How Much Does a Los Angeles Bathroom Remodel Cost? Tips For a Successful Project

If you’re looking to make improvements to your home, the bathroom is an obvious place to start. Like a kitchen, bathrooms are a part of the house that can make it feel dated and worn. They’re high-traffic, ‘wet’ areas that get used daily – this adds up to a lot of wear and tear over the years. Vanities get water-stained, tiles start to crack, and mold/mildew takes its toll.

Fortunately, a bathroom remodel is a reasonably quick and straightforward project, as long as you’re prepared with a scope & budget and a quality contractor who shares your vision. Keep reading for a detailed explanation of each aspect of the project, as well as the average bathroom remodel cost in Los Angeles or Southern California.

Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura or San Diego with reliable general contractors, we speak to homeowners every day about bathroom remodel Los Angeles costs – here are some ideas & tips to get you started.

Related: Estimate the cost of your remodel with our bathroom remodel costs calculator

Key Takeaways

  • A bathroom remodel in Los Angeles typically ranges from $15,000 to $60,000, with smaller bathrooms costing around $25,000 and larger master bathrooms averaging $40,000.
  • Key elements significantly impacting costs include tile, vanity, stand-alone tubs, and plumbing fixtures.
  • Maintaining the existing layout is cost-effective, while reconfiguring components like toilets or showers increases expenses due to rerouting water and waste lines.
  • Prefabricated vanities are budget-friendly, ranging from $300 to $2,000, while custom-designed vanities, starting at $2,000, offer a higher-end look
  • Choosing between a pre-fab fiberglass surround or tiled walls significantly affects costs. Tile installation, a labor-intensive process, adds to expenses, emphasizing the need for skilled workers.
  • Secondary bathrooms often integrate bathtubs into shower combos, while stand-alone tubs in master bathrooms can be freestanding or drop-in, impacting costs and design considerations.
  • Tile, common for bathroom flooring and walls, contributes to remodeling costs. Clear instructions to contractors regarding pattern, grout color, and finished edges are crucial.
  • Costs for faucets, showerheads, sinks, tub faucets, and toilets can approach $3,000, varying based on quality, design, and brand.
  • Upgrading lighting and electrical components may include adding recessed lights, decorator lighting, and relocating outlets and switches.
  • General contractors are essential for comprehensive bathroom renovations, ensuring expertise in various trades. Carefully compare estimates, considering scope, materials, and included costs.
  • Demolition, painting, shower doors, mirrors, vanity knobs, towel racks, and other minor items contribute to the overall bathroom remodel costs.

How Much Does a Bathroom Remodel Cost: Bathroom Remodel Costs & Tips For Los Angeles

LA Bathroom Remodeling Costs: $15,000 – $60,000

Los Angeles average Bathroom Remodel Costs graphics

In Los Angeles, the average cost of bathroom remodeling is about $25,000 for a smaller or secondary bathroom and $40,000 for a larger master bathroom. Let’s break down the total remodel cost, options, and considerations further.

Bathroom remodeling expenses are distributed among multiple items like:

  • Floor tile
  • Shower tile
  • Vanity
  • Shower door
  • Tub
  • Sinks
  • Faucets
  • Shower/tub fixtures

In the case of a bathroom, it’s important to clearly understand and quantify which of these materials are paid for by the contractor versus the homeowner, as this can make a drastic difference between various contractors’ estimates.

It is important to know that there are a few items in a bathroom remodel cost that make up a significant portion of the costs:

  • Tile
  • Vanity
  • Stand-alone tubs
  • Plumbing fixtures

Bathroom Layout

The most efficient and cost-effective option is to remodel the bathroom and replace the major items in the same location – toilet, vanity, shower, tub.  Relocating these means increased costs from re-routing water and waste lines, reframing the space, and removing and installing new electrical, lighting, exhaust, HVAC vents, etc.

Bathroom remodel layout

If you want to change the configuration and relocate components like a toilet, shower, etc, you can expect the bathroom remodel costs to increase. One major cost factor is relocating the drains & waste lines that serve these bathroom components. If the bathroom is on the second floor or on a raised foundation, the costs will be lower than if the bathroom is on a slab foundation, which requires cutting into the concrete.

In addition, bathroom plumbing requires vertical vent pipes that run all the way to the roof to vent sewer gases. Sometimes, these pipes need to be re-installed or rerouted depending on the new bathroom configuration, adding to the costs. Relocating items in the bathroom certainly adds to the cost of labor and marginally to the cost of materials.

Bathroom Remodel Vanity

Vanity

When it comes to most bathroom remodels, homeowners generally have two vanity options. The lower-cost option is a pre-fabricated vanity, which comes in standard dimensions and can be purchased at local supply stores (IKEA, Home Depot, etc). Some come with a countertop already installed, while others come without a countertop, and you must buy a pre-fab countertop to match the size. Pre-fab countertops are generally the more affordable option.

Prefab vanities generally come in single-sink sizes like 24”, 30”, 36”, and 48” widths or as a double sink vanity in 60” and 72”. Prices for pre-fab vanities generally range from $300-$2,000. If you’re seeking a specific wood or stain for your vanity, you may have to choose a custom option, which will be manufactured for you by a local cabinet manufacturer.

bathroom vanity average price los angeles

Homeowners seeking a higher-end look, custom-designed cabinets, or a vanity larger than 6 feet will likely need to use custom cabinets. These are manufactured in any style & size desired for your specific bathroom.

Bathroom remodel countertop

You will also need to select a custom countertop for this vanity that will be fabricated from a slab of marble, quartz, granite, etc. Suffice it to say that a custom vanity will cost significantly more than a pre-fab vanity. Nice custom vanities generally start at $2,000 and go up from there.

There are a few things worth discussing with your contractor to ensure you’ll get your desired result:

  1. In a custom vanity, make sure you like the proposed sink locations so they don’t feel too close to the wall or too close to each other
  2. If you have a very long vanity, inquire whether the countertop will have a visible ‘seam’ where two pieces of slab come together
  3. Inform the contractor exactly where you want the vanity knobs/pulls located on each door/drawer and if they should be installed vertically or horizontally
  4. Inform the contractor if you expect specific vanity features like custom drawers, pull-out shelves, or soft-close doors & drawers
  5. Inform the contractor if you want the vanity to be built to sit on the floor or float on the wall.

Shower

The shower is a substantial portion of your bathroom remodeling costs, but it can range from reasonably inexpensive to extravagant.  On the inexpensive side, one would utilize a pre-fab shower surround made of fiberglass instead of utilizing tile.  A shower surround is available for a stand-alone shower or a shower/bath combo.  This material is commonly used in apartments or rental properties. This option can often be installed for $1,000 or less.

shower wall average price comparison los angeles

To create a higher-end look and feel, most homeowners use tile on the shower walls. Tile is expensive because it’s very labor-intensive to install. So, regardless of the cost of the tile itself (which can certainly be expensive), this often becomes a substantial cost of the project. The smaller the tiles, the more labor cost is involved in the installation process. In addition to shower walls, one must also consider the shower floor.

Again, there are two options here. The cheaper option is a fiberglass shower pan and the more attractive option is to use tile. The shower walls and floor also require the installation of a backer-board and a ‘hot-mop’ as waterproofing under the tile, which adds another cost in this category.

Small Bathroom Remodeling Costs Shower Head

The shower is often a major focal point of any bathroom, so it’s important to get this right with your contractor.  First and foremost, be aware that tilework is a very skilled trade, and only experienced tile installers have the experience to do this correctly. Workers without the right skills can easily ruin a shower with crooked, uneven, or poorly grouted tile work. So, check the tile work on a regular basis while it’s in progress.

Also, make sure to be clear with your contractor about the exact pattern and design you want, ie. will the tile be horizontal or vertical, will it run all the way to the ceiling, what color do you want the grout, and how will the exposed tile edges look, etc. If you’re planning to use marble or other natural material, ask the tile retailer for any specific installation requirements. Finally, remember to discuss whether you want a ‘bench’ in your shower, the size of the bench size, and the material you want to use there.   

Bathtub

Not every bathroom these days must include a bathtub, but it’s a must in a secondary (kid’s) bathroom and a regular feature in a luxury master bathroom.  In a secondary bathroom, it is likely to be integrated into a shower/tub combo and should not substantially increase the bathroom remodel costs.  A bathtub of this size is likely to cost between $300-$800 and can come in porcelain, fiberglass, metal, etc.

bathtub price los angeles comparison

Alternatively, in a master bathroom, a stand-alone bathtub will be considerably more expensive. One popular option is a freestanding or clawfoot style tub, which could be ceramic, fiberglass, cast iron, etc. Another option is a drop-in-style tub, which requires the construction of a framed platform to fit inside. Either way, expect this to be a substantial part of your budget to cover the cost of the tub, the surrounding tile, running water supply and drain lines to the location, and the cost of the tub hardware.

Here are a few tips to consider when planning for a bathtub:

  • If you’re doing a freestanding tub, make sure any nearby walls are tiled to protect these areas from water splashing
  • Purchase the tub early in the process so your contractor has the exact dimensions in order to correctly locate the tub drain and tub faucet
  • If you’re using a wall-mounted tub faucet, discuss exactly how far it will extend over the tub.
  • Try to locate the tub so there are no areas behind it that might get wet and are too hard to reach to dry off

Bathroom remodel bathtub

Floor & Wall Tile

When it comes to flooring in the bathroom, tile is the most common option as a waterproof surface. Other options include linoleum or waterproof vinyl planks, but most people still choose tile to achieve the look they want.   As discussed in the shower section, tile installation is an expensive part of a bathroom remodel. The amount of floor tile could easily be greater than the amount in the shower, depending on the size of the bathroom.

In elegant bathrooms, some homeowners are even tiling portions of the bathroom walls, whether it’s up to a certain height for a ‘wainscot’ look or an entire wall, floor to ceiling.  As you can imagine, this will add substantial time and increase the total bathroom remodel cost. 

Like other areas of tile, you’ll want to give clear instructions to your contractor regarding the direction & pattern you want the tile laid and the color of the grout. Also, make sure to discuss how you want your grout lines to look; some people want to achieve a look with virtually no grout lines showing (called a ‘butt-joint’). Remember to consider how you want the finished tile edges to look.

Finally, do your best to purchase enough tiles for your project all at once. If you run out and need to rebuy the same product, it’s possible the new batch of tiles won’t exactly match the one you originally bought.

Bathroom remodel floor

This is a relatively easy cost category to estimate. For floor tile, simply measure the entire dimension of your bathroom and subtract the area that will house your shower/bath. For example, a standard hallway bathroom is 5ft x 8ft or 40 square feet. You can subtract the bath/shower area (approx..12.5sf)…so you’ll need about 37.5sf of floor tile.

Always buy 20% more than you need, just in case. Repeat this calculation for any walls that will require tile. Once you have the cost for the tile materials, don’t forget to add the contractor’s labor cost.

If you’re not planning to use tile, other options include linoleum, which is an affordable option, or luxury vinyl plank, which looks like a wood material but is water-resistant.

Plumbing Fixtures

Surprisingly, plumbing fixtures, which vary greatly in cost, could be a substantial line item in your budget as well. In a larger master bathroom remodel, you may need two faucets, one or more showerheads, valves & handles, sinks, a tub faucet, and a toilet. Depending on the quality, design, and brand you choose, these parts together can easily approach $3,000 or more. On the other hand, if you are not picky about plumbing fixtures, there are certainly many cost-effective options.

Bathroom remodel fixtures

Lighting/Electrical

Most people decide to upgrade the lighting during their bathroom remodel because it’s outdated. This means adding recessed lights in various areas and potentially decorator lighting such as sconces or hanging lights over the vanity or tub. If you’re making any changes to the layout of the bathroom, you’ll need to relocate or add electrical outlets and light switches.

Finally, you should consider adding or replacing the exhaust fan. These electrical changes may require you to run a new circuit from your main panel to the bathroom to accommodate these upgraded electrical components. Electrical/lighting should not be a significant component of your budget unless you’re purchasing expensive designer lighting.

Inform your contractor early in the process of exactly where you want your wall outlets, light switches, and lights. Ideally, you can even mark where you want these located on the wall or ceiling with some painter’s tape.  If a light needs to be centered on something (or between two things), be sure to make that clear to your contractor.

For sconce lights, there is no standard height, so identify and mark exactly where these lights should be hung on the wall. Amazingly, you’ll also need to clarify which direction sconces need to be hung because they often get hung upside down.

Smart Bathroom Technology

Smart bathroom technology is revolutionizing the way we experience and interact with our private spaces. Incorporating cutting-edge technology into your bathroom remodel can add convenience, efficiency, and a touch of luxury. While the cost can vary, the long-term benefits often outweigh the initial investment.

One significant aspect of smart technology in bathrooms is sensor-activated fixtures, including faucets and lighting. These not only contribute to a more hygienic environment by minimizing touchpoints but also promote water and energy conservation. The cost of sensor-activated faucets can range from $100 to $500, depending on the brand and features.

Smart mirrors equipped with features like LED lighting, defogging capabilities, and Bluetooth connectivity are gaining popularity. These mirrors can cost between $200 and $1,000, depending on the size and functionalities.

For those seeking the epitome of luxury, programmable thermostats for radiant floor heating offer a spa-like experience. While the initial cost for installation can range from $1,500 to $5,000, the energy-efficient heating solution provides long-term comfort and adds a touch of opulence to the bathroom.

Investing in smart bathroom technology not only modernizes the space but also enhances daily routines, making it a worthwhile consideration for homeowners looking to elevate their bathroom experience.

What to look for in a bathroom remodeling contractor?

Typically, only general contractors are allowed to perform complete bathroom renovations. This is because a bathroom renovation includes many trades, including:

  • Tiling
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Painting
  • Demolition
  • Carpentry
  • Potentially framing

You should engage a general contractor instead of hiring each of these trades individually. Additionally, ensure that your general contractor is licensed and insured. An unlicensed or uninsured contractor is a red flag; if they can’t operate their business properly, you shouldn’t expect them to do a proper job on your renovation.

Don’t be surprised if your various bathroom renovation contractor estimates vary substantially. Various contractors will make varying assumptions regarding your project’s scope, materials, etc. In addition, each individual contractor has their own cost structure and profit goals. Does this imply you should choose the lowest bid? Certainly not.

Therefore, the first step is to carefully examine what is contained in each estimate to ensure that you are comparing apples to apples. Additionally, you must specify which materials (and the prices) are included in each bid. Once all of your proposals are complete, exhaustive, and comparable in scope, you will be in a better position to select the ideal contractor.

Miscellaneous

Although we’ve covered the major components of the bathroom above, it’s worthwhile to discuss the additional, minor items that you’ll need to consider and include in your bathroom remodel costs. 

  • Demolition: Demolition isn’t anything you need to think about, but you should expect it to be an item in your contractor’s estimate.  Demolition requires heavy labor, moving the trash out of the house, and the costs of transporting and dump fees. Make sure your contractor intends to seal the remodel area securely so that a majority of dust doesn’t escape into the rest of your house. Ideally, demolition should be completed in one day to limit disruption and noise.
  • Paint: After all the heavy construction, your new bathroom will need a quick paint job. The contractor’s paint budget shouldn’t be huge because the space is reasonably small.  However, keep in mind this line item also includes preparing and texturing the walls to create a finished surface for painting. 
  • Shower door: Although a curtain rod and a shower curtain will suffice in many cases, most people now want a real shower door installed. Depending on the size & configuration of your shower, you’ll either use an ‘off-the-shelf’ door or require a custom size to be created. Expect a shower door to cost between $1,000-$2,000 on average. Depending on the look you want and how much space you have in your bathroom, you’ll want to consider either a swinging door or a sliding door on rollers.
  • Final touches: The final touches you’ll need are the mirror(s), vanity/cabinet knobs, towel racks, and toilet paper holder. You will likely be purchasing these items yourself, so measure your space carefully to ensure you are buying the appropriate size fixtures. Also, as discussed earlier, consider marking with tape exactly where you want each item located on the wall, so there is no confusion.

For detailed costs on other major home renovation projects, you can read our LA Home Remodel Cost Guide.

If you’re considering a kitchen remodel alongside your bathroom project, we’ve put together a helpful LA Kitchen Remodeling Cost Guide as well.

When it comes to planning and coordinating the bathroom remodel costs for your home, you shouldn’t have to go it alone – GreatBuildz can help simplify your renovation experience.

 

GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura or San Diego with reliable, thoroughly screened general contractors and provides project support from start to finish.

 

Call now (818.317.3567) to chat with a real person about your next renovation project or visit our website for more information: www.greatbuildz.com

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Hi, we're Paul and Jon - Co-Founders of GreatBuildz. We believe everyone deserves to find a great contractor, have a stress-free renovation, and enjoy their beautiful new space. There are so many contractors out there and it's often hard to tell the good from the bad... until it's too late. We started our company to help simplify your contractor search and help you have a stress-free renovation experience. We're always available to help, no matter where you are in the process. Click here to learn more about our story.

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