29 January 2024
18 min read
If you're thinking about either a small update or a complete overhaul of your bathroom, it's essential to grasp the basics and the potential expenses of different design choices. The wide array of options available can sometimes make the decision process more complex. By researching and planning carefully, you can set a realistic budget and make your investment go further.
The average spend on a bathroom renovation project sits at $26,000, up from $21,000 previously according to Thomas Devitt, senior economist at the Housing Industry Association of Australia. The increase can be attributed to increasing labour costs, and shortages of key materials. Outside of these factors there are others that contribute to the price of a renovation, including:
Bathroom renovation prices can largely be split into three buckets: budget, mid-range and premium/luxury.
A budget or simple bathroom renovation usually ranges from around $5,000 to $15,000. A renovation for this price will often be more cosmetic, possibly including adding or replacing one or two key bathroom features, such as a toilet or bathroom vanity. If a bathroom renovation falls into this price range, it’s unlikely to have included major structural work that often drives up costs.
A mid-range renovation falls in line somewhat closely to the average bathroom renovation price of $26,000, but anything from $15,000 to $40,000 can be considered mid-range. For this price point, you can expect to be able to invest in better materials and fittings; some examples of this could be:
Of course, these are just a few examples. The key thing to remember is that the higher your budget, the more flexibility you’ll have regarding the materials you choose, the cosmetic work you want to carry out, and the number of fixtures and features you want to change.
If you plan on spending anything upwards of $40,000 on your bathroom renovation you’re hitting premium territory. With this kind of budget you can look to invest in more luxury bathroom materials, undertake a complete bathroom renovation and engage with additional professionals such as architects and interior designers.
As we cover in our guide to luxury bathroom renovations if you have a budget of say $50,000 and are looking for a professional to plan or design a bespoke bathroom for you expect around 5-10% of your budget to be spent on the initial planning and design, this process includes creating a layout, selecting materials and deciding upon the overall style. The rest of your budget will go towards things such as labour, the features you select and any structural work that is required.
Now you have some idea of the approximate ballpark figures around bathroom renovations, it's time to get into the nitty gritty of some of the associated labour and key bathroom feature costs.
Working out the total cost of plumbing and electrical work required for a bathroom renovation can be tricky as it will be different for every bathroom. But if you know how much a plumber and electrician charge in your area, you can at least work out some casual estimates.
A plumber will charge a call-out fee of $60 - $150 and an hourly rate of $100 - $150, depending on the plumber. The hourly rate of a plumber depends on where you live and the experience level of the professional.
A general price for an electrician will be similar; expect to pay a call-out or service fee of around $60 - $150 and an hourly rate of between $80 - $100. It’s more common that you’ll require a plumber for a bathroom renovation project; an electrician won’t always be needed; it will always depend on the project's scope.
The total cost for tiling your bathroom will come down to the size of the area you need tiling, the labour costs and the costs of the tiles themselves. It's important to note that the prices for labour and materials will often be separate unless you ask the tiler to provide you with a quote specifically with the tiles and other materials included.
Most tilers quote based on their hourly rate; however, it can be challenging to estimate how long tiling a bathroom can take, so it's better to get a quote based on a square metre rate. This way, you can obtain a clearer indication of how much tiling your bathroom will cost.
For example, a tiler typically charges between $50 - $130 per square metre. So, if you have a bathroom measuring 17 m2, it can cost around $850 up to $2,000+. A simple formula to follow to work out the price of the tiler's labour is:
Tiler cost = (Cost per Square Metre) × (Bathroom Size in Square Metres).
Once you’ve worked this part of the equation, you can then need to add in the price of the tiles themselves. The cost of tiles can range from $20-$30 per square metre, all the way to $150+ for luxury tiles. However, most tiles fall in a range between $30 - $55 per square metre.
A simple way to work out the price of tiles is to multiply the cost per square metre for tiles by the size of your bathroom. Tile Cost = (Cost per Square Metre for Tiles) × (Bathroom Size in Square Metres). So, if your tiles cost between $20 - $150 then the prices for your tiles will be approximately $350 - $2,500+.
To work out the total cost for your bathroom tiling (remember this approximate), you can then add the tiler's labour costs to the square metre price of the tiles themselves based on the size of your bathroom. Using our figures from our examples, we can calculate the total tiling Cost for a 17m2 bathroom to be $1200 + $4500+.
The formula to work out the overall cost of tiling your bathroom would then be:
Total Tiling Cost = (Cost per Square Metre of Labour) + (Cost per Square Metre of Tiles) × (Size of Bathroom in Square Metres).
Apart from the essential labour of plumbers, electricians, and tilers, your bathroom renovation might require the expertise and services of additional professionals. Their involvement can improve the quality and efficiency of your project, particularly if you’re designing a bespoke space and have extra budget to play with. But keep in mind extra professionals will also impact the overall cost.
Here are some key professionals you might consider:
An interior designer can provide expert advice on the style and practical aspects of your bathroom. For example, they can provide expert insights on colour schemes, material selection, making sure you design your bathroom with space-efficiency in mind.
If your renovation involves significant structural changes, an architect might be necessary. They can also assist with redesigning the space, obtaining necessary permits, and ensuring that the renovations meet local building codes.
A project manager can oversee the renovation process, coordinate between different tradespeople, and ensure the project stays on schedule and budget.
In any bathroom, proper waterproofing is crucial to prevent moisture and structural damage. Hiring a specialist for this task will help ensure that all areas exposed to water are adequately protected during your renovation.
For bespoke bathroom storage solutions, a custom cabinetry maker can design and construct cabinets that fit your specific needs and space. Prices for custom cabinetry will be higher than off-the-shelf options but offer a tailored fit and unique design.
If you're considering custom glass features like frameless shower screens or mirrors, a glass specialist's skills can be invaluable
A lighting consultant can significantly enhance your bathroom's lighting scheme. Their expertise helps in choosing and arranging lights that both suit your personal style and contribute to the room's overall mood. They also focus on energy efficiency, ensuring your lighting is cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
To ensure your bathroom is comfortable year-round, a heating and ventilation expert can advise on and install systems like underfloor heating, heated towel rails, and inform you of what heating and ventilation systems are appropriate for your bathroom.
New shower units range in price greatly. Expect to pay a minimum of about $750 for a new shower unit.
How much does it cost to install a shower?
As previously stated plumbers charge between $60 - $150 per hour. So, the size of the shower and how complex the installation process is will dictate the price. However, here is a guideline:
There are plenty of different shower screens available to complement your shower, including a framed shower screens and frameless shower screens. Prices range from around $300 - $1,000+ for a shower screen, plus any installation costs.
A new bathtub starts at around $500 for a no frills model. For mid-range options prices range from around $1,000 - $3,000. High-end luxury baths can cost upwards of $3,000, sometimes even up to $10,000 or more.
Bathtub installation costs can depend on the type and size of the bathtub and the complexity of the installation, ballpark installation figures are:
The price of a new toilet depends on the type and brand of the toilet. Here’s a rough guide:
On top of the toilet suite price you can expect to be around $400 - $1,000 for the average toilet installation. Installation prices can be upwards of $1,000 for higher-end toilets such as wall-hung or smart toilets.
Related article: The cost to install a new toilet in 2024 - a complete guide
New vanity prices range from:
Like with most bathroom features the installation cost of a bathroom vanity will depend on the type and how long it takes a plumber (providing you get it professionally installed, which we would recommend). But as a ballpark estimate expect to pay at least $200+ for installation.
The price of new bathroom taps depends on the type and brand. You can expect to pay anywhere from $50 for a very basic tap, all the way to $300+ for more advanced bathroom taps.
Bathroom taps can be relatively straightforward to install, as long as extensive plumbing work isn’t required. Of course, the price depends on the complexity of installation, but expect to pay at least $200+.
Related article: 13 of the best bathroom taps in Australia for 2024
The price of bathroom lighting is driven mainly by the type of light you prefer and the number you need. Some popular types of bathroom lighting include:
The cost of installing your bathroom lighting will depend on the fees associated with the electrician you hire. The hourly rate for an electrician in Australia can vary depending on their experience level and your location; as an estimate, you can expect an electrician to charge anywhere between $80 and $150 per hour.
If you only have one or two lighting fixtures to install and no other work is required, the installation may only take one or two hours, but if more extensive electrical work is required, then expect this time frame to increase. A reputable electrician can give you an estimate of how long installation will take and the overall price.
To get the best price, it's worth getting at least three separate quotes; this should give you a solid overview of what the installation will cost and allow you to make an informed decision.
Bathroom cabinets can range in price considerably; for a budget cabinet, expect to pay around $50, while for high-end, bespoke cabinets, prices can go all the way to $1,000+
The cost to install a bathroom cabinet is relatively low; it can often be done yourself if you have the correct tools. If you seek out a professional, expect to pay around $100+.
How much bathroom heating costs depends on the type of heating system you are using. Here are some of the common options and their associated costs:
The price you’ll pay for bathroom heating installation is highly dependent on the bathroom heating option you choose. Expect to pay considerably more for a complete heating option like underfloor heating or a heat pump than installing a wall-mounted fan heater or heated towel rail.
Depending on the extent of your bathroom renovation, it could take anywhere between 3 - 12 weeks on average. The planning and designing phase often takes the longest, especially if you’re still deciding on the design style of your bathroom.
The timeline for your bathroom renovation project can fluctuate depending on the project's size and complexity. Here’s an overview of the key renovation stages your project will undergo:
If you’re planning a renovation from scratch then you may take a few weeks or even months thinking about the scale of the project and deciding on the extent of the work you want done.
Depending on the scope of the renovation, you may also need to check with your local council office if you need planning permission for the work to be carried out.
To keep yourself on track in the planning phase, keep these questions in mind:
After receiving the green light for your project, the initial phase involves demolition. Dismantling your outdated bathroom fixtures, partitions, and tiles may turn into a messy yet enjoyable task if you opt to handle it on your own. Nevertheless, entrusting this process to experts is often a wiser and faster choice. This is especially true considering the complexities of dealing with plumbing and electrical systems, where professional intervention ensures everything is removed accurately and safely.
With your space now cleared and ready, it's time to lay the foundation for what's to come. This stage encompasses all the unseen yet crucial aspects like installing new plumbing, electrical wiring, carpentry, and structural modifications. The skilled carpenters, plumbers, and electricians you bring on board will coordinate their efforts, ensuring that all these tasks are completed efficiently, typically within a few days to a week.
In this upcoming stage, you'll witness your bathroom transforming and your vision coming to life. First, the new tiles, flooring, and paintwork will be applied, requiring some drying time that may influence the overall timeline.
Following this, it's time for the exciting part: installing and connecting your new toilet, baths, showers, basins, taps, and any other innovative features. Your electrician will then finalise the electrical setup, including lighting, sockets, switches, heated towel rails, and an extractor fan.
Towards the end, delicate items like glass shower doors or screens will be carefully installed, setting the stage for the final touches. This is an opportune moment to review the work of your professionals, ensuring everything is to your satisfaction and making any necessary last-minute tweaks before finalising payments.
Finally, don't hesitate to seek guidance on maintaining your bathroom's new materials, be it marble, tiles, or laminate flooring. With the right care, your new bathroom will continue to dazzle for many years ahead.
There’s no set amount you should spend. But if you keep in mind the average bathroom renovation price is around $26,000, then budgeting around this amount is something to consider.
Yes, you can; if you have a budget of $5,000, you can renovate your bathroom, but what you can change will be limited. This budget is feasible if you want to make minor changes, such as repainting your bathroom, replacing some fixtures, or updating your bathroom vanity.
You can expect to pay a professional bathroom tiler between $75 and $120 per square metre. Bathroom tiles can range in price from $20 - $150 per square metre, depending on the type of tile you choose. Follow the formula Tile Cost = (Cost per Square Metre for Tiles) × (Bathroom Size in Square Metres)+ Labour Costs to get a rough figure for the total bathroom tiling cost.
The cost of a bathroom renovation is influenced by factors such as the size of the bathroom, the chosen style, the quality of materials, labour costs, and the type of fittings and fixtures in use. Changes in plumbing and electrical systems, as well as unforeseen structural problems, can also add to the cost.
To save on your bathroom renovation costs, consider keeping the existing plumbing and electrical layouts as they are. You can also consider using budget-friendly materials and exploring lower price point options for fixtures such as lighting.
There's plenty to think about when you're planning a bathroom renovation, and it's important to break down the process into manageable chunks, particularly the planning phase. The key things to remember are:
If you can nail these key areas, you'll have the pieces in place to make sure your renovation process stays on track and you create a space that you can enjoy for years to come.