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Bathroom renovation on a budget

The cost of renovating a condo is on average 30% more than a house due to restrictions provided by the condo rules and existing building design. Follow these simple tips to save money on your bathroom renovation project.

Big Style, Small Budget

Create a chic look by installing a cost-efficient porcelain tile. Accent the porcelain with small amounts of a more expensive tile, such as a glass or marble mosaic.

Fooled by good looks

Choose a Thermofoil finish on your vanity. With the many finishes available it will look the same (or very similar) for a fraction of the price of real wood or a painted finish.

Hole in one

Faucets come in a 4” spread, 8” spread or single hole. For most bathrooms, a single hole chrome faucet is the perfect way to create a fresh new look.

Vanity with sink, chrome faucet for modern designed bathroom renovation

Your vanity will house your sink, faucet and stored items and will determine the style of your bathroom.

Bathroom renovation budget breakdown

Based on a 5 ft. x 10 ft. bathroom in a house (condominium bathroom renovations cost approximately 30% more), it will cost $10k – $16k for design, planning, supply, and installation. Below are some general points to consider when planning your bathroom renovation.

Demolition and Removal

All items within the space including drywall can be “free” if you do it yourself. Before demolishing walls, be sure that you are aware of any harmful materials within the walls such as asbestos. Asbestos was used as an inexpensive fire-retardant material, thermal and acoustic insulator in homes from the early 1940s to mid 1970s. (Never handle asbestos, leave it to the professionals!) Don’t forget to consider that there is a cost for dumping materials. The easiest way to get rid of waste is to rent a container. The average bathroom will require a 10 cubic yard container which is about 12 feet by 8 feet and costs on average $400 (maximum weight of 3,000 lbs). To have a professional demolish and remove the waste, it will cost an average of $1,500.

Electrical and Plumbing

These subtrades are expensive and generally charge around $65 to $100 per hour (average cost can be about $4,000 to supply, upgrade and install the provided materials). The type and amount of fixtures required will vary your cost. Pot lights will cost about $250 each to supply and install.

Drywall and Cement Board

For bathroom renovations, it is imperative that you install a product such as Durock as an added moisture barrier in the areas where water will be in contact with tiles. Average cost for materials and labour should be around $1,500.


When working in a small space, you can certainly save money on tile by finding it in the clearance area for as little as $1 per sq. ft. with an average of $5 per sq. ft. for most good looking porcelain. Marble mosaics cost between $10 to $30 per square foot and sometimes more. Installation costs will vary from $3 to $15 per sq. ft. depending on the type of tile and the detail in the tile pattern.

Glass shower with white marbled tiles in a modern bathroom renovation

Create a chic look by installing a cost-efficient porcelain tile, then accent the porcelain with small amounts of a more expensive tile such as marble.


Your vanity will house your sink, faucet and stored items. It will determine the style of your bathroom. Custom vanities, whether painted or wood, will cost you at least $2,000 without installation. COST SAVING TIP To save money consider a standard sized box (available in 6” increments from 18” and up) with upgraded doors. This will cost you between $800 and $1,500 including installation.


Stone is standard these days for the majority of projects. Quartz, marble and granite will range from $50 to $120 per sq. ft. for the material and installation.

General Labour

There are miscellaneous costs such as painting and general labour involved in a bathroom renovation. Set aside approximately $1,500 for those expenses and, of course, keep in mind that proper planning will save you money in the long run.

Photography by Larry Arnal, As Seen In Canadian Home Trends Summer 2014

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