Bathroom Remodel Cost: Facelift or Full Remodel?

When it comes to renovations, bathrooms are often left behind for not being the most visible part of a home. However, if you want to invest into your well-being and comfort, you should give some TLC to your bathroom. Considering that the bathroom should be your sanctuary and feel-good place, you should start researching your bathroom remodel cost.

How much does remodeling a bathroom cost? The answer depends on a variety of factors. Keep on reading to find out the average cost of bathroom remodel in 2021!

Signs you should remodel your bathroom


We are used to taking our bathrooms as they are. They are a place where we leave dirt and waste and leave refreshed and relaxed. We use the several times a day and we don’t notice the wear and the tear.

Homeowners who have remodeled their bathroom observed how the change has improved their well-being. It almost feels like a different house when the bathroom is in excellent condition and up to today’s standards.

Here’s how you know it is time to renovate your bathroom:

  • Photos of your bathroom look bad

If you want to sell your property, you will definitely take pictures of it, including the bathroom.

When looking at a photograph, you are more likely to notice the old paint color. Defects and accumulating junk are so much harder to notice when looking at the actual bathroom.

  • The layout looks old-fashioned

Is your toilet right next to your bathtub? This layout made sense decades ago when plumbing systems were less advanced.

Today’s plumbing technology enables you to create your own configuration and place fixtures where you want them. Functionality is more important than making the plumber’s job easier.

  • No storage solutions

The number of cleaning products and personal hygiene items has increased over the years. If all these items are placed under the sink or on your bathroom vanity, it’s time to redecorate!

  • There are visible signs of damage

Water damage to the walls, leaking faucets, cracked tiles, chipped fixtures. Why deal with these every day when you could feel pampered each time you use your impeccable bathroom?

  • Old bathroom smell

Bathrooms can develop an unpleasant smell sometimes. Possible causes are poor ventilation, old plumbing, and an old toilet. Thorough cleaning does not always help, so maybe it’s time to replace those items that give off a bad smell.

How many of these problems have you noticed in your bathroom?

Facelift or full remodel?


The decision to do a bathroom facelift or a full remodel depends on the condition of your bathroom and your budget.

A facelift usually consists of:

  • Painting tiles;
  • Changing the shower curtain;
  • Improving storage solutions;
  • Making sure towels match;
  • Organizing or replacing accessories;
  • Replacing wallpaper;
  • Repainting walls and cabinets;
  • Refinishing countertops;
  • Replacing shower tiles;
  • Upgrading the bathroom with plants and art objects.

A full remodel is a little extra work as it requires you to change the fundamental elements in your bathroom. Get ready for hard work such as:

  • Demolition;
  • Changing the floor plan design;
  • Changing flooring;
  • Replacing sinks;
  • Replacing vanity;
  • Replacing bathtub;
  • Replacing wiring;
  • Updating ventilation;
  • Making room for new elements such as towel warmers, shower chairs or seats, medicine cabinet, extra sink, grab bars, etc.

Advantages of a bathroom facelift include:

  • Being able to change the aspect of your bathroom on a small budget;
  • Completing the makeover fast and with minimal discomfort;
  • Not having to obtain special permits to upgrade your bathroom;
  • You don’t need to hire specialized tradespeople;
  • The bathroom is still available for use while you are remodeling;

There are also some drawbacks when it comes to a simple makeover:

  • Not solving underlying bathroom issues such as water damage;
  • Work is not covered by a guarantee;
  • Not adding significant value to your property.

Advantages of renovating your bathroom for A to Z:

  • Your bathroom will be completely new;
  • It helps increasing your property value;
  • Working with qualified tradespeople means all work is guaranteed for a given number of years;
  • You solve underlying problems like leaking pipes;
  • You can change the configuration of the bathroom to save space and make it look more modern;
  • No need to retouch bathroom work for a long time;
  • You will enjoy the results for years to come and improve the functionality of your bathroom.

A remodel sounds much better. However, there are aspects that could prevent you from doing a complete remodeling of your bathroom:

  • The higher costs associated with a complete remodeling;
  • A full renovation takes more time than a simple facelift;
  • You will not be able to use the bathroom during some stages of remodeling;
  • You may need to obtain special permits from local authorities to remodel your bathroom or other rooms in your house.

Which option suits your bathroom situation better? Make a list of the problems you are dealing with and see how they can be solved.

If what bothers you is lack of organization, worn-out cabinets, and a moldy shower curtain, a simple facelift can do.

Can you think of a way to change the position of fixtures to make the bathroom more spacious and functional? The bathroom looks and smells old? Then a remodeling is a must!

Factors that influence bathroom remodel cost


But how much does remodeling a bathroom cost?

In order to provide the correct answer, you will need to adapt our advice to your specific situation.

Step into your bathroom and look at the following aspects:

  • What storage solutions do you need?

Cabinets and countertops are included in most bathroom remodels these days. The number and quality of cabinets in your bathroom have an impact on the final remodel cost.

Cabinets, overhead or under the sink, are necessary although they add to expenses. You need them to keep your cleaning supplies and cosmetics organized.

  • Plumbing work intensity

Needing to move bathroom fixtures such as toilets and sinks to different locations requires you to change pipe layout. When there is lots of plumbing work to complete, bathroom remodeling costs can escalate.

However, such major changes can be very important for the quality of final results.

Especially in old homes, the toilet is often placed near the tub as plumbing those days didn’t allow different options. You may want to change that to give a modern look to your bathroom.

  • Flooring

Flooring prices can be quite high when you want to replace old ceramic tiles and replace them with modern materials. Decorative vinyl sheets and custom-cut tiles can be quite expensive. On top of that, you will need to pay for removal as well.

  • Layout changes

Repainting the bathroom and de-cluttering are inexpensive actions. On the other hand, changing the layout of the bathroom can add to costs.

For instance, you may want to remove an old shower partition to create an open plan. Or you could add half-walls to create dedicated areas for toilet, bathing, and makeup. All these changes cost.

  • Including new technology into your bathroom

Everything that uses technology to increase your comfort costs. From heated toilet seats to fixtures that save water, you may be tempted to spend more and more.

The important thing is to set your priorities.

The question is: do you really need a Bluetooth device with speakers to control lighting in your bathroom? And what technology can you afford?

  • Permits needed to complete the job

Depending on the area where you live, your bathroom remodel cost may include the price of special permits. These permits are usually affordable, but they do add to the bathroom remodel cost breakdown.

  • Unexpected and hidden costs

Some homeowners start remodeling their bathroom hoping for a partial renovation only to bump into all kinds of issues.

Once you start working on the remodel, you may uncover water damage and outdated plumbing. When these expenses were not included in your initial budget, they can increase your cost breakdown.

  • Bathroom size

Last, but not the least, the size of your bathroom definitely influences total costs. Most homeowners research 5×7 bathroom remodel cost, but there are bathrooms that can be the size of an average bedroom.

Bath remodeling price ranges


Our estimates for an average, midrange bathroom remodeling cost is anywhere from $5000 to $15000. It may seem like a lot in the beginning but people often spend more money than initially on remodeling projects.

You may fall into one of the following price ranges, depending on the complexity of the project:

  • Partial bathroom remodel – around $5000

This option implies focusing on those areas that need your attention the most, such as replacing tiles or changing fixtures.

  • Small bathroom complete remodeling – around $7000

The estimated 5×7 bathroom remodel cost is affordable to most homeowners. The use of a round toilet can also decrease costs.

  • Midrange bathroom remodel – $20,000

This type of bathroom costs more due to modern facilities such as:

  • Elongated toilet with bidet included;
  • Porcelain on steel bathtub;
  • Vanity and sink;
  • Recessed medicine cabinet;
  • Cabinets with lighting;
  • Pressure-operated controls in the shower.
  • Upscale bathroom remodeling – around $50,000

A larger size of your bathroom and a higher quality of materials will increase renovation costs. The price tag can get even higher when expanding your bathroom to create multiple functions.

Luxury bathroom features include:

  • Free-standing bathtub and tub room;
  • Radiant heat floor;
  • Fireplace;
  • Steam shower;
  • Massage table;
  • Heated towel rack;
  • Marble tile floors;
  • Luxury toilet;
  • Lighting choices.

Ways to save on your bathroom remodel cost

At this point you are probably having a rough estimate of your bathroom remodel cost. You know the size of your bathroom, the range you are aiming at, and what elements you want to replace.

If you are on a budget, you are probably looking for ways to upgrade your bathroom without breaking the bank. We have some ideas to help you reduce the average cost of bathroom remodel:

  • Do the demolition yourself

You can save as much as $1000 by doing the teardown yourself instead of hiring a pro. Demolition preparation includes:

  • Acquiring tools such as sledgehammer, crowbar, and pry bar;
  • Knowing what is behind the walls, such as water pipes and electrical wiring;
  • Hiring a hauling service to get rid of the debris.
  • Buy second-hand items from a recycling center

Do you have an eye for recognizing good stuff from rubble? Look for resale resources and buy quality tiles, tubs, and faucets at a lower price.

  • Install a sun tube

One of the most popular changes among homeowners is adding a skylight to the bathroom. But cutting a big hole into a wall or a roof is expensive.

Instead of spending thousands of dollars, spend just a few hundreds by installing a solar tube. This amazing device funnels natural light from a small opening cut into the roof and conducts it to any given area of your home.

  • Don’t change the layout

Moving fixtures requires complicated plumbing changes and these increase the price of the bathroom remodel.

  • Choose affordable alternatives

Mosaic tiles for the entire floor will make your bathroom remodel cost skyrocket. [1]

Opt instead for a plain, subway-style tile model and use mosaic tiles on limited areas. Or choose Vinyl flooring instead of tile. There are countless possibilities to renovate on a budget, you just need to research available products.

  • Do some of the tasks yourself

Whether you like DIY or not, tackling some aspects of the remodeling yourself will save you money. You can handle the painting, as it is easy, but time consuming. This can save you up to $1000. Removing old fixtures and assembling basic furniture can also help.

Bathroom remodel cost breakdown

There are multiple factors that make up for your final bathroom remodel cost breakdown. The average price is around $15,000. Yet, some people manage to change the aspect of their bathroom by spending as little as $5,000, while others exceed $50,000.  [2]

Consider the bathroom remodel cost factors included in this post. Can’t afford to change everything? Ask yourself “What is the ickiest thing that I must change?” and start planning your bathroom remodeling. [3]