How to plan for a successful bathroom renovation in Australia, 2020.
Whether you’re looking to add value to your property before you sell, increase your rate of return on an investment property or simply spruce up your forever home, then you’ve probably already started to consider a bathroom renovation. But before you undertake any sort of work, you’ll want to know how much a bathroom renovation costs.
A survey released by Housing Industry Association (HIA) in 2018 revealed the average cost of a bathroom renovation in Australia was around $19,533. This isn’t much more than the cost of a new bathroom installation, with an average cost of around $18,798. But how does this apply to you?
You’ll be glad to know that your bathroom renovation may not necessarily hit 19k. The numbers mentioned above can be quite deceiving as everyone’s situation is different. A bathroom renovation can be split into 3 price brackets:
- Budget: $5000 – $15,000
- Standard: $15,000 – $25,000
- Premium: $30,000 and higher
A budget bathroom renovation can be as low as $5,000, while a premium reno can cost up to $30,000. Depending on what you’re planning to do, will correlate back to how much you spend and which price bracket you fall into. To give you a better idea on what your budget might look like, we’ve characterised each price bracket, including the average cost of furnishings and materials.
What factors contribute to the cost of a bathroom renovation?
You might be wondering how a bathroom can cost up to $25,000 to renovate while more budget renos cost as little as $5,000? Here are some factors which contribute to the overall cost:
- The amount of trades work done including electrical, plumbing and tiling.
- If structural work is required — i.e. changing the layout, moving plumbing or fixtures.
- The cost of materials and products — floor tiles, wall tiles — are you going budget or premo?
- The size of your bathroom — is it an ensuite or shared bathroom?
- The addition of luxury elements such as heated flooring or heated towel racks.
- Any additional electrical work being done? Such as new bathroom lighting, new power outlets
- Will there be new windows or skylights
- If there will be new or moved ventilation systems such as an exhaust fan
1. Budget Bathroom Renovation Cost
Bathroom renovations that cost between $5000 and $15,000
If you’re thinking about revamping an older bathroom without looking to spend a huge amount, then you might want to consider a budget reno. Budget renovations usually consist of making minor cosmetic changes to a smaller size bathroom using budget materials, products and fittings.
This can include updating old furnishings and fixtures, or anything that does not involve movement of plumbing or electrical work, however, it may vary from job to job. It all depends on what you’ll be spending your money on. Here’s what to expect to change in this price bracket:
- Tiles: Porcelain tiles are the best bang for buck and will help you achieve a beautiful finish for around $30 – $50 per sqm for large format.
- Budget bathtub: You can get a decent acrylic base tub for around $300 – $800
- Budget toilet: $199 – $400
- Basic vanity: The price of a vanity will depend on its size, the tapware, basin and material of the benchtop, and whether it is a freestanding or wall mounted vanity set. $120 – $500
- Showerhead and tap: $100 – $200
You may also consider updating bathroom fittings including shower screens, tapware, basins, bathroom lighting, towel racks and exhaust fans.
While some bathroom furnishings and fittings might be out of your budget, you can always opt to invest a little more in some areas, such as getting a unique bathroom vanity while choosing a cheaper toilet.
With a little bargain hunting, you’d be surprised at the selection of choices you can get, so it pays to shop around.
2. Standard Bathroom Renovation Costs
Bathroom renovations that cost between $15,000 and $25,000
For those with a little more to spend, it’s time to get your thinking caps on because of the sheer amount of choices you have of materials, fittings and bathroom furnishings. There are far more options to explore, including semi or frameless shower screens, freestanding bathtubs and bespoke bathroom vanities.
You’ve also got a lot more leeway to change the layout or make minor plumbing and electrical alterations. Although you won’t have much of an option to explore high end items, it does allow room for added functionality and quality features. As mentioned previously, you can always opt to spend less in some areas if you want to go all out on purchasing a luxury double vanity.
- Tiles: Mid tier tiles typically include mosaics and natural stone, costing around $50 – $100 per sqm.
- Shower screen: A frameless glass shower screen starts around $410 depending on the number of glass panels. Installation costs may apply.
- Mid tier bathtub: Envision yourself in the middle of your bathroom in a freestanding tub? You can expect to pay around $800 – $3000 for inset tubs or freestanding.
- Mid tier toilet: $400 – $500 for a floor mounted toilet or close couple
- Mid tier vanity: a standard floor-standing console vanity costs around $700 – $850
- Waterproofing: bathroom renovations will often require waterproofing (by law) if you are making any changes to the layout or installing new furnishings such as a tub.
- Basic waterproofing standards according to the Australian Standard 3940-1994 includes:
- Frameless shower screens require a full floor waterproofing system or 1.5m radius from the showerhead.
- Water stops must be installed in all wet area doorways.
- Flashing must be used in all wet areas of the bathroom (including toilets).
- Tap washers can be changed without affecting waterproofing seals.
- Complete waterproofing is needed when using particle board or a plywood sub-base.
- Waterproofing costs around $500 – $750, average sized bathroom
3. Premium Bathroom Renovation Costs
Bathroom renovations that cost between $30,000 and higher
The premium bracket is where you’ll find all your high end and luxury bathroom furnishings, fittings and materials.
It typically includes a complete overhaul of your bathroom with major changes made to the layout requiring the work of a licensed plumber or electrician.
The world is your oyster when it comes to choices. I.e. wall mounted toilets with hidden cisterns, double vanities, wall hung vanities, heated flooring and towel rails, marble tiling, natural stone benchtops, essentially any luxury item you see in lavish hotels.
- Tiles: a wide selection floor and wall tiles, including marble, travertine and italian tiles. Average cost is around $80 – $165 per sqm.
Read how to pick the right bathroom tile.
- Premium luxury bathtubs: Get ready to fork out around $3000 to $8000 for a luxury freestanding bath made of natural stone or a spa bath with jets if you’re seeking comforts beyond measure.
- Premium luxury toilets: These toilets are typically ones with hidden cisterns and waste plumbing, such as wall mounted, wall faced pan or wall hung pan toilets. Expect to pay around $1000 to $1400.
- Premium luxury vanities: Everything from the size, material and colour can contribute to the total cost of a luxury vanity. Natural stone benchtops, double bowl vanities, integrated ceramic basins, above countertop basins, timber cabinetry, and more. Expect to pay around $1400 – $2000. (if you look hard enough you can find unique bespoke bathroom vanities for around $1000)
- Underfloor heating: Ever experienced that cold chill down your spine when you first step into the bathroom? Improve the comfort levels of your bathroom with heated underfloors for around $105 per sqm.
- Heated towel rail: depending on the size, number of rails and material, a heated towel rail generally costs from as low as $270 and up to $1300.
How to plan for a bathroom renovation on a budget (including cost of trades)
You’ll be glad to know not all bathrooms require a complete overhaul or remodelling of plumbing and electrics to achieve a desired finish. If you’re on a budget, here’s where the bulk of your money will be spent and what you should plan for:
Installing a new bathtub or toilet requires a license plumber as it needs waterproofing and additional plumbing work. Average bathroom plumbing costs around $100 – $150 per hour with an additional $60 – $100 call-out fee.
Depending on the plumber, location and size of project these costs can vary from state to state. Always ask for an itemised quote to see where your money is being spent.
The same goes for new lighting or heated underfloors/ towel rails. A licensed electrician is the only person who can install electrics as it is illegal to conduct any sort of electrical work without a license. Average cost per hour for an electrician is $75 per hour not including call-out fees.
The cost determining factor will largely depend on the size of your bathroom. Bathroom tilers generally charge by the square metre, and can start from as low as $35 per sqm to $120 per sqm.
This is not including the actual cost of the tiles. Budget wall tiles start around $20 to $28 per sqm for standard white ceramic tiles (600mm x 300mm). Budget floor tiles range from $35 to $50 per sqm for ceramic or porcelain tiles.
Budget tubs start around $400 for an acrylic tub not including installation costs. Expect to pay anywhere from $350 for a licensed plumber to replace and install a new bath.
Budget toilets start from as little as $199 for a standard close coupled toilet. You can get a decent quality vitreous china toilet for around $275. See plumbing costs mentioned above.
Costs will vary based on the size, material, basin and style. A budget 900mm wall hung vanity with hidden handles can start from as low as $467.
If you aren’t making any major changes you do have the option of splurging a little more on a bathroom vanity.
Waterproofing costs around $500 – $750 for an average sized bathroom.
It is important to remember that in Western Australia, by law, all plumbing and electrical work, and waterproofing must be conducted by a fully qualified and licensed professional.
Attempting to DIY may void warranties, have insurance claims refuted and incur hefty fines.
How long will a bathroom renovation take ?
There is no exact formula when it comes to bathroom renovations as each project will vary. However, fundamentals remain the same when it comes to research, planning and design. Always allow for around 6 to 8 weeks when developing —
- The overall theme and design
- Selecting the right materials and fittings
- Getting at least 3 quotes for anything getting changed or renovated
In terms of project completion, allow up to 3 weeks for renovation to take place. Factors which can prolong this timeframe, and the cost, include:
- Structural works that require more time
- New installation or moving of plumbing/ electrical elements
- Unforeseen circumstances, like discovering black mould or rotting walls
- Large amount of tiles to lay
It’s a good idea to use these budget guidelines to roughly map out what you want to do and how much it’s going to cost you. Remember, you are not restricted to the particular items listed should you wish to spend a little more in certain elements.
This means you can mix and match from various price brackets to suit your renovation needs. For some expert advice on bathroom design, styling and products, contact V Bathroom, and let us know about your bathroom renovation ideas.