How much does it cost to renovate a bathroom or kitchen?

Planning bathroom renovation cost

If you ask me, refurbishing your home with a new kitchen or bathroom will certainly have the biggest positive impact on the way your home looks, functions, its value, and also how much you enjoy using it. But it’s important to remember these projects are usually among the most expensive renovations you’ll do. How much does it cost to renovate a bathroom or kitchen?

It’s a question that, quite rightly, often comes up. Budget is something I think you should think about really early on in a project and consider how much you can afford to spend to renovate a bathroom or your kitchen.

During my day-to-day job as creative director at Day True, I sometimes find clients reluctant to define a budget and it can seem intrusive to ask – yet it’s so important to set one right away. That doesn’t mean it can’t evolve or change, but it’s a great starting point – everyone has one and it’s really critical to make it stretch as far as possible. Plus, if you have a set price to work to, it’s a lot easier to make decisions.

But, to contradict myself slightly, from a spatial planning perspective it is kind of irrelevant – the layout should be the best it can be, no matter the budget. To define one, research what key elements cost and apportion amounts to each area, to help set your priorities.

Separate the building works or installation from the cost of products is often helpful. The latter is quite easy to investigate, as prices can often be compared online. It’s trickier for the furniture or cabinets, even if you know what you want, as it’s as easy to forget about small essentials such as end panels, plinths, and fillers – that’s where a professional can help to not only plan the space, but also give you a detailed costing for the elements required.

Day True monochrome pink bathroom

This design by Day True uses bold Popham Design tiles around the bath while the rest is kept plain to balance the budget.

To make the most of your money, prioritise and divide your budget. This helps a designer be more creative, as they’ll have to work even harder – and think differently – to find the ideal solution inside defined boundaries.

Mix up fixtures and furniture from different suppliers for a personal look and to help balance the books.

And remember, installation and fitting are as important as the products, so don’t always go with the cheapest option but compare quotes. This will make it easier to see what has and hasn’t been included – and look at the installer’s work to ensure the quality of the finish meets your expectations.

Always get as much cost information as possible before you proceed – a detailed budget and trying to allow for every element included will help you make the best decisions and achieve what you want.

This kitchen designed by Day True is within a former industrial building in central east London. The layout was kept the same which is a good way of saving money in the budget.

So how much does it cost to renovate a bathroom or kitchen? It’s so subjective, really, but use this as a guide of what will cost you money and use it as a base for your budget sheet.

What will cost in the bathroom?

Remember – see prices for individual items and compare them for best results.

  • Furniture, including any storage, wall cabinets, or joinery.
  • WC, but be aware most designs have more than one element – for example, a wall-hung design requires a concealed cistern, pan, seat, and flush plate.
  • Basin, including a separate price for the furniture it might sit on.
  • Brassware, including taps, showerhead, hand shower, and valve. Many suppliers now offer alternative finishes to chrome, but bear in mind this often adds about 50% to the cost. You’ll also need to ensure finishes in the space don’t conflict – for example, most hinges on a WC seat, unless hidden, will be chrome.
  • Heating, including heated towel rails, underfloor heating, and demister pads for behind mirrors.
  • Surfaces, including floor and wall tiles and wall cladding. As there is so much choice and variety, tile costs can fluctuate, so I always advise spending on good designs and don’t tile every wall. Go for a feature on the floor or wall and save with the opposite – and remember, not every surface needs to be covered.
  • Shower, including the tray, screen, and tanking, if required. Bear in mind a wetroom floor will usually be more expensive to install.
  • Lighting.

What will cost in the kitchen?

It’s quite easy to set some budget headers – most of these can be applied to bathrooms, too.

  • Kitchen furniture, including cabinets, doors, plinths, and any panels required.
  • Surfaces, including worktops and splashbacks.
  • Appliances, sinks and taps.
  • Ironmongery (handles, hanging rails).
  • Lighting, including inside a cabinet or feature lighting.
  • Installation. This is the element that can change, depending on the scale and complexity of your project. It’s critical to get indications of costs as soon as possible, to ensure you know what you have left to spend on the fun bits including décor.
  • Most kitchen retailers will price for a dry fit installation, which means they will install the furniture, but the other works – for example plumbing, electrical work, and tiling – will usually not be included. These may be services they offer as well, but it’s always good to ask.

Featured image: iStock.
Hayley Robson is the creative director at Day True.

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