The Current Cost of an Australian Bathroom Renovation

There are lots of reasons to renovate your bathroom in Australia. Perhaps you’ll want to raise the rental price on a property that you’re renting out to a tenant. Either that or you may want to boost the market value of your real estate property prior to selling it.

However, don’t begin your bathroom renovation project just yet. You should take it upon yourself to learn how much it will cost first.

According to a 2018 Housing Industry Association report on bathroom and kitchen renovations, it costs the average Australian approximately $17,522 to renovate their bathroom. The same association discovered that it costs $16,430 on average for a new home to have a new bathroom installed in it. You can see the prices are quite similar.

Of course, you can’t really take these estimates at face value. When it comes to bathroom renovations, there are so many variables which influence the cost. The HIA report doesn’t mention which specific renovations were made to the bathrooms to account for the $17,522 cost. So, when trying to determine the price of your bathroom renovation, you need to think about your circumstances and what exactly you want to be done to your bathroom.

Generally, small bathroom renovation costs at least $5,000. But if you’re renovating a huge bathroom, then you can expect to pay a minimum of $25,000. To save on money, you can renovate a few small features of your bathroom, such as the cupboard knobs, drawers, figures, or even the paint on the walls. These actions can increase your property value while keeping your expenses to a minimum.

Let’s dive deeper into the specific cost variables of bathroom renovation.

Bathroom Renovation Cost Variables

Sometimes a bathroom renovation costs between $8,000 and $10,000, while other times it costs between $20,000 and $25,000. Here is what could affect the price in either situation:

  • Structural work may be required.
  • Adding fittings, wall tiles, or floor tiles.
  • Adding new windows, skylights, or other features.
  • The existing bathroom size; small or large?
  • Hiring a plumber to relocate fixtures and pipes.
  • Is this a totally new bathroom installation?
  • Underfloor heating and other luxurious additions.
  • Electrical rewiring and other lighting modifications to your bathroom.

These renovations involve several different categories and require different kinds of professionals to do them. Here are three general renovation categories and their price estimates:

  • Budget renovations are anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000.
  • Standard renovations are anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000.
  • Premium renovations are $25,000 or more.

The Influence of Bathroom Fittings and Style on Australian Bathroom Renovation Costs

Bathroom renovation costs are influenced by the fittings that you choose for it and the overall style you’re going for. Let’s look at some examples:

  • It costs between $30 and $55 for every square meter of budget tiling in a bathroom. The price of premium tiles is $165 m2+.
  • The average bathroom tub is made of acrylic material and costs between $300 and $500. A mid-range bathtub is priced between $1,000 and $3,000. If you choose a premium bathtub, you can expect to pay between $3,000 and $8,000. Installation costs are extra.
  • The Home Design Directory claims that a basic toilet is $120, while a standard toilet is $400. If you go for the premium toilet, it is around $1,200.

There are a lot of varying costs when it comes to certain bathroom fittings like basins, shower screens, exhaust fans, taps, towel rails, lighting, and so on. That is why it is a good idea to conduct research so that you can budget accordingly.

Who do I hire for a bathroom renovation project?

Don’t expect to handle most bathroom renovation tasks on your own. You’ll need to hire the right person and professional tradespeople to do many of the jobs required.

Like anything else, the cost depends on how much work is needed and what kind of work is needed. Even your home address plays a role in the price. Hiring a handyman or tradesperson in a city will always cost more than hiring one in a rural country town. Their hourly rates are different, but so are their skillsets.

The first thing you must do is find a great handyman and tradesman for your renovation project. Aside from a general contractor or carpenter, you may need a tiler, electrician and plumber as well.

  • Are you installing or renovating pipes in the bathroom? Maybe you’re installing a shower, toilet or bathtub? In any of these cases, you’ll need a plumber to work on it.
  • Are you installing underfloor heating, heated towel rails, exhaust fans, or lighting? Any electrical work like this requires an electrician to perform it.
  • Do you want tiling added to the floors or walls? Do you need a waterproofing installation for your bathroom? A licenced tiler may be legally required in many jurisdictions for these kinds of renovation tasks.
  • Do you want to install new shelves, cabinetry, or drawers in your bathroom? A carpenter is the best person to hire for these tasks.
  • Any repainting of the walls, ceiling or doors will require a professional painter.

What is the cost to hire a tradesperson?

Every type of tradesperson sets their own hourly rate. Sometimes they’ll charge a fixed price for a particular type of job. In other cases, like with a tiler, they might charge for the number of tiles or square metres of tiling you need.

Finding the Best Person to Renovate a Bathroom

When trying to find the best tradespeople for your bathroom renovation project, start by asking your friends, family members, and colleagues. Perhaps they know of a good tradesperson whom they used for their own renovation projects before. A recommendation from someone you trust can save you a lot of time and energy from having to research different people. Most likely, their recommendation will be for a tradesperson who has a good work ethic and does high-quality work.

If you don’t get any recommendations from these people who are close to you, then try asking other tradespeople whom you’ve hired in the past if they can recommend someone. For instance, if you already know of a trustworthy plumber but you need an electrician instead, then ask the plumber if they can recommend a good electrician. The chances are that a tradesperson in one field will know of good tradespeople in other fields.

Lastly, search for tradespeople on the internet. Conduct a background check over the internet on any tradesperson whom you’re thinking about hiring. Look for customer reviews and testimonials about that tradesperson too.

Pick at least three different possible tradespeople for your renovation job. Get a price quote from each tradesperson and then go with the best price.

Bathroom Renovation on a Budget

Are you on a budget for your bathroom renovation project? If so, here are some ways to reduce costs.

For starters, you don’t necessarily need to change everything in the bathroom. Start by thinking about which bathroom features you can leave alone. In many cases, a bathroom will look better with just one or two new additions. You could give the walls a new coat of paint or install a new shower screen. But for certain bathrooms, they’ll need an all-inclusive renovation.

A couple of renovation jobs can be done yourself, such as installing new shelves or tapware. If you’re a decent painter, then you can do the painting job yourself too. As for retiling the floors, that might be too expensive for someone on a budget. It might be better for you to paint the tiles, resurface the tiles, or apply overlays on the current tiles.

Therefore, you can reduce costs by completing the easier tasks yourself. From there, you could decide to leave the current plumbing and electrical outlets where they are. Then you won’t need to hire a plumber or electrician.

Investing in a Bathroom Renovation Prior to Selling a Home

Do you want to sell your home? If so, you may want to increase the value of your home by renovating the bathroom first. But how much should you spend on the renovation?

First, consider the current value of your home. Research the other homes for sale in your area and the features they have in their bathrooms. If you own a mid-range home, then it is not necessary to install luxurious fittings and tiles in your bathroom. The buyer of an average home just wants a bathroom with functional fixtures and plumbing. They also want the bathroom to be clean and organized. If your fixtures and plumbing are already functional, then your renovation costs will likely be on the low side.

Let’s examine some bathroom renovation price ranges and the work you can get for them.

Under $1,000 Bathroom Renovations

  • Resurface wall tiles, repaint the walls a new colour, or install new PVC panels.
  • Replace one or two fixtures, such as your tapware, vanity, bathtub, or shower.
  • Replace your lighting and mirrors.
  • Install a window to let natural sunlight through.

Under $5,000 Bathroom Renovations

  • Grout and clean tiles.
  • Resurface bathtub
  • Paint walls
  • Replace vanity handles / Paint vanity
  • Upgrade light fittings
  • Upgrade shower enclosure
  • Replace shower head

These renovations are quite affordable and can greatly increase the value of your home beyond what you invested into them.

Investing in a Bathroom Renovation Prior to Selling an Upmarket Home

You may own an older home in an upscale residential suburb. Due to the age of the home, it’ll likely require a lot of renovation work in the bathroom. As an upmarket home, the expectations regarding the quality and style of the bathroom are a lot greater amongst buyers. Therefore, good quality fittings are what you should focus on for the bathroom.

Ask your realtor for guidance on this decision. They are familiar with what buyers are looking for in the bathrooms of local homes. Listen to their tips and consider following them in order to improve your bathroom properly and increase your home’s value.

Renovation Tips

Do you want easy-to-maintain flooring? If so, then consider choosing porcelain tiling or glazed tiling. Don’t choose limestone, natural stone, or some other porous tile material. You need well-sealed flooring or else the pores will absorb sunlight and moisture.

Do you want non-slip flooring? You might want this if you’re worried about children or senior citizens falling down in the bathroom. In any case, you’ll want tiles with matte finishes, textured surfaces, and sandy glazes. These ripples in the flooring will help your feet grip the tiles.


Moisture is a big problem in bathrooms. You need to have consistent airflow and ventilation to avoid things like mildew, stains, and mould. A properly working vent fan is a must.

Final Words

When budgeting for your bathroom renovation project, you’ll want twice the amount you pay to be added to the value of your home. For instance, if you’re spending $5,000 on your bathroom renovation project, then it better add $10,000 to the value of your home after you’re done. Ask a real estate professional to help you come up with accurate calculations for your renovation project.

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