A brand-new bathroom can be expensive: costs soon mount up when you’re starting from scratch. The costs of renovating or refitting your bathroom are split between two main areas: material costs and labour costs.

It’s possible to reduce material costs by buying cheaper fittings and furniture, but the biggest savings can be made on labour by fitting parts of your new bathroom yourself. However, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t do any DIY that you’re not comfortable with. Generally, you shouldn’t touch electrics or waste pipes – it’s much better to enlist the help of a qualified expert to avoid having to do the job twice.

If you were to call in the professionals to install a whole new bathroom it could cost as much as £3000 – and that’s not even including materials. But how do you know when to go ahead with your DIY bathroom or when to call in a plumber? We’ve covered the main bathroom renovations below, so you’ll know whether they’re within your capabilities or not.

The bathroom sink

Fitting a new bathroom sink basin is a relatively small job for a plumber or handyman, but can cost as much as £100-£150.

You can find relatively cheap basins for sale in hardware stores or DIY shops for around £50 and install it yourself if you feel comfortable with the task. As an amateur DIYer, you can expect the job to take a couple of hours – saving you around £100 in installation costs. Do your research before you begin. Find a YouTube video to guide you through the installation with the specific type of sink that you have.

How to fit a bathroom sink

  1. Turn off the water supply valves
  2. Position the sink in place and mark it out
  3. Install the basin taps
  4. Install waste and trap
  5. Secure the sink with fixings
  6. Connect water pipes
  7. Turn on the water supply
  8. Seal around the basin

The shower

The full cost for replacing a shower unit often ranges between £300-£1000 depending on the model and spec that you choose. If you’re on a budget, finding the parts yourself and installing your own shower pump can be a great way to save money.

Electric showers are a great budget option: they’re connected to the cold-water supply and use a heating element within the shower unit to bring the water up to temperature. It means that whatever happens to your boiler – you’ll always have hot water. They’re also easy to install, unlike mixer showers or power showers which will require a plumber for installation.

The toilet

If you’re looking to replace the toilet yourself, the first thing to decide upon is what type of toilet you want. Will you go for a standing WC or a wall-hung toilet?

If you decide on a wall-hung toilet, in most cases, the toilet is mounted directly onto the wall and the cistern is hidden in the wall. Before embarking on this style of toilet, make sure that the wall is strong enough to hold it. If you want to install the toilet yourself, be sure that you have enough knowledge on the subject before you start the DIY.

Remember that a DIY job can end up costing more if it doesn’t go according to plan. Installing toilets can be complicated if it requires an amendment to the wastewater pipes for your property – so if this is the case, you should always seek the help of a professional.

How to install a toilet

Start off buy reading our full guide to fitting a toilet yourself.

Remember that:

  • The main water tap should be turned off and the cistern drained
  • Unscrew the old toilet bowl with the connecting pipes and cistern once that is done
  • If necessary, reinforce the wall with plasterboard and chipboard before hanging the toilet
  • Make sure the inlet and outlet connections and the junctions are well sealed so that waste can escape through the pipes

The walls

Tiling is a big job, and dependent on the size of the bathroom and the condition of the walls, can cost between £300 and £3000 for an entire bathroom. If you’d like the effect of tiles but none of the hassle, bathroom wall panels are a good choice.

With these, you can achieve a high-end tile look without the materials or installation cost. Wall panels are also much easier than tiles to fit, meaning it’s an easy job to do yourself quickly and easily.

How to install bathroom wall panels

  • Measure the space and cut the panels to size
  • Cover the wall panels with adhesive (the surface doesn’t need to be prepped)
  • Stick the panels onto the wall surface
  • Finish the edges with edging strip or silicone