Bathroom Budget Breakdown

Over the course of our bathroom renovation, I’ve kept really close tabs on all of our receipts. I’m a super detailed person, so I wanted to know exactly what this bathroom cost us, down to the cent. Whenever we bought something for the bathroom, I logged the item and amount in a spreadsheet alongside my projections for what those items would cost. My projected cost for the bathroom was $5,000.

Let me just say that we certainly weren’t going for an “economy” scale bathroom remodel. I wouldn’t necessarily call it luxury, either, but we certainly didn’t buy the cheapest materials we could find. Before we even started the remodel, we made the decision that we wanted to do everything in the room wholeheartedly and not skimp out with the finishing touches. We’re so glad we did, because they really make the room! What would be the point of redoing a room only to fill it with cheap or simply “adequate” things?

We wanted it to be obvious that it was a complete remodel, not just a builder basic bathroom plus a few upgrades. But we wanted to get that look for a price we could afford.  The average complete remodel for a bathroom this size is around $10 to $15k (with someone else doing the work, of course.) Those were scary numbers, nonetheless. 

 Obviously, I allowed for some surprises in my budget, and while none of the allowances I included in the budget were needed (like new subflooring or hiring a plumber), we did have a few other hiccups and unexpected expenses. For example, spending nearly $60 on plumbing just to move our toilet 3 inches

I know that may sound crazy, but come sit on my new toilet and you won’t hit your elbow on the wall. Oh, the things you never knew you should appreciate. I severely underestimated plumbing. I projected $100 and we spent almost 3 times that. Silly me. It IS a bathroom…it’s all plumbing! We also spent $62.06 just for 2x4s and plywood to create a new wall behind our tub so the drain would line up. Another sad surprise was having to buy two sinks.

Stuff added up quickly, but we were able to save on some things, too. Obviously we saved a lot by doing almost all the work ourselves. I can’t imagine how much we would have paid someone to do all the plumbing. We also came in under budget on our vanity. We were very set on a solid wood vanity, but they were all pretty pricey and for some reason the top drawers on all of them were fake (not even under the sink, just fake because it was cheaper that way, maybe?). Our last shot was a store called Surplus Warehouse. We knew they carried designer vanities, but most that we’d seen there were too traditional and ornate. But this one was perfect! And only $400!

Another item we were nervous about was a light fixture. I knew what I liked and what style I wanted (see my mood board), but I feared it might be out of my price range. Miraculously, that week there was a Living Social deal, $50 for $125 to spend at Lighting Emporium. We bought it right away, and when we got there found the perfect fixture on clearance, but it had shades that were ugly as, well, you know. So we bought 4 new ones and still managed to come in under budget.

So, where did we end up? I am proud to say we were more than $800 under budget! Here’s the breakdown:

  • Demo: $1.09 (For a plastic turkey baster to get water out of the toilet. Yes, seriously.)
  • Plumbing: $294.37 (copper pipes, soldering equipment, PVC pipe, valves, hoses, etc.)
  • Toilet: $272.03 (we’ve heard from a few sources not to waste money on cheap toilets. And we love the look of Kohler!)
  • Bathtub: $262, Mortar bed under tub: $9.30, Materials to move wall forward so drain lined up: $62.06
  • Subway tile for shower surround: $160.48, Mosaic tile for accent row: $45.17, Misc. materials/tools: $150.47 (cement board & screws, moisture barrier, thinset, grout, grout sealer, caulk, etc.)
  • Shower doors: $420.53 ($370.36 for original kit + $48.03 for two new wall jambs + $2.14 for longer screws)
  • Shower fixtures: $161.69
  • Floor tile & grout: $175.11, Misc. materials: $66.71 (Hardibacker, screws, & thinset)
  • Tile installation: $400
  • Other miscellaneous materials/tools: $15.32 (light switch, replacement trim, mesh tape for drywalling, metal corner bead)
  • Paint: $34.21 (for a sample and gallon after a $5 off coupon, already had primer and tools)
  • Vanity: $400, Sinks: $174.94 (first sink was too big), Granite counter top: $492, Faucet: $111.25, Knobs for vanity: $27.87, Denatured alcohol and granite sealer: $25.41
  • Light fixture: $85.97
  • Mirror: $28.24 ($25 at Goodwill + $3.24 for hanging wire)
  • Towels: $100.42 (4 bath towels and 4 hand towels)
  • Towel rod, tp holder, and toilet lever: $79.71, Outlet/switch plate covers: $16.96, Trash can: $11.35, Paint chip art: $13.43 ($8 for the frame + $5.43 for spray paint)
  • Other miscellaneous accessories: $97.23

GRAND TOTAL: $4,195.32

About $300 of that was spent on things that we can continue to use like tools, mesh tape for drywalling, soldering equipment, etc.

All in all, we’re really proud of the finished result and where our budget ended up! We feel like we got a lot for our money between the solid wood vanity, the frameless shower doors, tile surround, porcelain-glazed floor tiles, a Kohler tub, sink, and toilet, granite countertops, etc. The one thing we’d do differently is to do the tiling ourselves. Now that we have our first major renovation under our belt, we feel much more confident that we could do it.

We certainly could have done the project a bit cheaper. For example, we spent over $400 on the shower doors. We could have just gone with a shower curtain. But we’re so glad we didn’t! The room feels so much bigger without a shower curtain! We also spent $100 on towels. But we know the finishing touches were just as important as the permanent fixtures in creating the feel of the room.  Besides, who wants to offer their guests thin, rough towels? (Our towels are amazing, so come visit!)

We are so excited that we’re this much under budget, and we’re loving our new bathroom! I’m especially loving how much my planning has paid off. We knew exactly what we were ok with spending, we spent less, and we got exactly the result we were hoping for!!

I think this was possibly more work than anything I’ve ever done in my life, but seeing the finished product makes us so proud! It’s a really good feeling knowing that you took something dirty and ugly and gave it new life (all the while adding value to your home)! It almost makes me ready to take on another big project tomorrow! Just maybe not another bathroom for at least a year…


3 Responses to Bathroom Budget Breakdown

  1. Lila August 30, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    It’s a good thing your parents taught you to be frugal, Haha! Good job, you two.

    • Simple House Expressions August 30, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

      Haha, you’re funny. Thanks!


  2. Ashleigh Dean August 31, 2012 at 12:25 am #

    CONGRATS!!! Wow, you guys, the bathroom looks so great. I love the details about budget. I mean, I’m not redoing a bathroom any time soon, but who knows what is in my future, right? 🙂

    I bet you guys are just stoked to see the final product – I know I am!