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The question that burns the lips of many of my clients: How many should I plan for renovating my bathroom?

With the many decorating shows on television, people have gotten the wrong idea about the true costs of renovation. In many cases, the shows are sponsored by a lot of providers (we often see their logos in the bottom of the screen). And, if we listen attentively, the general contractor’s fees or the designer’s fees are taken in charge by the show! The mentioned budget therefore corresponds only to materials and sanitary equipments. It’s normal to wonder how to evaluate the costs to make a bathroom that meets your dreams! I’ll help you unpack it all!



Quickly, I’ll tell you that you can expect costs that range from $30,000 to $50,000. Welcome to reality, I explain in another article why renovation is expensive. Renovating a bathroom is an important investment that will increase the value of your property, you can recuperate 60 to 75% of the money invested in the renovation of your bathroom! I therefore invite you to renovate a few years before selling so that you can at least enjoy it!


Now, here are more in depth the variables that influence the price of a bathroom renovation.

The main factor is the size of the bathroom! If we are talking about a standard 5’x8′ bathroom with a tub/shower, toilet and a small hallway vanity, the renovation budget will be the smallest. Whereas if the bathroom is large, measuring 10’x14′ and includes a freestanding tub, ceramic shower, custom vanity with custom cabinetry, the renovation cost will be higher, in the $50,000 range.

Another factor to consider is the changes in the plumbing layout. If we change the piping, we must call a plumbing specialist. A plumber charges around 90$/h and we should add to that the transport and the hardware. So if the changes in the plumbing placement become complex because of a structure matter, the invoice can quickly increase. However, we should not limit ourselves too much when moving the plumbing since it is sometimes what makes a bathroom design a success or not. For example, if the total cost of your bathroom is $20,000, but in the best case scenario you would have wanted to move the toilet and it would have cost an additional $1,500, it’s worth investing that extra amount to really get the result you want.

The third factor that will influence the renovating cost of a bathroom is the choice of materials. We are in an era where there is an array of material choices, each more surprising than the last. Companies innovate every year to show us new materials, finishes and textures to incorporate into our designs to make them as unique as possible! As with any type of product, there are luxurious materials, affordable materials (good value for money) and materials available in supermarkets at competitive prices. What I recommend as an interior designer is to mix more WOW materials in strategic places in the design and use less expensive materials that work beautifully with the rest of the design! This creates a unique, affordable design and does not affect the overall feel of the bathroom! The WOW effect will be there!


Then, the furniture and plumbing elementswill also influence the cost of the bathroom renovation. First, for the vanity, you have two choices; either you get something already made in supermarkets (Home-Depot, Bain dépôt, Ikea) or you integrate a custom-made piece of furniture. You know that the second option is more expensive! We talk about 2 to 3 times more expensive, because a furniture will be made in Quebec by a cabinetmaker. The product’s quality will be superior and, above all, you will have all the thinkable possibilities to choose your furniture. To have the most functional bathroom possible, I definitely recommend custom furniture. Also, the quality of plumbing elements you will choose will influence the cost of your bathroom renovation. Baths are available from $700 to $3,000! You see… Not so easy to give a predefined budget for a bathroom! For the ceramic showers, we should also add an extra to the budget. We’re talking $6,000 to $8,000 to have a beautiful shower with glass panels.

Here is a chart to visually show you the price difference between different ranges of plumbing materials and supplies.


Renovation type Minimum cost Mid-range Top of the line
Bath + Installation 1 500 $ 3 500$ 6 000$
Shower + Installation 2000 $ 3 500 $ 5 000 $
Custom made shower NA 8 000 $ 10 000 $
Ceramic floor + installation 6 per square foot 15 per square foot 23 per square foot
Heating floor between 3 $ and 4,75$ per square foot
Toilet +Installation 450 $ 895 $ 1350$
Lighting, accessories + installation 740 $ 2 640 $ 4 640 $
Sink cabinet + installation 1000 $ 3 500 $ 8 000 $
Shower tap 550 $ 1175 $ 1895 $
Sink tap 250 $ 650 $ 1000 $
Extra for unforeseen events 1 500 $ 5 000 $ 5 000 $
Consultation of specialists (architect, designer or decorator) between 5 and 10% of the total cost of the bathroom renovation


Labour costs provided by a general contractor account for 60% of the cost of a bathroom renovation. Yes, it’s a lot! This is explained by the fact that contractors are RBQ certified, they must pay permits and be covered by numerous insurances that are expensive and essential. Check the contractor’s license and ask him for insurance proof before signing the contract with a business. This could avoid you many problems. The specialized jobs that are the costliest are plumbers and electricians. If you renovate the bathroom of your principal residence, know that you have the right to not hire a general contractor to manage the project. You can hire specialized professions such as carpenter, plumber, electrician. However, you will be responsible to give them clear instructions so that the final result is like you imagined it. At this point you should have a layout and electrical plan to avoid communication problems! An interior designer could give you these documents.

Finally, the cost of an interior designer who will guide you through every step of your renovation project to save you time, trouble and money is a wise investment rather than an expense. Fees range from 5% to 10% of the total cost of your bathroom renovation. If you want to understand what the many benefits of hiring an interior designer are, I invite you to read this article.


I would also advise you to get several bids from general contractors and compare the bids. Make sure that everything you desire is included in the submission. If there are things that are not mentioned or forgotten, the costs will be added to the invoice at the end of the project! Don’t forget taxes when planning your budget. For example, if you get a bid of $34,000, with taxes you end up with a total price of about $39,091.


To give you a concrete example, here is a bathroom I realized for a client. This bathroom is large to medium size (12′ x 8′). We have chosen semi-custom furniture and good quality materials at medium to high prices. Several selections have been made at Ceragrès which has a large choice of quality and design materials. In this room, there is a separate shower with acrylic base and a freestanding bathtub. There were no major plumbing configuration changes. For electricity, recessed bulbs were added to the ceiling and an electric exit was displaced on the wall.

Now that you understand well the design, here is the estimation from a general contractor to realize this project. This submission holds an informative title only, if you desire more informations I invite you to communicate with me.


(Container rental, ceramic removal, sanitary fixture removal, site protection, etc.) )

2 314 $

(Supply and install drywall, seal and paint walls, install ceramic tiles, alcoves etc.) )

9 952 $

(Supply and install fan, supply and install recessed lighting, GFCI outlets, dimmers, floor heating)

2 768 $
PLUMBERS (Plumbing modification, Install all plumbing devices) 2 631 $
MATERIALS AND ACCESSORIES (Shower, sink cabinet, cabinets, decoration, ceramic, etc.) 13 934 $
ADMINISTRATION AND PROFITS (Project management by general contractor) 2 475 $



To conclude this article, here is a list of items you should plan to calculate your renovation budget. A professional such as a contractor or interior designer can help you with all of this, but if you want to make an initial estimate on your own, this list will make it easier.

  • Toilet
  • Bath
  • Bath tap
  • Shower (glass panel, gypsum, shower base, drain)
  • Shower tap
  • Sink cabinet (counter, pharmacy, mirror, sink)
  • Sink tap
  • Storage cabinets
  • Ceramic floor
  • Bathroom accessories (towel bar, etc.)
  • Lamps
  • Heating
  • Fan
  • Thermostat
  • Doors and moldings
  • Paint and finishing
  • Workforce
  • Window dressing
  • Decoration
  • Designer fees

In the end, you need to budget between $30,000 and over $50,000 to renovate your bathroom. Factors that influence costs are square footage, plumbing and electrical configuration changes, choice of materials, choice of labor and choice of furniture.

To plan a renovation plan for your bathroom make an appointment with me.


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