Complete Guide to Master Bathroom Renovations

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About the Author: David Perrotti

Dave has over 20 years of experience in the construction industry, is a Bestselling Home Improvement Author on Amazon, and constantly seeks to reinvent the remodeling industry. As a veteran of the Army and Air Force, Dave operates his business, Fine Home Contracting, on the core army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage.

Upgrading your master bathroom can greatly increase the value and enjoyment you get from your home. With careful planning, savvy design choices, and smart investments in elegant finishes and fixtures, you can create a master bathroom that looks like it belongs in a 5-star resort.  This complete guide covers everything you need to know to successfully remodel your master bathroom.

Whether this is your first master bath renovation or you’re a seasoned expert in home remodels, be sure to read through, as this master bathroom renovation guide will provide tips on layout considerations, popular amenities, choosing finishes and fixtures, hiring the right contractor, setting a realistic timeline, and getting the details right. Whether your master bath needs a minor facelift or a total overhaul, this guide will walk you through the entire remodeling process from initial budgeting to final reveal.

Determining Your Budget

The first step is establishing a remodeling budget. As a rough estimate, expect to spend 10-25% of your home’s value on a master bath remodel. clarify budget expectations to develop an accurate budget.

Depending on the level of finish and scope of your remodel, the average cost for bathroom remodels is between $125 – $250 a square foot.

Average Budgets

When establishing your remodeling budget, expect to allocate funds as follows:

  • Fixtures (25-40%) – This includes sinks, toilets, tubs, showers, faucets, lights, mirrors, etc. Goes towards purchase price and professional installation.

  • Tile/surfacing (15-25%) – Covers bathtub and shower surrounds, flooring, backsplashes, and decorative accent tiles. More extensive tilework is more costly.

  • Cabinetry (10-25%) – Vanities, medicine cabinets, and storage cabinets can significantly vary based on material and style.

  • Countertops (5-15%) – Materials like quartz, marble, and granite have a wide range of pricing.

  • Plumbing (10-25%) – Encompasses new drain lines, water lines, toilets, tubs, faucets, and labor.

  • Electrical (3-10%) – Includes lighting, fans, outlets, heated floors, and wiring installation.

  • Other (5-15%) – Painting, repairs, demo, ventilation, soft costs like design fees.

Average % Of Cost for Bathroom Remodel Features

Get an itemized estimate from contractors to determine precise costs for your project. Labor will account for 50-70% of your total budget.

For more information on costs and budgeting, see our article on Bathroom Remodel Costs in Connecticut. 

Consider Your Priorities

Consider your priorities for fixtures and features throughout your bathroom. Your needs are unique, and designing a space that caters to them is critical to your bathroom remodel feeling personal, and not like the bathroom in a fancy hotel.

Some of our favorite features that homeowners oftentimes fail to consider:

  • Heated floors – There’s nothing like stepping out onto warm tiles in the morning, especially during the winter months in New England! Schluter’s “Ditra” heat systems allow for your heated floors to cover either your shower or the entire bathroom. A common upgrade is smart thermostat connectivity to automate your floor heating.
  • Ample lighting – Install multiple types of lighting to create a spacious ambience. We recommend recessed and pendant lighting where appropriate, and LED lighting can be added to vanities, cabinets, and decorative niches as task and feature lighting .
  • Ventilation – Prevent mildew buildup with exhaust fans, proper waterproofing, and consistent maintenance when necessary. There’s nothing worse than a musty or moldy bathroom..
  • Accessories – Don’t forget the finishing touches like mirrors, art, and decorative tiles. The shower is a great place to look at extra features if you have space in your budget: Custom-built shower benches, niches, and tile features add a luxurious feel while also providing function.

Creating a Layout

Select durable, easy-to-clean surfaces like ceramic tile with low-maintenance grout. Fine Home Contracting recommends Genrose Stone + Tile as a surface and tile vendor, as their wide variety of surfaces at various price points gives our design team a wide variety of options across many of our projects.

For a spa-like feel, incorporate freestanding tubs, frameless glass showers, and vessel sinks, and choose fixtures in a matching style. Fixture companies that cater to spa-like environments and luxury finishes include Kohler, Delta, and Moen.

Some of our favorite bathroom designs are centered around showers and floors built using Schluter’s Waterproofing system. Fine Home Contracting is proud to be a certified Schluter installer, and stands by not only the level of finish and quality provided using their system, but also their incredible warranty.

Use lighting strategically to create a relaxing, spa-like ambiance in your redesigned master bath. Incorporate lighting at multiple heights and intensities to accommodate different functions. Some tips:

  • Install recessed can lights on the ceiling to provide bright, diffuse general lighting. Space evenly to eliminate shadows.

  • Layer in pendant lights or sconces at the vanity for task lighting. Chose fixtures with an attractive design that matches your decor.

  • Use accent lighting like LED strips under floating shelves or above the tub to add a warm glow.

When designing your layout:

  • Make sure doorways are placed conveniently and allow doors to fully open.
  • Avoid putting toilets and showers directly across from each other.
  • Include multiple lighting sources like recessed ceiling lights, sconces, and vanity lighting for ambiance.
  • Incorporate windows and skylights to bring in natural light.
  • Use floating vanities and wall-hung toilets to open up floor space.
  • Include a walk-in shower or deep soaking tub as a luxurious focal point.
  • Use varying ceiling heights, creative tiles, and glass partitions to delineate different zones.
  • Arrange the room for easy traffic flow from each area to the next.

Develop a few different layout options showing placements of fixtures and features before finalizing your plans. This will help maximize function and flow. An interior designer can be very helpful through this process.

Having Trouble Getting Started?

If you’re having trouble selecting your initial layout, picking fixtures, or forming a complete design plan in your head, we recommend our free Bathroom Visualizer tool as a starting point. Pick a layout similar to your space, test how different fixtures and surfaces match, and once you’re done your design can be sent directly to the design team at Fine Home Contracting to get the ball rolling on your remodel!

Finding Contractors and Scheduling Remodeling

We always recommend hiring a licensed contractor for full bathroom remodels. An experienced contractor can advise on layout and building codes, has connections with skilled subs including plumbers and electricians, and has the experience necessary to identify potential problems in your initial design,  during demolition, and throughout the renovation itself.

A qualified contractor should be able to provide copies of their license and insurance, have reviews and references available online, and should have a presence both on their own website and social media. If you have trouble finding reviews or photos of past work, you may want to ask why or look for another contractor.

We have a variety of articles on finding a qualified contractor, and comparing contractors to find which is best for your specific needs:

FAQ and Further Reading

How long does it take to install a soaking tub?2024-07-12T19:34:16+00:00

The installation time for a soaking tub typically ranges from 1 to 7 days, depending on the complexity of the project. Freestanding tubs generally take 1-2 days, while built-in tubs, which may require additional plumbing, electrical work, and custom framing, can take 3-7 days. For the most efficient and safe installation, hiring a professional is recommended.

Are soaking tubs energy-efficient?2024-07-12T19:33:11+00:00

Yes, many modern soaking tubs are designed with energy efficiency in mind. Features like superior heat retention materials (e.g., Victoria + Albert’s ENGLISHCAST®) and systems that maintain water temperature can help reduce energy consumption.

How do I choose the right size soaking tub for my bathroom?2024-07-12T19:32:52+00:00

Measure the available space in your bathroom and consider the tub’s dimensions, including length, width, and depth. Ensure there is enough room for comfortable access and any additional features you may want, like a showerhead or faucet.

What is the difference between a soaking tub and a regular bathtub?2024-07-12T19:32:42+00:00

A soaking tub is designed for deep relaxation, typically deeper than a regular bathtub, allowing for full immersion of the body. They often have ergonomic shapes and advanced features like hydrotherapy jets or chromotherapy.

Can I install a soaking tub myself, or should I hire a professional?2024-07-12T19:32:30+00:00

While some soaking tubs come with installation instructions for DIY enthusiasts, it’s often best to hire a professional. Proper installation ensures that the tub is level, securely connected to plumbing, and that all features function correctly.

What is the average cost of a luxury soaking tub?2024-07-12T19:32:09+00:00

The cost varies widely based on brand, material, and features. On average, luxury soaking tubs can range from $2,000 to $15,000 or more. It’s important to consider the long-term value and benefits of investing in a high-quality tub.

Are soaking tubs suitable for small bathrooms?2024-07-12T19:31:48+00:00

Yes, there are soaking tubs designed for smaller spaces. Freestanding and corner tubs can be excellent options for maximizing space while still providing a luxurious bathing experience.

Do I Need A Contractor for my Bathroom Remodel?2023-07-06T16:11:00+00:00

While smaller repairs are often best handled by a handyman or smaller contracting team, bathroom remodels are multi-faceted projects that often require input from carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and interior designers. For this reason, we always recommend hiring a general contractor for full-room remodels. Hiring a management company such as a General Contractor ensures your project has the adequate oversight needed without you having to handle the intricacies of managing the project.

Are Bathroom Remodels a Good Investment?2023-07-06T16:10:37+00:00

Aside from the obvious aesthetic appeal, bathroom remodeling comes with a host of benefits. It can increase the value of your home, improve energy efficiency, and enhance overall functionality. Plus, who doesn’t want a bathroom that makes them feel like they’re in a luxury hotel? A well-designed and renovated bathroom can elevate your daily routine and provide a sanctuary for relaxation.

According to Zonda Media, Bathroom Additions and Remodels are some of the most financially sound renovations to make to a home. For every dollar spent on a midrange bathroom remodel, you can expect to recoup between 33 and 58 cents at the time of sale. This puts the average cost recouped on a bathroom remodel between 30 and 60 percent, depending on the level of finish and quality.

How can I maximize storage in a small bathroom?2023-06-20T13:00:29+00:00
  1. Maximizing storage in a small bathroom is essential for maintaining functionality and organization. Consider incorporating space-saving solutions such as wall-mounted cabinets, floating shelves, or built-in niches. Utilize vertical space by installing tall cabinets or shelving units. Additionally, choose multifunctional fixtures like vanities with built-in storage or mirrored medicine cabinets. Customizing storage solutions to fit your specific needs and utilizing clever organizational accessories can help maximize storage in a small bathroom.
Can I remodel my bathroom on a budget?2023-06-20T13:00:14+00:00

Yes, it is possible to remodel a bathroom on a budget. There are several cost-saving strategies you can employ, such as focusing on cosmetic updates rather than extensive structural changes, opting for affordable yet stylish materials, and repurposing existing fixtures when possible. Working with a professional contractor who understands your budget constraints can help you make the most of your resources and find creative solutions to achieve your desired bathroom remodel within your budget.

Do I need a permit to remodel my bathroom?2023-06-20T12:59:56+00:00

The need for a permit for your bathroom remodeling project depends on the extent of the renovations and local building codes. Minor cosmetic changes such as replacing fixtures or updating finishes may not require a permit. However, if you’re making structural changes, altering plumbing or electrical systems, or adding square footage, a permit may be necessary. It’s best to consult with your local building department or a professional contractor to determine the permit requirements for your specific project.

What is the average cost of a bathroom remodel?2023-06-20T12:59:29+00:00

The cost of a bathroom remodel can vary greatly depending on factors such as the size of the bathroom, the extent of the renovations, and the materials chosen. On average, a mid-range bathroom remodel can cost between $20,000 and $30,000, while a high-end remodel can range from $30,000 to $60,000 or more. It’s recommended to consult with a professional contractor to get an accurate estimate based on your specific project requirements.

How long does a bathroom remodeling project typically take?2023-06-20T12:58:52+00:00

The duration of a bathroom remodeling project can vary depending on the scope of work, size of the bathroom, and any unforeseen complications. On average, a bathroom remodel can take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks. However, it’s important to note that larger or more complex projects may take longer to complete.

About the Author: David Perrotti

Dave has over 20 years of experience in the construction industry, is a Bestselling Home Improvement Author on Amazon, and constantly seeks to reinvent the remodeling industry. As a veteran of the Army and Air Force, Dave operates his business, Fine Home Contracting, on the core army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage.

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