Looking into a bathroom renovation but unsure about how much it would cost in the UK? Let us help you breakdown the cost of bathroom renovations and share some tips on how to plan your dream bathroom transformation.
After your kitchen, a bathroom renovation is likely to be the most expensive home makeover project. However, there are many practical benefits to investing in a bathroom renovation. For example, a new and modern bathroom adds considerable value to your property and is a worthwhile investment. But how much does a bathroom renovation cost in the UK?
On average, a full bathroom renovation cost in the UK is around £7000, but this can vary greatly. A DIY bathroom renovation on a budget is going to cost a lot less, possibly as low as £1000. On the other end of the scale, if you ordered a full high-end bathroom renovation from a professional contractor, it could end up costing as much £15,000.
In this article we will breakdown the cost of each individual bathroom item and provide tips on where to save the most cash. For in-depth breakdown of how much you should expect to pay on a new bathroom check out our article on the average cost of a new bathroom and how much you should be expected to spend on a new bathroom in 2022
Bathroom cost breakdown
This Bathroom Cost Guide is going to help you compile an estimation for a typical bathroom renovation in the UK. You will only be able to determine the exact cost of your bathroom renovation after comparing quotes and prices for the fittings, tiles, and labour. We’ll offer some budget bathroom renovation tips, along with practical advice on how to go about renovating a bathroom.
When calculating the cost of a bathroom renovation, it helps to approach it logically. By listing the cost factors, you’ll be able to assess your priorities. Putting together a spreadsheet will also help you keep track of estimated and actual costs.
You may need to compromise on some aspects of your new bathroom, to accommodate to your budget. It all depends on how flexible you are. There may be alternative solutions that you haven’t yet thought of. None the less, some costs are unavoidable, and it’s essential not to neglect the basics.
Here’s the bathroom cost essential breakdown that you need to cover:
1. Plumbing Costs – Water supply, heating and drain pipes
2. Electrical Costs – Wiring, lighting and ventilation
3. Bathroom fittings – Fixtures like bath, taps, toilet, shower, and storage
4. Walls – Tiles, paints or the cheap tile-alternative, the wall panel
5. Labour – For preparation and installation
Bathroom Renovation Costs
Our shower panel comes in an array of colours and design choices that you can choose from to get your dream shower. We stock a range of this type of cladding, but if you can’t find what you are looking for, you can use our bathroom wall panels. They aren’t as thick, strong or wide, but there are more designs to choose from.
The cost of your bathroom renovation depends on these factors
1.The size of your bathroom
Large-sized bathrooms provide more space. However, you’ll need more fitting and fixtures to fill in those space, and it will require a bigger budget.
2.The structural changes that are required
Having significant structural changes such as the installation of skylights, new windows, transferring plumbing or electrical points and re-plastering walls can add considerable value to the overall cost.
3. The quality of materials and fittings used
There’s a wide variety of options for bathroom fittings and choosing products with higher quality comes at a price.
4. The look you want to achieve.
Those who have a smaller budget can polish, clean and upgrade their fittings. Meanwhile, those with a bigger budget can add premium fittings and other luxurious elements.
Prices and Labour
Whether you’re able to do it yourself or need to use professionals one thing we would recommend is planning the plumbing layout for your bathroom renovation. This is an efficient and practical way of reducing your overall costs.
It’s always a good idea to use the existing plumbing wherever possible. Moving the toilet, for example, can escalate your bathroom renovation cost more than you might think. Removing a current water supply and drain pipes requires skilled labour and means breaking into a lot of walls and even floors. The same can be said for showers, basins, and baths.
There is no set price regarding the plumbing requirements for a bathroom renovation. It depends entirely on the amount of piping that needs to be installed and the labour requirements. Steel or copper pipe prices in the UK range from about £2.60 for the cheapest copper pipe, up to £6.70 for expensive galvanised pipes. Plastic tubes are popular, these days, as they are by far the most affordable option and uPVC doesn’t rot regardless of chemicals. If there are significant alterations to the existing plumbing layout, the cost for plumbing services can mount from £700 to £900.
rewiring and diagnostics
The price for electrical wiring alterations can be kept to a minimum, depending mostly on the fixtures that you choose. A luxury bath or shower can require additional electrical wiring if they use a pump.
Here is a quick list of factors worth considering when calculating the electricity cost for a bathroom renovation:
- Ventilation Fans
- Power Outlets
- Bathroom Circuits
Bathroom Fittings and Fixtures
Leave till last
How much does a bath cost?
The cheapest bath can cost as little as £80. Though these will be lightweight acrylic baths, with no reinforcing, a standard acrylic bath will require a frame which will need tiling or some form of waterproof cladding, so this cost needs to be taken into account. High-end, freestanding acrylic baths are strong and durable. These cost anything from £250 to over £1500.
An economy steel bath is probably the best value for money. They are of a reasonable quality standard and can cost as little as £120. If you have the budget for the ultimate in luxury baths, cast iron and stone baths will be the most expensive. Typical bath installation can take 3 to 4 hours.
Bath Cost Summary:
- Low-end: £80
- Top-end: £250 – £1,500
- Average: £250 – £700
- Typical Job Time: 3-5 hours
How much does a shower cost?
The cheapest option would be an electric shower, and this can be as little as £50. These showerheads only require a cold water supply, as the water is then heated at the shower unit. They need an electric connection but it uses very little power. It will save on electricity costs over time, though the cheapest electric showers are not always that effective at heating the water properly. Shower prices on average can vary between the different shower types.
Combination bath and shower mixers are also a cheap option and don’t require a shower enclosure. These range from about £50 and upwards.
A standard shower mixer will cost you around £60 for a basic unit. A Thermostatic shower mixer adjusts the water temperature when the water pressure changes and these cost from £125.
Luxury showers come in various forms. A power shower uses a booster pump to increase the water pressure and will cost upwards of £150. Digital showers have settings for water pulsing, along with various jets and sprays. These will cost £250 or more.
You will also need to consider the cost of the shower enclosure. These usually come in kits that include the shower tray, frame and door. An economy quadrant tray and a frameless door can cost as little as £60, with full wet room kits exceeding £500. Fixing shower into your walls can take 1 to 2 hours.
Shower Cost Summary:
- Low-end: £50
- Top-end: £500 – £2,000
- Average: £60 – £500
- Typical Job Time: 1-2 hours
How much does a bathroom basin cost?
Depending on the style you’re going for, you can choose between pedestal, semi-pedestal, or vanity unit basins. The budget option would be a ceramic pedestal basin, with prices starting at around £50. For a little more, a basic semi-pedestal (wall-hung) bowl can be a cost-effective solution, the cheapest of which is about £60.
Vanity units are the most elegant, and most expensive. Apart from the cost of building the actual group, the basin is going to cost you £90 or more. Standard ceramic bowls will always be the cheapest. The more elite metal, glass, or stone basins can end up costing over £300, and installation can take around 1 to 2 hours.
Bathroom Basin Cost Summary:
- Low-end: £50
- Top-end: £300
- Average: £150
- Typical Job Time: 1-2 hours
How Much does a toilet cost?
If you’re considering a standard floor-mounted toilet, you’ll only be paying about £50. If you’d prefer a more elegant design, expect to pay up to £500. Usually, the installation of a toilet takes 2 to 3 hours.
Toilet Cost Summary:
- Low-end: £50
- Top-end: £500
- Average: £275
- Typical Job Time: 2-3 hours
How much do taps cost?
You have three basic options for bathroom taps. You also need to take into account the type of basin or bath that you choose. Some sinks and tubs will require wall-mounted faucets, whereas many countertop basins will need a tap that’s mounted to the counter. A freestanding bath, far from a wall, will need floor-mounted taps. You can usually get the job done within 2 hours with skilled workers can do it quicker.
Pillar taps are separate units (one cold and one hot) and are the cheapest, from £30 for a set. Mixer taps come in two variations.
The more expensive and albeit more convenient option is the Monobloc mixer. These taps have a single handle that you lift to open and swivel to either side for water temperature control. Monobloc mixers cost from £50 to a little over £100. Cheaper water mixers (from about £45) have separate controls for hot and cold water.
Tap Cost Summary:
- Low-end: £30
- Top-end: £50 – £100
- Average: £40 – £65
- Typical Job Time: 1-2 hours
Tiling and other Cladding Alternative
How much does it cost to tile a bathroom?
Bathroom tiles or wall cladding make a considerable difference to the look and practicality of a bathroom. When estimating the cost of tiling your bathroom, you also need to factor in the value of the tile adhesive, grouting, and the ply underneath floor tiles.
Budget floor tiles (including adhesive, grouting, and ply) should cost about £25 per square meter. For mid-range floor tiles, you’ll be paying about double this, while top-end tiles can cost up to £65 per square meter. Installation takes 1 to 5 days, depending on the coverage required.
Tile Cost Summary:
- Low-end: £25 per square meter
- Top-end: £65 per square meter
- Average: £45 per square meter
- Typical Job Time: 1-5 days
Wall tiles are usually a little cheaper than floor tiles, but there is a much less expensive option which is Vinyl flooring. uPVC wall panels are rapidly becoming the wall cladding of choice for bathroom renovations in the UK. Not only are they cheaper to buy, but they are also much easier to install. It reduces your building cost and saves a lot of time. It’s the most cost-effective solution and is very elegant. These waterproof wall panels are available at Easypanels for as low as £9.50 (250mm x 2600mm). So, it’s an excellent cladding solution if you’re working on a budget and the installation can be done within 1 to 3 days.
Wall Panel Cost Summary:
- Low-end: £14/ square meter
- Top-end: £20/ square meter
- Average: £17/ square meter
- Typical Job Time: 1-3 hours
What are the labour costs for a bathroom renovation?
Most plumbers will complete a bathroom renovation in about two to three days. It will depend on the size of your bathroom and the amount of work required. Our labour estimator for a bathroom renovation won’t be the same throughout the UK. On average, one can expect to pay around £350 per day for labour. For an average-sized bathroom, you should budget approximately £1000 for the actual plumbing.
Planning Your Bathroom Renovation
How should you order the work for your bathroom renovation? Let’s set out some steps and procedures to follow. It’s essential to know what exactly you’re getting yourself in for, especially if you’re planning your first DIY bathroom renovation. A professional bathroom renovation team will work according to a well laid out schedule to maximise efficiency and reduce the disruption to your home. Even if you use a contractor, you may be able to save some money on the initial preparation by doing it yourself.
Step 1: Initial Preparation
Remove all personal effects from the bathroom. Turn the main water supply off and drain the central heating system. Lay down floor protection for all areas leading to the bathroom and remove all bathroom fixtures. Ensure that all redundant electric wiring and pipes are removed, tiles are stripped and the walls repaired and prepared for new cladding.
Step 2: Plumbing and wiring
Walls will need to be chased for the installation of new pipes and electrical wiring. Holes in the floor and walls are drilled where required. Electric wiring and pipes need to be installed according to council regulations.
Step 3: Building and Preparation
Any structural changes need to accommodate the bath, vanity counters or basins, the toilet, and shower enclosure required to be completed. The walls need to be plastered and prepared for tiling. All fixtures also need to be secured to the floor or walls.
Step 4: Tiling
Before tiling, all surfaces need to be cleaned, leaving no trace of loose grit. Wooden floors need a waterproof floor ply. Depending on the weather, tiling will typically take about two days. The tile adhesive needs to set, before grouting. Alternative wall cladding, like PVC wall panels, should only take a couple of hours to install.
Step 5: Finishing and Cleaning
Wall-mounted taps, towel rails and shelves can only be installed after the wall cladding has been fitted and cleaned. After that, all remaining cleaning can be done. Cleaning grout residue can take some time.
As you can see, there is a lot of planning that goes into a bathroom renovation. Doing your homework will make a big difference, both in the bathroom renovation cost, and how smoothly the project runs. Shopping around for good deals and requesting several quotes from plumbers is advisable, though plumbers with proper references can put your mind at ease, even if they aren’t the cheapest. So it’s not entirely about the cost, you need to know that you’re spending your money wisely.
Staying On top of your Bathroom renovation
Quick Project Management Tips
How much does it cost to tile a bathroom?
Good project management is the key to a successful bathroom renovation. It can be a tricky interior to get right, you need both style and functionality so there is a lot of behind the scenes planning and maintenance.
With any renovation there can also be unexpected additions and adjustments to make that effect your budget. So, it’s important to plan ahead for these situations and monitor the renovation process. Here are 4 quick project management tips to help you on your way:
- Decide on a definite layout
- Precision is key
- Order materials in advance
- Don’t forget storage