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The Cost of a Bathroom Remodel in 2024

Discover the costs of a bathroom remodel, from toilet to sink to shower to tub. Compare the costs of a half bath, three-quarter bath, or primary bath and get tips on how to pay for them.
Last updated June 14th, 2024
Reviewed by Corey Sayers

You can make a good case for the bathroom being the most important room in your home.

It’s where you prepare to start your day, and where you prepare to end it. In between, you visit often, and it’s probably where you have some of your best ideas.

In their 2022 report, Today’s Homeowner declared bathrooms the most popular room to renovate. According to the 2023 U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study, the median spend on bathroom remodels leaped by 50% from 2021 to 2022.

The National Association of Realtors gave bathroom remodeling a “Joy Score” of 9.6; 73% of homeowners who’ve remodeled have a “greater desire to be home since completing the project,” and 61% have an “increased sense of enjoyment when they are at home.”

But how much does a remodel cost? We spoke to Lior Kahana, Managing Partner of 123 Remodeling, a design-build contractor company in Chicago. He has some insights into how to prepare yourself for such a big and rewarding project (and for the money you can expect to spend).

So, how much will remodeling cost? It varies a lot.

That study from the National Association of Realtors mentions an average cost of $35,000. BobVila.com suggests $11,533. Sweeten says to expect $16,000 to $31,000.

Kahana’s 123 Remodeling site suggests a range of $24,000 to $55,000 for a large bathroom remodel, and the higher end of that estimate includes high-quality finishing materials.

Kahana explains how he prepares a homeowner for an estimate. “We try to explain over the phone about what value we bring in.” He describes his company as “design-build,” “and we are not looking for the quickest and cheapest fix.” 

A bathroom remodel might be worth a splurge, because it’s not just about plumbing. Rolox Home Service in Kansas shares ten golden rules of bathroom design that go beyond fixtures and embrace things like simplicity and natural light.

Make it an oasis.

Consider that the National Association of Realtors estimates that bathroom renovations have a cost recovery of 71%, the percentage of the cost that could be added to your home if you sell.

Love the bathroom you’re with

But even people who aren’t looking to sell can benefit from a remodel. The 2023 U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study points out that the number one reason people decide to remodel their bathroom is that they can “no longer stand the style of the old bathroom.

That’s the case with Colleen Cavanaugh Anthony, a homeowner in the Los Angeles Highland Park neighborhood. She’s planning a remodel of her bathroom, which she describes as “terrible.”

There’s currently a sunken, square tub that used to be a jacuzzi, though it has never functioned as one in the 11 years she’s lived there. In fact, it’s not much use as a tub either.

She’ll fill in the tub and make it a walk-in shower. “And then we’ll do a rainforest shower head above … and full glass walls around it.” The two standalone sinks will stay where they are, but “we’ll build up double sinks [with] shelves underneath.” The current sinks “look like they were left over from something,” she says. “Like they were the cheapest sinks.”

These steps fall into what Kahana calls a “partial remodel.” The major elements of the bathroom stay where they are but get an upgrade, “just to replace the tiles, just the vanity, just the shower.” A “full remodel” involves gutting the room and changing the plumbing locations. It’s much pricier.

One estimate gives a partial remodel a range of $9,000 – $12,000, and a full between $13,000 and $55,000.

Keep in mind that “just the shower” can be a major investment. Kahana says it’s the most expensive element, “because then you need to do the tile, you need to take out plumbing.” 

Cost of specific bathroom remodel upgrades

A walk-in shower like Anthony’s can run from $8,500-$20,000, or 22% of your remodel cost. Here are some more estimates from Architectural Digest:

Tub-to-Shower Conversion $1,100-$7,000

Clawfoot/Freestanding Tub $700-$11,000

Low-Flow Toilets $125–$640

Smart Toilets $1,000–$2,000

Pedestal Sink $350–$1,000

Wall-Mount Sink $350–$1,500

Geography is always a factor in how expensive something is, but according to Sweeten Contracting, the cost of a mid-grade remodel of a full bathroom is surprisingly similar across the country:

There’s something oddly heartwarming about that.

A parade of bathrooms: sizes and types

Let’s take a moment to define the different types of bathrooms, and what they might cost to remodel.

Full bathroom

A full bathroom has the big four: a toilet, a sink, a shower, and a tub. It can function as a primary (or “master”) bathroom if ensuite with the primary bedroom. That designation carries with it some elevated décor, open space, and intangible comforts that can nudge the price up.

Architectural Digest’s 2024 report suggests an average remodeling cost of $30,000-$40,000 for a full bath and $60,000-$80,000 for a primary bath.

Three-quarter bathroom

A three-quarter bathroom has a toilet, a sink, and a shower. Architectural Digest estimates a remodeling cost of $21,000-$28,000.

Half bathroom

A half bathroom has a toilet and a sink (no shower, no bath). This is also referred to as a guest bathroom or a powder room. Architectural Digest estimates a remodeling cost of $12,000-$16,000.

Reduce your costs (sink less money into your sink!)

If you find all this eye-popping, the good news is that there are ways to save money. 

Erika over at “Olive and June” shares her efforts to renovate her half bathroom for under $2,000. (Spoiler: She almost pulls it off.) Her secrets include some DIY efforts, comparison shopping for tiles, rescuing a secondhand vanity, and saving her splurge budget for a wallpaper design that’s important to her.

You can find cheaper materials that are still beautiful and durable. A marble countertop is $75-$250 per square foot, granite is $45-$200, quartz is $55-$155. All those materials are even more affordable as tiles instead of slabs.

A prefabricated shower is much cheaper than a new, custom one.

But, like with any project, there can be pricey surprises. Anthony planned to remodel her Los Angeles bathroom a year ago, but the prep work revealed a bunch of other projects that had to be taken care of first. For example, the pipes that serviced the defunct jacuzzi had to be removed from behind the walls of a different room, so they decided to renovate that room first. 

Kahana knows there are possible surprises once work begins that could make a project last longer or cost more. “When you’re moving your wall, … you find out that there are some mechanicals in it that you didn’t expect.” But he does a thorough inspection for his clients before work starts to avoid that kind of surprise. “We prepare them for the maybe.”

Anthony passes along the lesson that “everything’s connected. So once you start doing one thing, you discover something that’s connected to something else … It’s an unraveling sweater. Because you’re like, ‘If we’re gonna do this, we might as well do this.’”

Like all home improvements, a big step towards managing money is to think ahead, stay flexible, and be prepared for “the maybe.”

How will you finance your bathroom remodel?

Colleen Cavanaugh Anthony is planning to pay for her bathroom remodel in cash, so she’s been saving up for this very project. But if you don’t have that kind of liquidity, you have options!

  • Credit card. If you can find one with a 0% introductory APR, and you can pay it off before that offer ends, this is a convenient way to pay in increments. (Be wary, though. Once that introductory rate ends, the interest rate can spring up drastically.)
  • Personal loan. Mike McGinley, VP of Lender Relationships at Acorn Finance, says personal loans “tend to cap out around $40,000,” which will cover most bathroom remodels easily. They’re also fast. You could get pre-qualified same-day and “get that money in their bank account within a day or two.” With stronger credit, interest rates are around 10-20%.
  • Home equity loan. If you own enough equity in your home (usually around 20%), you could qualify for this lump-sum loan, which results in a second mortgage. Note that, since your home is used as collateral, you could lose it if you are unable to keep up with payments.
  • Home equity line of credit (HELOC). This is similar to a home equity loan, with your home as collateral. But instead of a lump sum, you get access to funds from which you can borrow (and pay back) as much or as little as you need. That makes the funding more flexible.
  • Cash-out refinance. Instead of an additional mortgage, this results in a brand new mortgage. You negotiate a new loan for more than you owe on your home, and the difference becomes cash you can use for your remodel.

How Acorn Finance can help

You deserve a new bathroom. Acorn Finance can help you.

Whether you’re doing a full remodel with a state-of-the-art design or just getting rid of a weird, unwanted jacuzzi, it’s great to have a collection of lenders waiting to help you realize your dream bathroom.

 

Acorn can take in your financial needs and show you a network of high-quality lenders. These lenders compete to offer you funding options at competitive rates. When you find one that fits your needs, a simple application can get you pre-qualified in seconds.

Sources

acornfinance.com