Do you own a home in Sydney and wonder how much it will cost to renovate your old bathroom?
Monumental cost pressures due to rising interest rates, increases in building and material costs, increasing labour costs, rising inflation and soaring costs of living are making the lives of everyday Australians hard and putting tremendous pressure on household budgets. Construction prices, in particular, have increased significantly since the pandemic.
So, how much does a bathroom reno cost today?
Here’s how much bathroom renovations are costing in Sydney now:
- Standard Bathroom Renovations: $20,000 to $35,000 (read more)
- Structural and Luxury Bathroom Renovations: $35,000+ (read more)
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Up until 2021, we were doing bathroom renovations for as little as $15,000 including materials and fittings; however, this simply isn’t possible in Sydney anymore. The cost of building materials has increased by as much as 500% in some cases, naturally pushing up the cost of bathroom renovations.
You might still see other articles online stating that bathroom renovations can be done for as little as $15,000, but these are most likely out of date, or they’re cutting costs somewhere, or they’re quoting prices from somewhere else in Australia.
A brand-new bathroom not only spruces up the look of your home but can also raise its overall value. Instead of ‘guesstimating’ how much your bathroom renovation will cost, this guide will give you a more comprehensive look, from a new shower to upgraded tapware, so that you can make a better, smarter decision. We’ve updated this guide for 2023 to help you understand rough price ranges and budget for the cost of bathroom renovation projects in the current conditions of the housing and building market.
Average bathroom renovation cost in Sydney
There are several different types of renovations – from small makeovers to complete bathroom renovations to high-end upgrades. For any bathroom renovation job, you must consider plumbing, tiling, cabinetry, baths, basins, vanities, shower screens, tapware, toilet bowls and other materials and fittings. A clear understanding of the costs involved can help you set a more accurate budget for your renovation plans. Unless you have your own plans, you will most likely need to budget for bathroom designers and drafting costs as well.
Need some design inspiration? Read our article about design ideas for your new bathroom.
Square metre rates
How much does a bathroom reno cost? How do you calculate? We come across these questions all the time. For an extremely rough cost estimate, you can use what we call “per square metre rates” (based on size) to get an approximate price range for your renovation. From our experience, residential bathroom renovations currently cost between $2500 and $4500 per square metre. The smaller the bathroom size or the higher the spec, the higher the cost per square metre usually is. If you multiply your bathroom floor area with each of these two numbers, you’ll have a reasonable price range to work with. Obviously, you still need to get a quote from a professional to know the true cost.
Standard bathroom renovation – $20,000 to $35,000
If you want an overhaul without changing the position of any fixtures, you could completely renovate your bathroom for as little as $20,000. Expect to pay between $20,000 to $35,000 for a bathroom renovation in Sydney. The price range to renovate a bathroom mostly depends on the size of the space and where you live. Not surprisingly, areas like the Northern Beaches and Eastern Suburbs frequently see higher quotes due to the higher cost of trades in those areas.
For a standard mid-range bathroom renovation for your home, you’ll have to make some compromises like keeping electrical and plumbing locations the same to stay in this price range. Renovating a bathroom completely or renovations for bigger bathrooms are usually on the higher end due to more tiling or high-end inclusions like vanity stone benches and double sinks. A standard bathroom renovation could include:
- New taps and vanities
- Waterproofing all wet areas
- Replacing toilets
- Install shower screens and mirrors
- New vanity and basin
- Floor and wall tiling
- Installation exhaust fans and towel rails
- Replacing and upgrading to a new bathtub
- Replacing old pipes and redoing plumbing where needed
- Rubbish removal
Structural & Luxury bathroom renovation – $35,000+
A structural renovation strips your bathroom down to its studs in a complete overhaul and includes repositioning fixtures, new pipes and new tiles. In this instance, you’d be looking upwards of $35,000. Be aware of how much you’ll need to spend on this kind of bathroom renovation job in Australia. A luxury bathroom renovation usually costs $40,000 or more. A budget in this range or higher can get you fancier fittings – including intricate mosaic designs, floor heating, elaborate lighting, frameless shower screens, freestanding bathtubs and premium tiles. Some of the things involved may include:
- Floor levelling
- Breaking down or building walls
- Adding a new bathtub, toilet and shower screen
- Plumbing and electrical fixtures, including lighting
- Removing and re-tiling floor and wall tiles
- Installing new vanities, mirrors and heated towel rails
- Adding new plumbing for the toilet and shower area
- Install new hot water system
- Waterproofing all wet areas
- Additions such as new windows or skylights
- Bringing all fixtures up to Australian standards
- Structural alterations like removing or building a new wall (to remove a load-bearing wall, a building permit is required at an additional cost)
- Rubbish removal
How much does it cost for bathroom makeovers? Aren’t they cheaper?
Yes, a bathroom makeover can be done for much less than a standard renovation, but not many companies do these due to the limited warranties that can be provided.
Many people use the terms bathroom makeovers and bathroom renovations interchangeably; however, they’re not the same, and the process is fairly different. A bathroom renovation typically involves some amount of demolition – removing and replacing tiling, ripping out a shower or bathtub, and replacing them. A bathroom makeover, on the other hand, involves restoring and recoating surfaces and fixtures to make them look new and appealing. It’s usually something people only do if they’re selling their home, and just want the bathroom to look nice – the results don’t last anywhere near as long as a proper renovation.
A small or budget cost of a bathroom makeover could set you back roughly between $5,000 and $20,000, depending on the size and condition of the existing bathroom.
For bathroom makeovers between $5,000 and $20,000, we recommend speaking to a property makeover specialist who can work with this budget range like Quality Makeovers.
Since there are fewer material costs, you can get away with spending as little as $5,000 on a bathroom makeover, however, most companies (including ours) won’t be able to help with this type of budget bathroom renovation. This is because the skills required, and the warranties that can be provided are different to a complete bathroom renovation.
Bathroom makeovers can include materials and fittings and installations, including:
- New taps and vanities
- Replacing old mirrors
- Refreshing grout
- replacing toilets and basin
- Re-coating or resurfacing existing tiles
- Re-coating an existing bathtub
- Install exhaust fans
How much does it cost for individual bathroom renovations?
It’s important to remember that the cost of a bathroom renovation for your home will depend on the size, style, materials and type of fittings and fixtures you want. You could choose budget, mid-level or high-end fittings and inclusions based on your needs, tastes and budget. Here are some costs for fixtures and accessories to help you with your budget, however, these are approximate costs for materials only and you need to consider the cost of labour to install them. Most companies won’t charge you by the hour for your project, and will generally provide a fixed cost. However, for small jobs, some tradies, builders or plumbers could charge an hourly rate between $100 to $150 per hour for their labour.
A shower screen comes in different styles – framed, semi-framed or frameless. Framed screens are the most affordable, while frameless screens are at the upper end of the scale. A framed shower screen starts from $600, while frameless screens go upwards of $800.
Wall Tiles and Floor Tiles
Tiles come at different price points and range from a rate of $35 per square metre to $300 per square metre. Standard white ceramic tiles (at the budget end) cost about $35 per square metre, high-quality ceramic or porcelain tiles can cost $100 per square metre or more, and natural stone tiles (at the higher end) costs up to $300 per square metre, with some extremely high-quality brands going even higher depending on the tiles you choose.
Bathtubs vary dramatically in price depending on the material, size and style (integrated or freestanding bathtub). For the more budget-focused, standard acrylic or fibreglass bathtubs could result in an average spend of about $1,400. A freestanding stone bathtub, on the more luxurious side, can result in a spend of over $3,000.
A budget toilet can cost as little as $450 with the cost going upwards to around $750 for a more luxurious model. You’ll also need to consider whether you want a wall-mounted or floor-mounted toilet based on the design and layout of your bathroom.
The cost of a vanity could vary due to several factors. A standard wall-hung vanity costs upwards of $1000. Vanities with double sinks start from around $2,000. Wall-mounted vanities are usually the preferred choice for bathrooms where space is considered. Vanities can go for up to $4,500 or more depending on quality.
Mirrors costs will depend on the style, size and frame. Framed wall-mounted mirror fittings cost $100 and upwards. Frameless mirrors featuring a contemporary look range from $100 to $400. Built-in light mirrors installed above a sink or vanity cost between $100 and $1000. On the upper end, premium anti-fog mirrors, fitted with a heated element, cost between $500 and $2,000.
The prices of bathroom basins start from $150 for standard, inexpensive versions and can go up to $500 or more on the higher end. Designer basins, at the upper end of the scale, can cost upwards of $800. If you want customised inclusions in a specific colour or finish for your home, expect to pay in excess of $1,000.
Budget tapware starts from $50 for your basins and showers while designer versions can go up to $900. There are plenty of options in between these two extreme price ranges, so expect to pay an average of about $150 for a decent-quality tap.
The sheer selection of showerheads available means there is something for every budget. Standard showerheads start from about $350 to $1,200, while luxury showerheads can cost in excess of $300. Basic models offer simple functionality and minimal visual appeal. Premium showerheads offer multiple spray patterns and nozzles with adjustable pressure for a spa-style experience.
You can choose different types of lighting fixtures when renovating a bathroom. From task lights over vanities to ambient lights lighting up the whole space to mood lights that feature a warm setting; the options are limitless. A single downlight fixture can start from $15 and go upwards depending on your bathroom needs.
At the lowest end of the scale, towel racks start from $30 for standard single-rail models. Heated towel rails come in different styles, sizes and finishes like matte or polished stainless steel, and typically cost anywhere from $150 to $400.
How much does it cost for bathroom design?
Unless you have your own plans and design ideas, you will need basic drawings to determine the sizes and positions of all inclusions for your bathroom renovation project, including the required plumbing and electrical work.
At DCON Group, basic sketches and drawings are included in our quotes. If you’re looking for in-depth visualisation, 3D renders will give you an incredible view of your bathroom before it is built to ensure you get what you want. The cost of bathroom 3D renders will set you back $1,500 or more and can vary depending on a variety of factors.
Why is the bathroom layout so crucial for your home?
Many homeowners overlook the importance of a well-designed layout but you’ll be surprised at how much value this can bring when you renovate a bathroom. An ensuite or family bathroom design must reflect the personality and lifestyle of your family as well as your home. Your initial design consultation is one of the best times to discuss everything you want so you can get a practical renovation plan that brings your vision to life – within your expected budget and timeline. Here are some things to consider with your bathroom designer:
- How much space is available and how can you utilise it smartly? Space is a big factor in any bathroom design.
- Do you need to make any major changes like changing the shower location or installing a new bath?
- How much storage do you need? You may need additional room to store bathroom supplies, toiletries and towels.
- Is there an elderly or special needs person in your family? You may need handrails, extra space for wheelchairs and other specific fixtures.
- What are your must haves? List down the features you absolutely want so you can work with the design team to bring them to life.
A pre-planned bathroom design conceptualised by a professional company gives you a clear interpretation of what it will look like – allowing you to make changes beforehand. The smartest budgets always account for the costs of professional design because this helps to reduce the risk of catastrophic issues and significant repair expenses in the future. Professional designers and bathroom renovators find smart ways to maximise space and enhance visual appeal without making your bathroom feel like an architectural afterthought.
Unexpected renovation problems for your bathroom can cost extra
No matter how much you initially intend to spend on the job of renovating a bathroom, it’s crucial to have a contingency budget of about 20% to handle the unforeseen costs. There’s every chance that problems can lurk behind the walls or under the floors of your existing bathroom.
Depending on the age of your house, there’s a good chance unforeseen issues can occur during the renovation process. Some classic examples we often come across include cracked pipes, structurally weak floors, long-term leaks, asbestos discovery behind tiling, mould growth, choked drains, toilet drain issues and rotting timber. A bathroom renovation is the best time to fix these unexpected issues because they can end up becoming major catastrophes if neglected for too long.
How long does a bathroom renovation in Australia take?
The timeline to complete a bathroom will depend on an array of factors like research, planning, design, implementation and the company you work with.
Research and Design
The research and design phase typically takes up to 3 weeks depending on your specific needs. This typically includes your initial consultation, time to conceptualise the design, sourcing different fittings and materials, and getting you to sign-off on the plans.
Once you’re happy with the design and layout, the actual project work can start. The average bathroom renovation timeline here will depend on the scale of your renovation.
- A small makeover can be completed in 1 to 2 weeks once all the materials and labour have been sourced.
- A standard average bathroom can take 4 to 6 weeks depending on the extent of trades required.
- A structural or luxury renovation may take even longer to be completed, depending on the scale like changing tiles and plumbing.
Keep in mind that any structural changes will take more time, especially if you need to re-position electrical and plumbing equipment. An allowance also needs to be made for unexpected events like finding asbestos in your walls or coming across undetected leaks.
Mistakes during a renovation, or realising your plans won’t work mid-way through your renovation can significantly alter timelines and inflate your total cost, which is why it’s vital to make sure an experienced bathroom renovator manages your project from start to finish for the best results and to help you stick to your planned renovation budget.
Keep Renovation Costs Down with DCON Group
If you’re looking to improve your investment property, or want to add more value to your home when selling by renovating your bathroom, make sure you speak to a professional company first to find out what your cost to renovate could look like. The rising real estate market has seen plenty of amateur renovators try and renovate their own bathrooms to save some money on a quick housing flip and to avoid expensive labour costs. However, the dangers of doing your own plumbing, tiling or waterproofing aren’t worth it, and we’ve seen our share of DIY stuff-ups that would have been much cheaper if they’d just talked to us first.
There are also plenty of dodgy tradies and contractors who offer the cheapest quote or lowest charge per hour for the job. The price is attractive but unfortunately, you get what you pay for with shoestring-budget renovations and compromised trades. You’ll likely end up with a poor bathroom layout, bad-quality materials and bathroom work that extends for months. We’ve seen it all too many times with homeowners who end up paying a fortune trying to fix mistakes caused by inexperienced tradies, instead of getting the job right the first time.
The durability of your bathroom will depend on the quality of materials and workmanship. A bathroom renovation specialist like DCON Group is money well spent now for savings in the long term. Whether you want a partial or complete bathroom renovation to add value to your property, our well-designed, high-quality bathrooms comfortably withstand the test of time and tolerate the demands of increasing foot traffic for years to come.
Even our mid-range bathrooms have outstanding fixtures that other companies don’t offer (even if they charge a higher total cost). We’re so confident in our work and want to make sure you’re satisfied with our work, we also give you a 7-year warranty.
If you’re still wondering “how much do bathroom renos cost?” Get in touch with the experienced bathroom renovators at DCON Group to get a quote for your home bathroom renovation costs in Sydney – completely obligation-free. Look at all our services and see how we can set you apart with our bespoke bathrooms. Call us on 02 8999 7683 and our specialists will take you through the cost of renovating your new bathroom based on your needs.
*The above costs are indicative only. For a more accurate bathroom reno cost, call the DCON Group specialists to discuss your specific requirements.