Décor & Gardening

Budgeting for your bathroom

Budgeting for your bathroom

Renovating any room in your home can be an incredibly overwhelming task. Bathroom Butler recently spoke to Heather Darby from Bathroom By Design and Rory Watts from WS Projects to guide you through the bathroom renovation process and what budget considerations should be made when renovating a bathroom.

According to Heather, the first thing you should consider is what your end goal is? Are you doing a complete transformation or just giving the space a ‘facelift’? Will you be Including a bath and shower, just a bath or just a shower?

One thing in the bathroom renovation process to never lose sight of, is your bathroom accessories . The end look or theme you go for will ultimately be determined by the accessories you choose yet these items are often one of the more neglected costs associated with a bathroom refurb. Choose from quality accessories that offer a good guarantee and won’t need replacing. Heather suggests putting aside about 10-15% of the sanware budget for bathroom accessories.

According to Bathroom Butler, you would need a minimum of R2,500 for the basic accessory items like paper holder, soap rack, towel rail and towel ring. If you’re considering a Heated Towel Rail, price ranges from R3,300.00 up to R10,600.00, depending on the towel capacity and the style. If you are not ready to spend this money yet, but you still would like to have the option of adding a heated towel rail later, make sure to make a provision of an electrical conduit, which needs to be installed by a certified electrician in the wall before tiling. For more information you can click here.

To get a better understanding of costs, Heather also suggests making a list of items you will need such as tiles with approximate square meterage, bathtub, toilet, vanity, bathroom accessories and tapware. She then encourages you to visit showrooms and price each item on your list. A rough total for the items on your bathroom budget list should give you a good indication of a starting figure.

Based on a “basic” family bathroom including a bathtub, toilet and vanity and bathroom accessories you would need a budget of approximately R14,000.00 excl. VAT. For a “mid-range” family bathroom, budgets would need to be closer to the R25,000.00 mark but keep in mind that this price can vary depending on the bathtub you choose and the bathroom accessories.

You will then need to get a building or turnkey operator cost from a builder in terms of scope of work and labour to add into your overall budget figure. You could also hire a professional design service such as Bathroom by Design or hire an architect to help you with your bathroom renovation.

Regardless of how big or small the renovation may be, various tradesmen are required to complete your new bathroom, so make provision for a Builder, Plumber, Electrician, Tiler and Plasterer. Each tradesman will be responsible for a certain part of the renovation.  According to Rory Watts, most certified plumbers will charge between R2,500.00 – R3,500.00 per plumbing point. “In a full en-suite bathroom as an example, one would have a bath, double vanity, toilet and shower, which amounts to five points. A suggested plumbing budget of R13,750.00 will need to be put aside to cover each specified point,” says Rory.

Rory also suggests asking these questions before installing a bathroom:


Ö         Do you want to install energy efficient products in your bathroom?

Ö         What sort of piping will you be dealing with during the build: galvanised, copper or plastic?

Ö         Will you be making use of a built-in cistern or a free standing one?

Ö         What sort of shower floor levels and slopes need to be considered?

Ö         Will all your basin, toilet and sink accessories come standard with angle valves?

Ö         Do you have the correct connections from the retailers for water inlet and waste outlet?

Ö         Is the geyser and valve in working order – do you need to update or upgrade?

Ö         Do you have guarantees on all your sanitaryware and bathroom accessories including the warranty from the plumber?

Ö         Make sure your plumber uses copper pipes and not polycarp (plastic)

The next step in the bathroom renovation process is for the physical labour to demolish and strip the bathroom and relay or repurpose the brickwork, the screeding required, and plasterwork. Watts suggests making the following budget considerations for this process:


Project Cost Duration
Demolition and removal of existing tile R950,00 (demolition)

R700,00 (removal)

1 day

For one load

Brickwork, screeding and plasterwork R3500,00 This will depend on the size of the area
Tiling including the adhesives, grout and labour (excluding the cost of the tile itself From R140,00 p/m² to R170,00 p/m² This will depend on what needs to be tiled and the size of the area (floors, walls, bath etc)
Shower doors Approximately R7500,00 for an installed frameless shower door 1 day
Paint Approximately R1500,00 for paint and labour Depends on the surface area
Sanitaryware From R14,000.00 for a basic family bathroom and approximately R25,000.00 for a mid-range family bathroom Depends on accessory and sanitaryware preferences and at what point of the refurb each item needs to be installed

·  Waterproofing

·  Colour of grout (which MUST be properly cleaned of prior to installing any bathroom accessories as the grout cleaner may damage the accessories)

·  Underfloor heating

·  Heated Towel Rails

·  Acrylic bath or steel enamel bath



To summarise a bathroom renovation process, Watts suggests using the following check list:

  • Seal off all water supply to taps before demolition
  • Demolish / remove all items that need to be removed
  • All plumbing piping and under tile components of mixers to be fitted
  • Plaster walls / brickwork if plinth if required
  • Tiling of floor and walls
  • Painting of undercoat and first coat
  • Fitting of bath, vanities, basins, pedestals, over-tile components (taps) and electrical fittings
  • Painting of final coat and silicone around the units for sealing


To conclude, Heather adds “Enjoy every moment of the renovation. It should take one month from stripping out the old to completing the new but be aware of your budget and stick to it. A rough guide would be to budget 60% for the tiles, sanware and finishes and 40% for labour.”


To learn more about Bathroom Butler visit their website, Facebook or Instagram pages for more information.



Durban Get It Magazine Nobember 2018

Kajal Maharaj : Soapie Star
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