Up to date, well planned, functional bathrooms will enhance your standard of living at home. They also help to sell your home. So, if you are planning to renovate a bathroom, here are a few of my bathroom reno tips and my guide to cost.

As for all renovations, research, functionality, planning and a set budget are the keys.

Food For Thought:

  • Natural Light – it is really important to have great natural light in a bathroom if possible. You can achieve this in many ways including from a large feature skylight or perhaps a window to a private garden atrium?
  • A Bath – is there room for a bath, do you need or want one? If yes, should it big enough for two, would it be freestanding, or perhaps in a hob placed under a window with a view to a private garden? Think about luxury, relaxation and enjoyment when planning this.
  • The Shower – double showers are very β€œin” (if there’s sufficient space) and β€œwalk in” showers (ie no door) look understated but gorgeous and, as a bonus, save time & effort in cleaning. While on the subject of cleaning, I LOVE linear shower grates, they look slick and are a breeze to keep clean.
  • The Vanity Basin – it is great to have two in a master ensuite if there’s room. Basins can be fully recessed, semi recessed or countertop. Each function as well as the other in my opinion, so it comes down to what style suits your personal preferences
  • Storage – this is sometimes overlooked so you can end up with insufficient cupboards & drawers to store essentials such as the hairdryer, brushes, makeup, shaving gear, towels, toiletries, etc. So please do think this through carefully before deciding on cabinetry.
  • Cabinetry, Fixtures & Fittings – door profiles, tapware and colours will depend on the era and style of your home. If you are unsure, seek the help of a professional
  • Tiling – so many amazing choices. Research online and magazines to home in on your preferred style. If it is too confusing, I recommend talking to a professional
  • Lighting – obviously important, but you do not need to over kill, lighting simply needs to be positioned correctly for best functionality – most important is above or to the side of mirrors
  • WOW Factor – I love a bathroom with a WOW factor! It could be a skylight, a view to a private garden, a chandelier, an ornate mirror, a feature wall, etc. A chance to let your creative juices flow.

Cost Guide – the cost depends of course on the size of the bathroom and your choice of fixtures, fittings, and tiles – but here is my rough guide:

Bathroom Update – $2000 > $5000

If dollars are tight you can improve your bathroom significantly by using the existing layout but replacing some of the fixtures and fittings such as basins, vanity cabinetry, lighting, and taps. You can cost effectively paint walls, and you can even paint baths and tiles (although I recommend you engage a professional to do this if you want it to last for a few years).

Gutted Renovation – $8000 > $25000
This involves gutting the room by disconnecting and removing all existing fixtures, taps, and floor & wall tiles – taking the room back to an empty space. The plumbing and electrical services remain in the same locations but new tiles, cabinetry, light fittings, fixtures, and tapware along with freshly painted walls create a brand new bathroom.

Classic Renovation – $25000 +
In this case there is probably a new configuration/design layout, possibly a larger space, which may include demolition of walls, relocation of plumbing and electrical services – so quite labour intensive. You will need new floor & wall tiles, new fixtures, and fittings (tapware, cabinetry, mirrors, etc) – supplied & installed. Please also be aware that in this case, if internal structural changes are on the cards, you may need Building Approval before commencing work.

NB: Generally speaking, access to reasonably priced, quality bathroom fittings has improved greatly over the last few years. If you make time and put in the effort, you can have the bathroom of your dreams without it necessarily costing you a fortune!

Common Mistakes:

  • Not setting and sticking to a Budget
  • Not having a budget contingency – you will need around 10% contingency
  • Limited ease of access for trades – will add to cost so should be included in the budget
  • Poor project management – this can lead to cost blow outs, so stay on top of the schedule
  • Poor tradesmanship – always research your trades, ensure they have an up to date licence, ensure they are prepared to provide compliance certificates on completion, reference check with previous clients
  • Underestimating the disruption to your life – it will probably be physically and emotionally stressful, so be sure you are prepared for this

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