Bathroom Remodeling 2017

December 29, 2016


Bathroom Remodeling in 2017


The New Year is right around the corner again… Is 2017 the year you finally remodel your Master Bath? Maybe it’s time to spruce up the Kid’s/Guest Bath?


When most people contact us about remodeling one or more bathrooms in their Northern Virginia home, they have more than one goal in mind. These include increasing the value of the home and resale value, improving the overall look, and adding storage and functionality. Like the Kitchen, a beautiful and functional Master Bathroom is one the most important features a home buyer is looking for when shopping. And let’s face it – we all want a gorgeous new Bathroom to start and end our day while we live there too. So where do you start?


We start by asking a lot of questions. They include:


  • How long have you been in the home?
  • When was the home built?
  • Is this the original bath, or has it been remodeled before?
  • How long are you planning on staying in the home?
  • What is your investment comfort level? (a.k.a the dreaded “budget” question)


If you’ve never remodeled a Bathroom before, you might not have the slightest clue what to expect cost-wise. The simple answer is usually - it depends. The Bathroom is the most expensive room in the house to remodel per square foot – it’s definitely more involved than just framing, drywall and flooring. The extent of the project scope is important, but there are many other factors that determine the final cost. So how do you know what level of remodel works best for you?


We’ve narrowed down to three possible options: 


Basic Bathroom Update: Typically in the $5K (DIY) to $18K range.


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What would something in this range involve?

  • Plumbing Fixtures:

A basic update doesn’t include moving any plumbing, but you could replace the faucet fixtures, tub and toilet with off the shelf products easily purchased at Home Depot, Lowe’s or any other big box stores.

  • Vanities:

At this level, you might want to keep your existing cabinetry, or simply purchase new off the shelf vanities at a big box store. Some of these options even include a vanity top, as well.

  • Vanity tops:
  • If you go with an off the shelf vanity option that doesn’t include a top, you may consider a granite remnant from a granite installer. Sometimes countertop fabricators have leftover sections from larger projects they can sell for smaller vanity jobs.
  • Another cost effective option is cultured marble, which comes in a variety of colors.
  • Ceramic or Porcelain Tile:
  • It’s unlikely you’ll be able to re-tile the entire bathroom in this price range, but you should be able to do around the tub or shower area with something simple like a subway tile.
  • Walls:
  • A fresh coat of paint works wonders to improve the look of a Bathroom under-going a basic remodel.
  • Shower Glass Enclosure:
  • If you already have a glass shower enclosure, it’s best to keep it as is for a basic update. Replacing glass doors and enclosures can add significant cost to your project.
  • Lighting Fixtures:
  • Off the shelf, basic lighting fixtures are ideal. They’re pretty and inexpensive. Keep in mind, most off the shelf light fixtures have a life expectancy of 5 to 7 years.

Mid-Range Bathroom Remodel: Typically in the $18K to $40K range.

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Yes, this is a large range. Why? A lot of reasons. The size of the bathroom in question is one. You also have a broader range of materials to choose from at this level, as well as more options for the scope of the project.

P.S. - Now is the time to rely on your designer. A good designer can help you determine the most functional, attractive layout, and provide professional creative assistance with finish material selection.


What would something in this range involve?

  • Design & Materials Selection:

This project is best tackled by you and your designer first. Your designer will take all the existing measurements, and then hit the drawing board (OK, the CAD computer) Design concepts should be presented to you in person, and the two of you should work together to make it exactly what you want - on paper. The next step is the fun part – the finish material selections. Our design clients come to our showroom for this part of the process. We explore all of the possibilities for various materials like cabinetry, tile, faucets, countertops, and more. This is when we help them tie all the important elements together, coming up with a design scheme that works with their home and their personal style. In most cases, you should expect a design retainer for this service.

  • Plumbing Fixtures:
  • You should expect typically better fixtures than off the shelf items – like a higher quality, comfort height toilet or a hand-held shower head. You may be able to change the plumbing layout at this level as well – like relocating a sink to accommodate a larger vanity, or simply eliminating a giant tub to make room for a larger shower. Again – there are items in a Bathroom that vary in price greatly and can affect your final cost. For example, you can purchase a jetted tub for $800 or $5,000. It’s important for you and your designer to work toward an investment comfort level while selecting all finish materials.
  • Vanities:
  • Your best bet is selecting from a semi-custom line of cabinets. Most offer a wide variety of wood species, finishes, and even custom glazes and treatments.
  • Vanity tops:
  • Again – a granite remnant is never a bad option if you and your designer find one you love. There are many other solid surface Quartz options to consider as well – i.e. Silestone and Cambria.
  • Ceramic or Porcelain Tile:
  • At this level, it’s likely all the tile in your Bathroom will be replaced – the floor tile, shower or tub wall tile, and shower pan tile. There are more design options at this level, including built in bench seats and decorative shower wall niches.
  • Walls:
  • Again - a fresh coat of paint works wonders to improve the look of a Bathroom at this level.
  • Shower Glass Enclosure:
  • Depending on the size of your shower (and your budget) a new shower glass enclosure may be within your scope. Please note – the cost for these enclosures varies widely. You can purchase a sliding glass enclosure for a small tub/shower combo at a big box store for around $1,000.00. Or you can select a semi-frameless or frameless glass door and enclosure for a larger shower for anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000.
  • Lighting Fixtures:
  • Typically, this level remodel would include higher quality light fixtures purchased from a lighting store with higher-quality copper or bronze inside. The life expectancy of these fixtures is considerably longer than fixtures off the shelf at a big box store.

Deluxe Bathroom Remodel:  $40,000 to $100,000

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This is where we come in, make everything go away, and completely start over with everything where you and your designer have decided it should be. Would you like the shower on the other side of the room? No problem. Tired of that giant corner tub? It’s gone. The bathroom will be completely gutted. We may even knock down a wall or two to make it larger. Many of our Master Bath remodeling projects include the remodel of the entire Master Suite – which is an ideal time to rethink closets, steal space from areas currently not functional, etc.

This level is also known as a full gut job.


  • Design & Materials Selection:

Similar to the Mid-Range Bathroom Remodel, it’s important to work with a designer throughout the process. You’ve got considerably more options at this level, and it’s important you explore every possibility to get the look and feel you want.

  • Plumbing Fixtures:
  • High end fixtures, steam showers, multiple body sprays, heated floors – all within the realm of possibilities.
  • Vanities:
  • We suggest selecting from a semi-custom or custom line of cabinetry. Your vanities and other cabinetry should be solid wood construction and have all the functional and storage “bells and whistles” you want.
  • Vanity tops:
  • There are many solid surface choices at the Deluxe level. Granite is always a popular choice, as is any Quartz product like Silestone. Our clients love the “Super White” Quartzite option as well.
  • Ceramic or Porcelain Tile:
  • The porcelain or ceramic tile you select with your designer will be the icing on the cake. Vertical deco tile bands from floor to ceiling, wall niches, tile bench seats, ceiling tile for steam showers? It’s up to you.
  • Walls:
  • You may consider a tile accent wall behind a stand-alone tub, or simply paint one wall a darker color of paint to make it “pop”.
  • Shower Glass Enclosure:
  • It’s likely you’ll require a semi-frameless or frameless shower with your new layout. Once your new shower has been properly framed up, this will be measured on site by the glass fabricator, and custom designed for your approval. You’ll be able to select your handle style and finish, and options like built in towel bars or hooks.
  • Lighting Fixtures:

Expect higher quality bathroom lighting for this gorgeous new showpiece Bathroom.

What does the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) recommend as the best guide for a Bathroom budget/cost breakdown? (


Here is their guide:

  • Design fees: 4%
  • Installation: 20%
  • Fixtures: 15%
  • Cabinetry and hardware: 16%
  • Countertops: 7%
  • Lighting and ventilation: 5%
  • Flooring: 9%
  • Doors and windows: 4%
  • Walls and ceilings: 5 percent
  • Faucets and plumbing: 14%
  • Other: 1%

This is just a good starting point, and should be used as basic guide only. Remember – it’s your Bathroom! Work with your designer to decide what is a “gotta have it” versus a “that might be nice.”  Of course, it’s up to you where you save and where to splurge, but this breakdown is a pretty good starting point.

How long will this take?

Expect about 4-6 weeks of design, planning and picking out materials. Depending on the size and the scope, the construction will take between 4 to 8 weeks to complete.

Are you ready to take the first step toward your new Bathroom?   Give us a call at 703-367-8999 or shoot me an email at Lensis Builders Inc. can take your Bathroom project from design to final construction.

“We’ll Help You Love Where You Live”

Stacy Lensis, AKBD

Kitchen & Bath Designer

NKBA Certified

Lensis Builders Inc.




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