Can a bathroom renovation cost 5K?

It’s possible, and here’s how.
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Stunning contemporary bathroom with moss green porcelain tiles, forest green painted vanity, succulent decor, and brass tapware and cabinet pulls.

Autumn is coming and you’re ready to redesign your bathroom. However, you are not yet ready to spend $15,000 to $25,000 to get a spa-like bathroom similar to what you have saved to your Dreamboard (insert link) or  Pinterest. Don’t worry, you don’t need to break the bank to transform a generic and charmless bathroom into a relaxing and adorable space.

There are many clever ways to pull the overall bathroom renovation cost down, and we’ll share them with you in this blog. 

How much does a bathroom renovation cost in Australia?

It is crucial to determine your budget for your upcoming bathroom renovation prior to speaking with a designer or builder. Your budget will help you and your entire team start off on the right foot. 

Here is a table showing where your budget can take you:


Renovation type


Cosmetic makeover

$10,000 – $15,000

Budget small bathroom renovation that makes use of low-cost building materials and affordable fittings

$15,000 – $25,000

Mid-level renovations of an average-sized bath using mid-range priced materials and fittings

$25,000 – $30,000+

High-end, premium, or extensive renovations using luxury building materials and fittings

We discussed budget, mid-level and high-end bathroom renovations previously on this blog. Check it out if your budget is more than $5,000. 

Continue reading if you are curious about cosmetic makeovers and how you can best achieve them.

bathroom renovation

What cosmetic bathroom makeovers look like

Bathroom renovations that cost a little more or less than $5,000 wouldn’t involve a major demolition of the walls, ceiling, or floors. However, this much money would be enough to refresh and modernise the interior.

Cosmetic bathroom makeovers are often DIY ( this involves doing as work yourself as you can). However, many homeowners with zero construction experience opt for the help of a design expert. Most of the time, engaging a pro makes all the difference in helping to save you money. Experienced bathroom designers have many clever tricks up their sleeves and their ideas often help their customers truly cut costs in their renovation.

Can a bathroom renovation cost 5K?

Affordable building materials for cosmetic bathroom makeovers

One of the best ways to make a $5,000 bathroom renovation possible is by using low-cost but reliable building materials such as:

  • Splash-proof wallpaper – Wallpaper is one of the most beautiful yet cost-efficient ways to spruce up a room, but wet areas like the bathroom require a special kind of wallpaper. Splash-proof wallpaper is wipeable and can withstand high humidity areas. This option is also more cost-effective to install and easier to trim than tiles.
  • Paint – A fresh coat of paint can reinvent the look of your bathroom and breathe new life into it! For your walls, opt for a low sheen, water-based paint that is durable, washable, and has low to zero VOC emissions. Choose a paint that resists moisture and mildew growth as well.
  • Water-based interior coating – This product from Dulux can easily transform and refinish tiles and vanity tops, so you don’t need to replace them.
  • V-Groove panels – These are a very affordable and stylish substitute for tiles behind the vanity. These are perfect for wainscotting too.
  • Porcelain tiles – There are variants that can mimic the look and feel of luxury natural stones such as travertine and marble.
  • Vinyl flooring – These can give you the opportunity to have timber elements in the bathroom, minus the hassle and maintenance. Vinyl is also softer and warmer underfoot.
  • Pre-formed, one-piece shower stall – if you want a shower area but the budget does not allow you to build a tiled shower area.
  • Simple toilets – Opt for a model that uses very little water but has a great flushing performance. A close coupled toilet is a more cost-effective option to a concealed cistern or wall hung toilet which requires the pipework to be concealed within the wall.
  • Raw concrete flooring with a polyurethane finish – If your bathroom has a concrete slab flooring, consider sanding it and giving it a polyurethane finish.
  • LED light bulbs – These bulbs come in a variety of colour temperatures: cool white, warm white, and natural light and are very affordable.

To save more money, practice the 5’Rs: retain, reduce, reuse, repurpose, and recycle. 

  1. Retain the bathroom’s size, layout, plumbing lines, and electrical points (unless building codes and standards require you to). 
  2. Reduce the amount of waste from the renovation so you won’t need to pay extra for clean up.
  3. Reuse the bathroom fixtures and tapware that still work. Refinishing them is more affordable than replacing them. 
  4. Repurpose furniture, a mirror or a light fixture from another room and use it in your bathroom. 
  5. Recycle cabinet pulls or hardware that you have at home or you have bought from thrift stores.

How long does it take to finish a cosmetic bathroom renovation?

A purely cosmetic surface bathroom renovation can last anywhere from one or two weeks, depending on how much work needs to be done and how fast you are. This is where hiring experts come into play. Hire them for complicated and dangerous parts of the job and help out with the simpler ones. Doing some of the work yourself will speed up the turnaround time. 

How long should a newly renovated bathroom last?

The product of a full bathroom renovation usually lasts for a good 10-15 years, which is worth every dollar you’ve spent. However, a bathroom refresher project that costs more or less than $5,000 would also last for years.

If you are not ready for a full bathroom renovation today, consider doing some cosmetic upgrades to make your space 100% better.

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