Bathroom Costs - 30% of your Budget

basement bathroom costs - finishing your basement

My basement bathroom cost a bit more than my initial budget but I think the results speak for themselves. BOOYAH!

Bathroom costs can vary greatly depending on what materials you use.

If you're going to bling it out with gold-plated toilets and tile made from whale teeth, then you need to break out the benjamins.

Budget wise I went beyond what I had intended to spend but it is now the nicest bathroom in our house.

Throughout my basement finishing project I kept detailed records of what I bought and how much I spent, including every cost related to the bathroom.

I'll get into those details in a sec but first lets break down the high level cost of building a basement bathroom from the ground up.

High Level Bathroom Cost Breakdown

cost breakdown for remodeling your bathroom

Here is a cost breakdown for my basement bathroom. These are "build from scratch" costs, if you're remodeling then your bathroom costs may be less.

Now let's take a look at each section in detail.  Yeah, let's get all CSI on this shit!  Whoa, internet curse…. feels good!

bathroom plumbing rough-in cost

Here's the concrete, all dug up so we can move the rough in.

Rough-In Plumbing Cost for the Bathroom

The rough-in plumbing, for me, included:

  • moving the location of the already roughed in toilet drain
  • installing water supply lines
  • installing the plumbing ventilation

My brother in-law did this work for me for around $1000, including materials.  (props to Brandon) I think privately this might have run $1,500 to $2,000. Yes, everything was permitted and passed inspection.

If you don't have to move the rough-in toilet drain then you can save around $500 to $600.

I could have learned it myself, and I really did want to run the jack-hammer, but I just didn't have the time nor did I think I could do it for less than what Brandon was charging.

Framing and Drywall Costs to Finish Your Bathroom

I'm guessing the framing was around $70 for the lumber and nails. I did not include the framing tools in the cost.

I did the framing myself. I had already framed the rest of the basement so framing the bathroom was not expensive and didn't take to long. It does take some time however to figure out where you want everything to go.

I'm taking a swag at the drywall running around $300. I had a crew come in and do the entire basement, bathroom included, so I'm not sure what it would be exactly if it were estimated on its own.

costs for bathroom framing

Here is the basement bathroom, at the beginning of the framing stage. The framing costs were minimal, but it took awhile to decide where to put everything.

Bathroom Finishing Costs - Electrical

$250 total for the basement bathroom electrical. I had 2 recessed lights. Two sconce lights. One GFI outlet and one bathroom exhaust fan with about 8 feet of exhaust duct.

I also included in the $250 a rough cost estimate for the Romex wire, electrical boxes and even the 20 AMP dedicated circuit breaker for the GFI.  Bathroom outlets must have a dedicated electrical circuit, you cannot just throw it on the same circuit as the lights.

Bathroom Plumbing Expenses - Material and Tools

So I mentioned the cost for the rough plumbing. There's also about $175 for what I'm calling the "finish" plumbing. I did this work myself and it included:

  • installing the toilet (toilet kit and supply lines)
  • installing the sink and sink faucet (you know those pipes under the sink... yeah, I included those)
  • installing the tub and shower faucet (check out my most post on my most frustrating bathroom finishing moment)

Costs to Tile Your Bathroom

bathroom tile - shower surround and flooring

Here's a great shot of the tile shower surround. Yea, I know. It is pimp daddy. I even put in the fancy band of the "accent" tiles.

Look out little orphan Annie, Daddy Warbucks is in town.

My tiling costs, at $835, was my second highest priced line item next to the rough in plumbing.

It doesn't have to be that way.  You can save half of that by going with a less expensive tile or by using a less expensive flooring option, like vinyl.

For me, it just had to be done. I wanted to learn to tile. I wanted a reason to own a tile saw!

It probably took me about 4 to 5 weekends to do all of the tiling. In the end, I think it was well worth it. The floor and shower surround look redonkulous!

I can honestly say, it's the best looking bathroom in our house and I did it all myself with no prior experience. Trust me, you can do it.

Costs for the Shower, Sink and Bathroom Toilet

$730 bucks for all three.

I actually got my toilet for free, but for the sake of this article I added in the cost. It's my firm belief that if you try hard enough, anyone can get a free toilet. You just have to be brave enough to ask for it.

Here's Home Depot's toilet page, you can see a variety of prices. I like the American Standard and at $128 the price isn't bad.

The shower, which is really just the tub, was a lot less than I thought it would (around $99) be but it is a bitch to carry!  At least, that's what Brandon told me.  Thanks again, B-dog.

Finally the vanity and the sink. These were pricey. $300 for the vanity and a $100 for the sink. I actually got a free pedestal sink from someone but I just didn't like the look of it. You can save a couple hundred bucks if you can find a decent vanity and sink combo on Craigslist or at a Re-Store.

toilet rough-in plumbing framing costs for bathroom

Everything in the bathroom, ready for drywall !

Bathroom Doors, Paint and Trim

Again, I went a little over board here. My total for the three was $340. A big part of the that was the solid core door, instead of a hollow one.

The wainscot paneling and the 6" base molding also added to cost and installation time but they were absolutely worth every penny.

Plus, I didn't like the first shade of blue I put on the walls so I had to buy another gallon of paint.

The Bathroom - It's like the Finals of Basement Finishing

The bathroom is really the final test of your handyman skills. It encompasses all of the trades in one small space. Precision, patience and experience count double, in the bathroom.

Even though my basement bathroom cost was around $3,700, you could probably do it for just under $2,000 if you really pushed the envelope, maybe even less.

I'm not going to sugarcoat the project.  From a time perspective it takes awhile if you're doing it by yourself.  We're talking months, if you are only working on weekends.

But, let me tell you, it's worth the effort.  

basement finishing jason 205You will feel awesome every time you walk into a bathroom that you finished with your own hands and intellect.

You will feel like you can fix any problem in your house and your personal confidence will get a huge boost.

Give it shot. Ping me here if you have a question and leave a comment below about your own bathroom remodel experience.

Cheers   -   Jason

More Resources:


Your Best Email >> *

Questions and Comments

Click here to ask a question or leave a comment.

  1. Mark says

    Why do people constantly post their projects without final pictures. You started with one tiny picture of your sink and later a half fast tub/tile picture. Please post pictures of the completed bathroom in its entirety.

    • says

      Soooo... you'd like some more pics of the bathroom then? I'll see what I can do. The intent of this post was to talk about bathroom costs. A full bathroom tour is in the works. The hard part is shooting it. I need one of those wide angle lenses. Stay tuned. - Jason

  2. Arnel says

    I have a basement and I am planning to put a bathroom be my self .I know some electricAl and plumbing you think it will help me save money?

  3. Kenny says

    I thought it was a small job like digging a hole, put the drainage in ... but it wasn't. The drainage needs to have a vent. The guy ended up setting a vent pipe across half of my basement for the sinks. Doing it yourself seems help save money, but if you don't know how to do it right, it will give you a lot of headache down the road. The entire job including breaking the concrete (not from scratch though), roughing in the toilet and showers, installing drainage for two sinks, hooking up the water cost me $1500.

    • says

      The quote I got for finishing my bathroom NOT including ANY materials nor studding/framing (we're talking labour only)...... $8,750.00. I think your hook up cost of $1,500 is a bargain!

      (And yes Jason, I am finishing my bathroom myself!)

      • says

        Luc - What the freak!? I'd say you've got to be kidding, but I know you're not. It doesn't surprise me. It's pricey man. People just don't know how much they're paying for something that really shouldn't cost that much. I know, contractors have a right to make money and they're just taking what the market is offering, but that market is not going to include me. At least not until I win the lottery. Good luck on your basement finishing project, especially the bathroom! - Jason (and yes, 1,500 was a good deal)

  4. Erik says

    $1000 for the rough plumbing? You must be crazy. PVC plumbing is the easiest thing in the world. And don't be afraid of cutting up the concrete. A $10 diamond blade on a 7 inch circular saw will cut right through that stuff. Then a sledge hammer will take care of the rest.

    Bottom line, where you spent $1000 for rough plumbing, I spent $107 for PVC pipe and maybe $50 for rocks and concrete to fill back in the hole.

    • says

      Erik - You can definitely do it for less if you're doing the work. If you have to / want to hire someone it will probably run about $1,000. Really depends on how much concrete they have to dig up and how complicated your water lines are going to be. Diamond blades, yes please! - Jason

  5. lauren says

    What was your reason for not using a macerating toilet system like the saniflo? I'm starting from scratch, half finished, was going to use a saniflo but am now questioning my original plans. Cost is definitely my driving force but a bathroom flood is not something I want to chance all over my new finished basement .. or anywhere else for that matter. Basically, am I an idiot if I buy an $800 all in one system?

    • says

      Hi Lauren - I would never say you're an idiot, but you might say that if you could have easily saved up a bit more cash and go for the more traditional system. If you ever plan to resell your house the new buyer will not have had the time to research macerating toilets. So you may lose a good bit of the value you should have earned by having a finished basement.

      Other than that... it's just weird. In other countries it's a totally normal thing to burn your poop, but here in America, we like to wash it away to the ocean with several gallons of fresh water.

      Good luck! If you do put one in please take some pictures to share (of the installation :-)). Thanks - Jason

  6. Gen says

    Hi, great tips. Thx. Do you know anyone in the NYC area who can help me with this? My basement pluming is all there. I just need to remodel/remove and reinstall. But I really don't have the time. Basement was destroyed in SANDY.

  7. Monica says

    Can I ask what city you live in? The costs of your bathroom addition seems totally reasonable, but what were the permit costs associated with this? After a quick look, the permits to add a bathroom in Portland practically doubles the price of the addition. Ouch. While you can't put a price on convenience, I can't decide if it's really worth it.

  8. Dan B says

    It looks like you had the tub and the toilet installed before drywall. Is this normal? Is it necessary? I'd like to build all of the rest of my basement and finish it all of the way and then chip away at the bathroom slowly. Do you think that would work out for me?

    • says

      hey Dan - yes, that should not be a big problem. As long as you generally know where you want you bathroom to be, you should be able to finish the rest of the basement then tackle the bathroom when you're ready.

      Good luck!


    • Gene says

      You really do need to install the tub before the drywall. The wall board comes down on top of the tub edge to prevent leaks.

  9. Frank says

    I hired someone to finish my basement and he quoted bathroom separate is this norm and is 6000 a good price rough pluming is in the right place

Leave a Question or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *