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Last updated on April 29th, 2024

Plumbing installation cost guide

In this comprehensive plumbing installation cost guide, you’ll find information on the average cost to plumb a house, replace a bathroom and more.

The plumbing in your property provides water and removes waste, and goes a long way to transforming your house into a home.

The costs to install plumbing depend on a range of factors, such as the size of the job, the current condition of your property and the types of fixtures and fittings you have selected. This guide contains average prices and they should be used for illustration purposes only.

The estimations were extensively researched by the Checkatrade team and confirmed by MRICS and MCIOB qualified Bob Branscombe at Branscombe Consulting – a tradesperson who holds an impressive 34 years experience in the industry.

Plumbing installation costsUnitPrice range - lowPrice range - highAverage UK cost
Plumbing in a bathroom (excluding supply of sanitaryware)Per room£2,700£4,000£3,250
Plumbing in an ensuite (excluding supply of sanitaryware)Per room£2,400£3,000£2,700
Plumbing in a WC (excluding supply of sanitaryware)Per room£1,200£1,800£1,500
Plumbing for a 2-bed propertyPer project£13,000£16,000£14,500
Plumbing for a 3-bed propertyPer project£17,000£21,000£19,000
Plumbing for a 4-bed propertyPer project£19,000£24,000£21,500

Our costs are ballpark averages – get a local tradesperson to quote now

Factors affecting the cost of plumbing installation

Each job – and each property is different, but certain factors can affect all plumbing installation costs and quotes. The cost to install plumbing will be higher in larger properties and for bigger jobs, but other variables that can affect plumbing pipe prices include:

  • Location – Plumbing installation costs will vary across the UK, with those in cities such as London paying more for new plumbing installations.
  • Age and condition of the property – If your property and its current plumbing are in poor condition, plumbing installation costs will be higher.
  • Ease of access – If plumbing within a property is difficult to access, costs will increase – including those to make good the affected area once work is completed.
  • Is drainage/waste pipework required? – Installing or replacing waste and drainage pipes can add to the total plumbing pipe costs.
  • Quality of new fixtures and fittings – The more expensive the fixtures and fittings you specify, the higher the cost to replace plumbing.
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Plumbing pipe cost

Plumbing installation costReplacing a burst water pipe is a typical task for a plumber and should cost around £100 and take 2 hours.

Plumbing pipe costs are affected by how easy it is to isolate the water supply, to access the pipe and to complete the work. Emergency call out charges are typically more expensive.

Steel or copper pipes are fine, but if you choose more expensive varieties of pipe, then plumbing costs will increase.

Cost to plumb a bathroom

The average cost to plumb a bathroom (excluding sanitaryware) is £3,250 and should take around a week to complete.

This price will include:

  • removal of the old toilet, sink/vanity unit, bath and radiator
  • plumbing in of the new suite
  • any minor pipework modifications needed (a plumber will supply the pipework, valves, waste, sealant and miscellaneous items)

It doesn’t include the cost of tiling, plastering, an electrician (including lighting), replacement of any floors/rotten joists, a new extraction system, structural works, new window, or any significant copper/plastic/waste pipe re-routes under the floor or behind walls.

Your total bathroom replacement cost will depend on its size and the condition of the property. Older properties may require additional pipework to be completed, which can increase the price.

Cost to replace plumbing

Under sink plumberFactors such as the age and condition of your property, location and access will all affect the size of your quotation.

Your choice of pipework, fixtures and fittings will all influence costs, as will the choice of whether your tradesperson will remove all waste.

If you move the bathroom, kitchen or heating system, the cost to replace plumbing will be higher.

Cost to plumb a house

Plumbing a house from scratch is a complicated and expensive job.

The average cost to install plumbing in a new home with 1 main bathroom and 1 en-suite is:

  • 2-bed house = £14,500
  • 3-bed house = £19,000
  • 4-bed house = £21,500

The quote includes the labour to install new pipework throughout the property, connecting this to mains services (water, drainage and sewerage) where required.

Your choice of pipes, fixtures and fittings will have an impact on price, as will your location and the size and style of the property.

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Plumbing installation cost calculator

The cost of plumbing installation for your home will depend on several factors, and the costs can vary considerably depending on the size and complexity of the project.

The main elements that will affect the price you pay for the plumbing installation include the size, age, and condition of the property, the location, and any prep work or follow-up work needed.

For accurate prices to plan a budget, it’s sensible to speak to local plumbers and ask for a detailed breakdown of costs for the job.

Plumbing installation hourly rates

The average rate for a plumber is around £40 - £60 per hour – depending on the individual plumber, their experience and where you live in the country. For emergency or out of hours work you’ll most likely have to pay more per hour, typically about £110 on average.

Cost to install a central heating system

Gas pipe installation costThe average cost to install a central heating system in a new 2-bedroom house is around £4,000, which includes replacing the boiler, all pipework and installing new radiators. The job should take between 2-3 days.

Central heating installation costs will vary according to the type of system you opt for, with gas the most popular.

The size of the property, including the number of bedrooms, and access for pipework will affect prices. So too will the type of piping.

A good rule of thumb is: the greater the number of radiators, the higher the price.

Replacing an existing central heating system will be higher than fitting one to an empty property. If you want to replace the current central heating system in your 4-bedroom home with an entirely new one, budget to spend around £10,000 to complete the work.

Additional plumbing installation costs to consider

The costs featured above are averages based on our research. They exclude additional costs which you may be required to pay, including:

Prep work – Any preparatory work that your plumber may need to do before starting will need to be factored into the cost, or completed before your chosen tradesperson arrives.

Waste disposal – If your tradesperson is required to remove and dispose of waste, this will be added to the total plumbing installation cost.

Redecorating or finishing – The costs above only include new plumbing installations, but exclude finishing such as tiling or painting that may be required.

Concealed pipework – Hiding pipework is more expensive than leaving it exposed by surface mounting it. If you choose to conceal your pipework, expect to spend more.

Key takeaways

  • The average cost to plumb a bathroom is £3,250, to install a central heating system is £4,000 and to install completely new plumbing is between £13,000 - £17,000.
  • The total plumbing installation cost will be affected by a range of factors, such as the current condition of your property and its size.
  • The more expensive your choice of pipes, fixtures and fittings, the higher the job cost.
  • Factor in additional expenditure, including waste disposal and redecorating.
  • Problems with existing plumbing can occur when installing a new bathroom, central heating system or re-plumbing a house.
  • Clarify whether your tradesperson is quoting for the entire job, or is charging on an hourly basis.
  • Costs will fluctuate around the country and material costs can vary considerably depending on the type of boiler, radiators and pipe materials used.

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Working with professional estimators, we collate cost estimates for the common home improvement and repair jobs in the UK.

All the costs are estimates only. For accurate costs for your particular requirements, you are encouraged to reach out to professional tradespeople to receive a quote for your job.

Our estimators are Chartered Members (MRICS) of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Members of the Chartered Institute of Building (MCIOB). See full disclaimer.

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What others think of this article:

Gary Smith

I like it when you said that proper maintenance might help you protect your system more. This is true!

Checkatrade

Hi Dipo, sorry to hear this! You can start your search for a trusted plumber near you by clicking here. We have many emergency plumbers across the UK who can help you.

Dipo Kayode-Osi

Hi, the plumbing in my bathroom has busted. I naively and stupidly used a drain cleaner which contained sulphuric acid in my shower pipe and now my bathroom is leaking down into my kitchen. Im not sure how extensive the damages are. Given your expertise what would be the rough quote for fixing the issue. from best case scenario to worst. Thank You

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