Bathroom Renovation On A Budget: The $30,000 Challenge

An average bathroom remodel is going to cost you in the range of $30,000 and if that sounds like a lot for such a small room, consider all of the specialty items that have to go into it.

Between the tile, tubs, lights, mirrors and cabinetry, there’s a lot that makes your bathroom the relaxing, welcoming oasis you want it to be. With a more comprehensive budget in the range of $30,000, you should be able to accomplish a total renovation without having to sacrifice quality or style.

To break down your bathroom remodel budget efficiently, you’re going to want to think of each element separately. First, you’re going to need materials. Floor tile is not extraordinarily expensive, and if you need very little square footage to cover them, that makes it even cheaper. There’s a huge range of cabinets and vanities that you can choose from, and you can also build your own with a mirror of choice and table you love, perhaps even built to fit the space, and then cut so the right sink can fit in or on it.

Of course, you’re going to want to consider the cost of professional installation particularly when it comes to electric or plumbing. With water and power, you want to make sure everything is squared away safely.

With a $30,000 budget, in most areas of the country, you should be able to do a pretty extensive renovation.

Decide What’s Going To Happen With Your Layout

With a $30,000 budget, you definitely have some room to move things around if you want to place your tub in a new location, for example. However, the most cost effective way to go about it is to keep each fixture where it was originally placed, as it will eliminate the need for any complicated, below-floor plumbing changes.

Decide What Pre-Existing Materials Can Stay And What Needs To Go

Perhaps your shower itself is in okay condition, but you just need to update the tiles around the walls. Or your toilet can stay if it just gets a new seat. In other cases, you can paint and update the hardware on a cabinet, and get a completely new look. Any one of these are relatively inexpensive, and can have a big impact on how the space looks as a whole.

Consider The Total Cost Of Something, Not Just The Material

With a $30,000 budget, you can definitely afford to replace tile and countertops, but you’re also going to want to consider what materials you choose. You can certainly install marble or granite, or you can go for woods, cements, tiles or other materials. Remember that for larger, more expensive materials, you’re going to want to consider shipping costs and whether or not you need something custom made or cut.

Elements Of The Remodel To Consider

With this budget, you can account for a pretty full remodel, which means that you’ll be able to think about details like a vanity, shower enclosure, shower fixtures and other elements that may not be of top importance if you’re on a smaller budget.


As with any room in your home, lighting is a big deal in the bathroom. Consider not only swapping out your vanity light for something beautiful and bright, but also installing recessed lighting or an overhead fixture. Your bathroom is one of the rooms in your home in which the ability to see clearly is important. If you want it to have a relaxing vibe sometimes, too, consider dimmers, or at least multiple lighting fixtures so you can use one or all at the same time.


The vanity is the centerpiece of the entire bathroom. It tends to be the most detailed area of the space, and absolutely where someone’s eyes go first. Not only that, it’s the space you’ll use the most, whether you’re washing your hands, or getting ready in the morning. On a $30K budget, you can definitely afford to buy a new cabinet and countertop and perhaps even a coordinating mirror or light fixture. But this is also where you can get creative, mix and match, and really let your styling shine.


Replacing the bathtub is often the most expensive, and difficult, aspect of a bathroom design, but it certainly will also create the biggest change aesthetically (and functionally) speaking. If you have room to spare in the budget, you can consider a specialty tub like a soaking tub or clawfoot tub, which will really take your space to the next level. A specialty tub will likely run you a few thousand dollars, with a regular tub about half that.

Shower Enclosure

When it comes to the walls around your shower, they are most often either coated with a plastic covering or, most commonly, tiling. This is because of the amount of moisture and water that will touch them every day. If they didn’t have that, the walls would disintegrate and you’d be dealing with some pretty serious water damage. Fortunately, this is also a chance for you to get creative with design. Maybe you can pick a really nice new tile (which, just for the material, isn’t very expensive on its own) or even install something more modern, like a concrete enclosure.

Shower Fixtures

The shower enclosure is highlighted by the fixtures. This refers to the faucet, the shower head, and the temperature nozzle. There are a lot of great options available for you to purchase a set of the three so that they coordinate, and it’s another place where you can really create a “wow” factor. Consider opting for something unique, like a gold or bronzed or old-fashioned looking set, or one that matches your cabinet hardware.


Needless to say, the sink is another main element of a bathroom, and another place where there’s room for creativity. You can get one that freestands on top of the cabinet, for example, or play with colors and textures. If it fits your design, you can get a clear sink, a black one, or really anything in between.

Walls, Groult, Caulk

Of course, with any bathroom, it’s essential that the caulking and grouting is done well, and that it’s updated every so often so that it stays clean and sleek looking. A quick giveaway of an out-of-date bathroom is dirty or poorly installed grout, and with a $30K budget, you should absolutely be able to update this pretty easily.

Tile and Flooring

Flooring in a bathroom is typically tile or some form of stone, because like the shower enclosure, it’s going to be taking a lot of water over time. This is a great thing, because tiles can be reasonably priced, and given that bathrooms typically have a smaller square footage than other rooms in the home, it makes it an easy update. However, you’ll want a pro to install it unless you’re confident you can cut the tile and ensure that it’s properly installed at the edges.


Through all of the major changes in your bathroom, you’re not going to want to omit the details. It’s all going to come together with carefully selected accessories, such as towel holders and toilet paper holders. Try to get colors and materials that coordinate with the rest of the room’s design for a cohesive look.

Other Costs To Consider

Just accounting for the materials and labor isn’t really enough when you’re doing a thorough renovation. You might want to budget for the following, as well.

Are you moving plumbing?

Are you knocking down any walls, or demolishing anything?

Do you want to add a window?

Do you have a functional fan if you do not have a window?

Do you need any electric moved or installed?

This bathroom is unique, modern, and totally achievable on a $30,000 budget, even if you don’t want to replace the walls with stone. The design incorporates very unique lighting fixtures with bold, black rims, and soft, pink undertones throughout. It’s a perfect combination of delicate but strong, and gives the space a striking, unique appearance.

hansgrohe Metris S Modern 2-Handle 6-inch Tall Bathroom Sink Faucet in Brushed Nickel, 31067821

hansgrohe Metris S Modern 2-Handle 6-inch Tall Bathroom Sink Faucet in Brushed Nickel, 31067821

With the geometrical transition of curve into smooth planes, the design projects a decidedly clean and versatile persona. The full handles with the widespread and bidet products enhance the originality and balance of an already distinctive series.

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This is almost the exact faucet seen in the inspiration photo, and it bridges modern and vintage with a sleek nozzle, and old fashioned temperature valves.

KOHLER K-2214-0 Ladena Under-Mount Bathroom Sink, White

KOHLER K-2214-0 Ladena Under-Mount Bathroom Sink, White

The Ladena lavatory is the most spacious undercounter KOHLER model, with the benefits of durable vitreous china construction. Available in a palette of KOHLER colors, this versatile design complements virtually any decor.

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This rectangular, undermount sink gives a geometric and minimal appearance to the countertop, which is essential for creating this look. When it comes to adding statement pieces, keep the sink simple, and the faucet and lighting fixtures more unique.

This bathroom is reminiscent of a Japanese design, though its layout is quite different. The stones around the tub, wooden walls and standalone tub create a distinctly ‘spa-like’ quality, which is absolutely attainable even within your own home. A lot of the materials are working together to create a cohesive look, even if they aren’t all the same. In this example, the design uses woods, stones and certain metals to create a unified, but subdued, appearance.

Kohler 20704-N-0 Veil Bathroom Sink, White

Kohler 20704-N-0 Veil Bathroom Sink, White

Veil's flowing and immaculately balanced curves evoke a sculpted simplicity in tune with contemporary style. This Veil vessel sink utilizes innovative Supramic technology to create a thin-edged, modern design without sacrificing durability. Enhanced by a high-gloss finish, the basin's sleek, organic shape is easy to clean.

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This sink actually mimics the shape and build of the bathtub, which is important because consistency is key in creating a bathroom like this.

Empava Made In USA 71 Inch Luxury Freestanding Bathtub Acrylic Soaking SPA Tub Contemporary Design with Chrome Overflow and Drain FT1503X71, FT1503, White

Empava Made In USA 71 Inch Luxury Freestanding Bathtub Acrylic Soaking SPA Tub Contemporary Design with Chrome Overflow and Drain FT1503X71, FT1503, White

The contemporary design and defined lines will complement any bathroom decor and make the room seem more spacious. The pure-scape stand-alone tub is ergonomically engineered and will comfortably hold your body, so you can soak in peaceful tranquility. Large freestanding soaking bathtub for full body immersion.

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Of course, the biggest statement piece in the whole room is the tub, which draws the eye to it immediately. This option, which features a curved basin and half-moon shaped arch, nails the look while still offering function and utility.

KOHLER K-6299-0 Veil Wall-Hung Elongated Toilet Bowl, White

KOHLER K-6299-0 Veil Wall-Hung Elongated Toilet Bowl, White

The Veil wall-hung toilet saves up to 12 Inch of precious bathroom space over KOHLER's longest floor-mount models. The mounting hardware is completely concealed, giving Veil a sleek, seamless look that is incredibly easy to clean.

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This modernized toilet is a great addition to an otherwise natural design. With a wall-based flushing mechanism and streamlined toilet design, it creates that relaxing, upscale look, especially when combined with wood walls and stone accessories.

If you’re planning on doing a complete bathroom remodel for both the master bath and the small bathroom downstairs that guests use, don’t forget to put the costs into consideration for both rooms. For example, you won’t have to spend extra money on a new tub for the small bathroom because there is, more than liking, no plumbing fixture in there for a bathtub. Instead, you could spend a little bit of money on the bathroom decor or the overall bathroom design. However, with a master bathroom, you might have to focus more on the bigger things, like the vanity cabinet, shower tile, and the bath tub.

When doing a bathroom renovation, it’s important to budget properly and know if you want to a complete remodel or if you just want to do little updates or replacements here and there. It’s also important to establish whether or not you’re doing a small bathroom remodel or a complete renovation for an outdated bathroom.

January Nelson is a writer, editor, and dreamer. She writes about astrology, games, love, relationships, and entertainment. January graduated with an English and Literature degree from Columbia University.