With the average bathroom renovation costing anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000, it’s not a task to be taken lightly, which is why we looked to Wesley Sinclair from Highgrove Bathrooms recently for his best bathroom budgeting advice. “Before the renovating even takes place, it’s important to make a plan and set a budget. The costs of fixtures, tiling, plumbing and electricals can really add up if you don’t plan ahead. Always allow for a 10 percent buffer for any unexpected costs that may come up along the way,” says Wesley.
“For a full bathroom renovation, a rough guide would be to spend 40 percent of your budget on fixtures, 35 per cent on tiling, 20 percent on plumbing and the last five percent on electricals.”
“Accounting for nearly half of your renovation budget, the fixtures and fittings you choose can make or break the look and feel of your bathroom,” says Wesley who advises splurging on fixtures such as your cabinetry, toilet and bathtub if you are having one. “Ample storage space is a must for every bathroom, so choosing the right vanity and shelving for all your bathroom essentials is vital. Opting for a wall hung vanity will free up floor space and give you the illusion of a bigger bathroom too.”
When it comes to toilets, Wesley says that it’s important to think about WELS water efficiency ratings as well as how easy they are to clean. “Wall face toilets eliminate the need to reach around and clean behind your toilet, and rimless toilets provide a more hygienic flushing experience,” says Wesley.
When it comes to saving on fixtures, he warns against blowing your budget on expensive mirrors, robe hooks, tapware, basins and towel racks given there are so many attractive, affordable options on the market. “Quality, affordable accessories that can coordinate your whole bathroom look are readily available and can be updated later when you’re ready for a refresh.”
And when it comes to your bath tub, Wesley is a fan of the freestanding options for that high-end finish. “They add that extra touch of luxury while maximising available space.”
“The amount of your budget spent on tiling will be determined by the size of your space and how high you want your wall tiling to go. Floor to ceiling wall tiles are a luxury bathroom trend we’ve seen emerge over the last five years and they can instantly add value to your home,” says Wesley.
And with tile prices ranging anywhere from $30 to $200 per square metre, your tile spend depends largely on how luxe you go. “Complex designs like mosaics and herringbone patterns are more expensive and can cost more to lay too. On top of the price of your tiles, the actual installation can set you back around $40 per square metre when you consider things like site preparation, labour, glue and grout,” says Wesley. One area in which no shortcuts can be taken is waterproofing. “Make sure you professionally waterproof the areas around your toilet, vanity, shower and bathtub to protect the integrity of your floors and walls.”
And sometimes a bathroom renovation doesn’t require new tiles at all. “If your tiles are still in good condition, you could consider re-grouting instead of completely replacing them. Opting for a bit of facelift rather than a complete overhaul will save you lot of money, and in some cases, that fresh white grout is all that’s needed for a brand new look!”
There are plenty of ways to save money when renovating your bathroom, however, plumbing isn’t one of them. “Don’t skimp when professionally fitting your basin, toilet, shower and bathtub, as poor plumbing can lead to many problems later down the track. A leaking tap or busted pipe will cost you so much more to fix than the initial installation fee,” says Wesley. It’s also worth noting that some products are only covered by warranty if they’re professionally fitted.
Plumbers charge an average of $80 per hour, though some will charge per task. “To completely renovate and rearrange the space, your plumber will need more time to extend and change the current layout to suit your new bathroom plan. Always get a quote and avoid changing your original plans if possible!” says Wesley.
“The electrical elements in a bathroom can sometimes be overlooked when planning a renovation – think exhaust fans, downlights, LED Mirrors, heated towel rails, power points and light switches. Always plan your electrical layout before doing any tiling as it’s much easier to run the necessary wires and cables that way,” says Wesley.
Task lighting is key in a bathroom too and he recommends wall sconces or an LED mirror to help illuminate the area. “You want your lighting to be effective enough to carry out daily activities like shaving, applying make-up and brushing your teeth.”
Heated towel rails are another consideration, just make sure to select a timed eco wall switch as an energy efficient option. “Talk to your electrician about having the wiring run before you install your tiles though as these need to be hardwired and professionally installed,” says Wesley who advises selecting a good quality exhaust fan also, toeliminate moisture build up.