Edinburgh Bathroom Renovation Costs
What does it cost to renovate a bathroom? This is a question we are regularly asked.
 
Although it may be perceived as being unhelpful, the truth is that a bathroom will cost as much, or as little (within reason) as you choose to spend.
 
As with anything the more luxurious you make it the more it will cost. To ensure you receive an accurate and realistic price for installing a bathroom we highly recommend that you have as clear an idea of what you would like done before you ask tradespeople for a price. It is tempting to ask bathroom installers for multiple cost options based on your ideas but we believe that it’s more productive if you can provide an installer with a budget and a prioritised list of your requirements .
 
If you are just wondering roughly how much a bathroom refit may cost then we have put some guidance information at the foot of this article that should get you started.
 
 The main factors affecting costs

  • The size of room
  • Any structural work such as knocking through or building walls
  • Your choice of materials, fixtures, fittings and finishings 
  • Your choice of installer and / or the need for specialists
  • Alterations to the position of sanitary wear
  • Hidden and unforeseeable factors, although this is perhaps more something for contingencies

Average price of a bathroom installation

A browse through various websites that pop up under the search term “Average cost of Bathroom renovation UK” reveals that a supposed “average” cost ranges from £3,000 to £9,000.

HomeForce’s view is to perhaps do what Sainsbury’s Bank, among others, do and divide bathroom renovation costs into two categories, one being a basic make over (£1,000 to £2,999 according to Sainsbury’s) or a more full renovation to a luxury bathroom, being £3,000 to £5,000 according to Sainsbury’s.

Here, we are going to disagree with Sainsbury’s and suggest that something from £6,500 would be more what we’d categorise as a budget suitable for a “luxury” bathroom. OK, but what do we mean by “Make Over” and “Luxury”?
 
Bathroom makeover:
  • Labour to strip out old bathroom but not debris disposal charges
  • Fitting a new bathroom suite in the same position as existing.
  • Tiling or fitting wall board to wet areas only
  • Basic lights
  • Basic / budget sanitary wear, taps, shower
  • Laying a linoleum floor covering
  • Fitting wall furniture: - Towel Rail, hooks, mirrors
  • Home owner would: - dispose of debris, do painting, project manage

Luxury Bathroom:
  • Strip out and dispose of old bathroom
  • Supplying and fitting new, mid range to high end sanitary wear, taps, fixtures and fittings
  • Floor and walls tiled
  • High end moisture extraction fan
  • Ambient lighting
  • Underfloor heating
  • Ladder style towel rail
  • Plastering to make walls good
  • Decoration (ceiling, wood work etc)

These figures are naturally open to debate and disagreement. Our investigation extended to viewing on-line forums, for example, Money Saving Expert, where one person claims to have had a bathroom completely renovated for £1,600 and another person who has been quoted £4,850 is told that they are clearly being ripped off.

Of course it comes down to your budget and what you consider “luxury”, I’d imagine the bathrooms of people on the Times rich List cost more than the £5,000 Sainsbury’s suggest.

Ball Park Costs for Bathroom Renovations

We promised at the start of this article to provide some guidance on costs for the labour charges for the key trades when installing a bathroom. We hope the following is useful in helping you work out some budget costs. Please do take these as guide prices only; every situation is different.

Plumbing 
  • HomeForce plumbers charge an hourly rate from £60 per hr but for larger jobs, such as a bathroom installation will agree a quoted price. We’d suggest make the following allowances
    • Strip out and refit like for like bathroom suite - £300 to £400
    • If you intend to re-position items in the suite allow an additional £60 – £120 per item.
  • Altering or re-routing drains from £150 for internal, significantly more if external and if  scaffolding is required.

Electrical Work

  • When refitting a bathroom electrical work may be required for:
    • An electric shower
    • A shaver socket
    • Heated mirrors
    • Electric / dual power towel rails
    • Underfloor heating
    • Ceiling lights
    • Water pumps
    • Earth bonding to pipes
  • If it’s a case of replacing like for like then allow 15 – 20mins per item
  • For running new cabling allow 2 hours / item assuming the electrical installation meets current regulations.
  • HomeForce electrician’s charge £45 / hr +VAT

 Joinery / Handyman

  • Every bathroom needs the person who’s going to do the miscellaneous tasks and joinery work:
    • Secure flooring
    • Fit skirting, panelling or facings or boxing in pipes
    • Fit bath panels and frames
    • Put up towel rails, hooks or toilet roll holders
    • Make access panels and so on
  • For any bathroom refit we’d recommend allowing at least a day of a Handyman’s / Joiners’ time. So from £200 - £250 as a minimum.

Tiling

  • Allow from £30 / square meter
  • In addition, for preparatory work allow from £20 / sq meter.
  • Preparatory work may include stripping existing tiles, fitting underlay for floor tiles or making walls sufficiently flat and level for wall tiles.
  • Factors that will affect the cost of tiling:
    • The size of tiles, smaller takes longer, very large tiles require very flat surfaces and so can take longer to fit also.
    • Tile preparation; some tiles require treating before affixing.
    • Some times materials that tiles are made of; porcelain and stone take longer to cut.
    • The condition of the surface onto which tiles are to be fixed will affect how much “building out” the tiler needs to do.

Plastering

  • Allow £10 / sq meter for skim plastering.
  • A plasterer will charge a minimum / set up cost (usually around £80 - £100).
  • Cost per square meter will increase if “bonding” is required

 Painting / Decoration

  • Allow from £110 / day
  • A large portion of the time required for decoration is spent in preparation of surfaces to be painted. Ensuring holes are filled and smoothed, walls are washed, gaps caulked, edges masked and all surfaces protected.

 Other Costs

  • Planning / building warrants
    • If you are altering drains, knocking through load bearing walls or changing the use of a room you will require a building warrant to ensure the works comply with building regulations.
    • You should allow for fees for drawings and applications as well as council fees. These will vary based on the value of the project itself.
    • Allow for any thing from £1,500 for fees from suitably qualified professionals 
  • Debris Disposal
    • Allow from £250 for all fees and skip hire to have all debris disposed of from stripping out the old bathroom
  • Cleaning
    • No matter how conscientiously tradespeople work, when a major project is undertaken dust can get into the smallest and furthest nooks and crannies of your property. Tradespeople will clean up as best they can but they aren’t professional cleaners so you might want to consider employing one. Costs are usually from around £75 for a deep clean. 
  • Materials
    • No allowance in the above costs has been made for materials, either the large items such as the bathroom suite through to the small items such as screws, timber, paint and sand paper.

Which installer should you choose?

The value of selecting an installer you can work with and trust doesn’t have a pound sign in front of it, however if you put a value on your time and on the peace of mind of knowing that something is being done well rather than cheaply then you can calculate the monetary value yourself.

If an installer says that they can’t do something for a certain price but another installer says they can, consider that the cheaper installer may be cutting corners or using substandard materials rather than the higher priced installer is over charging or just plain expensive.

Don’t forget that it is generally accepted that in most professions someone with more experience and qualifications will command a higher price or salary than one with less. So why not with trades people?

Links to assist in Planning, Costing and Installing a Bathroom

Information for planning a bathroom.

Information on suggested costs