Bathroom Renovation Budget – Breaking Down the Costs

This post about our bathroom renovation budget has been a long time coming. I originally wanted to share it after I shared our final main bathroom reveal here on the blog, which hasn’t happened yet. You didn’t miss it! However, our linen cabinet project has taken a lot longer than I anticipated (looking at you, product shortages) and that’s the final piece I’m waiting on for the full room reveal! I didn’t want to wait until then to post this much-requested topic.

Our bathroom renovation budget

Whenever I talk about our kids’ bathroom or main bathroom makeovers, people always inquire about the cost. And it makes sense. If you want to do a similar project in your own home, knowing how much to save ahead of time is a very smart move. But before we get to the line items for our particular spaces, let’s back up and chat about our home in general, because I think that will give some background on our investment choices.

Buying Our House In 2019

we bought a house

When we bought our house in the spring of 2019, we bought it for a great price, under our budget, fully knowing that we were going to put a lot of money into making it our own. It was an old and outdated house in a really nice neighborhood in Chicago, where many homes sell for two to three times our home price.

Because of that, we felt confident renovating the home from top to bottom, living in it, and enjoying it along the way. Then, our hope is to sell it within the next five years for a much higher price tag.

Our home renovation progress

In the summer of 2019, we put a lot of money into Phase One of the home (taking down walls, replacing doors and trim, redoing the electrical, replacing the floors, etc.) and you can read all about those costs in this detailed blog post.

Our kitchen reveal

In the fall of 2020, we renovated our kitchen from top to bottom, which was another very expensive project. I outlined all of the costs for that one over in this blog post.

Our backyard makeover reveal

And finally, last summer we completely redid our backyard with a new deck, pavers, and landscaping. I shared all of the costs for that project right here.

Rory's room before
Rory's nursery reveal

It also might be helpful to see all of the before and afters from our house. You can check them out in our Three-Year Home Anniversary post, right here. It’s crazy how far this place has come in such a short amount of time.

main bathroom before
Main Bathroom Before

With the majority of our home refinished, we knew that the bathrooms were next on our list. In order to get top dollar when we eventually sell our home, redoing the bathrooms was a must. (Remember this post about where to spend your money to add value to your home?) Plus, we still wanted time to enjoy the new spaces before we move someday.

Budgeting for Our Bathrooms

Removing the bathtub

I had my contractor come out about a year ago to take a look at the spaces and give me a general quote for the labor. He was able to give me a very rough estimate for the labor portion of the project, knowing that we would firm up that number once I had my design plans ready for him to review. Having a rough idea for the labor cost was helpful, because most of the other line items I could research ahead of time, like the vanity, hardware, and more.

Let me add that it’s always a good idea to budget for the unexpected. I would say that you should add at least 10-20% of your total renovation budget to your savings for the project. You never know what might happen when you open walls up, and it’s good to be prepared for the worst. But always hope for the best! Our $25,000 steel beam saga has forever made us more cautious going into big projects.

Finn chatted more about how we budget for big home renovation projects in this blog post and he outlines lots of options that are available. We always like to save cash ahead of time, but that’s just what works for us. Read his post and figure out what might work best for your next big renovation.

Our Bathroom Renovation Budget

The cutest kids' bathroom reveal

My contractor worked on both our kids’ bathroom and our main bathroom at the same time. Therefore, he just gave me one big quote for labor that includes BOTH spaces. So, this is the renovation cost for two bathrooms. I also purchased all of the supplies for each space at the same time, so those are sometimes grouped together too.

Sconce placement

Part of my job is working with brands that I love, but we paid for a majority of these bathrooms out of pocket. We always go into a renovation expecting to pay for the entire thing ourselves so we can budget accordingly, and then, if some items are gifted through a partnership, it’s a nice bonus. I included an asterisk if an item was provided by a partner.

  • Labor (for both bathrooms): $24,000
  • Designer Blueprints: $1,000
  • Main Bathroom Window: $2,150
  • Kids’ Bathroom Window*: $2,000
  • Main Bathroom Tile: $2,200
  • Kids’ Bathroom Tile: $582
  • Main Bathroom Glass Shower Door: $1,200
  • Vanities*: $3,400
  • Toilets*: $1,400
  • Bathtub*: $850
  • Hardware (shower fixtures, bathtub fixtures, faucets, etc.)*: $2,197
  • Lighting: $719
  • Medicine Cabinet Mirrors*: $640
  • Kids’ Bathroom Mirror: $66
  • Paint: $150
  • Ceiling Fans: $360
  • Linen Cabinet (IKEA supplies): $700
  • Linen Cabinet (Semihandmade doors, trim, materials, etc.): $1,300
  • Accessories (shelving, hooks, shower rod, plants, etc.): $250

Total = $45,164

It’s definitely scary putting that number out there. But at the end of the day, some people will think that’s so much money, while others will think that’s not that much. Investing in our home is our favorite way to spend our hard-earned dollars and I think it’s helpful to have a realistic look at actual numbers.

Closing Thoughts

I don’t share this number for any other reason than to help people understand that before and after makeovers come with a price tag. HGTV makes it seem like you can do a head-to-toe bathroom makeover for $5k, and that’s just not the reality. Of course, labor and materials will be different depending on where you live, what you choose, the size of your space, etc. But, I’m hopeful that by being upfront and honest about our own bathroom renovation budgets, you’ll walk away with a bit more knowledge and confidence going into your next home renovation.

If you want to catch up on these projects, I’ve shared all of the information below. They also include the sources and details for every single item in each of these spaces.

The linen cabinet reveal will hit the blog this Friday and then I’ll be back with the main bathroom reveal later this month. After that, I think we’ll have some organizing posts to tackle and we can officially complete these two spaces. I can’t wait!

The Kids’ Bathroom

The Main Bathroom


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.