How Much Does It Cost to Add a Bathroom? 5 Considerations

Peter Chambers

Jan 18, 2023

How Much Does It Cost to Finish a Basement

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Maybe your children have reached their teen years and want more privacy. Perhaps you’ve argued about the right way to hang toilet paper for the last time — either way, you’ve decided to add a bathroom to your homestead. Doing so can set you back anywhere from a few thousand bucks to well over five figures. 

What’s your budget? It doesn’t matter if you finance your renovations in cash or take out a home equity line of credit. You still want to get the biggest bang for your buck. How much does it cost to add a bathroom to your home? Here are five things to consider. 

1. Location, Location, Location

How much it costs to add a bathroom depends in large part on where you plan to enhance your home. For example, are you transforming your basement into an apartment? If so, you need a second exit point to prevent inhabitants from getting trapped if a fire breaks out and blocks the stairwell. You may have to add an egress window, which generally requires a contractor and significantly adds to your costs. 

Another factor to consider is whether you have to run new pipes for plumbing, and how far, if so. The price of building materials has increased significantly in recent years, and the average price of copper nearly doubled in 2021, with steel and PVC not far behind. Consider the placement of your new bathroom carefully. 

Can you place your new bathroom next to existing pipes? You could split a current one in two or utilize the adjacent bedroom wall instead of placing your new room at the end of a hallway or other distant area of your home. Such a plan might not work if you need a bathroom on a different floor, but could save you a bundle if you simply want to give your teenage daughter more privacy.

One final consideration is whether you’ll have to pull permits for your project. Requirements vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction — check with your local permitting office to be sure. It’s always best to play it safe, as many construction issues affect not only you and your family but your neighbors. 

2. Fixtures 

Fixtures are your next biggest expense, although you can use hacks to get a bargain. For example, if you’re handy at refinishing items, you might have luck pulling an old sink or even a tub out of your local junk yard, netting a tidy discount. 

Here’s what you can expect to pay for typical bathroom fixtures:

  • Toilets: Anywhere from $100 to $3,000, typically between $250 and $600
  • Sinks: Between $40 and $800
  • Tub/shower enclosures: $800 to $6,000

You might add other amenities, such as a bidet, which could cost more. Your overall design influences your total cost. For example, building a counter and cabinets around your sink could add to your overall price. 

3. Flooring 

Bathroom flooring has to withstand a heavy-duty moisture and humidity load. Here are your best choices and their impact on the cost to add a bathroom: 

  • Ceramic tile: Is a classic bathroom choice. However, it can get very cold unless you install radiant in-floor heating when you renovate. Your feet will thank you after a winter shower, but your wallet will shell out about $10 a square foot for the warmth. The tile itself rings in at $1 to $7. 
  • Vinyl or linoleum: Is one of your most cost-effective flooring choices at about $1 to $3 a square foot. You’re better off with the sheet version for your bathroom, as planks can warp. This material can become cut and scratched from puppy paws or high heels. 
  • Cork: One of your most sustainable choices because it comes from the bark of a tree harvested without killing the host. It costs about $6 to $14 per square foot. 
  • Bamboo: Another sustainable choice, thanks to its quick growth cycle. It costs from $2 to $11 per square foot. 

Some people opt for wood or laminates. However, these materials can cost you a bundle if your tub overflows even one time, thanks to their quick warping potential. Rug is a poor choice because the excess moisture fosters mold growth. 

4. Lighting 

Your bathroom lighting matters. Unflattering light can make you feel bad every time you use the space. 

Therefore, stay away from overhead fluorescents, however much the price may tempt you. Besides making most people look like they have a bad case of the flu, they contain invisible pulsing that can trigger migraines in susceptible people. 

Why not opt for a striking single bulb or two, perhaps framing your mirror with soft white bulbs that flatter your complexion? A dimmer switch is an often-overlooked touch that comes in handy when you want to take a relaxing soak. 

How much each feature costs depends on what you select. However, you may incur additional costs if you have to run electric — it’s roughly $125 to $175 for the electrician to add an outlet.

5. Accessibility 

Whether you require accessibility features depends on how you plan to use the space. For example, if you plan to rent the space, you may wish to install grab bars or face a future tenant’s request to do so by law. Although short-term rentals like Airbnbs usually have exemptions, including such upgrades increases the desirability of your property. 

Additionally, consider features like doorknobs — push or press models are better than twist for arthritis and mobility issues. These are roughly equivalent to other varieties in price.  A grab bar costs between $85 and $300. 

How Much Does It Cost to Add a Bathroom?

Knowing the cost of adding a bathroom helps you plan your renovation. You don’t want to get halfway through your project, only to discover you come up short. 

Estimates vary depending on how comfortable you are with your DIY skills. When in doubt, it’s generally best to talk to the pros instead of risking a costly mistake — and an eventual call for help. 

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