Bathroom Renovation: Reality and Research

Has a bathroom renovation or makeover been on your ‘to do list’ for too long?

What is holding you back?

If your biggest obstacle is financial, then you are not alone. A quality bathroom renovation involves a significant financial outlay.

If you choose good quality mid-range fittings, an ensuite renovation will start from around $16 000 – $18 000. A bathroom renovation will cost anywhere from $20 000.

You don’t want to take short cuts or choose the cheapest products, but some of your decisions can significantly impact the total cost of the renovation.


The amount of tiling rather than the type of tiles chosen can add significantly to the cost of the project. Many people choose to tile from floor to ceiling. This creates a beautiful, clean and modern look for your bathroom, but it does add on average about 10 square metres of tiles and tiling. The additional tiles add less to the price than the extra tiling as tiles are relatively inexpensive.

Fittings and Fixtures

Vanities, baths, tapware and toilet suites range greatly in price.

  • Toilet suites from $200 – $1 000
  • Tapware from $90 – $600

Double vanities, stone bench tops and frameless shower screens also add to the overall price of the renovation.

It is great to have definite ideas and choices about products and fixtures, however, these choices impact the cost of your renovation.

For most potential buyers who have had little or no experience with the process of renovating a bathroom, reality and research can be your best friends. Research the options and alternatives available and ask the following questions.

  • What is included in the quotation?
  • What items are prime costed?
  • Are fittings and fixtures provided at trade prices?
  • Is a Certificate of Insurance issued at the start of the contract?
  • Will we receive a certificate of compliance for plumbing and electrical work?
  • Is a statement of waterproofing compliance issued?
  • Will specialist tradespeople complete the work?

To bath or not to bath that is the question …….

Rest assured, we are not discussing hygiene and cleanliness, just the pros and cons for retaining or including a bath in your bathroom renovation. Is a bath a necessary inclusion in the bathroom or a redundant fixture from bygone years?


A prime consideration is the available space. Removing the bath from a small bathroom will visually increase the space of the room. A boxed-in bath can make the room look small and cramped. If you have the available space, including a bath is a sensible option. A larger bathroom can appear empty without a bath. You don’t want a big hollow bathroom. A beautiful free-standing bath adds a look of luxury to the bathroom.


Leaving out the bath can provide the space for the inclusion of features such as double vanities and larger walk-in shower with fixed glass panel. This design creates a look of luxury, but would also suit those with mobility issues.


Design needs to match function. Who is going to use the bathroom? What do they prefer? If you have small children you will probably try and retain a bath. If you have a family member who prefers a bath to a shower you will want to retain the bath. If your preference is for a more spacious bathroom with walk-in showers and double vanities, then the bath may have to go to allow for these features.


Baths do require cleaning. If you are not a fan of bathroom cleaning, then this may influence your decision. A bath will collect dust and require cleaning. Walk in showers are super easy to clean. No reaching over or needing to step into the bath to clean.



Bath or no bath, an unappealing bathroom can be an instant turnoff. While a bath does have resale appeal, a bathroom without a bath can still be just as enticing to buyers if the room is well presented, functional and includes modern fittings and fixtures. Part of the attraction for potential buyers can be the size of the bathroom. A bathroom can appear larger without a bath. If, however, you are thinking of selling in the near future and the sale is likely to attract family interest then you need to consider retaining a bath.


Bathroom Makeover v’s Total Renovation?

Total Bathroom Renovation Versus Makeover/Facelift

When thinking about updating your bathroom, there are generally two options – makeover/facelift or total bathroom renovation. Both are worthy of investigation, but it pays to be realistic about what you can achieve with each option. What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Bathroom Makeover/Facelift

  • A bathroom makeover is a cheaper option
  • It should take less time to complete
  • Doesn’t require specialised tradespeople
  • Your old bathroom is still available for use whilst makeover is taking place

Unfortunately a bathroom makeover won’t address any underlying bathroom issues, such as leaky shower or sub floor water damage. There is no guarantee for work completed. As the total cost is below $10,000, the work won’t be covered by a guarantee. A bathroom makeover will not add any significant value to your property. It will be obvious that it is a makeover, not a total renovation.

Total Bathroom Renovation

A total bathroom renovation changes the total look of your bathroom. It moves your bathroom from ‘old’ to ‘new’. All work is guaranteed for 6 years and a Certificate of Insurance is issued. Qualified and specialist tradespeople complete each aspect of the renovation process, including carpentry, plumbing, electrics, cabinetry and waterproofing. ‘Starting from scratch’, means that you can design and fit out the space to suit your needs and preferences. Your fittings and fixtures are up to date and match the new room.

BRM Bathrooms can order and supply all fittings and fixtures from our regular suppliers, at trade price. When we organise fittings and fixtures, it ensures that they are suitable for the application and ready when required. Our Project Manager coordinates the various tradespeople, allowing the renovation to proceed in a timely and efficient manner. You are not left waiting on the availability of tradespeople and hoping that they will turn up when required.

A total bathroom renovation will stand both the test of time and the test of potential buyers. A bathroom makeover will always look like a makeover, whilst a total bathroom renovation will provide a fresh, modern, new bathroom that you will be happy with for years to come.

Small Bathroom Renovation

Small bathroom or ensuite renovation?

It is only natural to think smaller room = significantly less cost.

Many people are surprised when they receive an estimate for renovating their small bathroom.

  • Average total bathroom renovation – expect to spend from $18 000 – $25 000+
  • Average total ensuite renovation – expect to spend from $15 000 – $20 000+

Don’t be put off! A small bathroom renovation still gives you value for money and is an excellent investment in your home.

Small bathrooms may require less tiling than a larger room, however, the size of the room will not reduce the work and the trades that need to be involved.

Small Bathroom Trades required

·         Carpentry/Building

·         Plumbing

·         Tiling

·         Electrical

·         Waterproofing

·         Cabinetry

·         Shower screen installation

Small Bathroom Fittings and Fixtures

·         Toilet

·         Shower recess

·         Mirrors

·         Towel Rails

·         Bath (Optional)

·         Vanity or Vanities

·         Tapware

·         Cabinetry

BRM bathrooms are your small, medium and large bathroom specialists! With over 30 years of experience to draw on, we know the business of bathrooms.

All our work is completed by specialist tradespeople and guaranteed for 6 years. Our project manager coordinates the trades so that your renovation can proceed as smoothly as possible. Unlike most of our competitors, BRM offers fittings and fixtures from our suppliers at trade prices.

Why Renovate Your Bathroom?

Why renovate your bathroom?

A bathroom renovation presents a significant outlay in money and time. A standard renovation completed by a specialist bathroom company will set you back around $20 000. Your bathroom may be out of action for 3 – 4 weeks. You will have a number of trades in your house for a period of time. There will be some disruption during the process and everything will not always go perfectly to plan.

Whilst it is best to be realistic about the process, don’t be put off.

Here are four (4) reasons why you should consider renovating your bathroom or bathrooms sooner rather than later.

  1. If your bathroom (fittings and fixtures) are showing signs of wear and age, you may be looking at a significant financial outlay to replace these items or to carry out a simple facelift. Getting a tradesperson out to fix a drain or toilet can be expensive.

    2. Modern, well-designed bathrooms add significant value to your home. If you decide to sell, a discerning buyer will look closely at the style, age and condition of the bathroom when comparing properties. A bathroom with dated fittings and fixtures will date the entire house.

  1. You and your significant others get to enjoy the luxury that comes with a new bathroom. We spend a lot of time in the bathroom, so why not make it a pleasurable experience. A well-designed and quality built bathroom will stand the test of time and come with a six-year guarantee.

  1. Fittings and fixtures have come a long way over the years. A modern bathroom includes features such as frameless shower screens, wall niches, heated towel rails, mixer taps, wall hung toilets, double vanities, underfloor heating and free-standing baths. These new fittings and fixtures not only look great but provide added comfort, are easier to clean and look great!

Bathroom Renovation: Know the Basics

  1. A bathroom renovation takes around 3- 4 weeks to complete.

Completion time can be affected by the amount of tiling, structural complexity and supply of fittings and fixtures.

  1. Different tradespeople need to be coordinated to complete the renovation.
  • Builder/carpenter
  • Tiler
  • Electrician
  • Plumber
  • Waterproofer
  • Shower screen installer

  1. Waterproofing is a vital step in the bathroom renovation process

A waterproof compound is applied to the shower base and other parts of the cement sheeting. This work needs to be completed to Australian Waterproofing Standards.


  1. All work needs to be completed in the correct order.

One tradesperson needs to complete their work before the next stage can be completed. Some work requires time to set or dry before the next stage can be undertaken.



  1. There are a huge range of fittings and fixtures to choose from

BRM will work with any fittings & fixtures you choose. If you need help selecting, just ask!