How to Budget Effectively for a Bathroom Remodel

Marble Tile Shower with Glass Door, and stained vanity cabinet with matching Marble Top

May 26 2017

The budget necessary to create the new bathroom of your dreams depends on several key factors. The first is the goal that you want to achieve. Are you looking to upgrade to increase the value of your home because you will be selling it in the near future? Is your goal to create a personal haven in an in-home spa where you can wash away the stresses of the day? Are you simply sick and tired of a dated fixtures, dulled grout and limited functionality?

The age of your home and previous improvements to the bathroom, if any, also affect budget. Our experience indicates that it is typically less costly to renovate a bathroom built in 2000 than it is to renovate one constructed in 1900. Typically more surprises arise in older homes as generally those homes may have been renovated multiple times already.
The National Kitchen and Bath Association provides the following guidelines as to what categories you will spend your funds on for a new bath:

Design fees: 4 percent
Installation: 20 percent
Fixtures: 15 percent
Cabinetry and hardware: 16 percent
Countertops: 7 percent
Lighting and ventilation: 5 percent
Flooring: 9 percent
Doors and windows: 4 percent
Walls and ceilings: 5 percent
Faucets and plumbing: 14 percent
Other: 1 percent

This is a good starting point. Most of our customers have specific goals and preferences that require them to spend more or less in some categories. We also recommend to our clients to budget an additional 20% for contingencies and unexpected occurrences during construction.
As with most home improvement projects, bathroom renovations can be viewed as good, better and best options.

The Good Option ($5,000 to $15,000)
A good renovation often involves replacing older fixtures such as the shower, water closet, sinks, lighting, faucetry, hardware and accessories with off-the-shelf products that are featured in home centers. A bath remodel in this price range generally uses the existing plumbing configuration, features paint instead of tiled or stone surfaced walls, lower-priced granite countertops and involves resurfacing or painting existing cabinets instead of replacing them. Faucets in this price range are not made of solid metal. Their plastic parts will wear out every five to seven years and will need to be replaced. This renovation will give you a new bath that will look nice and serve its functional purposes.

Better Options ($15,000-$50,000)
Increasing the budget to $15,000 to $50,000 will enable you to improve the quality of almost all of the components in the bath. A number of our clients select this budget range if they are remodeling to make their lives better.
Even though the budget is more than the good option, there will be limitations when it comes to changing the existing footprint. The big pluses are finish options, fixtures and cabinets. Your water closet will not only function more effectively, it can also be more water efficient. Your shower fixtures and faucets will be made from solid brass. Faucets will have ceramic disk cartridges that prevent dripping for years unless they get scratched by debris in the water. You will be able to add new flooring, vanities, window treatments, a framed mirror that matches the vanity, a recessed medicine cabinet and you will enjoy quality levels considerably higher than what you find at home centers.
A larger budget provides more flexibility, and you can make a few more adjustments to the layout. You may want to allow for a freestanding soaker tub by reducing the size of the shower stall. You may want to reconfigure the space to accommodate a double vanity and additional storage. Maybe you’ll put in a slightly smaller bathtub to make way for a slightly larger shower. You could slide a sink down and move the plumbing slightly to add a tall linen cabinet. Toilet placement has an impact on costs too. If you move the toilet across the bath, you are likely to be required to change the locations of the showerheads, drains and faucets.
With this budget, you will also be able to buy semi-custom cabinetry with different finish options and decorative details.

Best Option ($50,000-$100,000+)
Higher-end budgets provide a blank canvas. You can install thermostatic shower valves that enable you to preset water temperature and achieve that temperature in a matter of seconds. You can install a linear drain that not only eliminates the need for a threshold but also eliminates the need for a shower enclosure. You may opt for a steam unit that includes music, color and aromatherapies. You could select a sculptural freestanding tub or a system bath, or you may enjoy multiple showerheads and body sprays.
You can tile the entire bath or opt for stone floor and wall coverings. Countertops options at this budget include granite or engineered stone. Cabinets will likely be made from solid wood with custom finishes. Don’t overlook heated floors and multiple finish options for fixtures.

A higher end bathroom will increase the value of your home. More importantly, it will create tremendous value because you will derive great joy and satisfaction every time you use your new bath.

Need help developing a budget to fit your goals and dreams? Please call our showroom at 304-529-2537 or make an appointment to visit us at one of our three showroom locations at 1242 Fifth Avenue - Huntington WV, 5128 MacCorkle Avenue SE - Charleston WV or 540 North Jefferson - Lewisburg WV.

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