Bathroom Renovations: What to Consider

What are your needs?

Renovate your bathroom with your needs and preferences in mind. Are you wanting to create a luxurious retreat? Do you need your bathroom to stand up to the robust daily use by a family? Even if you are considering selling in the future you still want your bathroom to meet your present needs. A well-designed bathroom with quality build and fixtures will stand the test of time. It will appeal to even the most discerning prospective buyer.

Set a realistic budget

The average cost of a bathroom renovation through a specialist company should be around $20 000 – $25 000. A lower quote may indicate that the work will be done by the one tradesperson. Tiling, plumbing and waterproofing require a high level of skill and compliance with legal standards. A very high quote may suggest a company with high overheads. The cost can include all the ‘bells and whistles’ that you do not need. Look out for upselling.

Bathrooms are one of the toughest renovations

The bathroom renovation process involves many trades and lots of ‘know-how’. Engage a specialist bathroom builder who can oversee the project from demolition to completion. They will organise the correct sequence of trades. This is vital to the smooth completion and quality of the renovation. Project-managing the job yourself, if you have little to no experience, will be stressful. It can be costly if you make mistakes a builder would have known to avoid.

Plumbing can be relocated with a total renovation

Many companies will advise against relocating plumbing. With a total strip-out and specialist renovation this is not a problem and does not add a great deal to the cost. Water pipes need to be reworked to suit new fixtures – like a mixer to replace taps, or a wall-hung vanity that’s replacing one on the floor. Relocating water pipes can however, present a challenge if you a renovating a bathroom in a solid brick or concrete slab house.

Select products from a specialist bathroom supplier

A specialist bathroom company has the experience and expertise to answer all your questions. The choice of bathroom fixtures and fittings is huge, therefore it helps to have a specialist to guide you in this area. All products installed in a bathroom need to be covered by Australian Standards. A plumber isn’t legally allowed to install products that do not comply with the Australian standards. Buy from specialist bathroom stores and choose reputable brands. This also provides you with back up if there is a problem with the product in the future.

Adding value to your home

As long as you don’t over invest you should be able to recoup much more than you outlay in a bathroom renovation if or when you consider selling your home. In the meantime, you get to enjoy the luxury and practicality of a modern and stylish bathroom.


5 Tips: Achieving a Beautiful Modern Bathroom

5 Tips for Achieving a Beautiful Modern Bathroom

  1. Design

A modern bathroom creates a feeling of space, relaxation and openness. To achieve this result, keep the design simple and free of unnecessary clutter. Use built-in shelving and cabinetry to hide items. Incorporate clean lines and use minimal colours to create a luxurious mood and inviting feel for your bathroom.

  1. Tiling

Tiling is the most important feature of your bathroom. Employ a tiling and bathroom specialist to achieve the perfect result. Tile from floor to ceiling. Choose large tiles to create a seamless effect and to minimise cleaning. Team natural-look tiles with modern fixtures and fittings to create a functional, practical and timeless look.

  1. Lighting

Quality lighting is vital in a modern bathroom and a key element in achieving that spa-like feeling. Bathroom lighting needs to combine bright functional lighting around the mirror with soft ambient light for when you want to unwind. Replace harsh overhead lighting with dimmable downlights. Add flattering mirror and wall lights. Skylights are great idea for modern bathrooms, because they add more natural light and interest to your bathroom. To add to that relaxing spa feeling, add a decorative pendant – even a bathroom chandelier.

  1. Free-Standing Bath

Freestanding tubs are becoming a key feature of modern bathroom designs. They add an element of sophistication, elegance and luxury. You can feel like you are in a retreat or day spa. Freestanding baths range in size from 1500mm all the way up to 2000mm. The clean lines and soft curves of a free-standing bath will add to the modern and spacious feel of the bathroom.

  1. Greenery

Add a touch of greenery to your bathroom to create a connection between the indoors and outdoors. Link the natural outdoor space with the indoor space you are designing. Bring the outdoors inside by adding an indoor plant or two.


Bathroom Renovation Timeline

What is the timeline for a bathroom renovation?

Bathroom before and after

A bathroom renovation specialist can complete the work in 3- 4 weeks. A DIY project may take months.  Tradespeople, including plumbers and electricians are still needed to complete compliance work on a DIY bathroom renovation.

Bathroom Renovation Steps

Strip out

A bathroom specialist would take 1-2 days. For DIY allow at least 3 full days

Structural work or Repairing Water Damage

The time will depend on the work required. All bathroom renovations have slightly different needs.

“Rough in’ of the plumbing

Plumbing is relocated if required. This can take less than a day. It is very difficult to move plumbing connections and relocate waste pipes in a concrete slab. The best idea is to avoid relocations if possible.

Plumbing work

‘Rough in’ (install) the electrical wiring

The plumbers installs new power points and light points. A licensed electrician must complete this work. Compliance certificates need to be issued. This work would take a day.

Walls and floors are prepared for tiling

The plastered is stripped and villaboard is laid ready for the tiling.


A waterproof compound is applied to the shower base and other parts of the cement sheeting. This may take up to three days. The work needs to be completed to waterproofing standards.

A built-in bath would be installed after waterproofing. A free-standing bath would be installed after the floor is tiled.

Cornice moulding would be installed next if you are not tiling to the ceiling. If tiling to the ceiling the cornice mouldings would be added after the tiling.

Tiling, grouting and painting

This would take up 2-3 days for a professional tiler and longer for an inexperienced tiler.

Laying tiles

Shower Screen

The installer will measure the shower enclosure space. The shower will be installed later.

Installation of Vanity and Storage Cabinets

This may take from 1-3 days depending on the amount of cabinetry.

Plumbing and electrical ‘fit-out’.

This would take from 1-3 days. A free-standing bath would be installed at this stage.

Final ‘Fit Out’

The shower screen, mirrors and accessories are installed.

Correcting problems arising from completing work out of order can be very costly. Changing your mind part way through the process can also delay the completion of the renovation and involve rescheduling of the tradespeople required. Contracting a specialist bathroom company takes the responsibility away from you, with all work guaranteed for 6 ½ years.

Average Cost to Renovate a Small Bathroom

Average Cost to Renovate a Small Bathroom

Most people will have had no previous experience with a bathroom renovation, therefore having information about the process, the costs involved and knowing the right questions to ask can put you in a much stronger position when making decisions about renovating this key room or rooms in your house.

Regardless of the size of the bathroom or ensuite, there are a number of integral components to the strip out and renovation process which will contribute to the final cost. These include:

  • Labour costs – A professional bathroom renovation requires the use of qualified and specialised tradespeople (carpenter, plumber, tiler, electrician). Using a specialised bathroom company such as BRM Pty Ltd means that your renovation is guaranteed for workmanship for 6 years and you are issued with certificates of compliance for the plumbing and electrical work.
  • Tiling – this is a significant component of the overall costs involved. Many clients now choose to tile from the floor to the ceiling. This creates a sleek and clean look, however, it adds significantly to the total cost. The size and type of tile (porcelain, ceramic, square edge, mosaic) can also impact the cost as some tiles are more difficult to lay.
  • Fittings – these include tapware, vanity, shower rose, bath, towel rails, toilet, shower screen. There is enormous variation in the costs of fittings. BRM clients choose their own fittings, sourced and provided at cost price. Alternately the client can choose to source and provide their own fittings. It is important to keep in mind that mid-range fittings can still provide you with a modern and expensive look to your renovation, without blowing the budget.

Is the cost significantly less for renovating a smaller bathroom?

Whilst your bathroom may be smaller in terms of overall dimensions, the costs of labour, tiling and fittings remain constant. Savings can be made with regard to choice of fittings and type and amount of tiling.

Why not complete the renovation myself or employ general tradespeople to complete the work?

This may seem like the best way to achieve a saving, however, it is less likely to achieve the desired result and could leave you in the position of having a partially completed renovation that no specialised bathroom company will want to take on. BRM Pty Ltd as a specialised bathroom completes all parts of the process from strip out to completion, guaranteeing all aspects of workmanship. The tradespeople we use, specialise in bathroom renovations and work closely together to complete the work efficiently and to a high standard.

How long does a bathroom renovation take to complete?

The average length of time from strip out to final completion is between 3-4 weeks. Completion time can be affected by such factors as amount and speciality of tiling, availability of fittings and client variations to the initial choices and plans. As BRM’s Project Manager is also the builder, he is on site overseeing all stages of the renovation and ensuring that all facets of the renovation proceed smoothly.


Total Bathroom Renovation or Makeover

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
  • Bathroom is still available for use whilst makeover is taking place

The 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 cost falls 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 from ‘old’ to ‘new’. All work is guaranteed for 6 year and a Certificate of Insurance is issued. A full strip out renovation addresses any underlying problems with plumbing or water damage. Qualified and specialist tradespeople complete each aspect of the renovation process, including carpenters, plumbers, electricians and waterproofers. 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.






A total bathroom renovation starts with a full strip out of your existing space, including all fittings and fixtures. BRM Bathrooms can order and supply all fittings and fixtures, ensuring that they are suitable for the application and ready when required. The Project Manager coordinates the various tradespeople. This allows the renovation to proceed in a timely and efficient manner. You are not left waiting on the availability of tradespeople.

Selling your home or staying in it for a long time, a total bathroom renovation will stand the test of time and the test of potential buyers.

A bathroom makeover will always look like a makeover. A total bathroom renovation will look like a fresh, modern, new bathroom.

Bathroom Specialist or DIY?

Why contract a bathroom specialist to complete your renovation?

The bathroom renovation specialist provides the added confidence and back up for all stages of the renovation process. The bathroom specialist transfers the knowledge and expertise built up over many years to each individual renovation. You can be confident that they have the skills and understandings to guide you through all stages of the process. The renovation process has been developed and refined to provide efficiency and the highest degree of quality assurance.

Bathroom renovations typically require the combined services of a number of licensed and qualified tradespersons. For a major renovation, you would need:

  • A cabinet maker
  • A carpenter
  • A plumber
  • An electrician
  • A tiler

A specialist bathroom company supplies and coordinates all these tradespeople, allowing the renovation process to proceed smoothly from the initial inquiry to final ‘fit out’. The onsite Project Manager, who is often the Registered Builder, coordinates the various trades to complete each aspect of the renovation in a timely and efficient manner. When contracting bathroom specialists, you are not left with a half-finished bathroom waiting on the availability of independent tradespeople.

Specialist bathroom companies such as BRM Pty Ltd use a Registered Building practitioner. In Victoria, the Building Practitioners Board (BPB) governs building trades. If the value of your bathroom renovation is greater than $5,000, labour and materials inclusive, the BPB requires the work to be carried out by a Registered Building Practitioner. All work completed by a Registered Building Practitioner is covered by a six and a half year, Home Owner’s Warranty.

A Registered Building Practitioner needs to comply with Australian structural standards and building codes. Waterproofing, which is a vital aspect of a wet area renovation, is completed to the Australian Standard Codes for Waterproofing. Certificates of Compliance are also provided for all plumbing and electrical work.

Whilst renovating a bathroom yourself can appear to save you considerable money, do consider the time and difficulty of the job before you decide to take the project on. A DIY bathroom has no guarantees. All the responsibility is on you. Renovating your own bathroom or choosing to employ a variety of independent contractors to complete various aspects of the work can result in a lengthy and frustrating process. There can be costly mistakes and potential safety concerns. Incorrectly completed plumbing and electrical work could put you and your family at risk.

As one of the most valuable rooms in your house, your bathroom deserves the expertise and guarantee of a renovation completed by a specialist bathroom company. A well-designed and built bathroom will serve the needs of you and your household for years to come.