Having worked with many clients to design bathrooms over the last decade, including renovating my own 1930s bathroom last year, I’ve seen it all when it comes to price. While I can’t give you an exact number for your project, I can walk you through 3 investment tiers and what they will include.
But first, let’s first look at the main factors that can skew your overall investment widely in one direction or another…
3 Factors that Impact the Cost of Your Bathroom Renovation
Scope: Unsurprisingly, the larger the scope of your project, the larger the investment required. For example, moving drainage to another location, flipping the floor plan, and adding heat sources are all large-scope renovations that increase your overall investment.
Materials & Features: The materials you choose to install will also impact your budget. High-end finishes, anything imported, and certain styles of design (specialty classic style vs. widely available modern design) will increase your investment.
Professionals: Not only will hiring experts cost more (interior designers, builders), the more specialised and experienced the expert, the higher their fee will be. However, as someone who works in this industry, I can tell you that investing upfront in a professional comes with endless long-term benefits in project efficiency, error-free design, smart budget allocation, design longevity, your time/energy/stress saved, and much more.
How to Budget Your Bathroom Renovation
Okay, one more stop until we get to the estimates I promised you. Before I throw numbers at you, I want you to feel equipped and supported in creating your own renovation budget. There are several options for doing this:
Ask an Expert: Over one or multiple 1-on-1 virtual meetings, we will help you budget your bathroom renovation, prioritise your action items, and give you time- and money-saving advice on managing your project. You will have a clear plan and the confidence to proceed.
Designer for a Day: We will help you leap frog through selections for your bathroom. What’s the benefit? Your final design will look effortlessly professional, your selections will fit your budget, and having your materials selected in advance means you can get more accurate quotes from your builder. This is a low-commitment service that is high in rewards.
Full-Service Classic Bathroom Design: Not only do we select your materials and budget your renovation, we will also manage your build process from start to finish. This is a luxury service that saves you time, stress, and ensures maximum efficiency in getting you to your dream result: a sophisticated magazine-worthy home you can enjoy as soon as possible.
Okay, let’s get to the reason you’re really here… 3 investment tiers from lowest to highest.
Basic Bathroom Renovation
- Standard, no-frills hardware
- Plain joinery
- Bench tops in laminated board or equivalent (not stone)
- Low-end, budget sanitary ware and tapware (some imported)
- No changes to the layout or drainage
- Medium-size tile work (no large format or small tiles)
- Tile budgets around $40/m2
- Framed shower screens
The least expensive bathroom we have ever designed and had quoted for a client came in at $48K. We didn’t go crazy on any selections. We had nice joinery with some profile details for a classic touch. The composite bench top, tapware, lighting, and tile selection were all mid-range, with the exception of a marble border line. We made no changes to the layout, but we did add a window for better ventilation.
Mid-Range Bathroom Renovation
- More construction work for double brick or heritage home
- Stone or composite bench tops
- Joinery with profile and nicer hardware
- Quality sanitary ware
- Australian-made tapware
- Decent sort of tile budget, $60+/m2 and maybe marble on the floor
- More options with tile work, like smaller wall tiles, diagonal or large format tiles
The bathroom we designed in the award-winning Ainslie Jewellery Box Cottage is the perfect example of a mid-range bathroom renovation. The shower, toilet, and sink locations stayed the same, meaning that we did not have to move plumbing or change the layout, but we did install a new window for ventilation and character.
Other features included specialty tiles for the shower and floor, custom joinery, an apron-style sink, and new tapware. What a difference these items can make!
Luxury Bathroom Renovation
- Changing up the floor plan and/or drainage
- Top of the range materials
- Furniture-style cabinetry
- Specialty finishes to tapware, either Australian-made or high-end import
- High-performance windows (for energy-saving insulation and ventilation)
- High-end tiles $120 -$285+ per m2
- Special tile effects, such as borders
- Stone or high-end composite bench top (the rule of thumb is that the more realistic the stone looks, the more expensive the composite product is)
- 40mm bench tops
- Use of bench top stone in multiple locations, like the shower seat or shower surround
- Multiple heating and vent sources
- Crafted cornices and plaster work
- High-end, imported lighting
- Potentially some tech going on, if you are that way inclined
- Frameless shower screens
In my 1930s bathroom renovation, we moved the drainage and the layout and opted for specialty features and finishes across the board, like custom joinery, this stone bench top, built-in shelves, high-end lighting, and a lovely window with a custom Roman shade. I waited 10 years for this bathroom, and I wasn’t going to skimp on amenities or style!
Here, you can see that the shower architraves were designed in the same stone as the bench top. We also have custom tiles for the walls and floor, and gold-coloured finishes for warmth. These are all features that are high in quality and longevity but also difficult to find around Canberra. No surprise, the investment is higher. But worth it, in my experience.
Many months later, I am still delighted to start and finish my days in this space — and it has inspired my new and lasting wellness routine, too! Design isn’t just for your eyes. It’s about living beautifully.
Not sure which category your dream bathroom falls into? Or which level of support you will need for your renovation? You can book a 15-minute chat with me here and I would be happy to point you in the right direction.
Until next time,
This is blog 6 of 8 in the Bathroom Renovation series. Click below to navigate through the series.