Small Bathroom Remodeling
Bathrooms tend to be the smallest rooms in most houses. They can also be expensive to remodel. I remember reading recently that the average cost to remodel a bathroom is between $11,000 and $15,000. If that room is only 35 square feet, that comes out to about $350 a square foot. Why so much, you might ask? The answer lies in the amount of stuff that is squeezed into such a small space. It’s not too difficult to spend $800 on a tub, another $600-$800 on a vanity and sink combo. Throw in some fancy lights, faucets, etc. and you can see where this might end up.
If you are paying a plumber, an electrician and a top-notch tile setter, your labor cost can soar quickly as well. Having the time and skills to tackle a project like this yourself can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Here are some tips to keep your small bathroom remodeling project in check.
Smaller Baths = Less Materials
A basic 3-wall tub enclosure (3’x 5’) will use just under 80 sq ft. of tile. Compare this to an average two-wall shower enclosure at just under 50 sq ft. and you already have close to a 40% savings in the tile itself. If this is being installed for you, your labor cost for that install should also go down by an equal proportion. A similar relationship applies to the flooring as well.
You'll pay less to tile a shower than you will a bathtub.
If your small bathroom remodeling project uses basic porcelain or ceramic tile that you found at nice price, compared to high-end granite or marble, you can also save considerably. I have installed some very attractive porcelain tile that cost less than $5 a foot; I have also installed exotic, imported granite and marble that was close to $30 a foot. Does it really matter? To some yes, to you… maybe? Keep this in mind when you are shopping for tile.
Behold the Pedestal Sink
One way a small bathroom remodeling project can go a little easier on the pocketbook and provide enhanced appeal is with the use of a pedestal sink. If your plumbing supply and waste lines are clustered, you can often install a pedestal sink without plumbing modifications. A pedestal sink provides an uncluttered, lightweight feel to a bath. You will lose the storage space that a typical base cabinet provides, but the open feeling that pedestal sinks provide more than makes up for it. Pedestal sinks come in a wide range of sizes to fit all types of rooms. Shop around to find what might work best for you.
Pedestal sinks are often wise choices for small bathrooms.
The $350 per square foot that I mentioned above is an average. I have completed a handful of bath remodels that have come in at less than half that number, labor included. What raises the average is the monster bath with swanky tile and top-end fixtures; I have seen free-standing soaking tubs that list for $10K or more. The trick to a reasonable small bathroom remodeling project is to keep the materials in check, and work in stages if your budget is tight.
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