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You use it without much thought. The bathroom is just one of those aspects of your home that you can’t ignore because, well, everyone uses it every single day. The good news, though, isn’t just that you can’t dispute a bathroom's utility but that any effort you make to improve that space pays you back, both in function and value. Along with the kitchen, remodeling your bathroom is one of the most effective ways to add value to your home. However, true design by a professional interior designer is essential. With professional bathroom design, the costs you pay serve an important purpose: to fuse together function and beauty in order to create a space that looks great and works for you, your family and your guests.
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Table of Contents
- Bathroom Designer Cost
- Bathroom Designer Cost Factors
- Why Hire A Bathroom Designer?
- Bathroom Design Considerations
- Bathroom Remodeling Prices
- DIY or Hire A Pro?
- Tips for Working with Bathroom Designers
- Find A Pro
Bathroom Designer Cost
Bathroom design covers a range of services as simple as picking a low-flow toilet to as complex as planning an oasis from the ground up. As a homeowner, you need to decide the extent of services you require. For a simple refresh of new fixtures, design services and employees at home improvement stores and showrooms can likely lead you through picking the right items. These services are often free or only require a minimum charge (usually under $100), which is deducted from the cost of supplies and/or installation if you choose to purchase from their stores.
On the other side of this spectrum, full bathroom design services from a professional interior designer are an ideal solution for new home builds and additions where no systems currently exist, or in complete demos and renovations where significant changes to the layout and function of the bathroom need to take place. The services of these professionals generally run in the range of $100 to $200 per hour, at an average fee of 10% of the total project cost. Therefore, a $5,000 bathroom renovation generally costs about $500 in design fees.
Bathroom Designer Cost Factors
There are two main factors that influence the cost of bathroom design. First, and most importantly, is the size of your space. Larger bathrooms are more complicated to design and remodel, and therefore cost more. There are other factors, too, that influence what a designer will charge you. These include:
- Designer Affiliations: Independent professionals are much pricier than store-employed or contracted designers.
- Extent of the Remodel: Updating fixtures, replacing floors and repainting walls is costly and may require design assistance, but it’s minimal compared to planning and designing a bathroom as a blank slate.
- Extent of Designer Involvement: Depending on your own time, knowledge and budget, the amount of work you need from a bathroom designer varies. You may just consult one at the beginning, when it comes to outlining the space, or you may hire a designer to oversee every aspect of your remodel from the plans to the finished product.
Why Hire A Bathroom Designer?
Hiring a bathroom designer certainly comes at a cost and, for basic updates, may not even be necessary. However, when you’re planning a bathroom or seriously reorganizing one, the benefits a designer provides are extensive and include:
- Experience: Not only do designers know what you don't know, but they also know what you don't know. In other words, their “been there, done that” perspective can save you time, money and heartache when it comes to repositioning a toilet, for example, or expanding a vanity to include double sinks.
- Balance: While a pretty, clean new bathroom is lovely to look at, the bathroom serves an important function in your daily life. A good designer can fuse functional details, such as the placement of outlets, with fashionable ones, such as the color of a tile backsplash.
- Budget: The cost to remodel a bathroom ranges on average from as little as $2,000 to upwards of $20,000. If you know your budget and clearly communicate it with your designer, he or she will make sure to present you with ideas and items that stay within that range. Your designer will also minimize or eliminate mistakes and oversights that may end up costing you more in the long run.
Bathroom Design Considerations
The focus of a bathroom designer's work depends largely on your needs. However, projects can range from simple considerations such as new tub and toilet designs to complete renovations that involve moving pipes, resetting electric outlets and reimagining a space. In general, in-house designers in showrooms and home improvement stores easily cover the former types of jobs. The latter, on the other hand, are situations wherein a true professional is absolutely essential.
Bathroom Remodeling Prices
Once your designer has a plan for your bathroom space, a lot of work needs to take place to turn that plan into reality. Bathroom renovations and remodeling jobs are no small expense, with most homeowners paying a bit less than $8,500 for the process. Understanding where that money goes is an important step in budgeting for your bathroom remodel and the services of a professional interior designer. Here’s a list of common bathroom projects and their costs for you to consider in this respect:
Often the centerpiece of a bathroom, a new tub is an important and expensive upgrade that can really define the level of luxury in your bathroom. Available options include everything from basic tub overlays (fitted covers) that refresh your current unit to high-end jetted spa tubs to classic clawfoot models. Other factors influencing the cost of a bathtub installation are plumbing fixtures and surrounds. On average, this project costs between $1,300 – $3,200.
Because of the high humidity levels typical in the bathroom, the type of flooring you use and proper installation thereof is important. Common selections include tile, laminate and natural stone, and prices range from $1,300–$2,500 on average.
According to the pros, the shower should account for a third of the cost of your total bathroom remodel, which makes sense given the size of the unit and the plumbing involved. In addition, fittings, the door and even the shower head all contribute to total costs, which average $2,800.
Another critical element in any bathroom, replacing the sink can be part of an all-in-one vanity solution or included in a countertop fitting with cabinets sold separately. Installation of these units is pretty straightforward, with the total cost averaging about $500. However, if you move the sink or expand a vanity from a single to a double sink, expect that price to go up dramatically.
This final item may be the most important because it’s by far one of the most-used elements of any bathroom. Toilets come in different bowl lengths and custom colors, as well as low-flow economy options, but other than that they’re pretty straightforward, costing between $350 and $500 to install.
If you want to learn more about the ins and outs — and costs — of a complete bathroom remodel project, read our complete guide to bathroom renovation.
DIY or Hire A Pro?
Designing a bathroom where none existed prior is not easy. Plumbing, electric and HVAC are all involved, not to mention considerations such as space. A professional designer can account for all these factors and still create a functional, beautiful area. While you can make small changes such as choosing a new toilet on your own, when it comes to a real renovation, the experience of an expert is worth the cost to fully utilizing the space.
Tips for Working with Bathroom Designers
Working with a designer in your bathroom, or any room of your home, is a delicate balance between getting the space of your dreams and dealing with constraints such as budget and artistic differences. It’s important to make sure you understand what such a process involves and to make sure you have your expectations in check before you begin. Here are some important tips for effectively working with an interior designer:
Know What You Like & Make That Clear
At your first meeting, make sure you have photos or websites that clearly display the type of work you want in your home. While factors such as space and budget may prevent an exact replica, showing the designer your tastes (rather than trying to tell him or her in words) is a good way to ensure that he or she understands them.
Understand the Designer’s Style
While it’s a designer's job to work with you and meet your needs, each is an artist with a unique approach to design. Good interior designers can adapt that approach to the space and their clients. Ask to see samples of past work to make sure this is true.
You need to know and clearly state your budget and have it in mind each time you make a decision. Understand that everything you want may not be possible, and compromise when needed.
The design process takes time. Construction takes longer. If you rush any step, you risk having poor-quality work done. This not only wastes your money now, but also costs you more down the road.
Find A Pro
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Last updated on Nov 17, 2016