How much can you expect to invest in a professionally designed bathroom? Well, the answer to that depends on the scope of the bathroom in question. Just like investing in a kitchen renovation, bathrooms are full of little details that can add up fast if you let them. (& sometimes, you’ll want to.)
The best way to be prepared is to know what ballpark you’re looking at, & then look at the details to see where your own investment might fluctuate up or down from there. Whatever you do, just please, please don’t rely on TV shows to help you understand a realistic budget. They are woefully inaccurate.
To help shed some clarity on the numbers, we’ll dive into:
- What a professional bathroom renovation costs
- What your most expensive line items are likely to be
- How much interior design fees cost for a renovation
- Ways to save on your bathroom design, if needed
How much does a primary bathroom renovation cost?
Here in San Antonio, most professionally designed, full-gut, primary bathroom renovations will cost around 6-8% of your total home value. That means that if your home is valued at $500k, you’re looking at a roughly $30k-$40k+ investment. That includes professional design, quality materials, labor, & installation.
That said, I’ve definitely seen bathrooms go upwards of $50k-$70k+, but in those cases, it was the clients’ choice because they wanted certain amenities. That part’s up to you. So, what factors will increase or decrease your investment?
1. Materials & The Size of Your Space
Materials are, by & far, going to be the one of your biggest line items. If you think about it, it makes sense. Bathrooms are “hard” spaces, usually lined head-to-toe in tile flooring and walls, may include glass shower walls &/or soaking tubs, require plumbing and lighting fixtures, cabinetry for the vanity, countertops, mirrors, etc., etc.
While there are a range of options available, the sheer volume of materials needed will make this an expense that adds up, whether you’re looking at mid-market quality, high-end, and especially luxury materials, like marble. & the more space you have, the more materials you will need.
This is where having a designer on your team will help you balance what’s worth the splurge & what’s not.
2. Labor & Moving Plumbing
Second to that is labor, especially if you’re moving plumbing. To give you some perspective, the task of moving a single drain requires chipping down to the foundation & will run you thousands of dollars in labor fees.
I say that not to scare you — although, if your GC is quoting you something in the low hundreds, beware — but to prepare you. If you ask me, working with a specialist who will do a good job (and not cause more problems) is non-negotiable. & paying for experience is always a good investment.
That said, moving plumbing isn’t always a requirement. We can work together to assess your space & decide whether it’s the right decision for your space & your goals.
3. Custom Cabinetry
Custom cabinetry is always going to be $$$, but it’s an investment that will pay off for years and years. Not only do they bring customized functionality into your routine, but custom cabinets are of far better quality than the alternative… & you use them daily! Trust me, you will want them to hold up.
You can also opt for interior cabinet organization features, like outlets for your small electronics (hairdryer, razor, etc.), deep drawers for shampoo bottles, and more. Though these do cost more, they result in a design that fits you & your partner like a glove.
4. Professional Fees
Last but not least, professional fees are another line item that will take up a considerable amount of your budget — and they should. No matter where you live or whom you choose to hire, I cannot stress this enough: hiring experts will SAVE you money in the long run. Expensive mistakes, shoddy craftsmanship, inexperienced budgeting or project management — professionals don’t do these things!
In fact, I would argue that hiring experts is the single most important item on this entire list. Your team will make or break your project. Choose the right people, and you will have a great experience during your bathroom renovation AND in a home that brings you joy long down the road.
How much does professional interior design cost?
Every designer will price their services differently. At Styleberry, we work on a flat rate that is calculated based on the scale & scope of your bathroom renovation. Here are a few rules of thumb to help you plan your budget for it:
- Design for a primary bathroom starts at $5k and goes up depending on scale and scope
- Design for a secondary bathroom starts around $4k and goes up depending on scale and scope
- We estimate design fees at 10-15% of your overall renovation budget
- Investing $4k-$8k in the design of your bathroom is a healthy budget (& will lead you to one-of-a-kind, life-changing results!)
- Budgeting an extra $5k for project consulting during the renovation is optional but encouraged
Are there ways to save on the design of your bathroom renovation?
When it comes to the materials and craftsmanship of your kitchen, I don’t recommend looking for shortcuts. However, if $4k-$8k feels too high for professional design, there are some other options:
1. Opt for a Light Refresh
In a light refresh, you might keep the bathroom’s footprint, refinish the existing cabinets, or select a standalone vanity (instead of custom built-ins). This can help transform the look of the space without breaking the bank. The only downside is that the way the space functions for you will likely stay the same. This would be ideal for a secondary bathroom.
2. Try a Pre-Curated Bathroom Design Kit
We launched our Sourced Bathroom Design Kits in 2021 & they are perfect for getting designer-quality selections and style without having to hire a designer. Each kit includes pre-selected materials at varying price points, all approved for style, longevity, and quality.
Once you have identified your selections within the Design Kit (it all works together, so you can literally do no wrong!), you will be able to handle ordering yourself and your GC will have everything they need to implement. This is truly the easiest way to get professional design without the design fees.
What’s your next step?
If you’re in San Antonio & considering a bathroom renovation, the best next step is to talk to us about your project. I would be happy to share more about our process & help you decide if it’s right for you. I can’t wait to hear from you!
Styleberry Creative Interiors specializes in fresh, relaxed design crafted in a meaningful way. With a team, process, and done-for-you Design Kits you can trust, we’ll help you create soul-soothing spaces that inspire you to unwind, connect, and finally… exhale. Our studio is based in downtown San Antonio, Texas and serves clients in the Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, and greater San Antonio Metropolitan areas, as well as Nationwide.