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Sydney renovating costs explained

Quickly work out what budget you need.

Everyone in Sydney wants to know how much renovations cost and because there is literally a million choices to make with tiles, taps, basins, toilets or even lighting it is impossible to provide a single amount. Most complete toilet or bathroom renovations in Sydney will cost between $15,000 and $30,000 which starts with demolishing the existing room to start building on a bare framework. 

We do laugh when some people try and compare quotes – its impossible – the product lists are never the same & how do you judge the quality of the labour each renovation contractor is using. We see a lot of people fooled with cheap renovation quotes only to realise later their project was completed with sub-contracted inexperienced labour.

Using our knowledge and expertise as Sydney renovators with more than fifteen years of experience, we have created a short guide to give you some insights & plan your budget. Nu-Trend has renovated hundreds of bathrooms in houses, units, or apartments in Sydney.

We want to help people understand the potential costs involved in a renovation project although, more importantly, how to plan for one correctly. Nu-Trend is a renovation contractor in Sydney that can work closely with you for each step of a project to deliver a modern room, to your budget, with high quality finishes. Everything we construct is done in compliance with Australian Standard AS/NZ3500:2018 & with Home Owners Insurance

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What is the average cost of a complete toilet renovation in Sydney?

First thing to understand is the terminology that is used;

  • Remodel
  • Makeover
  • Restyling
  • Refresh
  • Update
These types of renovation projects normally cost less than $10,000 and just address the basic cosmetics of a room like changing a benchtop, new paint etc. Generally speaking the room is not demolished completely and many of the existing fixtures will be used. When it is completed the room will feel fresh, but any close inspection will just highlight an old bathroom that has been made to ‘look’ like it is new. Can you save money on a renovation? For sure, buy second hand products, go to clearance auctions, use your eisting tiling – there are hundreds of ways to save, but ultimately you are compromising on something, somewhere.


So that is the first decision you have to make – pursue a complete renovation of your toilet or bathroom or just give it a freshen up. A lot will depend on the budget you have available and if you know what you have to spend then the decision is easy, especially if you have more than $15,000 that you are prepared to invest. Nu-Trend specialises in complete bathroom contracted services in Sydney as we believe it delivers property owners better long term value. 



The cost information presented below has been gathered from multiple third party sources, taken from real life bathroom renovation projects. So you don’t need to take our word for it, there is plenty of information available on the internet that will give you the same ballpark figures and an accurate guide to renovating costs in Sydney. As you will see from the information, most complete toilet renovation projects cost around $20,000 (or more if you are trying to achieve a high quality finish with premium products)


BMT Tax Depreciation is a quantity surveying firm specialising in tax depreciation schedules for residential investment properties and commercial buildings. BMT has gathered information about the average cost of bathroom renovations, writing various articles about bathroom and laundry deductions over the years using data from hundreds of property owner assessments.



  • Basic – $21,640 – $29,280
  • Typical – $26,990 – $36,515
  • Luxury – $42,605 – $57,645
  • Basic – $25,416 – $34,386
  • Typical – $30,810 – $41,682
  • Luxury – $46,482 – $62,886
  • Basic – $29,048 – $39,300
  • Typical – $34,478 – $46,650
  • Luxury – $50,393 – $68,183

What is a structural or complete toilet renovation?

Sometimes a complete bathroom renovation will be referred to as structural. That is the type we do most often and it strips your bathroom down to its studs for a complete overhaul. This will often include repositioning fixtures, new pipes and new tiling or even underfloor heating.

A budget of $30,000 or more is needed and you can get a more in-depth project completed;

  • Intricate mosaic designs
  • Floor heating
  • Elaborate lighting
  • Custom made frameless shower screens
  • Freestanding bath
  • High quality tiles.
  • Floor levelling
  • Breaking down or building walls
  • New plumbing or electrical fixtures, including lighting
  • Installing new vanities, mirrors and heated towel rails
  • Install new hot water system
  • Waterproofing all wet areas
  • Additions such as new windows or skylights
  • Rubbish removal

Are you thinking about changing the floor plan

One of the most fundamental decisions to make is whether you are changing the floor plan or not. It doesn’t matter what products you are dreaming of or what inspiration you have seen from magazines, it might not all fit into the space you have. So your project might require a wall to be moved, an existing bathroom and laundry combined or even a toilet moved to another location.

This has to be one of the very earliest decisions made because you might have to engage a builder to assess the possibility of changing walls, maybe a steel detailer to have drawings made for revised structures and even a plumber to move existing services. The difficulty and cost of all of this will vary depending if the home is a unit, apartment, old house etc and what walls or flooring it has already.

So for example an older home with timber framework and floorboards will be easier to work with than a unit on the 10th floor of a 1960’s apartment block – both are possible to receive a toilet renovation but the difficulty (and cost) will vary greatly so it is important to be realistic.

Do you have to completely demolish your old toilet to renovate?

It is possible to renovate your bathroom without completely demolishing it, but the problem with that approach is you are trying to work with new on old surfaces, materials and products. It never quite works out very well and in many situations you are dealing with underlying problems like a floor that isn’t level or waterproofing that isn’t 100% sealed. You can install a new toilet, shower or vanity into a bathroom but it is normally quite obvious and not as good as doing a complete renovation. 

When we completely renovate a toilet the room is stripped back to property structure so either the timber wall framing or brick walls. We can then prepare the room to be as square as possible, make sure the piping is sound and re-construct the bathroom from the ground up. It means that every element is built using the latest materials, adhesives and techniques where we (and you) can see each step being completed for total peace of mind. 

Taking this approach means the budget needs to be higher, but it also ensures there is not any nasty surprises within the walls or floors that we can’t see. By working with a newly formed structure we can ensure everything from the waterproofing to the tiling is installed to a very high standard to avoid problems later that are common with makeovers or remodels.

What can influence the cost of renovating a toilet in Sydney?

It is very easy to get a toilet renovation quote because there are many online services available and hundreds of renovations companies online these days. Although we then see people get really confused. This is because the quotes will vary from $10,000 to $50,000. A lot of this has to do with what information was provided when trying to get the quote, how precise that was and if the renovator was able to understand what is required. To do this online is difficult as there are so many variables to consider. 

The only way to solve this problem is create a standard brief that is issued to each contractor to respond to with the exact same specifications & requirements. Some quotes will have fine print that has lots of space for variations to be charged later, well after the project has started. So you have to be quite careful, there are many things that can influence a toilet renovation cost such as;


  • Where you live in Sydney
    The builder has to determine the distance his trades need to travel to/from the site but more importantly what is the access like, the age of the property or building or how difficult it will be to complete the work. So a house on a nice quiet street is different from a small unit block in a tight city street.
  • Is structural work required
    To the naked eye the walls and floor may look fine, but in reality, they may not be 100% aligned and therefore could need remedy work. Or you may be thinking about placing a 200kg bathtub in the room which may need ceiling re-enforcement.
  • Fittings and fixtures
    Yes it is true, you can buy taps and fixtures from Bunnings for $5. Although like anything in life you typically get what you pay for. So quality products using better materials and internals will, of course, cost more. You can select these yourself or you can have your renovator do it for you, either way, time, energy & effort is involved to select, source and deliver the right items.
  • The floor plan
    Is it a simple square room or an odd shape that needs to be worked with? Do you want rounded walls or other changes made to the existing floor plan?
  • The size of the room
    Renovating a 4-metre square room is cheaper than an 8-metre one. Everything required changes ie materials, time, preparation work etc.
  • Existing services
    The electrical, waste and plumbing of the existing room could be used in lots of cases. Although you may like to move things around, which is possible, although requires the work to be done but also the right level of expertise to ensure it meets safety and building code requirements.
  • Is it a new or existing room
    There are different scenarios and sometimes we are starting from scratch which means creating a room to fit in with the existing structure.
  • Extra luxuries
    You may be looking to have floor heating, mood lighting, extra ventilation or even larger windows installed. All this is possible but needs to be factored into the project.
  • How quickly you need the renovation completed
    There are times where a property owner needs something completed within a short time period and other times a job can be spread over weeks or months.
  • Are you using a bathroom designer?
    For most renovations with a budget of $40,000 or less there isn’t a bathroom designer involved. Most of the inspiration for the design will come from magazines, photos online or other sources that are used to re-create a particular look or style. Some renovations will have a designer leading the work being done to choose fixtures, fittings, colour palette and overall design.
  • Are you using a project manager?
    For larger renovations having someone manage the project from end to end will help co-ordinate everything that needs to happen to finish the renovation job quickly. Nu-Trend will typically provide some level of management to make this easier for you, although for larger jobs normally a designer and project manager are involved.

How much are products for toilet renovations?

The other element that people don’t consider when comparing toilet renovation quotations is how much do the products cost. You might get excited when you see a cheap renovation quote and it lists ‘toilet, vanity and shower supplied. Although what is being supplied, is it a few items worth one hundred dollars from Bunnings or is it quality, trusted products from leading designers?



A high quality bath tub will cost around $1,000 while a cheap one may be $100 – immediately you have a big disparity in quotation costs. This is where it becomes important to be really clear about the purpose and goal of the renovation. So for example, is it a rental property, are you restoring an old home, have the kids moved out so you want a luxury retreat or are you renovating to sell for profit?



Each scenario will lead to different choices of the products being used and where money is spent and this can influence your bathroom renovation budget greatly. If you make a list of the items needed in the room you can then add things like exhaust fans, lighting, towel rails, door handles, drains, cabinetry and other items that are needed to complete the room. All of these items can greatly vary any quote you received, so it becomes important to list each item so you are working off a master list.

A complete toilet renovation usually means replacing most of the items mentioned above so it becomes important to be really clear about what you need to achieve, your budget and a clear list of items you need.
  • Insurance
    The first thing any property owner should check is if their builder has the right Home Warranty Insurance provisions in place to make sure you are protected We have helped a lot of property owners correct problems or complete jobs where the builder went out of business or walked off a project.
  • Tiles
    Simple tiles can cost from $30 to $60 per square metre with premium tiles $150 or more. So combine this with the size of the room and costs can very quickly grow by 20 or 30%
  • Bathtub
    A simple acrylic bathtub is normally $300-$500 while freestanding, stone or other premium material tubs could be $8,000-$10,000 to make a statement piece.  A heavier tub may also require floor re-enforcement work to be done to ensure it is safe. A tub that has floor mounted tap mixers may also require relocating existing plumbing. While the physical size could also be a factor if roof tiles need to be removed to get it into the room. So a variance could be $800 installed to $15,000 installed just with a few different factors.
  • Toilet type
    Similar to tiles or bathtubs, a simple toilet with plastic cistern could be as little as $250 but there are other options like concealed units etc that can cost over $1,000.
  • Shower with or without a screen
    In some situations it may be possible to place a pre-fabricated shower screen into the floor plan, although typically it is recommended to have a custom made one to ensure correct fit but also maximise the use of the space. Coming back to the design though, a open shower recess could be designed that eliminates the need for a shower screen at all.
  • Vanity and basins
    We will repeat ourselves here but yet again there are simple all in one vanity and basin units that are pre-made and simple to install or you can get bespoke, hand crafted, pieces that are designed to suit the style and space.
  • Types of materials
    Some materials may require specialist labour to have them handled and installed correctly. So here we are talking about the difference between using standard flat pack build it yourself products vs hand carved stone for example.

How much do toilet renovators in Sydney charge per hour?

The average cost per hour for toilet renovations in Sydney is around $65 ex gst per hour. Although don’t get too caught up on this figure alone because you have to make an assessment over how realistic the time required estimate is. Each contractor will be making a judgement on the time required to finish a project, some might get this wrong & then request variations later.

Other factors that influence the rate will be;

  • The scope of work
    As we have outlined the scope of a renovation project can vary greatly considering the millions of options. So for each scenario we will take this into consideration when determining our quotation as it could be we are doing labour only or it could be end to end design, supply, project manage etc. 
  • Size of the job 
    Similar to the scope of work, the physical size of the job will determine the per hour rate as there may be extra labour required to complete it to your required timing or budget.
  • Complexity of the job 
    Like any skilled profession there will be variances in the hourly rate based on the complexity of the job. A simple bathtub replacement is different to a second storey ensuite addition to a 1920’s home for example.

  • What labour is hired
    The materials or type of job site might dictate different levels of experience when it comes to the labour needed. If there is intricate tile cutting needed this might need someone experienced with tiling & instead of taking a few hours might take a couple of days to complete. So the hourly rate might be reasonable but the total time required is more than other jobs. 

What is the average cost of renovating a toilet on a per square metre basis?

One of the best ways to estimate your toilet renovation costs is to work on an average per square metre basis. While it is fairly generic it can quickly help you work out a rough budget needed based on the size of the room you have. You can ‘grade’ this based on having basic, average or premium products so you can create a ‘good’, ‘better’, ‘best’ comparison to consider.

$1,400 per square metre based on using some of the existing items in the room and off the shelf products.

$1,600 per square metre replacing most of the items in the room and doing a complete rebuild

$2,400 per square meter which is a full rebuild using high quality tiles, fixtures and fittings.

The average cost per square meter to renovate a bathroom will depend on lots of different factors, so it is a similar scenario to what we have explained earlier where these things will vary your cost greatly.

  • What is the size of the room
    The per square metre cost will be relative to the size of the room of course, although there could be situations where you might want a renovation completed in a short period of time, this requires more labour and hence lifts the cost slightly.
  • What is the scope of the renovation 
    Fairly self explanatory but doing a renovation which is just replacing a bathtub vs doing a complete strip back of a room creates totally different scopes of work, changing the cost per square metre greatly.
  • What materials are being used
    Just like the scope of work, the materials like tiles used will vary your average cost greatly.
  • What fixtures and fittings being used
    Just like the scope of work or the materials used, if you use high-end fixtures or fittings then your average cost goes up.

What is the average cost of renovating a toilet or bathroom in Australia?

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) has reported an estimate of more than 230,000 bathrooms renovated in 2018/2019 with more than 70% of those in properties aged 11 to 20 years old. This average is taken from thousands of bathroom renovation sites of all shapes, sizes and situations. Many people do ask us if a bathroom can be renovated for less than $10,000 and while the answer is yes, you need to understand what that would truly mean in terms of quality, fittings and design. 

Looking at averages that are quoted on websites or in reports can also paint a false picture if all the details aren’t provided to be able to determine exactly how the price was made up. As you can see in the other sections of this guide, there is typically more than meets the eye when it comes to bathroom renovation costs – even variances like labour rates in different states.

For a completely new build it is approximately $18,798 to build a bathroom

For an existing property it costs on average $19,553 to build a bathroom.

The really simple answer is you can’t. There are thousands of online articles or hacks to make updates to your bathroom to save money. Typically these are things like painting over existing tiles, doing fresh grout, resurfacing, updating tapware and things like that. They are home DIY activities that can freshen up a bathroom but ultimately you are working with the same room and it isn’t a complete renovation. When you renovate a bathroom on a tight budget it normally means that corners are being cut in terms of the items being used, the labour involved or how much is actually being renovated. It may suit some situations but typically these are short term projects that don’t deliver long lasting results.  If you are looking to renovate to profit in the long term, then a quality bathroom renovation with the right budget will give you the returns you are hoping for. Be careful what you see in photos online or on TV shows, with the right lighting they can easily hide poor quality surfaces, finishes and all the little details that you notice in real life.

When you are planning a bathroom renovation it is important to consider the various types of trades you will need to have it completed. You may be lucky and some can cover multiple areas or in other situations, one company can do it all. In any scenario, you must make sure they are qualified, insured and licensed before any work commences. We do see lots of examples where Clients haven’t checked, only to find out their project was done to a sub-standard level.

In most situations you will need a;

  • Plumber
    They manage things like piping, waste removal as well as bath, shower or toilet installations.
  • Electrician
    For any lighting, switches, fans etc that are being added or changed.
  • Tiler
    In most renovations, the floor and wall tiles are changed in the whole room.
  • Waterproofer
    This has to be a qualified person to ensure the room is waterproof and won’t damage other parts of the building.
  • Carpenter
    If things like walls, doors, shelves or cabinets are needed they can either create or install them.
  • Painter
    When all the renovation work is done all the surfaces need to be painted to finish off the room.

Nu-Trend will typically manage your required trades to keep the project running smoothly. We can also work with other contractors if required like architects, designers etc.

What is the cost to supply & install fixtures into a room?

The cost to supply and install fixtures and fittings will vary greatly, especially if you are asking people to quote on generic items like this example below


2 x Silver Taps vs Caroma Metro Basin Tap Set SKU 97400C5A


Typing silver taps into Google reveals over 37,000,000 search results so can you imagine the cost variances on quotes if your requests are very generic? Especially when you apply this to all the items that are needed. It also doesn’t take into consideration where they item needs to come from, is it a bath from Reece or something that needs to be imported from Italy?


It is another area where we find people get frustrated or wonder why there are big differences in the quotes they are getting. Below is a rough guide you can use that is based on mid-range quality items. For all Nu-Trend enquiries we receive we provide written quotations and try to be as specific as possible.

Can you move a toilet in a bathroom on a concrete slab?

A lot of home owners think that if your bathroom is on a concrete slab you can’t really change too much, although, it is quite possible to move a toilet, shower or even add a bath tub into a room. Nu-Trend is able to prepare the waste and water services as well as the floors or walls to help you make changes to the layout of the room to accomodate your renovation project ideas.

See some of our renovating advice.

Is it easy to get a free toilet renovation quote in Sydney?

Here is our step by step guide on getting accurate quote to get a renovation done. By gathering the information below you can present a clear and detailed plan to each company. By compiling the information below you can present a clear list of needs and requirements to be quoted on. By doing this in a consistent way each company is quoting on the same scope of work which makes it easier to assess.

These are the key questions to ask a renovator in Sydney;

  • Are you licensed and what areas are covered?
  • What qualifications do you and your team have as individuals?
  • What insurance provisions do you have?
  • Will you be carrying out the work or will it be other contractors?
  • Will you provide a written quotation?
  • What references do you have that I can call?
  • Do you have job sites that are active that I can inspect?
  • Do you have previous examples of your work?
  • What brands do you prefer and recommend

Each renovator should be able to articulate their process clearly

  • Initial planning – this is the critical part that most people don’t spend time on. Read, research and understand what is required with the main priority of setting a budget to work with as this will drive your decision making around the project.
  • Get the required permits or approvals – depending on what you are trying to achieve you may require certain permits, inspections, reports or approvals to undertake certain work and this can vary by state or local council.
  • Check for strata requirements – if you are doing the renovation in an apartment then there is another level of regulation and process to follow to ensure the work doesn’t effect the rest of the building or neighbours.
  • Decide on what trades are needed – Designer, demolition, plumber, electrician, plasterer, waterproofer, tiler, builder etc you will need a good understanding of what you need before you can begin getting quotations.
  • Be clear on the timeline – depending on the amount of work your contractors are doing, a renovation job could take a week or a year. It is important to understand this very early.
  • What is the purpose of the renovation? Is it your ‘forever home’, property flip, to add value etc
  • When was the bathroom first built?
  • What is the size of the room?
  • What floor is the bathroom on?
  • Will it require floor plan changes?
  • Will you move existing services?
  • What style of bathroom do you want to achieve?
  • Who will design the bathroom?
  • What is in the current bathroom?
  • Will you do the demolition?
  • Will you replace the flooring?
  • What wall finish would you like?
  • What extra items are going into the room?
  • Have you chosen your fixtures and fittings?
  • Will you supply all the products?