If you have the same bathroom suite that came with the house, then the chances are that it may have become drab and dated by now. Perhaps, now is the time to consider buying a new bathroom suite, with up-to-date fitments. Perhaps you should remodel for a fully fitted bathroom or install an additional toilet somewhere? Or, you intend to move house and you want to ask as much as you can for your property.
Whatever your situation, they are all good reasons to invest in an updated or extended bathroom and toilet.
Generally, new bathrooms depend on how much you can pay and how many and what quality fitments you want. An average cost of a new bathroom installation (standard range) would be in the region of £2,500 to £6,500. Prices in London and Southeast will be about 20% higher than the remainder of the country, which works out to be between £3,000 and £7,800. And, you should add VAT on top of this.
So, if you‘re going to pay out a substantial amount of money, you should have everything installed professionally. Why not forget the DIY and choose a professional tradesman to do the work for you? You’ll have a better job done, and it won’t take as long as you working in your spare time.
Bathroom fitting is a skill in its own right. Yes, you can do it as a DIY project, but it’s often quicker and easier to call in a specialist company that can handle the plumbing, electrical, flooring and tiling needed to complete the work to a good standard.
What you will learn in this article:
- Pricing factors when it comes to basic bathrooms vs. luxury installations.
- Where to spend your money on the bathroom renovation project to maximise value. For example, taps, bathtub, shower etc.
- How to carry out your new bathroom cost calculations to help keep your quotations in line with budgets.
- Top tips and things to ask a bathroom fitter when considering a job.
- A look at the UK Building Regulations & Planning Permissions which you must follow (where applicable).
How Much To Fit A Bathroom? Step-by-Step Breakdown
It’s useful to know how much a new bathroom suite and refurbishment costs. But, as you can imagine the actual cost will vary depending on many factors.
- Taps. There is a range of these from chrome–plated standard taps to antique brass ones to luxury mixer taps.
- Toilets. There are standard toilet pedestals or extended toilets for disabled and elderly people.
- Bathtubs. You can choose from a wide range of these. From cheap acrylic tubs to cast iron and stone tubs.
- Shower cubicles. You’ll choose from single or double cubicles. And, we have a choice of materials such as acrylic, ceramic or polished stone trays.
- Walk-in-tubs. These range from single–person tubs to hot-tub style basins for multiple occupancies. There is also a choice of pulse jets.
- Wet room. This is useful for showering with a friend or if you are disabled and need help from a carer.
- Flooring. Different types of flooring for various applications. A wet room will need a fully sealed waterproof floor while a standard bathroom can use normal vinyl flooring or bathroom carpet.
- Tiling. The price of tiles depends on the quality and the design.
- Painting and decorating. Depends on the type of decoration.
- Plumbing. Will depend on the number and type of fixtures.
- Electrics. Depends on the number and type of fixtures requiring electricity.
Note: Read more about wet room installation costs.
Bathroom Installation Cost Calculator: Maximising Value (examples)
Let’s look at some cost estimates in more detail, ranging from basic up to luxury bathrooms.
This is probably the most important thing to have in a bathroom. The clue is in the name!
A lightweight acrylic bath is probably the cheapest you can buy at about £80 to £100, but it’ll need a frame and tiling around it. A high–end freestanding acrylic bathtub is more stable and less flexible so doesn’t need a frame. These will be anything from £250 to £1500 and more.
Probably, a basic steel bathtub is the best value for money starting from about £120. More expensive ones include cast iron and polished stone tubs.
Fitting a bathtub will take about 3 to 5 hours irrespective of the price range.
- Low-end: £80
- Mid–range: £250 to £650
- Luxury: £250 to £1500
The cheapest type is an electric shower unit that only needs a cold water feed. These can be as cheap as £50 to £70. They only need an electrical connection to heat the water inside the unit. However, these can be temperamental if you have low domestic water pressure and someone else in the house turns on the cold tap, reducing the cold feed to the shower.
A basic shower mixer using hot water heated elsewhere, and mains cold water costs about £60. A thermostatic mixing valve keeps the temperature constant when water pressure varies and these cost at least £130. Sometimes, a mixer tap connects to the bathtub taps. And, a combination bathtub shower is another cheap option as you don’t need a shower enclosure or a tray. These cost about £50.
There are many types of luxury shower. If you suffer from low water pressure, a power shower uses a booster pump to raise the water pressure. These cost from £150 upwards. Showers using digital technology provide pulsing jets and sprays and cost at least £250.
Apart from the shower bathtub combination, you’ll also need a shower enclosure. These include a frame, door and shower tray and can cost from as little as £50 up to at least £500.
Installing a shower unit can take 2 to 3 hours.
- Low end: £50
- Mid–range: £60 to £500
- Luxury: £500 to at least £2,000
Now, a toilet might be in the bathroom or it might be in a separate room. Wherever you have the toilet in your house, a basic floor–mounted pan costs about £50. Luxury ones cost anything up to £500. You can buy wall mounted pans as well as taller ones suitable for the elderly and disabled. It’s your choice. A plumber takes about 2 to 3 hours to install a toilet.
- Low end: £50
- Mid–range: £100 to £300
- Luxury: £300 to at least £500
The styles vary from pedestal mounted, wall–mounted and vanity unit basins. The basic pedestal mounted model costs about £50. A semi pedestal or wall–mounted basin will also be a cheap buy, starting at about £60. Vanity unit mounted basins are the luxury ones here. You’ll have to buy the vanity unit as well, but the basin costs at least £100. You also have a choice of material. The cheapest is ceramic, while, stainless steel, glass or polished stone can cost more than £300. A plumber will take 1 to 2 hours to install a basin.
- Low end: £50
- Mid–range: £100 to £300
- Luxury: At least £300
Many people don’t realise that taps and other accessories are usually extra and cost more on top of the initial price.
You can choose from wall mounted taps, those fitted to the basin and taps installed into a vanity unit’s worktop. Additionally, there are also mixer taps or separate pillar hot and cold sets. Pillars are the cheapest at about £30 per set. Mixer taps come as ‘monobloc’ costing from £50 to £100. Alternatively, cheaper mixer taps start at about £50. There are also various architectural styles and different materials to suit your décor. A set of taps will take about 1 to 2 hours to install.
- Low end: £30
- Mid–range: £40 to £70
- Luxury: £50 to at least £100
A bathroom wouldn’t be complete without some waterproof tiling. But, surprisingly tiles are often forgotten when calculating costs in bathroom refurbishment.
It’s not only tiles either. There’s also grout, adhesive and any backing material behind the tiles on uneven walls or floors.
Cheap floor tiles, including accessories, cost about £25 per m2, while top-end tiles cost about £70 per m2. A professional wall tiler will take between 1 to 5 days to install wall tiles.
Floor tiles are more expensive than wall tiles, or you can choose a vinyl floor covering.
- Low end: £25 per m2
- Mid–range: £35 to £50 per m2
- Luxury: At least £50 per m2
Additional Components & Labour Day Rates
The labour costs for the individual bathroom components will be less if the plumber installs more than one item at the same time. Most plumbers will take about 3 days to install a complete bathroom suite. But, this will depend on the size of the bathroom and the style and number of fittings you choose.
A plumber will charge about £300 per day for fitting a complete bathroom and for an average–sized, mid–range bathroom, prepare to pay about £1,000 for the fittings.
You’ll also have to budget for any structural changes to the room and installing any additional plumbing.
Of course, you might be able to re-use components from your existing bathroom and incorporate them into the new design. If you look around at budget DIY stores, you can often find very attractive and serviceable bathroom suites, incorporating all the components, costing a lot less than the cost of individual items.
It’s possible to make a luxury bathroom using cheaper components. Buy budget range ceramic units, but choose luxury range trimmings like taps and the shower cubicle. These items always stand out so spend your money on these.
Remember that prices will vary depending on where in the country you live in. London and the Southeast will cost about 20% more than elsewhere.
When renovating your bathroom, remember the electrical work. These include electric showers, extractor fans, razor powerpoints, vanity lighting and main lighting, and will always be needed. Additionally, if you choose a luxury spa bath you’ll need an electrical hook-up for the pump. Part P of the Building Regulations clearly states the rules about this, and you should always use a qualified electrician who knows the regulations and can self certify.
You’ll also need a waste skip to remove old fittings. However, expect the plumber to remove any waste copper or brass for recycling.
Planning Permission & Building Regulations
Generally, you won’t need Planning Permission for a bathroom renovation project unless you are building an extension of a loft conversion. Furthermore, if you own a listed building you should contact the planning department to check if there are any constraints you must comply with.
On the other hand, the Building Regulations are relevant. New drainage work and any electrical fitments will need approval. If you are installing a bathroom in a room that previously was not used for this purpose, you must ensure adequate ventilation and proper drainage. You must also comply with Part P which deals with electrical safety, and Part B for fire safety.
Top 5 Bathroom Fitting Hiring Tips
- Weed out those professionals who give quotations that are too high or too low. If the quote is too high, then the professional is good and is stacked out with work. He doesn’t really want your job so is submitting a silly price. The low quotation comes from the guy who hasn‘t got any work at all. He’s desperate to get work because he isn’t very good at his job.
- You shouldn’t hire anyone whose work you haven’t seen. After weeding out the extremes, ask for references from the bathroom fitter and contact the people. Then, ask to see the finished work and ask them detailed questions.
- Does the fitter live locally and how long has he been trading? You can tell a lot from these two questions. If he lives locally, then he’s nearby in case anything goes wrong. If he’s been trading a long time, he has the experience and the contacts to do a good job.
- Check for insurance. He should have insurance to cover you and your property from poor workmanship and accidents.
- Check he has the relevant qualifications and certifications for plumbing and electrical work. Or, he intends using a subcontractor for one of these. If the local authority has approved him to self certify his work with regards to the Building Regulation, you can be sure he is a reputable tradesman.
How much does it cost to renovate a small bathroom?
This depends on what components you intend having in the bathroom, how you want it to be decorated, and whether you have to install new drainage or plumbing. However, on average, a typical full bathroom installation costs between £2,000 and £7,000 for basic and mid–range bathrooms with over £7,000 for luxury bathrooms.
How much does it cost to tile a small bathroom?
This will vary depending on the area you want to be tiled, the type of tiles you choose and who you hire. Generally, however, the average cost including the purchase of tiles and ancillaries, labour and VAT will be about £500 to £800.
Do you tile before or after fitting a bathroom?
This depends on the preferences of the professional. However, a consensus seems to say you should tile as much as you can first, leaving gaps where you’re intending to fit components. Then, install everything and tile up to them.
How much will it cost to turn a bedroom into a bathroom?
You must route plumbing and drainage to and from the new bathroom, so it’s better if you choose a bedroom not too far away from the existing services. Preferably in the next room or above a kitchen or downstairs toilet. If everything goes okay, you can expect to pay between £3,000 and £5,000. Remember that this work will be subject to Building Regulations, so use a good plumber who can provide a Building Regs certificate.
What is the minimum size for a bathroom?
There must be room for at least a toilet pan, washbasin, shower and/or bath. The minimum length for a standard bath is about 1500mm with a width of 700mm. Don’t forget you need a door and window too. Having said that, the average size of a typical British bathroom is about 6.25m2. But of course, this might vary depending on whether you have a bathtub or not.
How much does it cost to remove a bath and install a walk–in shower?
This is basically, three operations.
- Remove existing bath and tiles: £300 to £500 including waste disposal.
- Install new shower cubicle and connect the shower unit. £150 to £250, labour only.
- Tile the inside of the cubicle. Approximately 6m2 of wall space will cost about £180 for labour only. If you want to include the cost of tiles, adhesive, grout, sealant etc, the total will be more like £300.
Find Local Bathroom Installers
Renovating your bathroom will give the room a new lease of life. Not only that but it’ll increase the saleability of the house too. If you want 2-3 bathroom fitting quotes, complete the form on this page and you’ll soon hear from a bathroom fitter local to you.