How Much Does it Cost to Do a Small Bathroom Remodel?

Are you interested in remodeling your small bathroom? If so, you'll be faced with a wide range of choices -- and a wide range of prices to match. You can typically expect to pay from $12,000 to $22,000 for a small bathroom remodel, depending on the extent of the upgrades and the quality of materials you want to use.

Why Remodel a Small Bathroom?

The cost to remodel a small bathroom has become a hot topic in home improvement as folks seek to make the most of every inch of their abode. This may be the result of:

  1. Downsizing to a smaller house … or a townhome or condo
  2. Accommodating additional family members, usually grown children or aging parents
  3. Wanting to improve the home's appearance and functionality to increase curb appeal
  4. Simply trying to use available square footage in the most effective way

Once you're clear about your reasons for remodeling, decide exactly which bathroom upgrades you want (or need!) to make.

How to Make a Small Bathroom Feel Bigger

Problematic Bathroom Feature

Problem-Solving Upgrade


Install wall-mounted or scaled-down fixtures


Replace with shorter tub or with shower stall


Enlarge window or install mirrors to maximize available light


Build shelves upward and take advantage of unused areas -- like over the door


Match window treatments and tile size to the bathroom dimensions


Paint the walls and ceiling a soft, bright hue like pale peach. Add some vertical planters


Update hardware. Buy attractive accessories, such as colorful towels or shower curtain

Cost Breakdown

  • Materials -- A small bathroom remodel may involve replacement of the existing plumbing fixtures (toilet, tub, shower, basin, etc.), tub/shower surround, countertop, floor, and/or cabinetry.
  • Supplies -- Supplies include necessities such as accessories, adhesives, fittings, finishes, and sealers.
  • Labor -- Whether your bathroom is large or small, all plumbing, electrical, and construction remodeling work must be done by licensed professionals to code. Labor costs may increase if problems such as corroded plumbing lines or mold must be solved.
  • Cleanup -- Bathroom remodeling may start with substantial demolition. Before your contractor begins work, confirm the charge to clean up and dispose of old plumbing fixtures, countertops, cabinets, and other construction debris.
  • Building Permit -- Depending on the extent of the work, your remodeling contractor may need to pull a building permit and pay the required fee.
  • Estimate -- The initial estimate, which may include an onsite inspection, is often free.

Get the Most for Your Money

Save money by keeping the bathroom footprint as is. Changing the location of plumbing fixtures is a complicated (read: pricy) job.

Don't overspend on your small bathroom remodel. You're most likely to see a good return on your investment when you remodel a master bathroom and when you keep the cost of any remodel in proportion to the total value of your home.

If you have more energy than cash, do some of the simple work yourself -- for example, painting the bathroom or hunting down bargain wall tile or a granite remnant for your countertop.