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Anatomy of a bathroom renovation

Is there a bathroom renovation on your home improvement wish list? If so, you’re definitely not alone. Home renovations are big business right now, particularly in areas where the cost of buying a new home may seem prohibitive.

“A recent CIBC survey discovered that 62% of homeowners are reluctant to sell due to the high price of buying again. Even Baby Boomers are waiting for calmer waters to sell.” (New In Homes)

While your bathroom may be one of the smallest rooms in your house, that doesn’t mean that your bathroom renovation will come with a small price tag. As far as home renovations go, bathroom renovations are a high-value project. An updated bathroom can help improve the overall look and perception of a home, in the eyes of the current residents and those of potential buyers.

Bathroom Reno Cost Breakdown

Here’s a look at the cost of a moderate to higher-end bathroom renovation, as outlined during a recent talk given by internationally renowned interior design guru Samantha Sannella.

Item Cost Percent of Budget
Vanity $3,000 10%
Countertop/Sink $1,500 5%
Toilet $700 3%
Infrastructure $7,500 25%
Demolition/Construction $6,000 20%
Lighting $1,000 4%
Flooring $2,400 5%
Faucets $1,450 5%
Hardware $500 2%
Tub/Shower $6,500 21%
  Total = $30,550  

* These costs are an averaged estimation and will certainly vary based upon your home’s specific renovation needs.

As with any renovation project, the actual cost depends on several factors, such as whether you need to make structural changes, if you plan to reuse an existing vanity or fixtures, and whether or not any repairs to the plumbing are required.

Of course, not all bathroom renovations are created equal, even in your own home. That’s because different bathrooms come in different sizes and also serve different purposes.

Powder Room Renovations

bathroom renovation

Source: Chrissy & Co

Small but frequently used, the powder room tends to be the utilitarian workhouse of all the bathrooms in your home. While you may stop in to  give your hair or your beard and sideburns the once over before you leave the house, 9 times out of 10 it’s the primary pit-stop for family and guests alike.

Due to its size and rather basic amenities, a power room renovation isn’t likely to break the bank.

Make a big overall impact by redoing the entire room, or opt for a cheap and cheerful makeover with a fresh coat of paint, new lighting, and a statement mirror.

Flooring isn’t often a factor in a powder room renovation, since it’s usually connected to the flooring in the foyer, hallway or other main space.

Primary Upstairs Bathroom

Source: DecorPad

The main upstairs bathroom isn’t typically where most homeowners envision creating a spa like retreat. However, edits here are generally much more extensive than in the powder room.

More often than not, this is the kids’ bathroom. Adding functionality and storage space are usually the primary objectives when this bathroom is being renovated. Desired upgrades often include double sinks, spacious vanities, and extensive storage.

Shower/tub combo units remain common here, even when a higher-end upgrade is desired. However, it isn’t uncommon for homeowners to infuse the space with a little luxury here via higher-end faucets, granite or quartz countertops, and nicer flooring.

The Master Ensuite

Of all the bathrooms in a home, the master ensuite is usually the space that gets the spa treatment.

People tend to use their master ensuite differently than the other bathrooms in the house. It’s more than just a hygienic space now. It can also be used as a relaxing retreat. This is why we’re seeing things like chromatherepy and steam showers entering homes, along with towel warmers, underfloor heating, and even refrigerated makeup drawers.

Standup showers and statement tubs, or often no tub at all, take the place of the standard shower/tub combo. Beautiful vanities with lots of storage, granite or quartz countertops, statement lighting, and of course, gorgeous tile work on the floor and walls all come together here to make perfectly pin-worthy retreats.

Getting Started

If you’re ready to move from dreaming to doing, there are two types of professionals you’ll want to speak with. First you’ll want to set up an appointment with your local financial advisor. He or she can talk to you about the best way to finance your bathroom renovation. Depending upon the size of your project, you could fund your reno with a credit card, a personal line of credit, or through a home equity loan for more extensive projects.

Once you’ve gotten your finances straight, you’ll want to find a local, qualified contractor. You can browse the listings of local bathroom contractors here on

Before you settle on a professional, be sure to do your homework first. Read reviews from past clients, view galleries of their work and request quotes.

Featured image courtesy of Kohler 

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