improvement blogs and websites on the Internet. In fact, consider going on Google Images and looking up the term “bathroom remodeling” and it’ll pull up plenty of images for you to look at. Consider altering the term you search to fit your scenario. For example, if you happen to be on a low budget for your bathroom renovation project, consider altering the search terms so that it becomes “bathroom remodeling on a budget.”


Once you have your sketch drawn up and ready to go, you need to focus on creating a budget for your remodeling project. The first thing you should do is make a list of all the materials you’ll need to remodel your bathroom. Head to your nearest home improvement store, such as Home Depot, and record the average price of all of these materials. You can also try looking online for the average cost of these materials. Try and estimate how much the labor will cost you and factor that into your budget. Typically, the cost of labor will consume about 35 percent of your budget.

If you happen to know nothing about remodeling and have no idea where to start, it’s best that you find a few contractors and contact them. Have them come to your home and take a look at the bathrooms in your home. Tell them exactly what you want to have done to your bathrooms, such as replacing the tile and repainting the walls. The contractors will give you a free written quote telling you how much money you can expect to pay. Once you have gotten the quotes of a few contractors, you’ll have a good idea of how much the renovation project will cost you to get everything you want done.

You know that you need to cut back on your plan if you know you won’t be able to afford the quotes given to you by the contractors. If you’re in this boat, take a look at your sketch and take out of all of the frivolous things first and leave in the essential things. On the other hand, if you’re able to afford the quotes with no trouble at all, consider adding some things to your plan. Just know that you’ve finalized your budget and plan, you need to stick to it no matter what, especially if you’ve already started renovation.

Purchasing the Materials 

Next on your to-do list for the bathroom renovation is purchasing the materials. Chances are, you already know that purchasing the building supplies for a bathroom renovation can get pretty pricy, especially if it is full bathrooms that you are remodeling.

First of all, the bathtub will you cost you anywhere from a low $120 to about $400. The drain for the bathtub will cost you about $56 and the liner or tile of the bathtub will cost anywhere from $140 to $750. Therefore, on just the bathtub fixture alone, you can expect to spend a whopping $1000, and that doesn’t even include the cost of labor. The shower assembly and curtain will cost you about $250, yet if you go for a higher end product, you’ll end up spending about $500. Fortunately, the plumbing should only cost you about $70.

As you may already know, you can purchase a bathroom sink for just $50 to $70. While such a decision is a money-saver, it is by no means recommended. When you purchase a sink at such a price, expect to have to replace it after just a few years, that is if it even lasts the first year of use. If you’re going to splurge on just one thing in your bathroom renovation project, it should be the sink or the bathtub. Spend at least $250 on the sink, but ideally, you should purchase a higher end one for about $500. The faucet will cost you about $90.

The toilet will cost you about $400, but you can end up spending just $100 for a lower end one. The mirror and cabinets will likely cost you approximately $60, which is certainly not too bad. Bathroom lights will cost you another $60 or $70.

The tile floor is definitely another biggie when it comes to remodeling your bathroom floor. Cheap materials will cost you only about $200, while mid-priced materials will cost you about $350. If you’ve got money to spend, $450 will get you quality materials for your bathroom’s tile floor.

Expect to pay about $3000 to $5000 for the materials for your bathroom renovation. These figures are based on the assumption that you’re remodeling a full-sized 5′ x 8′ bathroom. Of course, your expenses will be considerably less if you’re only remodeling a half bath or small bathroom. Also, consider that if you get your contractor to purchase the materials for you, the cost may be considerably less.


Before you destroy all your bathrooms, make sure you know exactly what you and your family are going to do in the meantime. The big question is, “How is your family going to be able to go to the bathroom, take showers, and overall just wash up?” You need to have this questions answered before you even think about beginning the remodeling process.

When it comes to the remodeling of the bathrooms, try having only one bathroom remodeled at a time. That way, you’ll always have at least one bathroom to use at all times. This will only work if you can schedule the remodeling in a way that there will always be at least one toilet, sink, and bathtub available for use. This may not always be possible, especially if you don’t have many bathrooms in your home.

In some cases, you should consider temporarily moving the entire family out of the house while the bathrooms are being remodeled. This is especially true if more than just the bathrooms are actually get remodeled. Consider staying in a nice hotel while your home is being renovated. However, if you decide to go down this route, you’ll need to factor the hotel costs into your budget.

If you don’t want to pay for a hotel or simply can’t afford to, consider staying at a relatives home for the duration of the renovation. However, no matter what decision you make, it is ideal that you stay nearby with home in reach, so that you can closely monitor the process of the renovations. Also, if you’re going to be away from home while the contractors are in your home renovating, remove all valuables from your home so you don’t come back to them being gone. While most contractors are honest, you’ll never know when you’ll run into a bad seed.

Picking the Right Company 

Obviously, the bathrooms are vital to any home. Therefore, you want your bathrooms looking as close to perfect as possible after the renovations. In order to make this desire come true, however, you need to pick the right company for the task.

Most likely, you know at least one person who has gotten their bathroom remodeled before. Contact that person and ask for the contractor’s contact information. Of course, you should also ask for a bit of a review of the contractor, as well as how much you can expect to pay for the contractor’s services.

If nothing comes out of that effort, look online and in any directories for a home remodeling contractor. Before you make your final decision on a contractor, make sure you do your homework on the track record of him or her. You definitely don’t want to spend all this time and effort only to hire a contractor who can’t even do an adequate job.

Extra Remodeling Tips

If the budget for your bathroom remodeling project isn’t particularly low, consider going green when it comes to buying things like the toilet and the showerhead. While eco-friendly products cost more than regular products, they’ll end up saving you a lot more money in the long run. By utilizing less resources such as water and electricity, eco-friendly appliances are capable of lowering your utility bills rather substantially. Not only that, but these products tend to have a great design and they also usually function better. Finally, these products aren’t made with chemicals, so they’re much better for your health.

For those with budgets on the low side, there are a few ways to save yourself a ton of money, so they can be used on other things, such as labor costs. First of all, if some the existing items in your bathroom aren’t in bad condition, consider refinishing them instead of replacing them. You can refinish items like the sink, bathtub, shower, or tile. Since these are the most expensive things to replace in a bathroom, simply refinishing these items will save you plenty of money.

Another way to keep your budget low is avoiding moving your plumbing. At first look, it may look really easy to replace items like the toilet or sink. However, the true issue lies with the plumbing. Therefore, it’s best to work with the plumbing you currently have and don’t move any of it. That way, you won’t have to spend any money on plumbing, and you’ll have more money to spend on better quality building materials.

While it’s important to make your bathroom look good, it’s equally as important to focus on keeping your bathroom looking nice. The biggest enemy of a bathroom is definitely moisture, and unfortunately, there’s a lot of it in the average bathroom. Therefore, you need to think about adding some ventilation to your bathroom. Most homeowners opt to install a vent fan. While it will require a little dip into your budget, you’ll regret not doing it once you start seeing mold and mildew in your newly renovated bathroom. If you choose to purchase a vent fan, make sure you purchase one with the appropriate CMFs for your bathroom’s size.

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