Bathroom refurbishments are crucial as the average person will spend 860 days in the bathroom, using the toilet, showering, brushing their teeth or bathing. It’s the only room in the house that can let you unwind and relax and, when designed right, becomes an oasis of peace.
But, all bathrooms should also be functional spaces, usually catering for multiple people with different needs and desires. Renovating a bathroom can be challenging, so we have broken down both the costs and installation process.
New bathroom costs will differ depending on the square footage of space that needs renovation and how luxurious you want to go. Most often than not, a bathroom refurbishment will be only part of a wider home renovation.
This article will delve into all things bathroom renovation costs, how to renovate a bathroom on a budget, the installation process and bathroom design ideas.
Looking for something specific? Check out our interactive menu for easy navigation:
- How Much Does A Bathroom Refurbishment Cost?
- How To Save Money On A Bathroom Renovation
- What Is The Bathroom Remodel Process?
- Our Bathroom Refurbishment Design Ideas
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How Much Does A Complete Bathroom Refurbishment Cost?
According to VictoriaPlum, the average cost of installing a complete bathroom is £6,500, but the price of a new bathroom will differ based on the space size and scale of the renovation.
A new bathroom suite could cost you as little as £250, but this won’t consider installation costs, tiling, lighting, heating or bathroom furniture, or removing the old bathroom suite.
If you want to renovate a larger space or more luxury items, the costs could skyrocket to £7,000+.
How To Work Out Your Bathroom Refurbishment Budget?
When formalising a budget for your bathroom refurbishment, you must factor in if you need to take the room back to brick or get away with adding new tiles and a fresh lick of paint. Some other costs you will need to think about are:
- The size of your bathroom and the amount of renovation required.
- The quality of finish and spec of materials you choose.
- How much work you are willing to do yourself.
- The amount of plumbing you already have.
- Whether or not you need a new boiler.
The average UK bathroom is 4.8 square metres, so you should create a budget that effectively caters for £1,354.17 per square metre.
What Are The Installation Costs?
It’s important to factor in any labour costs and the price of products, as this will allow you to plan the bathroom refurbishment and tradespeople more efficiently. Below is a table of the average installation costs and installation times per bathroom unit.
|1 – 2 hours
|2 – 3 hours
|Standard Bath & Panels
|3 – 5 hours
|£100+ per M2
|1 – 5 days
|£40+ per M2
|Depends on coverage
|5 hours – 2 days
|2 – 4 hours
|Shower Tray & Enclosure
|3 – 5 hours
|2 – 8 hours
|Wet Room Kit
|3 – 5 days
|£70+ per cabinet
|1 – 3 hours
|2 – 4 hours
|£150 – £200
|1 – 3 hours
|£70+ per M2
|6 hours – 3 days
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How To Save Money On A New Bathroom Renovation?
One of the easiest ways to save money on a bathroom refurbishment is to keep the plumbing and electrical fixtures in their current place and tackle the room’s aesthetics. But, in most cases, most bathrooms will need a complete overhaul.
Here are some ways to save yourself money while carrying out a bathroom renovation:
1. Use Affordable Alternatives
As with any other aspect of interior design in a property, there are always more affordable alternatives that can produce the same results as luxury items.
We suggest going to antique shows, car boot sales or second-hand shops and looking around for alternative light or mixer fittings options.
If you are only tiling the walls in your bathroom refurbishment, you could opt for easy-to-install bathroom flooring, which could be engineered wood, peel-and-stick tiles or laminate flooring.
For your bathroom walls, paint is often used as a cheap alternative to tile, but you could also go for fibreglass or acrylic panels.
2. Reorganise Your Storage
One of the most significant issues many homeowners face is needing more space in their bathrooms due to clutter; the easiest thing to do is to focus on creating storage solutions.
You could use baskets to store items, hang towels on your bathroom door, install a towel rail, install shelves and use drawer dividers.
Alternatively, you could upgrade any existing bathroom furniture, like a vanity unit, with a new countertop, repair the wood, replace the hardware and create a custom vanity unit which can house all of your bathroom bits and bobs.
3. Focus On The Details
The best way to create a high-end finish for a fraction of the cost is to use matching fixtures, mixers and towel rails in a bathroom. This will create a seamless aesthetic across the room; an example could be using all brass fixtures.
4. Install The Bathroom Yourself
If you are on a tight budget, you could save up to 60% of the cost of a bathroom refurbishment by fitting the bathroom yourself; there are plenty of online tutorials on how to do this.
It’s important to note that you should seek external professional help regarding electricity or gas, especially if you are putting in an electric shower.
Most bathrooms will usually need a builder, a tiler, an electrician and a plumber to renovate them entirely, so if you can DIY the renovation, you will save substantial money.
What Is The Bathroom Remodel Process?
If you are hiring bathroom trade specialists, they will know this process inside and out, but it’s essential that you also know what’s going on to ensure the process stays as streamlined as possible and learn how to deal with any issues if they arise.
To help keep your bathroom refurbishment on schedule and under budget, we recommend creating a Schedule of Works, as this will help lay out all the necessary jobs that need to take place. Here is our quick bathroom remodel process:
1. Find Bathroom Trade Specialists
The first thing you need to do when looking to renovate your bathroom is to receive quotes from local trade specialists and bathroom fitters. If you are outsourcing the rebuild and not doing it yourself, you will need a builder, a tiler, an electrician and a plumber.
We recommend asking your neighbours, friends and family for local recommendations, as these will be tried and tested contractors. You should only use people that do not approach you out of the blue, especially if they are independent and do not have any online reviews.
2. Draw A Plan Of Your Full Bathroom
To help you see what changes you need to make, from bathroom furniture to electrical wiring and plumbing, we recommend creating a plan for your old and new bathrooms.
The bathroom refurbishment plan should show the positions of the new sanitaryware and furniture you want, the changes you need to make to the plumbing, what the plumbing is like now and what changes you will need to make to the electrical wiring
This will help you create a Schedule of Work, which will be provided to your contractors and ensure the process remains as smooth as possible.
3. Dismantle Your Old Bathroom
When dismantling your old bathroom, you should remove the electrical appliances first, then remove any furniture and any items connected to the plumbing.
Dismantling Electrical Appliances
Most bathroom electrical appliances are radiators or towel warmers predominantly used for heating or light fittings. You should turn off the power from the main switch before working in the bathroom.
If you remove any electrical appliances, you should fit a quick connector or terminal block to each exposed wire to maintain safety.
Dismantling Furniture & Sanitary Ware
Once the electrical appliances are out, you can move your focus to any furniture (cabinets, shelves, mirrors) and sanitary ware (toilets, shower enclosures, baths, basins).
You should ensure that the water supply is off at the mains and that any supply points to each unit are switched off before you start work. You do not have to move the drains or pipes at the moment.
Be careful when you move the bath; remove the surround and the taps before removing the tub itself. It’s a good idea to leave the shower mixer until last so you can use it for as long as possible.
You must remove the shower panels first, then the seals and detach the enclosure from the wall. Remove the shower drain fitting, move the exposure away from the wall just enough to access the water supply pipes, and disconnect them.
Remove the shower enclosure, the mixer and taps, and then the drain fitting. As well as any silicone seals around the tray, which will allow you to detach and remove the train itself and the drain pipe.
4. Remove The Floor Tiles
Once all the furniture and sanitary ware have been removed from the bathroom, you can remove the old floor and wall tiles.
When you remove the skirting boards, then find a tile that sounds loose and break it with a chisel; remove the remaining tiles, any remaining grout and any rubble. Do the same with the wall tiles, as the process is similar.
5. Modify The Plumbing
If you are changing your bathroom layout significantly, you may need to modify the plumbing, which could include moving or eliminating drainage points, water supply points or making new drainage channels.
If you are doing this yourself, take extra precautions while dealing with pipe diameters, as supplies and drains have different requirements, so you can’t reuse the old pipes if you replace a toilet with a washbasin.
When dealing with water supplies, drains and channels, you should ensure it is turned off at the mains.
Remove the supply pipes you don’t need using a multi-purpose tool.
You can always refer to your bathroom plans and install whatever new supply pipes you need.
You should follow standard pipe-laying practices using vertical piping where the cold pipe goes on the right, and the hot goes to the left.
In horizontal piping, the cold pipe goes underneath, and the hot goes on top.
Waste Water Drains
It would help if you worked out exactly where to install new drains using your plans and if you used a PVC pipe cutter to get rid of old drain pipes and assemble the new PVC pipes and fittings for your new drainage system.
Remove the supply pipes you don’t need any more using a multi-purpose tool, referring to your plans and install whatever new supply pipes you need. Again, you should follow the standard pipe-laying practice.
6. Modify The Electrical Wiring
If you are extensively changing the layout of your bathroom, then consider modifying the electrical wiring. A professional electrician should do this.
When renovating your bathroom, you should always check the condition of the wiring and sockets you intend to leave in place. Old and new sections of the electrical system must fit within the relevant standards.
Once your electrician is satisfied with the old wiring, you can adapt the circuit and move the cables as needed to create new sockets, switches and fittings.
- Zone 0 (IP67) – Any electrical wiring within the bath or shower.
- Zone 1 (IP65) – Any electrical wiring above the bath or shower to a height 2.25 metres from the floor. The minimum rating is IP44, but IP65 is recommended.
- Zone 2 (IP44) – Any electrical wiring within 0.6 metres of the bath’s perimeter and to a height of 2.25 metres from the floor.
- Other Zones (IP20) – Bathroom lights must have an IP rating of at least IP20.
Bathroom Electrical Standards
All bathroom electrical wiring should be installed carefully and conform to special regulations — all electrical appliances must have the proper protection (IP) rating for the zone plan to install them. The Zones are as follows:
If you are modifying any existing electrical wiring, you will need to check that the system has a circuit breaker, earth connection or bare wires and act accordingly.
7. Renovate Your Walls
To prevent damage to your newly laid floor coverings, renovating the bathroom walls before you do the floor is best.
The materials you choose for your bathroom walls should withstand high humidity, water splashes and knocks, so not all wall coverings are suitable for a bathroom — we recommend waterproof paint and wall tiles.
If you are tiling your bathroom, you must use adhesive to cover up uneven surfaces and use suitable tools like a tile cutter, adhesive spreader, grinder, adhesive and grout.
If you are painting, you will need a perfect, unblemished surface, and to make sure you get a long-lasting finish, you can get paint formulated to withstand humidity for bathrooms.
8. Lay Your Floor Covering
You will need to lay the floor before adding any bathroom furniture, but you will need to install drains for walk-in showers and low-profile trays before applying the foundation.
All floor coverings should be laid onto a solid and flat surface, and you may need to apply a levelling compound depending on whether it is ceramic tile or vinyl. Once you have prepared your floor, you can lay the covering.
9. Install The Sanitaryware
Only when the floor is laid and dry can you install the various items that need to be connected with the water supplies and drains, including shower kits and columns, floor-mounted and wall-hung toilets, baths, vanity units, towel warmers and light fittings.
Shower Kits And Columns
You can choose from various shower kits configurations, like taps, fixed shower heads, hand-held showers and riser rails. The column is the most complete option and can include a hydromassage function with water jets.
Most modern showers will be paired with a shower panel or sliding door or none at all; it will all depend on the layout of your bathroom and how much room you have available.
If you are tight on space, a sliding door or shower panel, as anything that opens on a pivot will remove space.
Floor-mounted and Wall-hung Toilets
There are two main types of toilets; floor-mounted and wall-hung. Wall-hung toilets provide a clean aesthetic and make small bathrooms seem more significant, but they are harder to install because they need a support frame.
You can get baths in many different shapes and sizes, from rectangular, to corners, to freestanding to whirlpool baths.
Once you’ve connected the sanitary ware, you can turn on the water supply, check for leaks, and check that the drains work properly.
Depending on the size of your bathroom, you could install a single-basin or double-basin vanity unit. The basins can be countertop or built-in and wall-hung or floor-standing to match the toilet.
Towel Warmers & Radiators
Towel warmers hold and dry your towels and help heat your bathroom. Heated towel rails can either be compact or fit the entire height of the wall in your bathroom, and you can get them in almost every finish possible to match any mixers you may have.
You can brighten your bathrooms with wall lamps, ceiling lights, and recessed spotlights.
If you want to fit new lights in your bathroom, ensure that you have a good idea of how the natural light fills the room, as you may not need to go over the top if there is plenty of natural light.
You will always need to choose lighting with a protection rating of IP20 compatible with the bathroom zone in which you plan to fit the light. You will need to use your electrician to provide any light fittings.
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Our Bathroom Refurbishment Design Ideas:
Baths, Showers, Basins, Taps, Toilets & Tiles
Designing your new bathroom refurbishment will be at the forefront of your mind when it comes to your bathroom installation.
How much you spend on the design will solely come down to your budget, the amount of work needed for the refurbishment and the reasonable sanitaryware costs.
You should consider the building the bathroom is in and if the room has any periodic features. Turning these features into focal points allows you to create a beautiful statement piece within your bathroom.
Many bathroom renovations can be split into three styles, traditional, contemporary, and modern, although some can incorporate the two.
If you want bathroom inspiration, please look to the bottom of the page where we have included our Bathroom Refurbishment Pinterest board.
What Is The Difference Between A Traditional And Contemporary Styled Bathroom?
A traditional bathroom style typically uses units inspired or reclaimed before the late 1960s. They feature ceramicware, freestanding roll-top baths and copper or brass mixers.
A Contemporary or modern bathroom style typically involves bathroom units inspired or reclaimed after 1970 and is very much tied to the broader Contemporary art movement.
But, the definition of a modern bathroom will vary depending on the functionality of the space and the desires of the people that use it.
How Do You Refurb A Traditional Bathroom?
If you live in a periodical, farmhouse or mid-century building, opting for a traditional bathroom can complement the original features.
If the bathroom has original windows or stained glass, then go for a light and natural colour scheme to match the colour of the light from the glass.
Alternatively, if your home is rustic enough to have exposed beams, you could use a neutral scheme to make the rays the focal point of the space.
If you don’t live in a period home, you can still create a traditional bathroom aesthetic if it suits you; you may need to spend slightly longer getting the finish right within the room.
A traditional bathroom could include a roll top or freestanding bath, a bidet or tall standing toilet, bold brassware fixtures, large patterned tiles, conventional vanity units, and more.
1. Use Freestanding Baths
Freestanding baths can be used as focal points within a bathroom, especially when placed by a window or panelled backdrop.
They can come in many different shapes, sizes, materials and colours. Copper baths can often stand out from the crowd, especially when paired with matching brassware.
Freestanding baths are used as timeless pieces to create visual impact within a bathroom refurbishment. If you have a large bathroom then you may be able to opt for a much larger freestanding bath, to create a stunning focal point.
2. Bold Brassware
Bold brassware can be used in contemporary bathrooms, but it can boast a stunning classical aesthetic when featured in a traditional bathroom.
The brassware can be matched across the entire bathroom, from basin mixer to bath mixer taps, shower mixer taps and even towel rails for a seamless, effortless feel.
3. Match A High-Level Toilet With A Bidet
Nothing says traditional bathroom more than a bidet paired with a high-level toilet.
The two bathroom units work harmoniously to create a feeling of luxury and sophistication and add a certain level of charisma to any room.
High-level toilets are often found in Edwardian or period bathrooms and feature a long-flush pipe connecting the WC to the cistern, which is mounted high on the wall.
4. Utilise Space With Traditional Vanity Units
Suppose you’re looking for a beautiful bathroom feature that also acts as additional storage, then using a traditional vanity unit with a basin is a great idea! You can use brassware in the basins to standard units to match the existing brassware across the bathroom.
5. Use Tiles, Panels, Paint or Wallpaper
Using large tiles in a bathroom refurbishment can help create a sense of effortless space, while patterned tiles can act as a focal point. We recommend experimenting with large wall tiles to elevate a bathroom to the era you want to match.
If you would instead go for bold wallpaper, you should ensure that it is made for bathrooms and can withstand the humidity. Plenty of bold botanical designs are available, which can create a focal point if placed in front of a bath.
Alternatively, you could use vertical wall panels to extend the feeling of height within the bathroom. However, if you have a small bathroom you could opt for the vertical wall panels to go only halfway up the wall to create a horizon effect.
6. Use A Select Colour Scheme
All traditional bathrooms are different, and other colour schemes will inspire all conventional bathrooms. You could opt for subtle hues, dark schemes, neutral colours, all-grey, tile, or wallpaper-inspired bathrooms, but the list is endless.
Deciding on a tile or wallpaper and then choosing the room’s colour scheme from the colours within the tile or wallpaper. This way, you can create a cohesive space that feels spacious and bright.
Check out our Pinterest board for more modern & contemporary bathroom refurbishment inspiration:
How Do You Make A Contemporary Bathroom Refurbishment?
Any bathroom refurbishment can be contemporary, and it’s straightforward to do. Most bathrooms are created to be stylish, as they provide sleek, clean and seamless aesthetics, which are perfect for the modern family.
However, they can differ significantly, and how extra you go will depend on your desires. The contemporary art era could be anything from the past 50 years and inspired by almost every sub-art movement which came from within.
Below are some of our recommendations for creating a contemporary bathroom using bathroom products of the last 50 years.
1. Use Of Colour
As more and more people work from home, it’s becoming apparent that creating a space of escape is vital for a contemporary bathroom. This is why neutral and soothing colours can be great for the mind and soul.
It can be easy to implement soothing colours and schemes to a bathroom refurbishment and you can always change this at a later date if you want to stay up with trending designs.
Soothing Green has taken the internet by storm over the past few years, with many using it in the bathroom to create a space of relaxation. The colour is easily paired with white sanitary ware and is very easy on the eyes.
Using happy colours (terracotta and pastels) is another way to bring a sense of calmness to your bathroom.
Using jungle colours and wallpapers could be another way to create a home paradise; this colour scheme could be paired with animal feature statues or mixers and artwork.
To contrast this, however, you could opt for a black bathroom that some may find relaxing. Nothing says relaxation more than sinking into a black feature bath.
2. Use Of Materials & Functionality
With the world changing its perception of sustainability, many are moving to create functional and imaginative spaces while only using sustainable materials.
This could include using cork or hemp on their bathroom vanity units, floorboards or doors and ensuring the room is well stocked with plants.
Plants can help bring freshness to a bathroom as they clean the air and create a much more balanced space.
3. Bold Bath Statements
With a contemporary bathroom renovation, you can create a focal point for your bath; you could opt for a freestanding bath, corner bath, whirlpool bath or walk-in shower.
These can completely transform a bathroom, especially when paired with brassware and the chosen colour scheme.
4. Clean Walls, Tiles, and Floors
For a contemporary wall, you could opt for a mix of marble slabs, subway or jazzy tiles to create a uniform and unique bathroom features.
If you are going with a paired-back, minimalistic look within your bathroom refurb, you could turn the floor into a focal point using a textured tile or patterned print.
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