This Is How Much It Costs to Add a Bathroom

This Is How Much It Costs to Add a Bathroom

The Best Reasons to Install a Bathroom in Your Basement

Finishing your basement is a large project that can take a lot of time and money to complete. There are many things you should consider when planning your basement finish. How much does it cost to finish a basement? How many rooms do you want? Do you want to install a bathroom? Installing a bathroom takes more time and money, but the benefits that a bathroom finish can have for you and your family often outweighs the price. Consider these benefits that a basement finish can add to your home. Contact Premier Construction for custom basement and bathroom finishes in Des Moines!


What Do These Costs Include?

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The cost of adding a bathroom may seem steep, but the high price includes quite a few things: your bathroom necessities, flooring, hardware, plumbing, permits, andinstallation. This applies if you're adding a bathroom to an existing space—if you're building out a new addition, you'll have to pay for those additional expenses, like framing, insulation, and drywall, too. With all these costs, it's no surprise that the price tag for a bathroom addition starts in the thousands.

However, one of the easiest ways to cut costs—without cutting corners—is by sourcing less expensive materials. That can mean going for the pre-fabricated bathtub or shower instead of the expensive tile surround, finding a vanity from IKEA, or refurbishing an old one rather than having one custom-built. You can also try to DIY a few things yourself, like installing hardware, painting, or—if you’re feeling adventurous—tiling.

The 6 Best IKEA Bathroom Vanities to Open Up Your Small Bathroom

Do you need planning permission for an en-suite?

Adding an en-suite bathroom should not require planning permission if the work is happening in an existing house. If you plan on adding a bathroom to a listed building, then planning permission is essential, as you will be altering the internal fabric of the building. Your project will also need to comply with building regulations

Any electrical work will need to be carried out by a qualified electrician, and work to boilers or heating systems must be conducted by a Gas Safe compliant engineer.

Half Bath or Full Bath?

A full bath has a sink, toilet, and shower or tub. Full bathrooms are typically added to the master bedroom or are on another floor beside the main floor. Converting a half bath to a full bath can increase your home’s value by up to 20%.

A half bath only has a sink and toilet. Extra bathrooms are usually found near the front of the home as a place for guests to use the facilities without tromping through your house. Small bathrooms can also be useful in the laundry room, mudroom, or garage/workshop. If you’re working with a small space, consider a three-quarters bath, which is a half bathroom with only a shower.

A half bath should be three to four feet wide, and

A half bath should be three to four feet wide, and six to eight feet long, or around 18 to 30 square feet. According to the National Association of Home Builders, adding a half-bathroom can add 10 percent to your home’s value. The decision to add a full or half bath will come down to a few factors:

  • What is its purpose?
  • Where will it be?

Bathroom Addition Cost

The average cost to add a bathroom addition to an existing space is $7,600 with some homeowners paying as little as $2,500. The cost to build a new bathroom addition to your house will cost around $22,000 on average, or $47,000 to $87,000 on the high-end.

Average Cost To Add A Bathroom
National Average Cost $7,600
Minimum Cost $2,500
Maximum Cost $25,000
Average Range $4,500 to $12,400

Converting a Half Bath to a Full Bath

What if you want to convert that downstairs half bath to a full-sized one? According to HomeAdvisor, this can cost you anywhere between $5,000–$25,000. This range of costs depends on if you're using existing space, if there are difficult installations, and if you use high-end materials.

To save money, consider going for a three-quarter bathroom rather than a full bathroom. A three-quarter bathroom includes a sink, toilet, and a shower, but no bathtub. If you already have a bathtub in another bathroom, a three-quarter bathroom addition is a great money-saving solution.

Issues to Consider When Installing a Bathroom Yourself

If you are designing or installing your own new bathroom, there are a few points you will want to keep in mind. First, the bathroom must have ventilation. When choosing your space, try to find one with a window already built-in. If you can’t, you will need to put in a duct fan or a new window of some kind.

Make sure your floor can handle the weight of your new bathroom, as bathroom fixtures can weigh up to 20 pounds per square foot. Find out what kind of capacity your floor joists are equipped to handle.

Do the math. The main reason to do bathroom remodeling yourself rather than call a professional is economic. Between the tools, equipment and supplies you will need to purchase and the amount of time you need to dedicate to the project, you might not actually save that much money. It can be a good idea to get a professional estimate first before even considering taking on bathroom remodeling on your own.

Costs are another factor to consider. While a bathroom can be added very affordable by taking into consideration your current bathroom situation, the average cost to add a bathroom in 2019 is around $7,600. This can be as low as $2,500 if updating an existing space and keeping the upgrades simple, or as high as $25,000 if adding an entire addition onto your home to make room for the new bathroom. Regardless, there are ways to cut costs while still building your dream bathroom. Ask your plumber or contractor about the most cost-effective ways to incorporate your new bathroom.

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Understanding lighting zones in your en-suite

Lighting an en-suite is similar to any bathroom. You need bright task lighting for illuminating your lovely face, and keeping that eyeliner level, plus subtler mood lights that will let your eyes slowly adjust to the reality of morning. Vanity lights should be placed either side of the mirror, at eye level, to prevent shadows. Don’t forget lighting inside the shower – it looks so pretty glistening off the water – but it will need to be IP rated for Zone 0 use.

  • Zone 0 is inside the bath or shower, so the light needs an rating of at least IP67.
  • Zone 1 is the area directly above the bath or shower to a height of 2.25m. IP45 is recommended, but it is always safer to go higher when this close to water.
  • Zone 2 is the area stretching 0.6m from the perimeter of the bath or shower where a minimum IP rating of 44 is required.
  • The outside zone is any area where water isn’t likely to go. However, if this is still within the bathroom, it’s a good idea to choose a light with a IP44, just in case.

(Image credit: Topps Tiles)

Major cost influencers to consider

Now that you have an idea of the bathroom addition cost spectrum, here’s how specific features of your home can dramatically impact the pricing of your project:

Proximity to existing plumbing

If your new bathroom is close to existing plumbing, whether it’s from the kitchen, laundry room, or above or below an existing bathroom, it’ll cost less overall to run the vents, plumbing, and waste into the new bathroom.

On average, hiring a plumber costs between $85-$120 an hour. The cost of labor for plumbing alone with average priced fixtures (high-end varieties may cost more to install) will range between $610-$1,180.

“If you want to add a bathroom to the furthest corner of your house, then you can expect to spend 30% of your budget on plumbing and electrical alone,” says Andrew Holmes, VP of Construction at Blockhouse Residential, an award-winning construction firm in Pittsburgh.

Nearby crawlspace

If your new bathroom space has a crawl space beneath it, the cost of plumbing and electrical work will likely go down. Alternatively, if you’re adding the bathroom above a concrete slab, you’ll have to pay extra for the labor to cut through it to run water and sewer lines.

Your foundation type

If you’re putting a new bathroom in the addition, you’ll have to include a line item for installing the foundation. Installation for the foundation can run between $4-$7 per square foot.

Installing dormers

You might be building up to add a new bathroom instead of out. In that case, you’ll need to consider the cost of adding a dormer to your home, which costs on average $115 per square foot.

Common questions about adding a bathroom

Is there existing water and waste piping near your new bathroom?

Before installing, check to make sure that water flow exists for your new bathroom. If it doesn’t, you may need to hire a professional plumber to sort out your needs and get water flow to the room of your choice.

Do you have enough space for a bathroom?

An important question to consider, as not every space can fit all the bathroom necessities you may require. The starting point for most bathrooms is roughly 25 square feet-this size gives you just enough room for a small bathtub, a toilet and a sink, though keep in mind this size may be too small for you.

Does your city code allow you to add a bathroom in your designated space?

Another tricky subject as every city will be different and it is important for you to consult your nearest authority on the matter. Many cities do not permit alterations to your home or some extensions may be too large for city code without the right permits, so it is best to understand what you can and cannot do to your house before you begin.

Should you have a professional assist with adding a bathroom?

The short answer is yes. In many cases, electrical and plumbing alterations must be handled by a trained professional. If you are confident of your abilities and have the requisite experience, then some steps can be DIY, but ultimately, utilities must be handled by a professional.

Adding a bathroom to your home can help to increase the value of your home, but it would be best to consult a professional to assess your situation to prevent any unnecessary building mishaps that may occur and further costs as well.  

6 Common areas for a new bathroom:

Although it is quite tempting to immediately want a new bathroom addition to your home, consider that there are plenty of spaces in your existing home that can be multi-purposed into a decent bath space, therefore, saving you a fair bit of money as entirely new additions to your house can be quite time consuming and heavy on the budget.


If your house is lacking a large enough room for another bathroom, the closet actually serves as a space friendly alternative. Since many homes come equipped with a walk-in closet, you can simply convert your closet into a bathroom so long as you have roughly 25 square feet. 25 square feet is equivalent to a half bath, which can easily fit a shower, a sink and a toilet, though it might be a little more cozy than a full bath. The negative with this is that full baths add about twice the value to your home whereas half baths only increase your home’s value by roughly 10%. A bathroom of this size on average will run around $3,000.



Similar to the idea of a closet, hall bathrooms are another flexible option. If your home has a long hallway with a fair bit of empty space between rooms, a hall bathroom can be ideal. Depending on the size of your space available, this can either be a half or full size bath, just consider the rooms adjacent to it and plan accordingly. For example, a sliding door can help to make this bathroom style more accessible. Just be sure that your utilities can support this bathroom before carving out the area, otherwise you may need to hire a plumber to help support this bathroom. For this style of bathroom, installation should run anywhere from $3,000-5,000 depending on the size.



Another popular choice is adding a bathroom into a master bedroom as they are typically built with more space than is actually utilized. A common idea is to carve out a space in your bedroom to serve as the area for your bathroom. Just be sure that your utilities can support this, otherwise you may need to pay more to install further plumbing and electrical functions. The price for this will generally float around $3,000 as you are adding onto an existing space rather than installing an entirely new bathroom.



Since most garages are spacious enough to accommodate two cars, there is also ample space to install a bathroom if needed. Since it is ground level and most houses are designed to have the utilities in the basement, this means that a garage bathroom wouldn’t have much issues connecting to the power and water. The only issues that may arise would be accounting for humidity as standard housing code requires a window to provide ventilation so that the moisture does not damage your walls. Installing one of these bathrooms will typically run anywhere from $3,000-5,000 as it is just adding onto your existing area.



Quite similar to a garage setup, a basement installation would be below ground, which means that condensation and moisture buildup should be considered, especially if you want to add a shower or bath to your bathroom. If you do include a shower in your basement bathroom, make sure it is properly ventilated and the walls have some protective coating, otherwise you will face rot. Since the basement forms a key structural component of your home, this specific location will be a little more price heavy as it is best to consult a professional so that you do not risk any accidental damages to the foundation of your home. Starting rate for these type of projects is $5,000, but can easily climb to $10-15,000.

Under a staircase

Under a staircase

Similar to a closet space bathroom, another option for placing your bathroom would be under or above a staircase, as many of these areas have shoe closets or pantry locations. So long as the space is around 25 square feet, your shower, sink and toilet should fit quite easily with at least 1 square foot size window for proper ventilation. The benefits of this location is accessibility as the stairs in a home typically don’t see that much foot traffic and everyone can easily access this bathroom. The average cost of this installation type will start at $3,000 minimum.

Tips to save on your bathroom addition

Tips to save on your bathroom addition

Now that we have a complete break down of dollars and cents, let’s review ways you can save on a bathroom addition and appeal to buyers with your selections in order to maximize your investment:

  • Place the bathroom strategically. As previously mentioned, the closer a new bathroom is to existing plumbing, the less you’ll have to pay to extend water, sewage, and electrical lines. Building a new bathroom a floor above an existing one or close to the kitchen can reduce costs.
  • Buy a “used” tub and other secondhand fixtures. You might not be able to save on electrical or plumbing labor. However, you can purchase used and fixtures and refurbish them to reduce costs. If you have the time to spare and don’t mind browsing a little for a gem, you can end up with some great deals. The Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Craigslist, and local surplus construction warehouses often have new (or like new) fixtures including tubs, sinks and lighting.This new-with-tags Kohler tub was listed outside Seattle for just $250, while comparable models retail for close to $800. Even buying an older, on-trend cast iron tub for a few hundred dollars and paying the average $460 to refinish it could lead to savings.
 (Source: Craigslist)
(Source: Craigslist)
  • Opt for luxury wood vinyl. Moisture-friendly luxury vinyl plank can be more affordable than other flooring alternatives, and its popularity is on the rise. According to Remodeling Magazine, the demand for luxury vinyl tile has quadrupled in the past five years, and the interest in vinyl flooring has doubled. These flooring options come in a variety of colors and finishes to cater to any bathroom, and buyers are responding to them with more interest than ever.
  • Go for a tile shower over a bathtub. If you’re torn between a tiled, open shower or a bathtub — go for the shower, advises Anderson. “Bathtubs are not trending right now. Buyers like open little walk-in showers without doors,” she shares.

Is it worth it to add a bathroom?

Adding a new bathroom won’t come cheap, but is the value added at resale enough to make the project worth it?

“I always ask my clients, if you’re going to do an improvement like that, how long are you going to stay in the property?” says Anderson. “If it’s five years or more, it could be worth the investment. But, if you don’t think you’re going to stay in the property one or two years, then really reconsider. You’re not going to receive that return back.”

Header Image (Source: (Christian Mackie / Unsplash)


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