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What to expect to spend on a Sydney bathroom renovation

How much will my bathroom renovation cost?

Updated in October 2023

If you’re considering a bathroom renovation in Australia’s most popular city, you’ll likely be asking yourself “how much will my Sydney bathroom renovation cost?”. It’s a reasonable question, particularly if you are new to renovating, but it can be very tricky to give a specific answer. A bathroom is not like an oven or a coffee machine with recommended retail prices for different models. Because your bathroom is custom-designed to suit your space and your family’s individual needs, the final price can vary greatly – anything from AUD$10,000 to AUD$100,000, depending on many factors, which we’ll cover in this article.

Here are the top factors which will impact the final cost of your bathroom renovation, along with our expert advise on how to manage those costs.

Sydney’s Real Estate Dynamics and Its Influence on Bathroom Renovation Costs

Bathroom renovations in Sydney are generally going to more expensive than other parts of Australia, simply because our property prices are so high. In fact, recently advised that Sydney’s house prices are considered the 2nd least affordable in the world.

It is not surprising that the cost of bathroom renovations will be proportionate to the overall value of the home. This means that bathroom renovation projects in affluent Sydney suburbs will typically attract higher costs than similar projects in lower socio-economic areas. This cost differential is influenced not only by the average property value of the area, but also the expectations of the home owners when it comes to the quality and overall service of their bathroom renovation.

Fortunately, bathroom makeovers are known to be an effective way to add value to the property, meaning any investment should provide a proportionate return on investment over time.

Project Scope: Bathroom Makeover or Full Renovation?

While a bathroom makeover will enhance the ambiance of the space and make it look fresh and new, it can’t address any issues with functionality or layout. Re-tiling or re-surfacing, even if you update a couple of major items such as the vanity or the bath to refresh the room and make it look more visually-appealing, won’t provide you with better use of the available space. This is why a makeover is generally the cheaper option.

If you choose the full bathroom renovation option, you have the opportunity to re-design and re-position items as needed. This means you can make the bathroom more functional and also ensure every centimetre is utilised to its fullest extent. In a full renovation, all the old bathroom components are removed and replaced entirely, which means the design and layout can be perfected to suit your specific needs. It also means you can benefit from installing the latest design trends, colour schemes, features, functions and technology to your space.

With a full renovation you can explore options to move (or remove) walls to make the bathroom larger, or consider including additional features – such as a dressing room or walk-through wardrobe. Storage is a key issue in many bathrooms, particularly in more compact spaces, so a full renovation is the best solution to ensure your bathroom includes as much storage as needed.

In many older homes, waterproofing will need to be addressed and this will only be possible with a full renovation which provides the builder with the opportunity to repair any in-wall or under-floor damage to ensure the new bathroom meets today’s higher standards.

In real terms, a full renovation can be expected to last the homeowner up to 15 years so this also gives you a chance to consider making allowances for how your needs, and your family’s needs, will change over that time. A makeover will offer more of a temporary fix to a bigger issue, so it’s generally considered to be more of a band-aid solution. Saving money now by choosing a makeover may be a sensible short-term solution, however it’s important to consider the long-term impacts.

Materials and Finishes

How much will my sydney bathroom renovation cost?

The materials you choose will have a considerable impact on the cost of your Sydney bathroom renovation. For example:

  • Tile choice: Basic ceramic tiles require basic glue and basic installation. Marble tiles however require specialist glue, a specialist tiler, and sealing considerations. On top of this, there’ll be more focus on tile lines (where they match) and the plans would have to be very architectural.  Natural stone and feature tiles can increase your costs when compared to standard tiles. However, the aesthetic appeal and luxury they bring to a bathroom can be real “conversation starters”, especially in up-market Sydney homes.
  • Customisation vs Prefabricated Solutions: Prefabricated components, such vanities or cabinets, are friendly on the wallet or purse. However, for a price, custom-built solutions ensure you get a perfect fit for your unique spaces – often leading to improved aesthetics, functionality and overall satisfaction with your new space.
  • Toilet options: Even the humble toilet can present a significant price difference for your reno! For example, at the “cheap” end of the scale, you just buy a normal $500 toilet, fit it up against the wall, and you’re done. However, in a medium to high-end bathroom renovation, you may purchase a $2,000 toilet which needs an in-wall system. This means a wall has to be cut out, frame work performed by the carpenter, more work for the plumber, and the plans need to be more precise.

In other words, as the calibre of the bathroom goes up, so does the price.

Labour Costs

Sydney’s status on the world stage means labour costs are higher than many other parts of Australia. It’s not just the hourly rates, but the expertise of tradespeople in Sydney that influences the price of the overall renovation.

Each trade, whether it’s the tiler, plumber, electrician, or waterproofer, brings a unique skill set, with some bathroom renovations requiring up to six different trades. Complex designs or those with high-end finishes will normally attract a premium, pushing the Sydney bathroom renovation cost up even higher.

Unless you plan to do the work yourself (not recommended!), labour is a non-negotiable item to consider in your bathroom renovation budet.

Compliance and Regulations

Sydney has stringent regulations to ensure safety and sustainability in renovations. Acquiring the necessary council permits and ensuring your bathroom renovation aligns with Sydney’s building codes can add to costs. However, these expenses ensure that the renovation meets contemporary standards, ensuring safety and durability.

Trends and Innovations in Sydney’s Bathroom Designs

An increasing number of Sydney homeowners are expressing a desire to digitise their bathrooms, taking advantage of modern technological developments and design trends:

  • Smart Bathrooms: With automation taking centre stage, Sydney bathrooms are now featuring smart mirrors, automated faucets, and digital showers. While integrating these features will further increase the cost of renovating the bathroom, they are more likely the provide long-term value and functionality for the homeowner.
  • Sustainability: Sustainable solutions (such as water-saving fixtures or energy-efficient lighting) are gaining traction in the bathroom renovation industry. While these might add to the initial costs, they promise long-term savings and align with Sydney’s push for greener cities.

The Hidden Costs

Bathroom construction beginsOlder properties in Sydney, with their charm and character, often include hidden problems. Whether it’s outdated plumbing, long term water damage, or old (possibly dangerous) electrical wiring, fixing these issues can be a time-consuming and expensive process.

A standard Sydney bathroom, in a brick veneer home, is about 5 square metres. If your home was double-brick, you’d need to allow an additional $2,000 to $3,000 on top of the price.

It’s important to include a contingency budget in any bathroom renovation plan – especially when renovating older (or heritage) homes.

It’s important to be aware that some less honourable bathroom renovators may employ a classic “bait & switch” technique, whereby they provide you with a low-ball quote which looks very attractive when compared with competing suppliers. However, once they’ve won your business, you may suddenly find the company “discovering” more & more issues with the project – electrical issues, plumbing issues and more – which all drive up your cost.

We’ve seen situations where clients go with the lowest quote upfront, only to end up with a total bill which exceeds the highest quote they initially received. This often has a flow-on impact to the project duration, because the “surprises” were not included in the initial plans.


The Ultimate Goal: What Drives Your Sydney Bathroom Renovation?

Every homeowner has a unique motivation behind their renovation:

  • Lifestyle Upgrade: As families grow or lifestyles change, the bathroom needs to evolve. This might mean expanding the space, adding dual vanities, or integrating a luxury bathtub.
  • Boosting Property Value: For homeowners looking to sell, a renovated bathroom can add substantial value to the property’s market price, ensuring a better return on investment. Newly renovated bathrooms can also help prospective buyers make a purchasing decision, because they’ll see the renovated bathroom as “one less thing” they need to address when they move in.
  • Modernising Outdated Spaces: Old, tired bathrooms can be embarrassing! Many times, bathroom renovation projects are started simply because the homeowners are frustrated and / or embarrassed by their old space and want to give it a makeover. Apart from cosmetic improvements, however, a modern bathroom renovation can also provide an opportunity to make the space more functional – with additional storage, improved lighting and more.

Partnering with Professionals

Without the right advice & consultation, it’s easy to blow your renovation budget! Fortunately, companies like Brindabella offer the advantage of providing design expertise and project management under the one roof, ensuring your renovation delivers value in aesthetics, functionality, and investment.

Low, Medium and High-End Bathroom Renovation Costs in Sydney

Here’s a rough breakdown of the end-to-end investment, for low to high end Sydney bathroom renovations:

  • Low-End Bathroom: Between $25,000 and $29,000, averaging around $20,000 for construction and $8,000 for shopping list items.
  • Medium Bathroom: Between $50,000 and $60,000, averaging around $39,000 for construction and $15,000 for shopping list items.
  • High-End Bathroom: Averaging around $79,000, averaging around $59,000 for construction and $20,000 for shopping list items.

At any level, these costs can increase significantly depending on your customisation requirements.

At Brindabella, our expertise is on medium and high-end bathroom renovations.

Sydney Bathroom Renovation Cost – An Investment, Not Just an Expense

In the vibrant landscape of Sydney, a bathroom renovation is more than just a makeover; it’s an investment. Whether you’re eyeing market trends, seeking personal comfort, or aiming for long-term savings, understanding the Sydney bathroom renovation cost components ensures you make informed decisions, turning your bathroom into a space of luxury, functionality, and value.

The Brindabella Difference: Our Project Delivery

Sydney bathroom renovation - before, during & afterOne key point of difference between Brindabella and other luxury bathroom renovators, is our quality of end-to-end project delivery.

Our team buys the equipment prior to starting the bathroom, and it’s stored. We provide proper architectural plans, we have an in-house designer and we provide a written schedule for you as our client, so there are no surprises.

When it comes to the delivery of a bathroom, it’s very different to (say) delivering a lounge, where the only hassle is getting it through the front door. We’re delivering a bathroom in your home, and we’ll be there for four to six weeks! There’s dust control which needs to be managed. Family pets need to be considered and taken care of. There’s access concerns, and many other aspects which need careful consideration. Without proper planning by an experienced renovations company, bathroom renovations can turn into a nightmare!

We take care of the whole project via our proven processes which have passed the test of time. In a word, it’s streamlined!

Renovating your Sydney bathroom doesn’t have to be a stressful exercise. Working with experts who are passionate about design and quality workmanship will help ensure the project is professionally managed from start to finish, without the frustration and inconvenience of unexpected costs. Brindabella holds a full builders licence so we are able to design and cost the project from start to finish. Why not schedule your design appointment today?

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