Home Remodeling

Bathroom renovation guide

Bathroom renovations are where you can make a difference to the feel of your home. Mistakes can be costly in this space so it’s important to get things right from the start. From the right tiles and fixtures to the perfect layout for the space, discover how to design the ultimate bathroom for your home.

Design elements>
Ensuite design>
Fixtures & fittings>
Common mistakes>
Easy fixes>


Bathrooms may be small, but they can often be one of the biggest costs when it comes to renovating. Typically remodelling one standard powder room can cost anywhere from $10,000 up to $40,000. But experts agree it can also add thousands of dollars in value so it may be worth the cost – especially if the room is outdated and not functioning as well as it should.

How much does a small bathroom renovation cost?

For a basic renovation of a smaller bathroom, a budget of $20,000 is a suitable amount. In some cases, people choose to spend less – as low as $5000 – by carrying out the trades themselves or choosing more basic products. Just remember a bathroom needs to be waterproof and structurally sound, or you could end up with costly damage bills down the track.

If your budget is really tight, and you don’t feel confident doing the work by yourself it’s best not to take the chance. Instead, focus on simpler cosmetic changes like repainting, updating fixtures and maybe a new layer of tile grout.

How much does a large bathroom renovation cost?

The budget for larger bathrooms usually starts at $25,000 and ranges up to $40,000. This cost bracket should include using qualified tradespeople, quality fittings and cover the cost of more luxurious items like a double vanity and a rain showerhead.

However, if you want to go premium be prepared to pay more. High-end tiles, marble benches and a statement bath will set you back thousands of dollars, which you may not recoup in the increased value of the home.

verage costs of professional tradespeople

Getting in quality and licensed tradespeople will definitely influence the end result when it comes to your new bathroom, but it also digs into the budget. It’s important to note that the more skill and effort your job requires, the more you are likely to pay for trades. In order to ensure you’re getting value for money get an official written quote from several companies before choosing. Also, ask for evidence of qualifications, references, and don’t forget the cheapest operator may not be the best option, as you get what you pay for.

Here are some ballpark costs for tradespeople:

Plumber: $80 – $250 per hourCarpenter: $45 – $100 per hourTiler: $45 – $140 per hour however they may be more likely to quote you for entire job based on the size of the area being tiledPainter and plaster: $40 – $70 an hour, but in most cases, you will negotiate a price on the whole jobWaterproofing: $500 – $750 for an average bathroomCabinet maker: $40 – $100 per hourElectrician: $75 – $100 per hourGlazier: $65 – $100 per hour

Bathroom design elements

Bathrooms have come a long way over the years. Once the toilet was relegated to the outhouse, but now it can be a place of pride and joy. So, when planning a bathroom renovation there is plenty to consider.


A bathroom is a practical space that’s used frequently, so think about what your needs are. Will it be for a family or a single person? Or is it an ensuite or guest bathroom? A bathroom needs to be durable and should be designed to withstand splashing water and cope with humidity, without being a slipping hazard or becoming worn too quickly.

Don’t forget it will also need cleaning regularly, which shouldn’t be made difficult by your design choices.


Bathrooms are generally compact, so consider what your layout can accommodate such as basins, vanity, storage, toilet, shower, bath, towel rack, and windows. If it’s a small space, you might only be able to fit a shower-bath combo or just a shower. The important thing is to maximise the space without making it feel cluttered.


Once the practicalities are out of the way you can think about the design elements that will really make the space and set the scene you want, while still meeting your budget. This can include a big rain shower, a luxury tub, or a double vanity.

Don’t forget to factor in:

Good ventilationThe right materials for the spaceWindows and/or skylightsPositioning of vanity and toiletAdequate lighting
Ensuite design

Ensuite bathrooms have become a much-loved addition to many larger homes.

Although generally smaller than a family bathroom, remodelling an ensuite is still a lot of work especially as you most likely will be constrained by space and budget.

If you’re thinking of including an ensuite in your renovation, here are some questions to consider.

How much space do you have and is it suitable?Will you need a shower and a toilet?How many basins to include?Will your budget allow luxury extras?Will it add value?
Bathroom ensuite designs and ideas

Choosing fixtures and fittings

Fixtures and fittings range from functional to statement pieces and you can now get designer-range bathroom fixtures at fairly affordable prices. Style and cohesion should be the number one priority when picking out pieces for the bathroom, but once in place they are difficult to change. So, it’s worth keeping the following things in mind:

You get what you pay for: Cheap products will not last the distance.

Try before you buy: They might look good, but whether they are practical is an important point to consider.

Go for the right materials: Due to the nature of the room, and the generally humid conditions, items need to be durable. It’s worth investing in quality taps, toilets, basins, handles and lights and ensuring they are installed correctly.


Bathroom cabinets have a big impact when it comes to the style of your bathroom, so choose carefully, and consider functionality. A tip to remember is – storage is always a winner in the bathroom as you need enough space for toiletries, toilet paper, extra towels, and whatever else you like to use while in the bathroom.

When thinking about your cabinetry decide the type of sink should also be factored in. Do you want the sink to be a focal point? Remember some designs that look spectacular that don’t have adequate bench space can lose their appeal very quickly when using them day-to-day. Also, consider the depth of the bowl and whether it is practical.

Common mistakes

When designing a bathroom, take your time to ensure it’s right. Inadequate planning could leave you with an impractical room that annoys you every day.

Here are some common mistakes to avoid in your bathroom renovation.

A sink that’s too smallNot factoring in ventilationCluttering small spaces with double vanitiesInstalling a bathroom fan that is not up to the jobAn inadequate hot water systemA mirror that is too smallNot enough storageInstalling sinks and toilets that are difficult to clean and maintainUsing materials that are not suitable for humid environmentsInadequate lightingNot enough bench spaceNot factoring in drainage
Easy fixes

Bathroom renovations are renowned for being expensive. However, in many cases a complete overhaul is not necessary with a smaller makeover able to make the room feel fresh and luxurious.

Here are some simple tricks to consider:

Painting tiles and walls or using wallpaperUpdating handles and shower headsReplacing the toiletRenewing tile groutInstalling modern shower doorsRedoing the tilingDecoratingIncorporating live plantsRemoving clutterAdding a piece of art or a hanging mirrorReplacing towel racksIncreasing the natural lightAdding fancy lighting

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