In Bathroom Ideas, General, Latest News, Renovation, Resources

Bathroom Renovation Costs – Pro tips + Design Mistakes To Keep Costs Down

Renovations are on the rise in Australia, and they show no sign of slowing down. With bathroom renovation costs creeping up we need to find ways to keep the cost down.

Almost nine out of ten Australians agree that renovating is a good strategy to increase the value on their property. A Westpac Renovation Report (Nov. 2014) states that, while around 40% of Australians renovate to increase the value of their homes, over 60% renovate to maximise their homes’ comfort.

Bathroom Renovation Cost –

Australians tend to see a high return per dollar of investment in their bathroom. Bathroom renovation costs can be anywhere from –


  • $5000 for a cosmetic update to
  • $35000 for a full bathroom renovation, on average.

Regardless of whether you’re making changes for value or comfort, there is little doubt that a good renovation will be a success in the long run. However, making sure that you keep your costs down is the only way to ensure that your investment is worth its financial cause – especially if value is your main motivation.

Here are our top five sure-fire ways to keep costs down when considering your bathroom renovations on a budget:

1. Planning

Planning is critical if you’re going to stay on budget and the number one rule of great bathroom designs.

Costs can blow out quickly when you don’t adequately plan your bathroom renovation. When planning your design, the first tip to keeping costs down is to –

  • Make sure your bathroom designs are functional and the layout works for your needs
  • The materials you’ve selected are available. Making changes last-minute will cost you more and could include possibly time delays.
  • Written quotes from all trades required are organised and obtained before hand and on budget.
  • Recycle / Reuse any fittings or fixtures, unless they’ve been abused for many years, you can save money by revamping existing sinks, baths or taps.
  • Spraying over existing tiles, baths and sinks can be an option if they are in good condition.
  • If you want to make a statement, consider doing so with tile patterns. Elaborate shower-heads or taps might look great, but they could be more expensive than the price of a feature marble tile inlays.


2. Keep your bathrooms existing plumbing

Keep existing plumbing in the same position. Spending quickly stacks up if you’re considering moving plumbing.

Relocating any point where water is required means you have to get a professional plumber to come in. You’re paying for their time as well as the pipes and new fixtures and fittings. Taking advantage of where plumbing points already exist creates huge cost savings that you can then use to invest in a better shower head, bath, or tiles – all great investments.

The only reason you might consider moving plumbing is for a better bathroom layout, one that would function better for your needs. Then the costs out way this decision.


3. Know when to do the work yourself or get a professional

While you might benefit from consulting an architect, designer, waterproofer or tiler, you can consider doing some of the renovation yourself.

For example, a good value bathroom is almost always neutral and sticks to modern, contemporary colours and fittings. If you are skilled in the area of bathroom renovations and you feel up to the task, you could save by not investing in some of the tradesmans costs or an interior designer for your colour selections. Consider what you can easily do and eliminate the need for a professional for these tasks:

Do it yourself –

  • Stripping out of bathroom – You will need an electrician to disconnect all power and a plumber to disconnect all water before you start. The physical work of ripping off the tiles and removing the shower, bath, toilet and vanity can be done yourself to cut costs.
  • Choosing a colour scheme and tile selection for your bathroom ideas – research through Pinterest and interior design magazines to fine images that inspire you and take these along to your tile stores. Don’t forget to ask for their advice. Your tile sales person will be able to direct you into what tile would suit which areas. i.e. Shinny tiles on the floor might look great be are they practical?
  • Painting – If your painting skills are good then consider doing your painting it will add to bring the bathroom renovation costs down. If they are not good don’t bother, pay the money to have a professional do the work for you. Bad painting looks terrible. 🙂
  • Fitting hooks and rails – Adding the final rails and hooks are easy for an experienced handyman.
    Pro TipWhen you are drilling into the tile place masking tape over the space you are about to drill into, mark the position with a pencil and then drill in slowly. The tape will protect the tile and stop the drill piece from slipping around. If you are not up to doing this don’t do it – if you drill in the wrong place or smash a tile the effort and cost to replace is too much!

While you can cut costs by completing some work yourself, it is important to realise your limitations. Trying to do your own plumbing, waterproofing, electrical or building work could result in expensive errors. Unless you’re a skilled and qualified tradesperson, don’t attempt anything the professionals should be doing.

Get the professional –

  • Electrical and plumbing you need a professional!
  • Tiling – I know many people do this themselves but if your tile lines are not perfect then you will not be happy – spend the money and get a professional.
  • Waterproofing – this needs to be done right you don’t want water coming through to other rooms.
  • Mistakes can be expensive for bathroom renovations costs!


4. Go for White and stick to the basics

The most popular colour for bathrooms is white because –

  • It is seen as clean and bright, it will stand the test of time and still look good in several years.
  • Manufactures make fitting and fixtures in white so you will have the largest selection of choice in white.
  • If you’re selling it will appeal to everyone.
  • To change-up the look of your bathroom you can add accessories like towels soap holders and they will always go with white.

Bathroom Renovation Costs - #whiteonwhite - The Design Library

5. Shop around and look for discount bathroom stores online

From contractors to sheets of glass, fittings and fixtures you’ll need a few things that will be worth the time and effort of shopping around to keep the bathroom renovation costs down. You can save a fortune by shopping around and sourcing everything at the lowest possible price, including tiles, taps, shaving cabinets and even a great bath.

  • Colours are not always true online so take care with selection.
  • Quality is hard to judge when you can’t feel or touch before purchase.
  • Make sure you understand delivery and returns policies for all items bought sight unseen. The internet is good for low-cost bargains, but nothing is a bargain if it doesn’t work or fit.

Key Points – 

  • Start with a plan,
  • Have everything you need in place,
  • Secure quotes for all tasks required and
  • Don’t pay for work you are not happy with.

Stay on top of your bathroom renovation costs and your beautiful bathroom awaits!


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