Bathroom Renovation Costs in Vancouver: What To Expect

By Jeff Dyring In Bathroom Renovation, Construction, Interior Design No comments

The estimated reading time for this post is 21 minutes.

It is where you spend on average 30 minutes to an hour each a day. The dated tiles are chipping and dull. The old creaky medicine cabinet holds a sharp-edged, faded mirror you can hardly see yourself in anymore—you know, the one you aren’t supposed to keep medicine inside because all that shower steam and heat is a no-no.

You’ve replaced the flusher so many times you’ve lost count, and every time you cross that threshold it’s like walking through a portal into the 70’s, 80’s, or whichever decade the last update occurred.

It Is Your Bathroom and It Needs an Overhaul

If the thought of a brand new, elegant, and modern bathroom is exciting, you are not alone. We spend a lot of time in bathrooms and they can quickly become an eyesore. However, before you go grab your sledgehammer and start breaking down the walls, get your checklist ready with the following 10 considerations first.

How to Plan For a Renovation: The Bathroom Reno Checklist

couple planning their bathroom renovation on laptop
  1. Figuring out your budget. Knowing your budget is the most important first step. Bathroom renovations in Vancouver, BC run as low as $10,000-12,000 for a smaller bathroom with lower-end fixtures, tiles, and other design components to at least quadruple that amount for larger bathrooms with higher-end fixtures and features.
  2. Plan for the time. The average complete bathroom renovation takes around 4 weeks to complete. If you are only changing paint and fixtures, it could take less time. You will need to include time for items ordered during the reno such as cabinets, tiles, mirrors, toilets, and sinks.
  3. Make accommodations before the renovation. Plumbing might remain operational in the early stages of the reno; however, there will come a point when you have no toilet or shower available in the space. If you don’t have a second bathroom or helpful neighbor, plan for temporary accommodations such as a port-a-potty before you begin a bathroom renovation. Don’t forget to leave room in your budget for these temporary arraignments.
  4. Read Reviews when asking a company for estimates. If pictures tell a thousand words, a review tells a million. What others have to say about a contractor or vendor show what you can expect from them before you even start the planning process.
  5. Know that surprises happen, plans change, and budgets might need amending. No one really knows what is underneath that tile and behind those walls until you open them up. These hidden problems appear after the project is underway and demolition has begun. If your bathroom pipes have corroded and need replacing, you will not know until you’ve knocked down that wall. Making sure surprises are a portion of your budget is a good idea.
  6. Think about design vs. functionality. You want the bathroom to function properly and look good. However, redesigning the space can increase your budget. Consider keeping the layout the same and updating tiles and fixtures rather than changing the layout if you want to keep your budget low.
  7. Consider all the fixtures and features. Decide which fixtures you will want to replace and whether you’ll add additional pieces like a separate bathtub and stand-alone shower. Or maybe get rid of the tub altogether. Include shelving and storage in your design to hide away towels, laundry, and other everyday toiletries.
  8. Measure your space before you settle on specific products. Knowing the measurements will determine limitations in the bathroom. For example, can you fit a 2-sink vanity or only one?
  9. Working with a contractor. Bathroom renovations often include plumbing issues, electrical fixtures, and tiling that when left to professionals is handled properly. Even if you are the most die-hard DYIer in the area. Get estimates and remember the lowest price isn’t always the best. Be wary of bathroom renovation contractors whose estimate falls way below other contractors.
  10. Flooring, walls, and lighting. Selecting the right flooring, wall and ceiling paint, and lighting piece is important. If you are unsure where to begin, an interior designer can help you put it all together.
  11.  Another consideration is bathroom ventilation. If you don’t have ventilation consider adding it. Steam build up in your bathroom can lead to mildew and mold growth. Ventilation not only helps prevent this, but it also helps rid the air of any unwanted smells. Adding ventilation where none exists will increase renovation costs because duct-work and a vent system needs to be installed.

Difference in Condo vs Home

If you own your own home on your own land, you can do what you want with your bathroom as long as it fits within your budget and within the space you’ve allocated. However, it’s different in condominiums.

There are many things to consider before renovating your condo bathroom, like the condo board rules and your neighbors. Renovating your bathroom in your own home generally won’t disturb neighbors unless you are showing over their house during the install!

  • Check the condominium board’s rules and regulations that you must follow before completing any renovations including bathroom renos. Knowing what’s expected by the board before setting your heart on an upgrade, design, or style will keep you from being disappointed if you can’t have something you want, but isn’t allowed.
  • Condos are fixed structures and each condominium unit will stay the same size for the life of the building, when renovating your bathroom, you’ll likely have to stick with the same layout and design to keep with the condo boards expectations and not affect your neighbors during the renovation. For example, if you share a bathroom wall with your neighbor’s bathroom you might not be able to alter any plumbing behind that wall.
  • Save square footage by getting rid of that bathtub. Condos are traditionally smaller than homes and benefit from space-saving features such as a walk-in shower unit that opens up room for additional storage, shelving, or maybe even a stackable washer and dryer if permitted.

Vancouver Bathroom Renovation Costs

Vancouver Bathroom renovation costs depend on various considerations like how big or small your space is, whether you choose high or low-end fixtures and finishing products, if the room layout—and therefore the pipe and drain system--needs changing, and whether it’s a simple swap out or a complete overhaul.

Painting a few walls and replacing a vanity costs much less than gutting the entire bathroom to bring it up to modern style and comfort.

  • Average bathroom renovation costs: In Vancouver, this price varies because every bathroom is different in size and choices from the tile on the floors to the taps, showerhead, vanity, toilet, and storage or shelving options. An average full-size bathroom is about 10x5. This holds a standard vanity at about 48”, a toilet, a tub, and shower. If you are gutting the entire bathroom a renovation of this size would likely run $12,000-18,000
  • High-end bathroom renovation costs: Gutting a bathroom and plumbing basics all start about the same with the prices increasing as the size of the bathroom. However, the price will really start to rise once you start considering higher-end fixtures and features in your bathroom. Quartz counter-tops, chrome finishes, vessel sinks, and additions like bidets will all increase the price of your renovation. If you have an unlimited budget, you can choose any high-end finishes you like.

However, even if you have an unlimited budget it’s still a good to put together a checklist to keep track of everything you need. High-end bathrooms for example often have double sinks, additional vanities for makeup or shaving, claw-foot tubs, exotic walk-in shower systems, and even separate dressing quarters.

How Can You Renovate Your Bathroom On a Tight Budget

woman planning for a reno on a tight budget

Renovating your bathroom doesn’t have to mean tearing it down to the studs. There are simple ways you can renovate your bathroom and save on costs. Start with your budget and determine how much you have and where you really need to put it. And don’t go and get that sledgehammer.

  • Keep your walls and just repaint. Bathrooms are small and benefit from light and neutral paint colors. Choose neutrals and beige's that go with all colors so you can easily accessorize with any shower curtains and wall hangings.
  • Replace faucets but not pipes. Keep your existing counter-top and cabinet vanity, shower wall tiles, and toilet but buy new fixtures. Coordinate the colors whether chrome, pewter, or bronze so the shower and sink match. A new shower curtain rod in the same finish will add a nice touch. You can often find less expensive fixtures at a hardware store.
  • For tubs that are colored, old, or chipped, don’t replace them. Re-enamel them. This is significantly cheaper than buying and installing a new tub.
  • Paint your cabinets to change the color and replace handles and knobs for a new look.
  • For an updated and open look take the door off that closet and add more shelving. Perfectly places pictures, towels, and baskets to hide the junk away will complete the look.

Bathroom Renovation Tips

Renovating your bathroom in Vancouver, BC is a smart idea and will increase the value of your home. Just don’t go overboard or you will lose money. Other than your kitchen, your bathroom is one of the most used places in your house, but can be the biggest eye sore.

  • If you can, hide the toilet away or place it off center so it’s not the first thing you see when you enter the room.
  • In older homes, vintage features might be difficult or expensive to replace. Work them into your new modern design.
  • Lighting is a part of the design. Don’t just buy any old lighting fixture. Work it into the theme and design of the bathroom to highlight its best features like the gorgeous new sink or open shelving.
  • Consider your dimensions and trying different ideas like a corner sink, a tiny bathtub, or scratch the bathtub all together in favor of a stand-alone shower.
  • Add into the budget for ventilation if you don’t have any. Sometimes the open window just won’t provide enough airflow to dry out your bathroom and keep mold or mildew from forming.

Bathroom Renovation Ideas: Should You Go Modern, Classic, or Mixing It Up?

  1. Modern bathrooms include clean crisp lines, sleep fixtures and minimalistic designs and styles. For a modern style, choose a vessel sink, a tiled stand-alone shower instead of a tub, and a sleek designed toilet. Modern styles work well in bathrooms because they are small spaces with hard lines and features that are a necessary part of the design like the toilet and sink.
  2. Classic bathrooms include options like crown molding, softer designs, and masculine features and fixtures. For a classic design start with a claw foot tub and elegant oversized vanity with an ornate mirror. Add ornate details to the crown molding and baseboard.
  3. Mix up your design with some classic and modern pieces to get the best of both worlds. Design your new bathroom with a modern background utilizing classic features or a classic background with a modernized twist. Try blending a traditional classic design with a modern theme and add vintage elements to bring it all together.

Designers often use things in everyday life to create the theme or element in the room. Take elements from elsewhere in the house, the pieces from a chessboard, the chandelier in your dining room, and old painting or all art and use it to inspire design choices in your bathroom.

Fixtures come in many design styles and features and should complement tiles, wall colors, and cabinets. Consider spending a little money on higher quality fixtures. They get used a lot and would cost more to fix and replace if they break easily.

Bathroom Renovation Slideshow

small bathroom project done with new tub
vancouver bathroom renovation with added laundry
clean and simple bathroom remodelling in vancouver home
new bathroom project with stand up shower

Make your outdated bathroom a thing of the past with a complete renovation. Start with the ceiling and work your way down. Ceiling colors and textures compliment the entire bathroom redesign as much as the lighting and tile. Consider keeping colors on the lighter end of the scale.

For smaller bathrooms use neutral color tiles and paint to give the bathroom a larger, more open feel. Remove cabinet doors to create open shelving, but don’t forget to leave some hidden storage space as well.

If you haven’t bathed in years and don’t foresee the bathtub being used anytime soon, get rid of it. Stand-alone showers are a best seller in modern bathroom renovations. Finish off renovations with the right accessories and additional furniture pieces. Have a place to hang your towels and to sit while changing is helpful.

Bathroom renovations don’t have to eat up all your savings.