Why would I move my bathroom upstairs?
It’s estimated that having a downstairs bathroom as your main bathroom can take £13,500 or 6% off the average property value in the UK. In addition, when purchasing a new home, the layout may not be to your exact taste. For example, the home may have a small kitchen and living room that would look better as an open plan living space.
Alternatively, your new home may have a large family bathroom downstairs and none upstairs, which is proving to be less than convenient. In this situation, moving the bathroom upstairs may be something you wish to consider.
Moving a bathroom is not a quick and easy job so should not be undertaken lightly. Having said this, the benefits of moving a bathroom can be numerous. The space taken up by a downstairs bathroom can be repurposed into a larger living space, an office or even a home gym.
It is also possible you may want to install an upstairs bathroom but don’t want to pay for a whole new suite. In this case, moving the old bathroom suite upstairs can save you money.
Or, you may choose to remove an old downstairs family bathroom and install a new upstairs en-suite for convenience, if for example your children have grown up and moved out. With a whole wealth of benefits from privacy to accessibility, it is no surprise that more people are choosing to move their bathrooms upstairs.
If you want to know what the cost of moving your bathroom upstairs would be, then read on for up to date costs and information about removing and installing bathrooms.
What is the cost of moving a bathroom upstairs?
|Type of project||Cost + VAT |
(Range low - high)
|Cost to move bathroom upstairs||£2,600-£11,700||£7,150|
|Cost to rip out and dispose of bathroom||£500-£800||£650|
|Cost to make good old space||£600-£900||£750|
|Cost to install new bathroom||£1,500-£10,000||£5,750|
|Bathroom extension||£1,450 - £2,500 per m2 + 2.5k - £5k to the total cost||£1,950 per m2 + £3.75k to the total cost|
For a breakdown of each cost, we spoke to the online estimators at B3 Cost Consulting – a team of professional Estimators and Quantity Surveyors. This guide features the estimated cost of moving a bathroom upstairs that they provided.
In order to estimate the average ‘moving bathroom upstairs cost’, you will need to look at the price of plumbing, electrics, fittings (unless you are keeping the old ones), tiles, flooring and labour.
Considering the average cost to rip out and dispose of an old bathroom is £650, the average cost to make good of the old space is £750 and the average cost to install a new bathroom is £5,750, the total average cost of moving a bathroom upstairs is £7,150.
Factors affecting the cost to move bathroom upstairs
The above costs will all be affected by a number of factors that may increase or decrease the average cost to move a bathroom. Below we’ve looked further into these factors:
- Pipework: Whether there’s existing pipework in place or not will impact the price you pay. If there is no pipework in the location of your new bathroom, this will need to be added at an extra cost. The proximity to nearby pipework will also affect the cost of your piping. The more pipes needed to be added, the higher the price. Please note, it is significantly easier if your new bathroom is above your existing bathroom because the soil pipe will be much easier to access.
- Walls: If you plan to erect new walls to create your upstairs bathroom, or you plan to demolish the walls of your old downstairs bathroom, the total job cost will increase.
- Flooring: It is very easy to forget about flooring, however, it is always a good idea to add waterproof flooring like tiles or vinyl to a new bathroom. Depending on how you choose to use the space that your old bathroom occupied, it may be worth investing in flooring that will match the rest of your home and suit the purpose of your new space.
- Size of old and new room: It is unlikely your old and new bathroom will be the same size, so your fixtures may not fit and you may need to purchase a new suite instead.
- Plans for the old space: If you choose to add an extension or knock down any walls, you will need to pay more for the job. If you are considering knocking down any load bearing walls please see our informative guide on this
- Portaloo for the interim: If your only bathroom is being moved you may need to hire a portaloo for use during this time. Our guide to portaloo hiring cost has some great tips to help with this.
- Plasterboard: If the current plasterboard in your new bathroom location isn’t moisture resistant you should replace this with plasterboard that is fit for purpose.
- Extractors: If you are converting a habitable room into a bathroom, an extractor fan may be required.
- Insulation: If a bathroom/shower is installed on an adjacent stud wall, you will often be able to hear the shower running on the other side of the wall. In this case, it may be wise to consider upgrading your insulation.
Find a bathroom fitter near you
When removing an old bathroom, it is useful to consider the following:
- Are you planning to keep your old bath, shower, toilet or sink? It may not be possible to remove your old bathroom suite without damaging it, in which case you will need to purchase new fixtures, but you can get these items very cheap.
- You will need to budget for the cost to make good and repurpose the downstairs space. You should assume that plasterwork will need a good tidy or to be replaced.
- It is likely you will need new electrics and lighting.
- You should assume that any plasterwork below the bathroom tiles will need to be replaced.
Installing new bathroom
When installing a new bathroom, it is useful to consider the following:
- The existing contents such as the flooring etc. will need to be removed to create a washroom environment.
- The electrics need to be considered in terms of removing old plug sockets and wiring in a new shower.
- Water safe lighting will need to be added.
- You will need waterproof walls and flooring. It is worth looking at laminate panels as there is often less cleaning and regrouting needed than with tiles.
- There may be a cost in removing a radiator and replacing it with a towel rail.
- You will need new pipework and a waste pipe (soil pipe). This will increase the total cost to move a bathroom.
- You may need an extractor fan.
- You may need to install new glass to an existing window to ensure privacy in your bathroom. This will cost upwards of £250 on top of the cost to move a bathroom upstairs.
- There will need to be adequate space in the floor to allow drainage to fall as required.
- You should consider the opportunity to install an underfloor heating system if possible.
- For further information on bathroom installation or new bathroom costs please see our helpful guides.
- It may be easier to build an extension for your new bathroom than to simply move it to an existing room. Our guide to house extension costs can help with your decision. The average bathroom extension cost is £1,950 per m2 + £3,750 added to the total cost. This price will be in addition to the cost of moving a bathroom upstairs.
It is usually cheaper and easier to move a bathroom to the adjacent room than upstairs as pipework will be easily accessible. Having said this, there may still be issues with moving the soil pipe. The average cost of moving a bathroom to the next room is £7,150, but this may be lower depending on the layout of your home.
Can I move a bathroom myself?
It is certainly possible to move a bathroom yourself, although it is not recommended that anyone without the proper experience and skill level attempt this. There are a lot of intricate electrical, plumbing and building works involved, which are usually better left to a skilled tradesperson.
Moving a bathroom is a complex job that will need work by multiple tradespeople including plumbers, electricians, tilers and general builders. There are also bathroom companies that can do all the work, but you should prepare to pay a slight premium for the service.
If you do not do the job safely and correctly you may cause significant damage to your home. This is particularly risky as water and electrics are running so close to each other.
If you choose to manage your bathroom project yourself but have tradespeople do the work, it is essential that each professional knows what the other is doing. For example, the toilet shouldn’t be installed before the tiling as the toilet has to sit at the correct level. If you do install the toilet first, make sure the tiler and plumber know the thickness of the tiles.
Finally, moving bathrooms suites can be incredibly difficult due to the sheer weight of them. We would strongly recommend hiring a professional. To find a local, reputable, tradesperson in your area and get a personalised quote to move your bathroom, use our free search feature.
How much does it cost to extend a kitchen?
If you want to extend a kitchen into the space occupied by the old bathroom then that’s a great way to reuse the space. To learn more about kitchen extension costs please see our house extension cost guide. The average cost to extend a kitchen is £37,500 plus an extra £10,000 – £25,000 to fit the kitchen.
Useful checklist for moving a bathroom
- Moving a bathroom upstairs can be costly but offers convenience and extra privacy.
- The cost of moving a bathroom upstairs is affected by current pipework, new flooring and any structural work required.
- It may be possible to re-use your old bathroom suite, although new bathroom fixtures can be very affordable if not.
- The cost of moving a bathroom to the next room is cheaper than the cost to move a bathroom upstairs.
- Moving a bathroom is a complex, arduous and time-consuming job that is best left to professionals.
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