Bathroom Investment in Remodeling: How to Save MoneyYour bathroom investment is as unique as your fingerprint

Bathroom investment in remodeling is more expensive, per square foot, than kitchen remodeling! According to the 2016 Cost vs. Value Report for Portland, Oregon, the range of bathroom investments for remodeling is $18,560 – $58,944, averaging $560/square foot (low = $530/square foot; high = $590/square foot).

The range of investments for kitchen remodeling is $20,808 (minor remodel), $104 /sq.ft. – $122,359 (major upscale remodel), $612/sq ft. What “ups the ante” for your

bathroom investment? All of the products — thousands of them! — that are available for bathroom remodeling can be expensive. Here are some examples*:

Plumbing (remember to select this first!):

Cabinets can vary from $75 per linear foot for stock cabinets, to over $500 per linear foot for custom cabinets

Surface Finishes:

  • Countertops can vary from $35 to over $300 per square foot, depending upon the material selected, and other variables such as edge treatment, undermount lavatories, etc.
  • Tile floors and shower floors can vary from $3.50 to $45 per square foot
  • Tiled tub and shower walls can vary from $3.50 to $45 per square foot  (hidden “gotchas” are decorative tiles that can be $50/square foot or more, with individual liners that can be $35 each; these decorative tiles can also be used for backsplashes)

Lighting and Ventilation:

  • Lavatory sidelights (highly recommended!) are under $100 each to over $400 each
  • Recessed LED lighting is $35 each, average, depending on the trim you select (special trim is needed for tubs and showers)
  • Good exhaust fans are about $150 each (provide 150 cfm with low noise (sone) rating)

Accessories like towel bars, toilet tissue holders, mirrors, cabinet pulls, etc. can add $1,500 or more to your investment. Grab bars are NOT considered an accessory; they’re a safety necessity!

Tips to help you keep your bathroom investment reasonable:

  • Establish a maximum target budget, and share this information with your designer and contractor, so they can help you.
  • Stay within the existing footprint, if possible; this may require some tradeoffs and tough decisions.
  • Keep track of all product decisions regarding your bathroom investment in a simple spreadsheet
  • Decide what, if any of your existing bathroom features can remain. (Note, in the bathroom picture featured, the Homeowners decided to reuse the existing lavatory cabinet, and add other cabinets to change the overall appearance. This saved them over $2,500.)
  • Prioritize your decisions, starting with what’s driving this project. If everything is a high priority, your investment will be higher.

Armed with this information, you will think about the scope of work and products, to make informed decisions about your bathroom investment. Remember that your bathroom remodeling investment is as unique as your fingerprint!

See before and after photos and a description of the featured project.

*NOTE: Examples shared are not an endorsement or a recommendation for a particular product, but to show how much your investment in products can vary, and the importance of selecting all products carefully.

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