How Much Does A New Bathroom Cost

Lifestyle image of a white washbasin unit, with a chrome basin tap, wall mounted towel rail and soap dispenser, featuring the heading "How Much Does A New Bathroom Cost?" in black font against a white strip
Author: Alex Murdoch
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Thinking of getting a new bathroom? Whether you are updating a few features or planning to completely renovate your previous bathroom, there is always more to consider than the cost of your new fittings. Installation fees can more than double the price of a project, especially if you were planning to move any of your plumbing. Then there is the standard of finish you want on your new bathroom, whether to hire a decorator or have a go at doing it yourself, not to mention what you are supposed to do with the remnants of your old bathroom. Now how much will all that cost? Unfortunately, the answer is not so straightforward.

There is a certain amount of disagreement online when it comes putting a price on a new bathroom, with some sites quoting around £1,500 while others proclaim costs upwards of £10,000. Here at Sanctuary Bathrooms, after comparing several quotes and conducting some research of our own, we settled on a rough average cost of £5,950 for a new bathroom, which includes the price of installation and the removal of any previous fixtures. But how are you actually spending that six thousand pounds?  

In this article, every expenditure that you need to be aware of when calculating the cost of your new bathroom is outlined, from the fixtures and preparatory work, to any unforeseen admin involved in building an entirely new space. 

The Cost of Repainting, Wallpapering and Redecorating an Existing Bathroom

Before embarking on a bathroom renovation, the first question you need to ask yourself is what extent of work needs to be completed. Building a bathroom from scratch is going to cost significantly more than swapping out some of your current fixtures, whereas replacing a few tired furnishings or simply refreshing your space with a lick of paint could be a very cost effective way of breathing some new life in your old bathroom.

Lifestyle image of a woman painting the walls and some of the tiles in her bathroom

If your fittings are still in a good shape and your desired changes are mainly cosmetic, then the best thing for your bathroom might be a bit of redecorating and if you are up to the challenge of doing it yourself, then you only need to factor in the price of supplies:

Cost of Supplies

Slate Tiles
£40-£50 per m²
Glass Tiles
£110-£160 per m²
£230 per day
£50 per m²

An average sized bathroom would need a minimum of 5 litres of paint for the first coat, which could cost between £20 and £100 depending on the quality and the colour, or if you fancied wallpaper for your new bathroom then you would need at least 6 standard sized rolls, costing you from £90 to upwards of £400 for more elaborate designs. There is some disparity when it comes to the price of tiles, with slate tiles being between £40 and £50 per m² compared to glass tiles which tend to cost £110 to £160 per m².  

Unless you already have an arsenal of tools from a previous project, then you should also consider the cost of new utensils. Brushes, rollers, trowels, grout and sealant are all additional expenses to be aware of, but if even the thought of laying down newspapers is causing you a small crisis of confidence, there is always the option of hiring a decorator. Whether painting or wallpapering, average daily rate for a decorator in the UK is £230, while a tiler is likely to charge you about £50 per m². 

Without so much as looking at any new fittings, the average cost of redecorating your bathroom is £690 to do it yourself, or closer to £1,450 when paying a professional.

The Budget of Your New Bathroom

If you think your new bathroom is in needs of more than a fresh coat of paint, then the second question you need to ask yourself is whether you want to splash out on luxury products or to choose some more affordable fittings. As an illustration of how these price points can differ, we combined the cost of the most expensive products available on our website as a test and the total price came to just over £21,000. It may come as no surprise then that there really is no upper limit to what you can spend on bathroom fittings, but if you have a more modest renovation in mind, there is a lower limit that you should be aware of when budgeting your new bathroom.  

The following section will break down the average cost of the items you would expect to find in your bathroom, while acknowledging the lowest prices to give you an idea of the least you could expect to spend: 

Cost of Fittings

Standard Bath

Freestanding Bath
Electric Shower
Thermostatic Shower
Shower Enclosure
Bath Taps
Basin Taps
Vanity Unit
Mirror Cabinet

Assuming you purchase at least one of each of the items listed above, the average cost would be around £2,600 on the fittings (though certain items may be excluded or adapted to suit each space) for your new bathroom, although this price drops to around £955 if you opted for less expensive alternatives. 

The focal point of most bathrooms, it is inevitable that the new bath is often the most expensive purchase you will make. While it is possible to find some standard baths for as little as £150, most baths of this type will cost between £250 and £750, whereas freestanding baths are more commonly between £400 and £1,500. Of course, this is without taking into account the price of the bath taps, which usually cost between £100 and £200 but can be bought for £50 by those on a budget.

Product Lifestyle image of the BC Designs 1700mm Copper Freestanding Boat Bath

The companion to most of our morning routines and perhaps the more popular modern bathing option, the shower similarly comes in many varieties at differing price points. Simple electric showers start at about £70, but you are more likely to find these models between £150 and £450, whereas thermostatic showers are often between £400 and £600. If you think showers are sounding like a steal compared to baths, then you might have forgotten to factor in the price of the shower enclosure, which will add another £250 to £500 to your estimate. 

The toilet is another expense you need to consider, often priced between £150 and £400 but occasionally available for as low as £130. It would be prudent keep these prices in mind if you decide to buy your toilet online, as although the Sanctuary Bathrooms site only allows you to purchase complete toilets, some retailers will sell the seat, pan and cistern (for close coupled toilets) separately. Try to remain vigilant and remember: if a price looks too good to be true, then there may be a reason for that.

The last of the essentials, the basin comes in a variety of styles without too much differentiation on their price point. Whether you decide to go for a wall mounted basin, pedestal sink or countertop basin, most models fall within the range of £80 to £300, although there are some wall mounted options available from £60. The price of the taps is almost identical to that of those for baths, with most costing between £100 and £200, although those on a budget might struggle to find any for lower than £60.

Product Lifestyle image of the Victoria and Albert Metallo Washstand and Basin

While these final fixtures are technically optional, their cost should not be overlooked when budgeting your new bathroom. Vanity units can be surprisingly costly, starting at about £160 but most commonly sold between £300 and £600. Mirror cabinets are a similarly uncompromising expense, often priced between £170 and £300, so those looking to save might prefer to spend £25 on a simple bathroom mirror

The Cost of Plumbing, Fitting and Installing of a New Bathroom

Unless you happen to be a qualified plumber and are able to complete you own installation, you are going to have to contract a few tradespeople to ensure that your new bathroom is installed functionally and securely. As alluded to earlier, the price of installation is likely to double the total cost of your bathroom, but as in the previous section an outline of the average cost of each area, and estimate for how long each of these jobs will take to complete is provided:

Cost of Installation


3-5 hours

2-8 hours
Shower Enclosure

3-5 hours
2-4 hours
1-2 hours
Vanity Unit
1-3 hours
Mirror Cabinet
1-3 hours

In total, installation costs theoretically should sit at around £1,900. However, you need to be aware of how your location within the UK plus the demand for fitters in your area can affect this. Londoners, where consumer prices are 20% higher on average than anywhere else in the country, can expect the price of labour to be on the higher end of our estimates. On the other hand, if you live in the North of England or in Scotland or Wales, then quotes might bear more resemblance to the more conservative side of valuations.

Close up image of the various tools and parts needed to install a bathroom basin and taps

In addition to being the biggest purchase you will likely make, the bath is one the most expensive items to install. While you would be lucky to get a quote as low as £250, most fitters will cost from £350 to £500 and will take 3 to 5 hours to complete the installation of a bath and bath panels, although you can expect the price and time to increase for freestanding baths. 

Unsurprisingly the joint expense of the shower and shower enclosure will be your most costly installation. Depending on whether you are replacing your old shower or fitting an entirely new system, the shower should cost from £315 to £450 and could take 2 to 8 hours to complete its installation, whereas the shower enclosure is similarly priced to your standard bath, often quoted at £350 to £500 and taking 3 to 5 hours.  

Thankfully, fitting the rest of your bathroom is a little bit less expensive. For the toilet, you can expect to pay between £150 and £350 for an installation that takes 2 to 4 hours, while the price point for the basin is identical but should only take 1 to 2 hours to fit securely. As for the vanity unit and mirror cabinet, these will only cost £70 to £130 and £70 to £90 respectively and can both be installed within 1 to 3 hours.  

Something to be wary of are cowboy contractors, who offer their services at reduced costs on account of not having the appropriate qualifications. It is good practice to do some research into your contractors before hiring them to make sure they have a good reputation and are fully qualified to complete the work they are promising, as well as speaking to other contractors to get an idea of the average price for your area.

The Cost of an En Suite versus the Cost of a Larger Bathroom

Product Lifestyle image of a lilac painted cloakroom bathroom featuring numrous products from Crosswater, including a wall mounted toilet with a wooden cistern housing, a slatted wooden washbasin unit and a round LED mirror

Throughout this article we have been using the dimensions of an average sized UK bathroom to calculate the average cost of the materials and products involved in its renovation, but what if your new bathroom is a different size, such as a new en suite bathroom, or bigger than average?  This section will briefly outline how the size of your bathroom can affect your expenditure as well as some estimates of the cost of a new en suite or larger bathroom.    

Redecoration costs are most significantly affected by the size of your new bathroom, simply because more or less space will require more or less supplies to decorate, not to mention more or less time for the professionals to complete their work. Even if you did decide to hire decorators, an average sized en suite should not cost any more than £490, whereas completing the painting and tiling in a larger bathroom would likely exceed £2,000. 

The size of your space will also dictate the fittings you choose for your new bathroom, or rather which fittings will actually fit in the available space. Due to the limited space in an average en suite, you are more likely to install a shower enclosure rather than a shower bath, if either option at all, whereas you might be inclined to fill a larger bathroom with a separate shower and bath, or even a luxurious freestanding bath, all of which will increase your price point. 

Based on our calculations, the complete renovation of an average sized en suite should cost around £3,700, while you should anticipate spending at least £7,600 updating your larger bathroom suite.  

The Cost of Renovating or Remodelling your New Bathroom 

For those of you who are as concerned with the feng shui as the fittings, you will have to consider the additional cost of remodelling your new bathroom. As in earlier sections, there are certain costs that you can avoid by simply rolling your sleeves up, but when it comes to the plumbing and electrical work, unfortunately there is no room for cutting corners.  

Commissioning an interior designer can take some of the stress out of planning the layout of your new bathroom, but their services come at a premium price. While an initial consultation could cost a couple of hundred pounds, for complete design plans you can expect to pay between £500 and £2,500 depending on the size and scale of the remodel. This usually includes everything from theme, tastes, and moodboarding what you want, as well as overseeing the work. However, a 3D Bathroom Design Service could be an easier and cheaper option, if you know what you want and just want expert guidance and visualisation of what the finished space would look like.

Talk To Us About 3D Bathroom Design

Digital image of a contemporary bathroom designed using the Sanctuary Bathrooms 3D design tool

Once you have decided on the new locations of your bathroom fixtures, you will need to contract a plumber to prepare the ‘first fix’ plumbing. This process involves positioning all of the water pipes that your new fittings will be connected to during the ‘second fix’, or what we referred to as the installation. This service should cost between £25 and £40 per m², although it is not uncommon for plumbers to charge an additional 20% to 30% on top of their normal hourly rate. 

Depending on the type of shower you have chosen or whether your bathroom cabinet is boasting any smart technology, you may also need to employ an electrician. The average daily rate for an electrician in the UK is £320, but as stated in the previous section, you can expect this price to increase or decrease depending on your distance from London.  

The final expense you need to think about, and the part of the process that undoubtedly kickstarted your renovation, is disposing of your old bathroom. For those on a budget, you only need to worry about sourcing a skip, which will cost between £150 and £500 depending on the volume of your waste, plus a potential payment to your local council.  

If the thought of hauling a bathtub down the stairs is enough to make your lower back twinge, then you will be happy to hear that most contractors will rip out your previous fittings for around £300, but be sure to check that they have their Waste Carrier License. Homeowners are liable for fines up to £400 for the unlawful disposal of their waste, which is not an expenditure that anyone should have to factor into their overall budget.

The Cost of Building a New Bathroom or Adding a New Bathroom to an Existing Space

If neither the fittings nor their arrangement seems to be the problem, then perhaps there is nothing left to do but build an entirely new bathroom, which not only includes all the cost previously mentioned but the costs of any building work on top.  

If you wanted to relocate your bathroom to another room within your house, you would likely need building regulations approval to ensure that your chosen room could be ventilated and drained to their desired specifications while meeting the standards of their structural, electrical and fire safety requirements. It is worth consulting your local council as well as speaking to qualified tradespeople before beginning any work, as they should be able to advise you with regards to any planning and building regulations requirements. 

While the value of this assessment will vary between governing bodies, the lowest you should expect to pay is £250 for internal alterations. However, if you were planning on constructing an extension to accommodate your new bathroom, the price of planning permission starts at £550, but again you should check your local government website for a more accurate evaluation. Keep in mind that this does not include the cost of any drawings, plans or pre-planning studies that you may need to support your application. 

There are other costs that need to be factored into your estimate, such as the cost of building materials, of builders and structural engineers, for Party Wall Agreements with any neighbours adjacent to the new build, for any external pipework or relocation of existing pipes outside the property, plus the price of an architect can be as much as 10% of the total project. Overall you can expect to spend between £1,350 and £2,250 per m², or upwards of £16,000 for an average sized bathroom. 

Keeping Renovation Costs Down and Stopping your Project Going Over Budget

Whether you are getting the builders in or just replacing a few of the old fittings, buying and installing your new bathroom is an expensive process. If you have been keeping a running total of our upper and lower estimates, then you will be looking at a price range of anywhere between £3,000 to over £33,000 when you factor in the cost of an extension.  

Even if neither of these totals seem too scary, these are only ‘best case scenario’ estimates which do not take into account any unforeseen issues that might prolong your installation and ultimately increase the cost of your new bathroom. So before you start your spending spree, we have a couple of tips that should prevent your project from going over budget before your bathroom is exactly as you would want it. 

Tip Number One: Let your fitters know that you are asking around for quotes before agreeing on a price.

As we mentioned earlier, it is good practice to speak to multiple fitters to get an idea of an average price for labour and to avoid any dodgy dealers. However, if you tell each contractor that you are actively asking for other quotes, they might offer you an enticing discount to secure you as their client.  

Tip Number Two: Have a contingency budget to protect your project from unexpected expenses.

Once you have an idea of how much your renovation is going to cost, make sure you set aside an additional 5% to 25% as your contingency budget, increasing the percentage depending on the age of your property. This should act as a safety buffer to cover any unforeseen costs along the way, but if everything goes smoothly this money could be used to improve the final finish of your new bathroom, or simply put it back into your savings for the next big renovation.