How to save money on your bathroom renovation

Amy Hamilton Chadwick
How to save money on your bathroom renovation

Beautiful bathrooms add luxury to your home and make it more appealing to buyers. But after the kitchen it’s the most expensive room in your house to renovate. We originally wanted this to be an article on how to renovate your bathroom for under $10,000, but honestly, there’s not much hope of that.

Jeremy Wyn-Harris, director of Builderscrack, says bathroom renovations on the site have recently ranged in price from $8,500 to $30,000, but $20,000 is a realistic budget to renovate a medium-sized bathroom.

“Keep that figure in mind and you might be pleasantly surprised,” Jeremy says.

How can you renovate a bathroom on a budget and still get a great result?


Overall cost-savers

  •   Keep all the plumbing and electrics in their existing locations: “Avoid changing or adding plumbing or electrical,” Jeremy advises. 

  •   Asking your tradies for ideas on how to save money and find deals: “Work with them, they can sometimes find the best deals.”

  •   Shop around and look for sales. “You can often get a deal on last year’s tiles – high-end tiles aren’t always good value.”

  •   Set a budget a try to stick to it – you probably don’t need top-end fixtures.

  •   “And back off from having tiles everywhere,” says Wyn-Harris. “Painted walls still look great and they’ll save you a lot.


Shower: replace or refresh

Shower installation: $2,000 on average

A new shower will make the bathroom look and feel more modern. If your shower’s still okay, consider updating the fittings: “New fixtures, handles and even a door can really refresh it,” says Jeremy.


Bath: new or resurfaced

New bath plus installation: $1,100 to $4,000

You can either replace the bath or resurface an existing one. For an extra feature, you could add a tile splashback.


Flooring: tiles might be worth it

Lino: $600 to $1,600 (10m2 bathroom)

Tiles: $1,100 on average

Lino on the floor will save a lot of money, but you might be better off spending a bit extra: “tiles on the floor do add a really nice look,” says Wyn-Harris. Floor-to-ceiling wall tiles, on the other hand, can quickly become expensive.


Vanity: new fittings and benchtop

Vanity renovation: $1,000

If you don’t have the budget for a new vanity, you could replace the benchtop and sink, or change the fittings and handles, keeping the cabinetry underneath.


Lighting: brighter and cooler

New recessed lights using existing wiring: around $250

Adding more light, and cooler light, can be a cost-effective way to make a big difference in what is often a dark room.


Mirror: adds light at a low price

Cost of a new mirror: from about $100

“Add a mirror, or a different one, or a bigger one – it could be quite cheap and you could do it yourself, it’s easy to do,” Jeremy says.

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