Not All Small Bathrooms Are Alike

Average Cost To Remodel A Small Bathroom - Not All Alike

Many people who are thinking of remodeling a smaller bathroom make a crucial but understandable financial error when figuring out their budget. Many believe that the average cost to remodel a small bathroom will be significantly less than that of remodeling a larger space, such as a master bathroom.

However, the truth is that while remodeling a small bathroom does cost less than a larger bathroom, the reduc-tion in total cost isn’t as small as many assume. In fact, quite the average cost to remodel a small bathroom is only 25% less than a full-sized counterpart. But why?

There are a few reasons for this, although function plays a significant role. Let’s go over the factors involved.

The Work Is Still The Same

One area where many misconceptions arise is in the idea that smaller bathrooms entail far less work. The reality is if a small bathroom is getting a new bathtub, shower stall, sink, toilet, medicine cabinet, floor tiles, and shelves as a larger bathroom, the only reduced labor is in how much floor tile, for example, needs to be laid out.

All the rest of the labor, such as tearing out tile, removing old bathtubs, replacing new toilets and sinks, creating new plumbing if required, or applying grout is still the same, regardless of the square footage of the bathroom itself. For example, if electrical wiring needs to be upgraded and replaced in a small bathroom, a smaller size doesn’t make the electrical work required cheaper.

The Type Of Bathroom Matters

Even a small bathroom serves different functions and has a different cost depending on what you need it to do. For example, the “powder room” or “water closet” is usually just a toilet and a sink. This is usually built into first floors of homes to provide an additional toilet for home use, or for visiting guests to use, so they don’t have to go upstairs or go to a full-sized bathroom with tub and shower to use the facilities.

On the other hand, a small bathroom may still include a tub and shower but may be intended for children to use as their primary bathroom, while parents use a master bathroom. This would still require a tub and/or shower stall, and if you’re planning on raising your family in this home, the bathroom itself may need to stand up to decades of use.


What your intended use for a small bathroom bears a large impact on your final cost. If your small bathroom is designed to be used only by guests, and you will not see regular use of it yourself, you may feel it more cost-effective to use cheaper parts and lower costs.

On the other hand, if you feel you need a shower stall or a bathtub installed because this will be a regularly used secondary bathroom, this will add to the cost. Plan all of this carefully with your contractor and keep in mind, smaller doesn’t necessarily mean 50% cheaper.