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How to Budget Bathroom Renovations

If you take your time and budget carefully, you can have the bathroom of your dreams at a price you can afford.


  • Step 1: Consider the cost of tile. Instead of tiling the whole room, you can choose to tile only the shower surround and the floor.
  • TIP: Cut costs by using inexpensive tile for the walls and floor and using more expensive decorative tiles for accents.
  • Step 2: Budget for a vanity and include the price of a marble or granite countertop, which likely won't empty your wallet because you won't need a lot of stone. Or consider a pedestal sink without a countertop and use a decorative side cabinet for storage. If you plan carefully and consider all of your options, you can have a beautifully renovated bathroom that won't break the bank.
  • FACT: _Remodeling_ magazine's 2005 Cost vs. Value Report estimates that a mid-range bathroom remodel will recoup 102 percent of its cost at resale.
  • Step 3: Take into account the costs of replacing fixtures. You may want a high-end vanity and countertop, but you can offset the cost by getting a standard toilet. If you absolutely have to have a luxury toilet with a warm air dryer, air deodorizer, heated seat, and spray massage, consider skimping a bit on the sink or tub.
  • Step 4: Consider the costs involved in moving plumbing and electrical fixtures, adding windows, and expanding the room. You can save money by keeping the original layout of the room, or else pick and choose the renovations that are most important to you.
  • Step 5: Consider an upscale remodel, which could include expanding the room, adding a window, replacing fixtures and relocating them, adding a bidet, marble countertops, a linen closet, a heated tile floor, and updated lighting.
  • Step 6: Hire a contractor or contract any work you don't feel confident you can do yourself. Get bids from several companies and be sure to check references. Budget for demolition, and consider buying some materials yourself.
  • TIP: Contractors can get discounted materials, but they also charge their own markup.
  • Step 7: Determine the extent of your remodel. A mid-range remodel might include installing a toilet, a new tub with a tile surround, an integrated double sink and vanity, a recessed medicine cabinet, new floor tile, and paint or vinyl wallpaper.

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