How Much Does An Average Bathroom Renovation Cost?

Planning a bathroom renovation but worried how much it is going to cost? A bathroom renovation can cost anywhere from R100,000 to R300,000 or more, depending on the size of your bathroom, and how much your materials, fittings and labour costs are. R170,000 is the average cost of a bathroom renovation in South Africa

Planning a bathroom renovation but worried how much it is going to cost? This article will help you work out:

  • How much does a bathroom reno cost?

  • Planning your bathroom renovation budget

  • Alternatives to a complete bathroom reno

  • How long will my bathroom renovation take?

  • Bathroom renovation: Step by step guide

  • What tradies you need for your bathroom reno?

  • Does my bathroom renovator need to be licensed?

  • Hiring a bathroom renovator

A bathroom renovation can cost anywhere from R100,000 to R300,000 or more, depending on the size of your bathroom, and how much your materials, fittings and labour costs are.

Most people spend somewhere in the middle of this range – in fact, the Housing Industry Association (HIA) found R170,000 to be the average cost of a bathroom renovation in South Africa. As you can expect there are a lot of variables that impact how much your bathroom renovation will cost. Factors that will affect the cost of your project include:

  • The size of your bathroom

  • The materials you choose

  • The fittings you select

  • Labour costs

  • Permits costs, if these are required for your job

Let’s take a more detailed look at costs, which we have broken down into three price brackets.

minimalist luxury bathroom

How much does a bathroom renovation cost?

You can break down the cost of a bathroom renovation into three price brackets:

  • Budget cost: R50,000 – R150,000

  • Standard cost: R150,000 – R300,000

  • Premium cost: R300,000+

As a guideline, expect to spend in the region of:

  • R50,000 – R150,000 for a budget or cosmetic renovation of a smaller bathroom using budget materials and fittings.

  • R150,000 – R300,000 for an average sized mid-range bathroom renovation using mid-range materials and fittings.

  • R300,000+ for a high end, premium or luxury bathroom renovation using top of the range materials and fittings.

Let’s take a look at this in more detail, and what you get for your money.

Budget bathroom renovation cost: R50,000 – R150,000

It is possible to do a bathroom renovation on a budget for around R50,000, but this will largely be cosmetic or involve swapping out a few items. Spending up to R150,000 will also involve some compromises, such as keeping all your plumbing and electrics in place. To stay in this budget you will also need to choose large format porcelain tiles in the R300 per square metre range – which are durable and available in a wide range of colours. If you are installing a new shower you will need to stick to a framed shower screen, as well as a standard back to wall toilet and floor mounted vanity.

Standard bathroom renovation cost: R150,000 – R300,000

Budget R150,000 to R300,000 for your project – which is what most people spend, and you get better materials and fittings. You will have a larger range of tiles to choose from in the R500 per square metre range, and could even stretch your budget to more labour intensive mosaics in the shower cubicle. You could also upgrade to a semi-frameless or frameless shower screen, and choose a larger or fancier freestanding bathtub, and bathroom vanity. In terms of moving services, you can make some changes but not major alterations to plumbing or electrics.

Premium or luxury bathroom renovation cost: R300,000+

Budget R300,000 and more and you are likely to want to completely overhaul your bathroom and make major changes to the layout and services. You may want to install a frameless shower screen, in wall cistern and wall hung vanity, as well as a luxurious freestanding bathtub. If you want the best tiles for your walls or floors then look at ranges of porcelain tiles in the R600 per square metre range.

Planning your bathroom renovation budget and costs

Some of the major costs to plan for in a bathroom renovation include:

  • Plumbing, especially if you are moving plumbing or installing new elements

  • Tiling, which could include floor and wall tiles

  • Frameless shower screen, semi-frameless shower screen or standard shower screen

  • Bath, which could be integrated or freestanding

  • Toilet, which could be a standard version or have an in-wall cistern

  • Vanity, standard or wall mounted which looks cleaner and gives you more floor space

  • Lighting, which could be task, general or mood

  • Waterproofing, to ensure your bathroom doesn’t leak

Now let’s take a look at some of these projects and what they may cost, on a per hour basis for labour or a per square metre basis for materials like tiles so you can have a better idea on planning your bathroom renovation on a budget.

Bathroom plumbing costs

Plumbers charge a call-out fee of R600 to R1000, with hourly rates anywhere from R1000 – R1500 depending on the plumber. The fee your plumber charges will depend on where you live and may vary according to the plumber’s skill level. If a plumber is quoting for a large project such as your bathroom renovation project, ask for an itemised quote which details all the elements they are charging for. For the top level service, we recommend plumbers network team

Bathroom tiling costs

The size of your bathroom is going to be a major factor in the cost of your renovation, and since so much of a bathroom is tiled, your need to know how much you may have to spend. Expect to be quoted per square metre rate by bathroom tilers pros, and could range from R350 per square metre to R1200 per square metre. R600 per square metre is the average for laying bathroom tiles. This does not include the price of the tiles – you need to budget for that separately.

For wall tiles expect to pay from R200 to R280 per square meter for standard white ceramic wall tiles (600mm x 300mm) to R680 per square metre for steel grey polished porcelain wall tiles (150mm x 600mm). Moving up in price expect to pay around R860 per square metre for handmade Spanish white gloss ceramic subway tiles (150mm x 75mm) and R1590 per square metre for artisan manufactured ceramic wall tiles (200mm x 200mm).

For floor tiles expect to pay R350 to R500 per square meter for ceramic or porcelain tiles, R500 to R1000 per square meter for high quality porcelain and R800 to R1300 per square meter for high quality natural stone tiles.

Bathroom bathtub costs

Baths range in price from affordable and versatile acrylic, to durable cast iron and flexible fibreglass to high end natural stone. Expect to pay anywhere from R3500 for a plumber to replace and fit a bath. New baths can range from as little as R4000 to thousands of dollars, with stone freestanding versions at the upper end of the scale.

Shower screen costs

Shower screens vary in price according to their size and if they are framed, semi-frameless or frameless, with the latter being the most costly. Expect to pay in the region of R4000 to have a basic framed shower screen installed. Frameless shower screens use thicker glass, and are consequently more expensive – expect to pay in excess of R6000 depending on the size and number of panels.

Toilet cost

Depending on the toilet you choose, these can cost from R1500 to R7500 or more for a floor-mounted hidden cistern or wall hung toilet. On average, a good quality floor-mounted vitreous china toilet costs between R2750 and R4500.

Vanity costs

Bathroom vanities range in price from:

  • R4670 for a 900 mm wall hung vanity with hidden handles

  • R8490 for a 750 mm floor standing console vanity

  • R9990 for a 1500 mm double bowl vanity

  • R13600 for a 1200 mm wall hung vanity with integrated ceramic basin

Waterproofing costs

Expect waterproofing to cost anywhere from R5000 to R7500 for an average sized bathroom.

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Alternatives to a complete bathroom reno

By the time you’ve calculated the cost of your complete dream bathroom renovation, you might find it’s way over budget. Luckily there are ways to modernise your bathroom costs without breaking the bank? Some alternatives to a complete bathroom renovation include:

  • Installing a new shower screen

  • Swapping out your old vanity for a new one

  • Resurfacing your wall tiles, bath and basin

  • Painting bathroom tiles

How long will my bathroom renovation take?

In terms of the research, planning and design, with no major structural changes, allow around 6 to 8 weeks for this phase. This includes:

  • Time to develop the design

  • Selecting materials and fittings

  • Getting quotes from a range of businesses

Depending on the scale of your project, allow anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks for the works to take place. Factors that can affect this timeframe, and the cost, can include:

  • Any structural works that take more time

  • Moving plumbing and/or electrical elements

  • Having large amounts of tiles to lay

  • Unforeseen events, like discovering asbestos in your wall or floor cavity

Bathroom renovation: Step by step guide

It’s good to know what to expect when such a large project is happening in your home. Having a bathroom renovation checklist to carefully plan the project will be a great starting point. This can also help you keep track of your costs. Here is a step by step guide so you have a better idea what jobs happen when.

1. Design your bathroom

The first step is to work out how your new bathroom will look and work. It needs to be laid be practical if you are going to enjoy using it and spending time in it. There needs to be a logical flow to all the major elements, including the bathtub, vanity, toilet and shower. This can be done on paper, or there are some really nifty apps or 3D modelling tools that can help you nail your bathroom design. Your bathroom builder can help design your bathroom for maximum convenience.

2. Strip out your old bathroom

When your tradies arrive on site the first task is for them to strip out your old bathroom. This is a noisy and often messy job, especially if you are removing the existing wall and floor tiles. They will have to be jackhammered off, which can take a few days depending on how much tile you have.

3. Plan your plumbing

If you are making changes to your plumbing this is when the plumber and/or electrician will relocate all the services. They will mark up all the locations for your new plumbing and make sure all the dimensions are right. You will have to have chosen all your fittings by this stage so they can ensure everything fits and goes in the right place. Moving plumbing can add quite a bit to your overall cost, so think about it before you go ahead with your job.

4. Render those wall

Once the services – plumbing pipework and electricals conduits – are installed the walls will be rendered. This gives your walls a smooth finish ready for tiling or painting. You will generally need to render a wall after old tiles are removed as jackhammering normally takes big chunks out the wall.

5. Prep for tiling

Your tiler will then lay the cement bedding for your tiles. This is crucial if your water is to drain to the waste, and an expensive fix if they get this wrong. Waterproofing comes next, which is not only mandatory according to South African Standards, but crucial to ensure there are no leaks after tiling is laid. Waterproofing needs to be done by a someone appropriately qualified – usually your tiler, plumber or a dedicated waterproofer.

6. Tiling

Your tiler can now lay bathroom floor and wall tiling. If you are thinking of laying mosaics tiles, just be aware that tilers will charge more for these as they are more fiddly and take longer to lay.

7. Fit out

Once tiling is done you will begin to see a lot of changes as your bathroom begins to take shape. Your toilet, bathtub, vanity, basin, & tapware will all now be installed by the plumber. An electrician will then install the lighting, exhaust fans and any other electrical items. This is also when your shower screens get installed.

What tradies you need for your bathroom reno?

Wondering who you may need to hire for your bathroom project? These are the most common trades you will need to call on.


Bathroom builders or renovators are a one-stop shop for your project. They will cover all aspects of the job, from plumbing to waterproofing and everything in between including the design. They do this by having all the necessary tradies on staff or at the very least manage any subbies on your behalf. The great thing about this option is it minimises the hassle – they project manage it all on your behalf – but it will cost extra.

If you are hiring individual trades or professionals:

Architects can help to design plans for your new bathroom, ensuring everything is logically laid out to suit your lifestyle. Expect to pay for the privilege of their expertise.

Carpenters and cabinet makers can help install custom storage in your bathroom, such as a vanity, cabinetry or any other timber elements such as a new door or window.

Electricians can help install lighting, power points, heating, ventilation and much more. You need to know the cost of installing a bathroom lighting fixture.

Painters will need to paint any areas that are not covered by tiles or other elements, preferably with a moisture and wear-resistant paint.

Plumbers are perhaps the most crucial tradie on a bathroom renovation, so make sure you hire one who has a good track record of working on bathrooms.

Tilers are another crucial trade who can can make or break the look of your bathroom. They need to get all the small details right, like making sure your shower recess drains properly.

Waterproofers will use a variety of sealants and membranes to make sure your bathroom is properly sealed – so you don’t have leaks sprouting up all over the place.

Does my bathroom renovator need to be licensed?

In short, yes.

Most elements of a bathroom renovation, such as plumbing and tiling require the use of a licensed contractor. A complete bathroom renovation will typically require a licensed builder, though some provinces have a licence specifically that covers bathroom and kitchen renovations. Individual trades such as plumbers, waterproofers and sparkies all need to be qualified and licensed.

Hiring a bathroom renovator

When it comes time to hiring a contractor, check out our Bathroom renovation checklist make sure they are right for your job. Some questions to ask then include:

  • Are you licensed?

  • Are you insured to work in my home?

  • How long will my job take?

  • Can you provide a written quote?

  • Do you have references I can follow up?

  • Can I see examples of your work?

The best way of working out how much your project will cost is to get a range of quotes from local businesses who specialise in renovating bathrooms. You may be surprised how different they are.

To see more ‘price of’ guides visit the ‘Cost of homes services‘ page to see a full list.


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