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New versus renovated bathrooms: A cost comparison

Julianne Leybag
09 July 2016 4 minute readShare
New versus renovated bathrooms

Deciding whether to add an entirely new bathroom or to renovate an old one? My Business helps property owners look into the most important factor in both commencing a new bathroom project and doing bathroom renovations: costing.

Consider the following elements that make up bathroom space:

  • Bathtub
  • Toilet
  • Shower enclosures
  • Vanity and cabinet
  • Lighting
  • Tiling


Bathtubs are usually the pièce de résistance of most bathrooms. Bathtubs define the overall feel and luxury of the bathroom since it creates and defines the bathroom space.

Installing a bathtub is quite tricky if one does not have the necessary skills and expertise.  It is well-advised to engage the services of an expert professional bathtub installer rather than opting for DIY.

For basic acrylic bathtub models, prices range between AU$800 and AU$2,000. A free-standing bathtub that is a bit on the high end and costs around AU$4,000.  A customised bathtub made of luxurious materials and a detailed design would cost even higher.

Professional installation services can cost at a range between AU$900 to AU$1,500.


Whether one thinks that toilets are the “centrepiece” or the most unglamorous component, toilets are necessary bathroom fixtures.

New toilet suites are priced between AU$160 and AU$250.

The average installation cost of new toilet suites is estimated to be around AU$150.

For new bathroom projects, back-to-wall toilet fixtures are ideal. Models with Invisible cisterns built into bathroom walls are also available l and allows space-saving components to be integrated.  These toilet suites usually go with a soft close toilet seat and costs between AU$500 and AU$1,200.

A toilet fixture with a plastic cistern and a ceramic pan are priced between AU$120 and AU$200.

Installation price for such toilets is estimated to be around AU$200.

Shower enclosures

Shower enclosures have estimated prices ranging from AU$600 to AU$1,200. Various designs, materials, and overall set-up among other construction and aesthetic considerations are available to choose from.

Labour cost for installation is usually priced per hour, at around AU$50 an hour.

Budget shower enclosures are priced at around AU$500 with overall installation cost (not per hour) at around AU$200 which includes the materials.

Semi-frameless shower screen designs are priced between AU$400 and AU$900, depending on the height requirements. Installation service prices, in general, are priced at around AU$200.

Vanity and cabinet

The vanity and cabinet’s location and placement, size, style, and material can impact overall aesthetic appeal and feel of the proposed bathroom construction. The average price is estimated between AU$150 and AU$550, with installation costs at around AU$200 to AU$350.

Usually mode of polymarble or acrylic, a budget vanity comes with laminate timber cabinet. High-end vanities usually consist of stone or ceramic materials and custom-made cabinets are made of polyurethane.

Soft close doors and drawers, including a sophisticated and seamless design, define what is a premium vanity. Costs depend on the materials as well as the sophistication and luxury of the overall design of the premium vanity.


Appropriate and sufficient bathroom lighting elevates the aesthetic harmony and feel of the bathroom and enhances the space by highlighting or softening the appearances of particular fittings and fixtures

Electricians charge around AU$78 per hour for installation of bathroom lighting and related fixtures. A licensed electrician can ascertain that lighting and electrical work is satisfactory without any possible risks.

For budget bathroom electrical works, a standard LED oyster light cost from a range between AU$50 to AU$100.

LED lighting and fixtures are popular because of functionality and the ability to render and enhance feel and overall aesthetics of the bathroom through appropriate and sometimes subdued illumination. LED strip lights can be placed above shadow gaps or right under benchtop fixtures casting light to highlight specific areas and soften sharp edges. LED strips are estimated to cost between AU$100 and AU$200.


Tiling and tile installations is a major costing concern as tiling work is essential. Generally, white ceramic wall tiles of a standard size (600 x 300mm) are priced between AU$20 and AU$28 per square meter.

Floor tiles are priced generally higher than their wall tiles:  costing between AU$35 and AU$50 per square meter for standard porcelain or ceramic and between AU$50 and AU$100 for natural stone or high-quality porcelain tiles per square meter.

Budget tile installation includes replacing and tiling the expanse of the floor and the walls of the shower area as well as adding and using a smaller skirting tile choice for the walls.

A premium tile renovation for the bathroom means installing tiles from the expanse of the entire floor to the ceiling. This, costs higher because of the use of bigger, high-quality tile pieces such as the likes of travertine, granite, and marble.

Deciding whether to construct a new bathroom or to renovate

When deciding between doing a new bathroom project and a bathroom renovation,  compare the following:

  • Cost of new bathroom versus the cost of redoing or undertaking structural improvements on an existing bathroom
  • Installations versus additions of skylights, new windows, and other similar installations
  • The size of the new bathroom versus the planned improvement to the bathroom’s  size under renovation
  • New plumbing and fixtures versus moving, reinstalling, and/or adding more plumbing and fixtures
  • Luxury elements (for example, underfloor heating installations) included in the new bathroom versus luxury elements to be added to the existing bathroom

Note that bathroom renovations can be based on how much it costs and/or how “grand” the improvement work is:

  • Budget bathroom renovation—generally costs between AU$5,000 and AU$15,000
  • Standard bathroom renovation—generally costs between AU$15,000 and AU$25,000
  • Premium or luxury bathroom renovation—generally estimated to cost over AU$25,000

Whether one decides to do a new bathroom project or doing renovation work on an old bathroom the above costing considerations can help property owners account and prepare for their dream bathroom.!

New versus renovated bathrooms: A cost comparison
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Julianne Leybag

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