Bathroom and Shower Cost & Pricing Guide
Our aim is to help you understand realistic pricing for a quality bath remodel, so you can budget appropriately.
Our “turn-key,” one-stop-shop approach saves you time, stress, and hassle. When you hire us to remodel your bathroom or shower, you will NOT have to:
- Find your own designer or architect
- Make selections by yourself
- Buy your own materials
- Pick up or haul any materials
- Contract with any third parties
…unless you choose to. Most clients prefer us to handle all aspects of their project, and so do we.
What does a bathroom remodel cost?
There are seven components to the overall cost of a bathroom remodel:
- Size. Bigger bathrooms cost more to remodel, even if the space is largely taken up by flooring, sheetrock, and trim.
- Scope. The number of distinct trades involved in your project directly correlates with price. If your remodel requires flooring, lighting, sheetrock repair, painting, mirrors, and cabinets, this is a larger and more involved scope of work versus a project where you’re only wanting a new tub surround and countertop.
- Wet Areas. The most expensive single component of a bathroom is the wet area, which is simply a tub or shower. A bathroom with both a tub and a shower will cost more than a bathroom with just a shower. Powder bath remodels are usually less expensive, as these bathrooms lack a wet area.
- Materials. What goes into your space matters. Higher-end materials tend to cost significantly more than their average counterparts. There are many ways to blow your budget with expensive items that add joy to your bath.
- Complexity. Increased complexity = higher skilled labor and management costs. Pencil tiles, accent stripes, angled walls, LED-backlights, plumbing and electrical movement, and heated floors are examples of items which add significant time and cost to bath remodels.
- Location. Without a doubt, it costs more to remodel a bathroom on a third floor (or higher) than it does a first-floor bath. How workers access your space will affect your cost.
- Existing Conditions. If your bathroom is 50 years old and built with mud-set tile, more time and effort (and therefore cost) are required to remove your old tile and prepare for your new build. Similarly, if you have a rotten subfloor, faulty plumbing, mold, or other problem conditions which must be addressed, this will increase your cost.
- Size. Bigger bathrooms cost more to remodel, even if the space is largely taken up by flooring, sheetrock, and trim.
As a general rule, your biggest expenses are labor and project management, by a mile. Regardless of the materials you choose, getting those materials into your bathroom and properly installed is the most difficult portion of your project.
Wherever possible, we recommend faucets, fixtures, and materials that are Made in the USA. In almost every case, these will have a more robust build quality than imported alternatives.
If you are limited by budget, you will likely have a better outcome with less-expensive materials installed by top-notch tradespeople, as opposed to high-end materials installed by sub-par trades. Less-expensive, lower-skilled laborers tend to cut corners and ignore manufacturer guidelines, which are the leading causes of product failures.
According to Zonda Media’s 2023 Cost Vs. Value Report, previewed below (full version available at costvsvalue.com), a tiny bath remodel with very basic finishes averages almost $24,000 in the Houston metro area:
Here is the description set that was used to gather pricing data for this $24,000 project:
“Update existing 5×7-foot bathroom. Replace all fixtures to include 30×60-inch porcelain-on-steel tub with 4×4-inch ceramic tile surround; new single-lever temperature and pressure-balanced shower control; standard white toilet; solid-surface vanity counter with integral sink; recessed medicine cabinet with light; ceramic tile floor; vinyl wallpaper.” ©2023 Zonda Media
By all acounts, the 5′ x 7′ bath remodel described here is a very small guest/hall/kids’ bath with very basic finishes. Far and away, the vast majority of our clients expect better finishes than this, unless they are planning to sell their home within the next two years.
Net takeaway: you can easily exceed this figure when working with a professional bathroom remodeler for a total overhaul of any bathroom. We’ve built very few complete guest bath remodels below $25,000, but we’ve done some partial guest remodels in the $15k-20k range.
As we move into the $30k’s, more entry-level possibilities open up. Basic master bath makeovers in the mid-to-high $30k’s are possible, as with the bathroom pictured to the right; however, these projects are not built with custom tile and high-end finishes. In this price range, we are designing with solid surface, LVT flooring, pre-fab countertops, and stock painted cabinets.
According to the same Cost Vs. Value Report referenced above, an upscale master bath remodel in Houston averages around $75,000.
With this in mind, we suggest that homeowners wanting a complete master bath overhaul, for a 15′ x 15′ or larger bathroom with both a tub and a shower, as well as a 2-sink vanity or separate vanities (typical in Houston), budget at least $50,000 for a turn-key project with stock products.
The more tile you want, the higher your cost will be, as proper tile work is difficult and expensive. Of course, for most homeowners, tile is also the most beautiful product for your bathroom, but solid surface is one viable alternative that can help lower costs.
For fully-custom, upscale master bathroom projects, the sky is the limit – some of these projects end up well over $100,000, with no hard ceiling.
Even high-end guest baths truly have no ceiling, as in the project pictured here to the left. This is a 6′ x 11′ guest bath in a penthouse condo we remodeled back in 2022. The project features porcelain slab walls, floor, and ceiling, along with a custom teak screen, high-end faucets and a custom vanity.
Although this project had a relatively small footprint, the space was difficult to access, and the bathroom was designed with high-end materials. We also had to perform detailed, intricate work on walls, ceilings, and floors. Each of these factors played a major role in the overall expense required to bring this bathroom to life.
Here are some pricing guidelines, based on five different project “levels” at which we commonly build:
|Project Level||Price Range||Examples|
|Level 1||$15,000 – 20,000||Partial-scope, small bath remodels.|
|Level 2||$20,000 – 35,000||Most complete powder baths (AKA half-baths), basic guest baths.|
|Level 3||$30,000 – 45,000||Typical guest baths, Jack and Jill baths, limited-scope mid-size baths.|
|Level 4||$50,000 – 65,000||“Pull-and-replace” master bathrooms, upscale guest bath remodels|
|Level 5||$75,000 – 100,000+||Custom master bathrooms and other very upscale baths.|
Your project needs to be fully developed and “build-ready” to get a firm, fixed price for your bathroom. Our team will guide you through this process.
- To develop your personal budget, the first step is to consider your scope of work and overall objective. For example, a simple refresh to increase utility and renew your pride in ownership is often less expensive than a total remodel with a laundry list of high-end items. This is because the number of “must-haves” is often smaller and more reasonable with an upate / refresh project. You need to determine your level of “must haves” before you begin!
- For simple, pull-and-replace projects that don’t need design, we’ll go straight into selections. Many of our clients find it helpful to start selections with allowances provided by us. This seems to keep most projects from going too far astray. We’ll set allowances based on your desired finish level (i.e. basic, mid-range, luxury, etc.), and do budget “check-ins” as you go. You’ll get a final, fixed price when selections are complete.
What does a shower remodel cost?
The cost to remodel your shower depends primarily on the level of professional you hire, and what kind of shower you want. All showers are NOT built the same.
In the state of Texas, there is no licensing for remodelers, general contractors, or the tile trade. Anyone can claim to be anything. In fact, many Houston contractors claim to be “bath specialists” or “shower specialists” when they do not actually have the experience and know-how to build these projects correctly.
This free-for-all results in many poorly-built showers with ugly tile work, plumbing problems, and leaks.
Besides poor craftsmanship, your potential problems with a shower include incorrect waterproofing, improper drainage, bad grout work, and a leaking pan, just to name a few. All of these can cause your shower not to work as intended (fail), and this almost always means the entire shower has to be rebuilt. Sometimes, these issues are not immediately apparent, and you may not see that anything is wrong for some time.
By far, the worst problems with typical Houston showers are in their waterproofing, as in the picture to the right. If your contractor says this is “waterproof,” STOP him in his tracks and fire him immediately! He doesn’t understand how waterproofing works.
If your shower fails, it will likely need to be built from scratch, again.
We have remodeled leaky showers all over Houston that were previously built by other contractors within the last five years. These contractors either went out of business, scurried off to another town, or were unwilling to service their warranties.
If you think these problems are limited to small companies and “one-man bands,” think again. A number of big-name bath contractors and franchises have also gone out of business in Houston over the last decade, rendering their “lifetime” plastic shower warranties (or tile warranties) worthless.
With this in mind, the cost of hiring actual specialists who have the education, skills, and experience to build showers correctly, is an investment in your peace of mind.
So – what does it actually cost?
Well, according to various poorly-researched internet blogs, showers start at $1,500 – 3,000, and can go as high as $5,000, etc. These figures are very misleading. In reality, assuming you want a well-built shower that doesn’t leak, these small budget ranges are really for DIY (“Do It Yourself”) shower remodels, which almost no one wants to do.
Below is an example of one these from Modernize. Modernize calls and emails companies like ours to pitch the idea that they’ll deliver “qualified homeowners who want our services.” All we have to do is pay them, and they will magically generate customers. How are they doing that? Check out the screenshot below, from 2023, showcasing the downright inaccurate pricing they use to bait homeowners into “requesting information.”
Modernize is telling you that a tub-to-shower conversion can be had for $1,800. As marketers and bloggers, how do Shannon (the author) and Catie (the reviewer) have a clue what this project costs? The truth is, they don’t.
Just like Angi and Home Advisor (among others), Modernize is known as a lead aggregator in the remodeling industry. They ostensibly offer homeowners “unbiased information” on their website, then connect them with what they claim are “the best contractors.” Contractors pay for the contact information of homeowners who request work on Modernize, then try to sell them their services. So, Modernize is not unbiased at all. They want to lure in the maximum possible number of people that they can sell to their contractors as “leads.” Baiting them with low-ball price averages is just part of the game.
We have never built a shower in this price range, and we’ve been building them since 2014. Apart from buying an eyesore, one-piece fiberglass shower unit, the only way to achieve this price is to DIY the job, or hire a high-risk journeyman for hire, also known as “Chuck in the truck.”
And while Chuck might be willing to do a shower for $5,000 or less, you’ll likely have trouble getting all facets of the work done to spec. This is because Chuck will need to personally handle demolition, haul-away, wall preparation, plumbing, waterproofing, tile layout, tile cutting, tile setting, grout, and silicone. You will also be your own designer, procurement manager, project manager, and warranty department – AKA, your own general contractor! And don’t expect first-rate communication, or a timely build, either. There are good reasons why people pay significantly more than Chuck charges to avoid having to deal with Chuck’s problems.
If you want to the smooth, professional experience (and warranty) you get from hiring a professional company to build your shower, $3-5k is simply not enough.
A quick aside here: we’re not beating up on self-employed tile setters; there are a select few high-end operators who are outstanding, and we’ve worked with some of them. However, these rare, skilled artisans will not build you a shower in the $3-5k range like Chuck.
In the mid-2020s, a proper shower from a reliable professional starts just under $10,000, for the smallest size shower, before custom glass. Even the “one-day” plastic bath franchises start around this price now (but you’ll have to sit through their kitchen-table sales pitch to hear this). In reality, many average-size shower remodels end up beyond this, in the $15,000 range or higher, once your chosen options, special features, and exact sizing are factored in – again, assuming you hire true professionals.
Most contractors and remodeling firms will not share up-front pricing, as we do here.
This is because dinosaur business coaches have taught contractors specifically NOT to do this. As a result, you’ll often hear contractors (and their receptionists and home show attendants) say things like “I have no idea what your project will cost until we come out to look at it with you.”
They know their prices, of course. The obvious purpose here is to lead you into a sales pitch in your home, where they can walk you through their “10 steps to a sale” iPad presentation. You should not tolerate this!
If a company is unwilling to have a straightforward conversation about their prices by phone, they are not being transparent.
TL;DR – If you’re in the market for a shower remodel or replacement, we recommend shopping for excellence, integrity, and expertise. Skip the low bidders and high-pressure bath franchises, so you don’t end up paying for the same shower twice, or get stuck with a overpriced, mediocre plastic bathroom.
Small showers are going to start just under $10,000. Upgrades can easily push these projects into the $15,000+ range when it’s all said and done. If you want to combine the footprint of a small, “phone booth”-type shower and an adjacent tub (a setup commonly found in builder-grade master bathrooms throughout Houston), these very large showers start at $25,000. See our pricing chart, below.
Here are some shower remodel pricing guidelines, based on five different types of showers we commonly build:
|Shower Projects||Starting At*||Sizing + Examples *Shower glass adds $1 – 3k to base-level prices|
|Small Showers, built with Solid Surface||$8,750||Smallest showers we build, typically 3′ x 3′ with 3 walls. Pricing assumes standard size|
|Small Showers, built with Custom Tile||$9,750||≈ 3′ x 3′ with 3 walls. Proper tile work requires precise waterproofing, special edging, and artisan-level skills.|
|Tub-to-Shower Conversions, Mid-Size Showers||$10,000||3 walls, typically 60″ wide x 30-36″ deep, some are larger. Starting price is for standard-size, in solid surface.|
|Larger Or Custom Showers||$17,500||Often 4+ walls, larger or more custom than standard 3-wall showers. Many include half-walls or ceiling tile.|
|Oversized & Very Large Showers||$25,000||Typically built in the place of two existing wet areas (1 tub + 1 shower) in master baths. Usually 8′ wide+|
How do you compare to other Houston bath contractors?
First, our projects are nicer and more detail-oriented than what you get from bath franchises and general contractors. If you’re looking for the cheapest option, that’s not us.
However, not all of our clients want high-end bathrooms and showers, either. Mostly, it’s about trust. If your #1 goal is to get your project built correctly, we’re a great fit for you.
Because of our expertise and technical chops, we tend to work with homeowners who love their home and aren’t looking to hire just anyone. Most of our clients want close, professional guidance through the entire experience, and help avoiding the irritating problems that come with typical contractors and bath companies.
In keeping with this, our clients do not have to deal with any salespeople, and there are no coupons or other sales gimmicks. These “inducements to buy now” are totally fake, although you see them everywhere in the contracting world (sadly). Custom bathrooms and showers don’t go on sale like widgets on Amazon. Straight-up work at straight-up prices is what you can expect from Simplicity.
Also, we work as a close team, manage your job tightly, and do not hire or subcontract to “randoms” to build your job. No one will tell this, but most contractors do this exact thing – especially the sales and marketing companies!
Finally, our founder and company owner is involved in every single job, and we take our responsibility to serve you properly very seriously. You will never, ever have to worry about your calls and texts being ignored, hearing excuses about job problems, or having a jerk for a project manager.
If excellence and reliability are what you’re after, there is absolutely no better choice in Houston than Simplicity Bath & Shower.
Are you solely focused on luxury bathrooms?
No – we’ve remodeled bathrooms in many different types of properties, with our clients’ property values ranging from $200,000 – $5MM.
As custom bathrooms and showers come in all shapes and sizes, our typical client spends anywhere from $10k+ on a shower remodel, to $25k+ on a small bath remodel, to $50k+ for a complete master bath. This all depends on the scope of work. Larger bathrooms and showers, and fancier projects, can greatly exceed these ranges. If you’re only looking for a tub-to-shower conversion, this starts at $10,000.
One thing our varied clients all have in common is that they aren’t just wanting a plain old bathroom remodel to get by. They either want a really special space that’s 100% customized to them, or a very reliable partner who will take excellent care of them, or both.