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How Much Does Bathroom Renovation Cost?

Last Updated Jun 17, 2016 · Written by

Bathroom Renovation|Renovation Costs

If you are thinking of renovating your bathroom, you're probably wondering how much it is going to cost. It is a major expense, and considering most homeowners only renovate their bathrooms every ten to years 20, you want to get it right.

If you want a ballpark figure, expect to outlay anywhere from $10,000 to $35,000+. Factors that affect the cost of your project include the size of your bathroom, the materials you select as well as labour costs. It is possible to do a bathroom renovation for around $5000, but this will largely be cosmetic or involve swapping out only a few items.

Expect to pay more if you are thinking of a complete reno and:

  • Undertaking any structural work
  • Want new features that require additional plumbing works
  • Are moving plumbing from one area to another
  • Replacing all wall and floor tiles

Doing some cost estimates in advance can help you plan your renovation, and then you can move on to getting quotes from bathroom renovation specialists for a more precise figure.

© Milne Builders and Plumbers

How long will my bathroom renovation take?

Depending on the scale of your project, allow anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks of labour for your project. Factors that can affect this timeframe include:

  • any structural works
  • moving plumbing and/or electrical elements
  • having large amounts of tiles to lay
  • unforeseen events, like discovering asbestos in your wall or floor cavity

In terms of the research, planning and design, with no major structural changes, allow around 6 to 8 weeks for this phase. This includes:

  • time to develop the design
  • selecting materials and fittings
  • getting quotes from a range of businesses.

Read: Where to spend your money on a bathroom renovation

Black matte railings and fixtures.

What tradies for my bathroom reno?

Wondering who you may need to hire for your bathroom project? These are the most common trades you will need to call on:

Bathroom builders are a one-stop shop for your project. They will cover all aspects of the job, from plumbing to waterproofing and everything in between including the design. They do this by having all the necessary tradies on staff or at the very least manage any subbies on your behalf. The great thing about this option is it minimises the hassle - they project manage it all on your behalf, but it will cost extra.

If you are hiring individual trades:

Architects can help to design plans for your new bathroom, ensuring everything is logically laid out to suite your lifestyle. Expect to pay for the privilege of their expertise.

Carpenters and cabinet makers can help install custom storage in your bathroom, such as a vanity, cabinetry or any other timber elements such as a new door or window.

Electricians can help install lighting, power points, heating, ventilation and much more.

Painters will need to paint any areas that are not covered by tiles or other elements, preferably with a moisture and wear-resistant paint.

Plumbers are perhaps the most crucial tradie on your project, so make sure you hire one who has a good track record of working on bathrooms.

Tilers are another crucial trade who can can make or break the look of your bathroom. They also need to get small details right, like making sure your shower recess drains properly.

Waterproofers will use a variety of sealants and membranes to make sure your bathroom is properly sealed - so you don't have leaks sprouting up all over the place.

Always use tradies who are licensed for your bathroom reno.

Does my bathroom renovator need to be licensed?

In short, yes. Most elements of a bathroom renovation, such as plumbing and tiling require the use of a licensed contractor. A complete bathroom renovation will typically require a licensed builder, though some states have a licence specifically that covers bathroom and kitchen renovations. Individual trades such as plumbers, waterproofers and sparkies all need to be qualified and licensed.

Hiring a bathroom renovator

When it comes time to hiring a contractor make sure they are right for your job. Some questions to ask then include:

  • Are you licensed?
  • Are you insured to work in my home?
  • How long will my job take?
  • Can you provide a written quote?
  • Do you have references I can follow up?
  • Can I see examples of your work?

Double basin with matching freestanding bath.

Complete bathroom renovation costs

So how much will you have to spend? As a guideline, expect to spend in the region of:

  • $5,000 - $15,000 for a cosmetic makeover or smaller bathroom renovation using budget materials and fittings.
  • $15,000 - $25,000 for an average sized mid-range renovation using mid-range materials and fittings
  • $25,000+ for a high end bathroom renovation using top of the range materials and fittings.

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) found $17,000 to be the average value for bathrooms installed as part of a renovation in 2015. The best way of working out how much your project will cost is to get a range of quotes from local businesses who specialise in renovating bathrooms. You may be surprised how different they are..

#hiptip: Get at least three quotes before you commit to hiring anyone, so you can compare price and level of service

Estimating your bathroom renovation costs

Some of the major costs to plan for include:

  • Plumbing, especially if you are moving plumbing or installing new elements.
  • Tiling, which could include floor and wall tiles.
  • Frameless shower screen, semi-frameless shower screen or standard shower screen.
  • Bath, which could be integrated or freestanding.
  • Toilet, which could be a standard version or have an in-wall cistern.
  • Vanity, standard or wall mounted which looks cleaner and gives you more floor space.
  • Lighting, which could be task, general or mood.
  • Waterproofing, to ensure your bathroom doesn’t leak.


Plumbers charge a call-out fee of $60 to $100, with hourly rates anywhere from $100 - $150 depending on the plumber. The fee your plumber charges will depend on where you live and may vary according to the plumber’s skill level.

Expect to pay:

  • $80 to $250 to replace and fit bath or basin taps or a new shower head
  • $160 to $550 to install to install a toilet, basin, sink or bath

If a plumber is quoting for a large project such as your bathroom renovation project, ask for an itemised quote which details all the elements they are charging for.

Watch: Meet Scott the plumber

A bathroom large enough to be a room with extensive cabinetry and storage.

Only a licensed plumber can legally carry out any work on your plumbing system


The size of your bathroom is going to be a major factor in the cost of your renovation, and since so much of a bathroom is tiled, your need to know how much you may have to spend. Expect to be quoted per square metre rate by bathroom tilers, and could range from $35 per square metre to $120 per square metre. $60 per square metre is the average for laying bathroom tiles. This does not include the price of the tiles - you need to budget for that separately.

For wall tiles expect to pay from $20 to $28 per square meter for standard white ceramic wall tiles (600mm x 300mm) to $68 per square metre for steel grey polished porcelain wall tiles (150mm x 600mm). Moving up in price expect to pay around $86 per square metre for handmade Spanish white gloss ceramic subway tiles (150mm x 75mm) and $159 per square metre for artisan manufactured ceramic wall tiles (200mm x 200mm).

For floor tiles expect to pay $35 to $50 per square meter for ceramic or porcelain tiles, $50 to $100 per square meter for high quality porcelain and $80 to $130 per square meter for high quality natural stone tiles.

Freestanding bath with floor mounted spout. © Marino Stone


Baths range in price from affordable and versatile acrylic, to durable cast iron and flexible fibreglass to high end natural stone. Expect to pay anywhere from $350 for a plumber to replace and fit a bath. New baths can range from as little as $400 to thousands of dollars, with stone freestanding versions at the upper end of the scale.

#hiptip: Keep your existing plumbing layout to avoid costly works


Frameless shower screens give a seamless, uncluttered look to a bathroom.

Shower screens

Shower screens vary in price according to their size and if they are framed, semi-frameless or frameless, with the latter being the most costly. Expect to pay in the region of $400 to have a basic framed shower screen installed. Frameless shower screens use thicker glass, and are consequently more expensive - expect to pay in excess of $600 depending on the size and number of panels.


Depending on the toilet you choose, these can cost from $150 to $750 or more for a floor-mounted hidden cistern or wall hung toilet. On average, a good quality floor-mounted vitreous china toilet costs between $275 and $450.


Bathroom vanities range in price from:

  • $467 for a 900mm wall hung vanity with hidden handles
  • $849 for a 750mm floorstanding console vanity
  • $999 for a 1500mm double bowl vanity
  • $1360 for a 1200mm wall hung vanity with integrated cermaic basin


Expect waterproofing to cost anywhere from $500 to $750 for an average sized bathroom.

Alternatives to a complete bathroom reno


By the time you've calculated the cost of your complete dream bathroom renovation, you might find it's going to cost way too much. Can you find ways to modernise your bathroom without breaking the bank? Some alternatives to a complete bathroom renovation include:

Need visual inspiration? Why not browse our Bathroom Designs Ideas pages for which design elements appeal to you the most.

The best way of finding out the cost of your bathroom renovation is to get quotes from local bathroom specialists. This will give you a sense of what market rates currently are.

* All the costs and prices quoted were sourced at the time this article was written. They are indicative, may vary locally, are subject to market forces and should only be used as a guide.

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