Should I Remodel My Bathroom?
Deciding whether to remodel a bathroom can be challenging. Statistics show that the average American remodels a bathroom less than three times over the course of their life. That means experiences are going to vary widely as will the results. If you are anything like most people we meet, this probably describes you when considering a bathroom remodel:
You are excited by the idea of getting to start from zero and make the space exactly what would suit your lifestyle perfectly.
You are scared by the horror stories of bathroom remodels gone wrong you've found on Google and heard from friends/neighbors.
You are inspired by the pinterest boards of interior designers, remodelers, and design junkies from all over the world.
And finally, you are curious about what the cost, timeline, and specifics of a bathroom remodel entail.
Fear not! You will know the answers those exact questions if you just keep reading! Our hope is to leave you with some useful information gathered from the front lines of completing 20+ bathroom remodels per year for the last 5 years. If you cannot answer the question: "Should I remodel my bathroom?" by the end of this page, please send us an email and we will happily answer any additional questions you have. In fact, please reach out to us with any additional questions as we are always looking to build better FAQs to help educate people on what is involved in remodeling.
What Types Of Materials Are Used In A Bathroom Remodel?
If you called 5 different contractors and asked them what material they use behind tile in a shower you could get 1-5 different answers. Interestingly, they could all be right! There are a multitude of different ways to ensure a bathroom is waterproofed where required, properly ventilated, and prepared to last its 15-20 year expected life. Here are a few of the most common ways to put together a bathroom using materials that are available anywhere in the country for a reasonable price:
In Florida, most homes have at least 2 first floor bathrooms, especially in homes built after 1970. In this type of bathroom, the drains are below the slab. That means that in order to move drains, you have to remove any and all concrete in the path of the pipe. This is labor intensive and causes a huge mess. If a contractor chuckles after you say "just move the toilet over a few feet" forgive them, most people have never cut and removed concrete and do not appreciate how labor intensive it is. Usually, supply lines are also run under the slab up into the walls. Typically, drain lines are PVC and supply lines are copper. Although, in older houses cast iron pipes are common and should be replaced when found. Cast iron pipes rust and decay over time and can cause serious water damage. If your house is old enough to have cast iron pipes, they are old enough to be a danger to the contents of your home.
A shower in this type of bathroom will usually have a curb. This means that it is raised off the slab and there has to be a membrane installed to contain the water in the shower area. This is commonly referred to as a shower pan. In Florida, installing a shower pan requires a licensed plumber. If your shower is recessed down into the floor, you do not require a shower pan. However, you should still be using some type of a waterproofing agent to seal the sloped concrete floor before installing tile. This will prevent any under-slab leaks.
Typically, the shower valve for this type of shower will be a brass valve. Plumbers in Florida typically will use CPVC with a "shark bite" compression fitting to attach the copper pipe to the new CPVC. Another type of pipe that is less common that CPVC but gaining popularity is called "Uponor" which is a flexible pipe system that can be bend and requires fewer fittings and elbows. If you see red and blue pipes in your walls, this is Uponor.
Typical Bathroom Remodeling Costs
Bathroom costs can vary WILDLY. However, we want to give you an idea of what you are in for in the event you choose to remodel your bathroom. Please keep in mind these prices are based on doing business in the Tampa Bay Area.
How Much Does A 5' x 8' Bathroom Remodel Cost?
A basic 5' x 8' hall bathroom with 8' ceilings costs, between $8,000.00 and $10,000.00 for a simple replacement of wall tile, tub and vanity. Things that can increase the price of this type of bathroom include replacing doors, windows, removing soffits (those weird boxes sticking out of the wall above your sink), adding can lights, converting a tub to a shower or adding specialty plumbing fixtures. We have a customer who spent over $18,000.00 remodeling a bathroom of this size. However, the scope included replacing a few doors, removing & replacing a large portion of the ceiling, adding lights, converting a tub to a shower, and a few other unique finishes.
How Much Does A Master Bathroom Remodel Cost?
A master bathroom is more challenging to give an accurate price for , however, typical costs range from $20,000.00 to $35,000.00. This cost can accelerate very quickly if the finishes chosen are high end. The biggest cost additives are:
Full wood or stained cabinets.
Custom mitered edge counter tops.
Large linen towers finished with cabinet crown molding.
Unique Plumbing Fixtures
Pedestal or claw foot tubs
Multiple shower heads or full-body showers
Bidets, heated toilets, etc.
Frame-less glass shower surrounds
Glass around water closet
Glass enclosure for tub