Average Labour Cost/Price to Fit/Replace a Bathroom Suite
To clarify the following prices it is recommended that you read the article in the INFORMATION box below the PRICES…
(These prices are based on a tradesman’s rate of £150.00 per day and a labourer if required at £100.00 per day. This includes the cost of buying and collecting any materials, dumping any waste if necessary and any incidental materials they will need. The minimum price will usually be for a half day)
How Much Does It Cost To Fit a Bathroom Suite?
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No attempt will be made below to add prices of suites, showers etc. Prices differ so much depending on your pocket and requirements. It just isn’t feasible.
Fit a complete new 10’ x 8’ (3m x 2.4m ) bathroom suite (paid for by yourselves) into the same positions as the old one. This will comprise an acrylic bath with a mixer tap, pop up waste and “shower bulge”, a curved glass shower screen which is specific to the bath, a thermostatic shower (with flexible hose) connected to your new “combi” boiler, a close coupled toilet, a ceramic basin and pedestal with mixer tap and pop up waste.
The floor, walls and ceiling have been completed and paid for prior to this work, the soil stack will fit perfectly and you have volunteered to do the decorating on completion.
So, this quote is to remove the old suite, fit the new one (which will mean chasing the shower supply pipework into the wall and plastering over ready for tiling) and supply the waste pipework, bath panel framework and general fixings only.
It must be remembered that any replastering and new tiling will need to be coordinated with this work, it’s best if one company does the lot.
This will take 2 tradesmen, 3 days (no labourer)
Replace an existing cast iron soil stack with a new plastic one right up to the bird guard on the top! This will include connecting the bath and basin wastes externally, the toilet internally and making good the external brickwork. Internal plastering/tiling will be done by a.n.other. The work will be done from ladders.
This will take 1 tradesman and 1 labourer, 2 days
Fitting a new “stand alone” low pressure shower cubicle in a bedroom with no existing supply or waste pipework. The supply pipes have to brought from the landing, with the relevant room clearing, carpet removal and replacement, (an issue of course). The waste will go through the wall into an adjacent plastic soil stack. This type of cubicle has four manufactured sides and therefore there is no tiling.
The shower, cubicle and shower base are supplied by yourselves, at a cost of around £200. Everything else is supplied by the builder. This will take the two tradesmen,
A Price Guide and Information Sheet on Fitting and Installing a Bathroom Suite
Luckily for you, we have described all these processes under their own headings elsewhere, along with questions to put to the tradesmen and of course lots of those price comparisons.
So…..The boss wants a new bathroom fitted. For some inexplicable reason she has gone off the existing avocado; she recons the gold is coming off the taps, she’s fed up with asking the resident bozo to fix the wobbly bath panel and apparently there’s an alien life form evolving horribly under the toilet seat?
Don’t get the plumber in yet, and don’t get a builder in at all, he will only sub contract it straight to his plumber mate and cream a “monkey” off the top (monkey, cock 'n' hen, gregory - I've been watching the re-runs of "Minder" on Dave).
The first thing to do is trawl the internet, do the rounds of the DIY sheds and visit those trendy little bathroom showrooms that give you real coffee and make their owners such a lot of money! Look at what’s available, keeping your bathroom’s size and your wallets capacity, in mind.
Questions to ask yourself/your plumber
Do you want a coloured suite? Always remember, white is timeless; burgundy might just not be!
What design of bath do you want?
“Normal”. Normal with a bulge in it for easier showering. One with the taps and plug hole (builders call this the “waste”, not the waste hole, just the “waste”) in the middle, (and a shelf for some aromatic candles) A corner bath. A spa bath (the one with all those “massaging” water jets. A free standing bath set right in the middle of the room (just right for bathing the boys in, you didn’t like that downstairs ceiling anyway).
Do you want cast iron? The builder won’t! The only advantage of cast iron for a “normal” bath is it doesn’t creak when you stand in it. But then, if the other types are secured properly nor should they. Free standing ones will be cast iron though, so they should be at 2 grand a throw!
Do you want acrylic?
Do you want pressed steel? People used to buy steel ‘cos they didn’t want to splash out on cast and to avoid buying acrylic. There’s no difference as far as efficiency of the bath is concerned between steel and acrylic.
Will you ever use the bath? You might always use the shower. You might be Catweasel's dirty brother.
Wet room, walk in, (sit down in), cubicle (stone, resin or plastic base) or “over the bath”. Glass, plastic or curtains. Pumped, mains pressure or low pressure. Standard, electric or pumped electric. Plastic or steel. White, chrome, chrome/stainless effect or “brushed metal”. Thermostatic valve or “get scalded”. Visible or concealed pipework. Fixed or directional or “flexible, to get to those places we don’t even like to think about” shower head. Phew!
Some of the above exclude each other, many of the above can be combined with each other! Some can only be used with “combination boilers” or “Megaflo” hot water cylinders. Some require direct connection to the national grid!
Essentially, it's time to visit those shops again but here the plumber should be consulted before hand. If you don’t want to (or more likely pay to), radically change your existing hot water supply system, then some of the above just aren’t possible or not necessary.
For instance, one main advantage of an electric shower is it doesn’t rely on there being any stored hot water available, so you can always get a shower. But if you have a “combi” boiler there is no stored hot water anyway. Here a thermostatic shower made for a combi, is perfect for the job and much cheaper to install than an electric one.
Also a pumped shower always does make some noise and if you have a small hot water cylinder, can empty it pretty smartish!
Whatever you choose, (or are obliged to choose), try and make sure the system delivers a good pressure with controllable (scald-protected) temperature and continues to do this for as long as you want to “stay under”.
Make sure all the glass in your cubicle or screen is safety glass. It must be stamped/engraved with one of several British Standard numbers. The “kite mark” isn’t always used today so its absence doesn’t necessarily mean the glass isn’t safety glass. Don’t expect the builder to know either, if in doubt, phone the manufacturer. The further east he lives, the greater is the chance of non-compliance (and I’m not talking Essex)!
That’s what Her Majesty calls it. By the way, I also know that a lounge is only found on board ship and in an hotel! But I digress…
Unless you’re Japanese, this part of the bathroom suite has remained pleasantly sane. You can mess about with high level flushes and concealed cisterns but apart from the colour of the seat and those daft little foreign push valves in the top, the only difference between modern ones and the ones we dangled our feet over the edge of when we read the “Dandy”, is now they are almost all “close coupled”, where the cistern sits on a little ledge at the back of the bowl. The only real advantage of this concerns the gentlemen and the fact that with this design, the seat will never surprise you. What goes up, thankfully stays up!
BUT…. if you are changing an old toilet, it very well may be connected to a cast iron waste system. This as you might imagine is totally inflexible. If the spigot on your new bowl doesn’t empty right into the centre of the old cast iron collar (which it is very unlikely to) the builder will have to change the whole pipe to a new plastic one. This means everything outside as well.
This isn’t strictly true, there are offset fittings, or he can cut sections of the existing cast iron pipe out and fit a new plastic section, but its half a job. The old bath and basin waste pipework will also very likely need changing and if a completely new plastic “soil stack” system is fitted, these can easily be taken into it.
Whatever you do, think hard if he suggests a new fangled flexible pipe going from the toilet to the existing cast iron pipe. You want what comes out of the toilet, out of your house as quickly as possible, then that means it should come straight out, not via a concertina!
Wash Hand Basin, (to give it it’s full title)
Little green glass things, stone bowls, stainless contraptions. Take your pick but make sure there’s a place for the tap and the carbolic and your toothbrush.
The waste is quite important in basins though. They (basins) don’t usually come with one supplied (just the hole so to speak). Don’t get one when you go to buy the basin, it may come with the tap you choose, particularly if you get a mixer tap with its own “pop up waste”. That’s the one with a lever at the back which you push to make the waste (wait for it)….. “pop up”. They can be tricky to fit but I have known them amuse small boys for a second or two. Another type is the one you push the actual waste cover and it then “pops up”. Whoopee!
If you can’t be bothered with all this rocket science and just want to go with the old rubber bung. Make sure your trendy new basin actually has a little hole to attach the other end of the chain to, it sort of spoils everything when this has to be left coiled in the bottom of the basin.
These come in a variety of finishes and colours and metals: you decide.
A more important decision is one tap or two and this is far more relevant with the basin.
At last, with a modern mixer tap you can wash your face in one minute, in clean running water at the correct temperature.
Bath taps can come with showers attached to them a bit like old fashioned telephones. These will only be low pressure showers though and you can’t really stand up to shower but if you don’t want to change the hot water system, they will do for cleaning the bath after you've had one I suppose.
By the way, If you’re getting on a bit and retiring and this just might be the last time you fit a new bathroom. Have a think about your arthritis, you may want to fit taps with levers instead of screw heads, you never know!
By law (since 2005) If any electrical work is undertaken in your bathroom (or kitchen or externally), the person doing the work must be registered with a “competent persons scheme”.
You might even ask him or her which scheme this is, (there are several) and then check with that scheme. Or, if the builder is doing the work himself (after all he’s been fitting down lighters in bathrooms for 15 years hasn’t he?), a Building Control officer must be informed before the work begins. They will then get their pet electrical contractor to check the work and (hopefully) issue an electrical safety certificate. This will be charged for of course!
Questions to ask and points to clarify during the quotation visit.
If you have the usual “cylinder” in the airing cupboard heated by the central heating boiler or just an immersion heater and you want the best shower known to man, it’s likely that you are going to be disappointed. If he fits a pumped “power” shower without changing anything, it’s likely your shower will be a short one with a half hour wait until your water heats up again.
Ask him to thoroughly appraise your existing hot water system, you might need a much bigger hot water cylinder, if so, ask him about a “Megaflo” which delivers the shower at mains pressure. If he suggests the electric shower route, check the previous section.
There will be no need to change the actual boiler but if its getting on a bit, a new (mandatory) condensing one will be about 20 times more efficient! You may also consider a (condensing) combination boiler. With this you get rid of the cold water tank in the loft and the hot water cylinder, altogether.
Will you need to change the existing soil stack?
If he does have to, ask him how he intends to connect the new plastic stack to the vertical “salt glazed” clay pipe he will find under the path.
What I always did was carefully knock off the clay pipe’s collar, (which he will have just cracked anyway), take a straight “multikwick” (he will know what I mean), shove the gasketed end into the clay pipe and work the new plastic soil pipe into the other end. Building control don’t like it but it works AND it absorbs the different thermal movement between clay and plastic.
Will we still be able to use the toilet while the work goes on?
No. However, when he leaves each day he must at least provide you with the toilet bowl fitted and “working”, there may not be a seat and you may have to use a bucket to flush it though.
Will you be removing the new “cardboard city” which will spring up on our front lawn?
Suppliers love to box everything up, make sure he takes it all away.
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A-Z of Job Pricing