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The Most Expensive Part Of A Bathroom Remodel Revealed

Usually, the most expensive part of a bathroom remodel is labor, tile work, and plumbing. While these areas are superior, there are other aspects like layout changes, shower, etc., that can raise the budget according to your preferences. Read on as we go through each of these elements in more detail. 

Bathroom remodel costs are directly affected by the scope of the job. It will detail everything you need to get done and specify all the materials you require for the job. Take into account, if you’re moving walls, relocating the shower, vanity, or bathtub, your overall budget will be higher than anticipated. 


How Much Does A Bathroom Remodel Cost?


cost of bathroom remodel

According to Home Depot, a partial or DIY bathroom remodel can cost between $4000 – $33000, possibly even more, depending on the designs and materials you choose. However, when we decode the bathroom remodeling process, you’ll notice that this figure barely covers the surface.


Scenarios Affecting the Cost 

98% of all bathroom remodels will fall under these three price points. 


  • Good: $8000 – $15,000

Replacing existing fixtures with ones, same location, modest cost finishes. It includes stuff you’ll find off-the-shelf at any home improvement store. 


  • Better: $18,000 – $24,000

Installing new fixtures, same location, high-end cost finishes. This would typically include higher-end changes like a bathroom vanity with marble top etc.


  • Best: $26,000 – $35,000

Replace with new fixtures, relocating fixtures, high-end materials, and tiles. In this one, you are possibly also changing the location of the toilet, bathtub, etc.


Once you know the most expensive part of a bathroom remodel, you can focus more on the cost allocation of each aspect of your bathroom remodel. Do you want your entire bathroom covered in tile? Are you looking to move your existing fixtures? Here’s a rundown on which aspect is most likely to increase your remodeling costs. 


Most Expensive Part Of A Bathroom Remodel


most expensive bathroom remodel

Cost Of Moving Fixtures

Are you planning to move the toilet or sink? Consider paying $2500 – $3500 per fixture on plumbing beforehand. It is so because when you alter the bathroom floor plan, the cost of plumbing will be significant. Moreover, moving the toilet is the most complicated aspect of a remodel. It will require professional guidance, especially while reconnecting the toilet to the sewer. 

The cost to move a toilet or sinks can be $2,500-$3,500 per fixture. Plumbing can be a significant cost factor in a remodel when a bathroom floor plan is altered. The toilet is the most expensive to move. 

Speaking of the toilet, connecting the toilet to the existing sewer line can be a bit tricky for your plumber. The sewer line depends on a slope. The sewer line pipes keep a specific slope to drain well. 

Another layer of complexity exists if the house is built on a concrete slab versus a raised foundation. Homes with a concrete slab foundation require concrete cutting to relocate new pipes, and that often complicates things.

So it’s critical you think about all these factors before you start your bathroom remodeling process. Moving on, if you thought the fixtures were the most expensive? Wait till you source some stunning tiles for your remodel. 


Tile Work

Like any other space in your home, the bathroom too requires tiles to enhance its look and feel. Be it classic, subway, or accent, tiles are the leading factor in bathroom remodel costs.

Let’s learn more about how tile-work affects overall remodeling costs. Tile work costs more on labor, and it will take about two to three weeks to tile your bathroom properly. The preparation is about four days, while the installation work will typically take five days to complete. 

Also, it depends on how many tiles you want for your bathroom walls and floors. You could want a ceiling to floor tile wall, or an expensive accent shower panel, or even have the entire bathroom covered in tiles. Whatever you choose will significantly impact your budget. 

The type of tile design will either increase or lower your remodeling costs. However, high-end, top-of-the-line tiles can cost $5,500 – $7,500, depending on the quantity and style you want to install. 


Vanities: Stock vs. Custom


cost of bathroom vanity
Photo by Christian Mackie on Unsplash

The next element of your bathroom remodel that will inflate your budget is the bathroom vanity. 

You have two options when it comes to choosing the bathroom vanity; stock or custom-built. If you decide on custom cabinets, expect to shell out two/ three times the cost of a ready-to-assemble(RTA) vanity. For perspective, a stock/ RTA vanity will cost you $700 – $900, while a custom, made-to-order vanity can cost you $1900 – $4800, depending on the quality, finish, and hardware options. 

Nevertheless, let’s look at the advantages of both stock as well as custom vanities so you can decide which route you’d want to go for your bathroom. 


Advantages of Stock/RTA Vanity 

  • Stock cabinets are not just your low-quality, particleboard things. There are high-end and high-quality vanity options available in the market. 
  • Avoid buying cheap particle board cabinets. Instead, opt for high-degree plywood cabinets that can support daily wear and tear. 
  • Stock vanities are cost and time-effective, and they’re stylish too. 
  • If you’re conscious of your budget, you can install some visually stunning stock vanities without breaking the bank. 
  • Stock vanity is easy-to-install, manufactured from better quality materials, and economical. 
  • It has endless style and design options. 
  • It has a shorter lead time as compared to custom vanities. 


Advantages of Custom Vanity

  • Custom-built vanities are made with higher quality materials. 
  • Vanities made with high-quality materials will last much longer and look better over time. 
  • They are finished with higher-quality stains and finishes, enabling each drawer or cabinet to take the rigors of daily life without skipping a beat. 
  • Custom vanity can be built according to the exact width, depth, and height that your space requires. It will result in a more efficient layout, more usable space, and a more streamlined look. 
  • It is built to your liking and will fit your space seamlessly. 
  • While it costs more than prefab or semi-custom vanities, it’s important to note you will get more for your money in the long run.