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Bathroom Remodeling: The Hidden Costs You Need to Know About

Bathrooms are often the smallest rooms in the house, yet renovation can be difficult because of the multiple trades that need to be employed such as plumbers, tilers, painters, and plasterers. Proper organization can lead to successful renovation without going over budget. Keep as much in your head as possible, and you won’t find that small projects will go on longer. In order to get everything over with and out of your hair, you need to purchase items before they start on your construction. Ensure all goods are delivered as soon as they’re needed on site. Discuss these before any work is done to make sure nothing is missed. As an example, if you want a shampoo-and-body-wash soap dish, be clear about this upfront, as it’s difficult and expensive to do this kind of thing once the tiler has already begun.

Removal of Existing Fixtures

Ensure before any work starts that it’s clarified who will be responsible for the elimination of any current bathroom fixtures, hardware, and finishes. It is important that if the builder agreed to take care of this, the quote include this. If this isn’t included, you’ll need to include the cost of removing the items in your budget. Be sure to ask about how they plan on disposing of these materials. Some contractors may charge a disposal fee, while others may simply toss them into dumpsters or leave them for you to dispose of yourself. Either way, make sure you know what to expect.

Unforeseen Structural Problems

It’s hard to get a handle on the full extent of the work until everything has been stripped out. Depending on the age of your home and its general condition, you might have to spend a lot on fixing or preparing your walls and floor.

For example, once the original floor finishes have been removed, you may find the surface isn’t perfectly even. To level it, your builder will have to lay a special compound or screed, and a change in floor level might even lead to doors having to be adjusted. Unforeseen extras such as these will add to the cost. The same goes for walls that are found to need more work than expected. In some cases, they may need to be completely taken down and rebuilt. This is especially true if there are structural problems—such as cracks in masonry—that can’t be patched up with plasterboard or other materials.

Custom Cabinetry

In the case of any items that need to be custom-made, like uncommonly shaped shower walls or custom cabinetry, they will also increase the cost of a renovation. Products that are made-to-order usually have a longer delivery period, so you should make this clear with your builders and contractors and avoid potential delays. Custom products also require more labor to install and will ultimately cost more than prefabricated products.

Specialized Finishes

Some types of finishes are more difficult to install than others. Consider for example, mosaics or unusual shaped tiles. They take more time to install and will be more expensive. It’s best to purchase all of your finishes before the construction process begins. To do this, it would be helpful for them to know what you are planning to use so they can quote you accordingly.Similarly, you may need professional assistance for edges when you use marble or stone. The best way to finish edges is by using a beveled tile. You will need to talk to your tiler about whether this can be done on or off site and what this will affect the price.


Even if you are not planning on remodeling with a wet room-style shower, the area will need to be waterproofed to keep your entire bathroom and home safe. The cost of the waterproofing material can be significant, so you should account for it regardless of your decision to remodel or not.

Inadequate Supplies

One mistake people often make when renovating a bathroom is not ordering enough tiles. This can lead to delays, especially if the tiles aren’t stock items and have to be ordered.Calculate the floor and wall areas separately and allocate 10% for unavoidable waste. Make sure the quote for tiles includes grout, adhesive, and tile trims.

Electrical Changes

If you plan to redo your bathroom’s layout, be sure not to forget to factor in the costs of changing the power points, lights, and light switches as well as having to get an electrician to install new wiring.The change could be as simple as installing a new electrical outlet, or as complicated as adding in new light fixtures with multiple circuits. For example, overhead lighting is good for illuminating specific parts of the room, and wall or ambient light fixtures should not have their own separate circuit. The cost for this will depend on the complexity of the task.

Hot Water System

Decide if you want a continuous-flow hot water system or a system that both heats and stores hot water.A majority of hot water systems make noise, but not all of them make as much noise as others. It may be worth locating the one you buy in a place not near your bedroom if you’re renovating and can place it wherever you please. All of these decisions will have an impact on the bottom line. A majority of hot water systems heat both cold and hot water at once, which means they are constantly heating even when no one is using any hot water. Because of that, it’s important to check into how energy efficient each system is before purchasing anything.