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      Imagine stepping into a bathroom that looks straight out of a luxury spa. Now imagine it's in your own home. Sounds dreamy, right? But the work to turn that dream into a reality can seem daunting.

      It starts with one crucial decision — choosing the right bathroom remodeling company or contractor. And that's where things get a little tricky.

      In this guide, we have everything you need to find trusted bathroom renovation services. Read about what to look for in professional credentials, how proposals work and how to communicate your vision effectively.

      Key takeaways

      • Typical bathroom remodels start around $5,000 (and go up significantly from there).
      • Depending on the scope of your project, a bathroom remodel can take a few days to a few months.
      • If you hire a professional to remodel your bathroom for you, check that they’re licensed and insured.
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        How to choose a bathroom remodeling contractor

        Choosing a bathroom remodeling contractor is all about due diligence. Check the companies’ credibility and ask for examples of past work. Don’t be shy to request references and contact past clients. Review each company’s license and insurance and be sure they provide a detailed contract.

        Remember, communication is key, so pick someone responsive. It’s your dream bathroom, after all.

        1. Finalize your vision

        “It’s always best to have a complete design put together before you ask a builder for a quote,” according to Molly McGinness, an award-winning interior designer based on Cape Cod.

        Contractors can’t give you an accurate price estimate without knowing what you want. If you ask them generically, they have to base the estimate on a placeholder that most likely doesn’t match your vision.

        For example, ceramic materials are much cheaper than natural stone, and installing a simple pattern, like a brick or stacked pattern, has lower labor costs than more complicated designs, such as a herringbone or small mosaic pattern.

        “It’s better to start with a design you love and have a bid on that specific design,” McGinness said. “If the bid comes in too high, you can then ask about ways to bring the cost down and how the design could be adjusted, either in materials, layout changes or what changes could affect the labor costs.”

        It’s better to start with a design you love and have a bid on that specific design.”
        Molly McGinness, interior designer

        2. Ask the right questions

        Once you know what you want, it’s time to start a conversation. Elizabeth P. Lord-Levitt, who runs a residential design firm in Denver, always tells clients to ask these three questions when interviewing contractors:

        • What type of projects do you normally do? The company’s past projects should be associated with the scope of work that needs to be done for your project. If the contractor is more of a handyperson who handles small fixes, they may not be a good fit for a bathroom remodel. If you hire a jack-of-all-trades — not a licensed plumber — the risk of failure can be catastrophic.
        • Do you work with trade contractors? These are specialty professionals who are licensed, such as plumbers, carpenters, tile installers and electricians. Ask to see proof of insurance during the initial consultation (general liability, workers' compensation and professional liability insurance, if applicable). Reputable contractors have no problem sharing this information with you.
        • What is your contract structure? A fixed-price structure is a great way to manage and run your project. If they work on a "time and material" structure for a large-scale project, it can be hard to manage the day-to-day expenses, and a budget can be completely blown before construction even starts.

        Before signing any contract, read it thoroughly. It should include the scope of work, payment schedule, timeline and what happens in case of unforeseen issues or delays.

        You should also check references and look at past work — reviewing previous projects will give you an idea of the contractor’s quality and style. If you aren’t sure where to start, consider looking on HomeAdvisor (Powered by Angi) or Houzz for local remodeling contractors in your area.

        3. Compare a few quotes

        Discuss your budget upfront once you find a contractor you want to work with, making sure it covers potential contingencies. Always ask for a detailed quote to understand where your money is going.

        Keep in mind that contractor pricing varies widely depending on the type and complexity of the bathroom remodeling project. Complications, changing orders and increases in project scope can also affect your budget, so make sure you understand the bathroom remodeling costs before any work begins.

        Some bathroom remodelers pursue additional certifications in specialty fields (e.g., interior decorating or plumbing). They usually charge more, regardless of what material you choose, but it could be worth it if you need customized cabinetry or complicated plumbing layouts and a tricky electrical plan.

        If you’re only doing a basic facelift with standard material selections, however, you probably don’t need to pay a premium on the labor.

        » LOOK OUT: Contractor scams on the rise

        3 tips for working with contractors

        Once you choose the right contractor, having realistic expectations and open communication will make the process less stressful for everyone involved. Below are three tips to help your remodeling go smoothly.

        1. Have a backup bathroom plan

        You won’t be able to use the area during the remodeling process, so you need a backup bathroom plan. If you live in a one-bathroom home, it can be incredibly stressful on your home life (and possibly work life).

        Many people choose to stay in a hotel while their bathroom is getting remodeled so they don’t have to worry about when they can shower or brush their teeth, according to Tom Nolan, founder of All Star Home, a home improvement company based in North Carolina.

        2. Prepare ahead of time

        Dust will get everywhere. Before any demolition starts, it’s smart to tape off the area and cover or remove furniture in rooms near the construction area.

        You should also check what your home insurance covers while the bathroom is being remodeled. Some homeowners insurance companies cover damage to any property moved out of a room during renovations.

        3. Ensure everyone is aligned on your desired outcome

        Be clear and specific about your expectations and requirements for the remodel. Providing visual aids, such as photos or design sketches, can help.

        To avoid any mistakes or misunderstandings, stay in communication throughout the project. You don’t want to “almost cry” every time you go into your bathroom, like one unhappy reviewer in Colorado told us they did.

        This can be extra frustrating since these types of projects are so expensive. The same reviewer considered “tearing the whole thing out” and “trying to DIY it,” but that “would feel like throwing over $15,000 into the wind.”

        Anton in Colorado told us about a bad installation job that left their panels looking weird: “I've got to live with that, but when the handrails start to come loose off the walls, that concerns me because we're older. The installer was a very friendly guy, but he was a rookie, and he even told us he's a rookie at it.”

        Anton’s advice: It’s worth it to speak up if something doesn’t seem right, even if you “don’t like to step on people’s toes.”

        Types of bathroom remodels

        Bathroom remodels can be classified into different types based on the scope and extent of the work involved. Each comes with its own set of considerations, costs and timelines.

        Cosmetic remodel

        Minor cosmetic upgrades enhance and update the look of your bathroom but don’t include any major, expensive changes. Cosmetic improvements include new light fixtures, wall paint, faucets, showerhead and cabinet knobs and pulls. Major cosmetic bath remodeling projects address these issues but also include new flooring, wall tile and sinks.

        cosmetic remodel

        Remodel of a current bathroom

        A complete remodeling replaces all existing surfaces, cabinetry and fittings but typically leaves in place large fixtures, such as the toilet and tub.

        Pull and replace remodel

        In this type of remodel, fixtures like sinks, toilets and bathtubs are replaced with new ones, but your bathroom's layout remains the same. It might also include updating cabinets, countertops or tiles.

        complete bathroom remodel

        Bathroom addition or expansion

        Several companies can put a new tub over your existing one. For instance, both Bath Fitter and Re-Bath use your old tub as a base and install a new liner over the top, which takes only about a day to complete.

        Bathroom repairs

        This type of bathroom remodeling project addresses issues with the current bathroom and fixes problems such as leaky sinks, slow-draining bathtubs, running toilets and cracked floor tiles.

        pull and replace bathroom remodel

        Ground-up bathroom remodel

        When a total transformation is required, choose a ground-up approach. With this type of remodel, the entire bathroom is gutted and rebuilt from scratch. In some cases, this includes removing walls to enlarge the bathroom. Plumbing and electrical lines may be relocated, and fixtures like showers, bathtubs, sinks and toilets are usually replaced.

        » FIND: Best walk-in bathtubs

        Bathroom remodeling FAQ

        How much does a bathroom remodel cost?

        The typical range for a bathroom remodel is $6,622 to $16,885 in 2023, according to HomeAdvisor

        Functionally, moving a toilet and sewer line can be one of the costliest construction choices when remodeling a bathroom. If you leave the toilet in its existing location in the new design floor plan, it can save you thousands of dollars.

        Another factor is material selection. For example, opting for porcelain or ceramic tiles over natural stone or glass can save on material costs and labor. Going with a simple tile pattern, like a brick or stacked design, will keep your labor costs lower than you’d get with a herringbone or small mosaic pattern.

        More little-known costs that drive up a renovation budget:

        • Permits and approvals: Obtaining the necessary permits and approvals for your renovation project can be time-consuming and expensive. Depending on the scope of your project and local regulations, you may need permits for electrical work, plumbing and building modifications. The cost of permits and approvals can vary widely depending on where you live.
        • Infrastructural changes: Renovation projects that require changes to the infrastructure of your home, such as rerouting plumbing or electrical systems, can greatly increase the cost of your renovation. These changes often require specialized experts who charge more for their services.
        • Labor: Contractors charge varying rates depending on their experience, the difficulty of the project and the location of your home. If you're working with a contractor who’s in high demand, you can expect to pay a premium for their services. Labor prices can also change seasonally — expect to pay more if you’re renovating during the summer.
        • Build requirements: Depending on the location of your home, there may be specific building requirements that must be met, such as earthquake-proofing, energy efficiency or accessibility standards. Meeting these requirements may take specialized materials and techniques that increase the cost of your renovation project.
        What is the cheapest way to remodel a bathroom?

        There are a few ways to save money on your bathroom remodel. You could do it yourself rather than hire a professional. According to Zach Barnes-Corby, head of construction at Block Renovation in New York, you can also swap out your primary materials for more cost-effective alternatives:

        • Granite: Granite is a popular option for kitchen and bathroom countertops. A cheaper alternative is laminate, which has a similar look.
        • Handmade tiles: Handmade tiles are beautiful and unique, but they can also be pricey. Machine-made tiles with an artisanal look are more affordable.
        • Marble: Marble is another timeless choice for bathroom countertops. Engineered stone or quartz offers a similar look at a lower cost.
        • Solid wood cabinets: Solid wood cabinets are nice and durable, but installing particleboard cabinets covered with a wood veneer is a more affordable option.

        » WAYS TO PAY: How to finance home renovations

        What is the ROI on a bathroom remodel?

        Bathrooms are one of the most expensive rooms to remodel in a home, but investing in them is one of the best ways to set your property apart.

        Bathrooms and kitchens sell homes, according to Elizabeth P. Lord-Levitt, an award-winning residential designer based in Colorado. Determining how much you have to do within your budget is the best way to maximize your return on investment.

        “Overspending on a bathroom should be done when you are designing it for longevity, not for resale,” Lord-Levitt said. “A bathroom can be beautiful without having to be expensive, by choosing moderately priced materials and using them in a unique way.”

        » COSTS VS. VALUE: Home remodeling ROI

        How do I check a contractor's license?

        You typically need a full name, business name and/or license number — this information is often on the contractor's website or business card. You can then verify their licensing through the city, county or state (whichever sets regulations for contractors in your area).

        To find the specific licensing authority responsible for contractors near you, start with a Google search for “how to check local contractors license in (your location).” For example, where I live in Tulsa, I can verify a plumbing contractor’s license through the Oklahoma Construction Industries Board, which has an easy-to-use search tool.

        Most licensed contractors are also bonded, meaning they are legally bound to the work they agreed to do. A bond acts as a sort of insurance to make sure all agreed work is completed on time. You should also make sure your contractor is bonded in case there are disputes with the contractor's progress.

        It’s always worth it to check bonds, licenses and insurance. You don’t want to worry about what happens if water goes where it’s not supposed to go.

        How long does it take to remodel a bathroom?

        How long it takes to remodel a bathroom can vary greatly depending on the scope of the project, the size of the bathroom, the complexity of the work and the efficiency of the contractor.

        For a small bathroom with simple upgrades — such as replacing fixtures, painting or updating the tile — the remodel could take as little as a couple of days to a few weeks. Larger and more complex projects that involve layout changes, replacing a tub or shower, or moving plumbing and electrical fixtures could take several weeks to a few months.

        In general, bathroom remodelers work on specific project deadlines. Work with your contractor to ensure their daily working hours in your bathroom are compatible with your schedule. The bathroom remodel needs to hit progress milestones (typically set by the contractor) to stay on track for completion.

        It's also important to note that unforeseen problems (like discovering water damage or outdated plumbing once the remodel has begun) and supply chain issues can extend your timeline. It's always smart to plan for potential delays.

        For example, a reviewer in Michigan told us their new walk-in tub and flooring delivery took longer than expected. (“They told me it would be at the beginning of December, and I got it in January,” they said.) But, once everything arrived, the actual install only took three days.

        A much more frustrating example: Jessica in Indiana ordered a bathroom vanity in October 2022 and, after multiple delays, was recently told it won’t be ready to ship until September 2023. They can’t cancel until the vanity is ready to ship, but they also can’t get a shipping refund if they cancel after it’s ready to ship.

        What should be in a remodeling contract?

        Your contract with the remodeler should define all work required for the bathroom remodeling project, the materials needed, the design style, paint colors, cabinetry, faucets and other relevant details upfront. The project scope covers exactly what work the remodeling contractor handles and does not include anything outside that scope.

        It should also outline what recourse you can take if a dispute occurs — resolution methods may include contact information for upper management, discounts on missed timelines and mediation.

        As with any other professional service, having a thorough, clearly written contract helps avoid overlooked details, misunderstandings and problems in the future. Make sure it includes:

        • The contractor’s business name, address and phone number
        • Proof of licenses, insurance and bond
        • A description of the project, including the scope of the work and materials
        • A detailed outline of costs and materials
        • Instructions for the contractor to handle permits
        • Start and end dates
        • Payment details and a schedule of payment
        • A procedure for change orders
        • Subcontractor information
        • Penalties and processes in case the contractor misses deadlines
        • Resolution methods 
        • A termination clause
        • Signatures
        Is a bathroom remodel worth it?

        It depends on what you’re hoping to get out of your remodel. If you’re remodeling for functionality or enjoyment and have the money to do so, a remodel is definitely worth it.

        The good news is that an updated bathroom does increase your home’s value. Generally, you can expect to get back 65% to 70% of what you put in, which is one of the highest returns for any home improvement project.

        Author reviews for bathroom remodeling companies

        Bath Fitter

        Bath Fitter was founded in 1984 in Montreal. It specializes in custom bathtub installations and shower liners. The installation process is quick since the bathtub and shower don’t have to be removed. The company can also convert a combination tub/shower into a spacious shower-only unit.

        • Remodeling projects: Bathtubs, showers, walls and wainscoting
        • Accessories: Faucets and handheld showers, tub and shower doors, shelves, soap dishes, grab bars and shower seats
        • Services: Custom design and installation
        • Warranty: Lifetime warranty
        • Availability: Most states and parts of Canada
        Read 4835 Reviews
        Luxury Bath

        Luxury Bath was founded in 1991. It offers homeowners easier and faster bathroom remodeling services. The company can complete bathroom remodeling projects in as little as one day.

        Read more about Luxury Bath
        Jacuzzi Bathrooms

        Jacuzzi Bathrooms was founded in 1990. The well-known hot tub retailer also offers bathtub and shower sales and renovations. Remodeling projects take as little as one day. Free consultation and in-house financing options are available.

        Read 110 Reviews
        Bath Planet

        Bath Planet was founded in 1999. It specializes in bathroom renovations and remodeling. The process starts with an in-home design consultation to finalize the details of your project.

        • Remodeling projects: Baths, bath conversions, baths and showers
        • Accessories: Bath and shower accessories
        • Services: Design and installation
        • Warranty: Lifetime warranty
        • Availability: Most states
        Read 683 Reviews

        Re-Bath was founded in 1978. The company focuses primarily on bathtub liners that fit over existing tubs. It also does partial and full bath remodels and installs walk-in tubs, shower walls and pans, shower doors, bath vanities, countertops and flooring.

        • Remodeling projects: DuraBath Acrylic and DuraBath Natural Stone products, Re-Bath walk-in tubs and shower conversions
        • Services: Design and installation
        • Warranty: Limited and/or lifetime warranty
        • Availability: Most states
        Read 1021 Reviews
        Granite Transformations

        Granite Transformations was founded in 1996. The company specializes in bathroom and kitchen remodeling for residential and commercial clients.

        Read more about Granite Transformations

        Kohler was founded in 1873 as an American manufacturing company. Today it specializes in bathroom and kitchen fixtures. You can choose from multiple styles and models of faucets, toilets, tubs, showerheads and more.

        Read more about Kohler

        MAAX was founded in 1969. The company helps you remodel your bathroom with multiple designs and styles of bathtubs, showers, shower doors and accessories. Tub styles include alcove, free-standing, corner, drop-in or tub showers.

        Read more about MAAX
        BCI Bath & Shower

        BCI Bath and Shower was founded in 1999. The company remodels bathrooms of all sizes, ages and styles. Products include tub liners, soaking tubs, walk-in tubs, roll-in showers and more.

        • Remodeling projects: Bathtubs, walk-in tubs and showers
        • Accessories: Faucets, showerheads, grab bars, safety seats, shower caddies, shaving stands and soap dishes
        • Services: Design and installation
        • Warranty: Lifetime warranty
        • Availability: North America
        Read 4 Reviews
        American Standard Bathroom Remodeling

        American Standard was founded in 1929. The company specializes in shower and tub replacement and tub-to-shower conversions.

        • Remodeling projects: Showers, tubs and toilets
        • Accessories: Sinks, faucets, vanities and bathroom accessories
        • Services: Consultation, design and installation
        • Warranty: Varies by product
        • Availability: All states
        Read 3 Reviews
        Innovate Building Solutions

        Innovate Building Solutions was founded in 1977. Its bath-remodeling division specializes in ADA-compliant showers and bathtub replacement kits.

        • Remodeling projects: Bathtub-to-shower conversion, bathtub replacement and tub inserts, and shower remodeling and replacements
        • Accessories: Glass shower doors and enclosures, bathroom vanities and bathroom accessories
        • Services: Custom design and installation
        • Warranty: Varies by product
        • Availability: Nationwide product supply (regional installation services based out of Ohio)

        DaBella is a home improvement company founded in 2011. It specializes in shower conversions and full remodels. The company’s factory-trained and certified installers can complete projects within one day.

        • Remodeling projects: Bathtubs, showers, windows, siding and roofing
        • Services: Custom design, installation and shower-to-tub conversions
        • Warranty: Varies
        • Availability: Some states
        Read 2 Reviews

        Renuity was founded in 2019. The company specializes in bathroom remodeling and window installation services.

        • Remodeling projects: Walk-in tubs, shower-to-tub conversions, kitchen remodeling, closet remodeling, floor coatings, doors, garage storage and roofs
        • Accessories: Shower doors and enclosures, bathroom fixtures and other accessories
        • Services: Custom design and installation
        • Warranty: Varies
        • Availability: Most states

        Compare Top Bathroom Remodeling Companies

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