Why are plumbers so expensive

Plumbing costs - that's how expensive the bathroom gets

Regardless of whether it is a new building or renovation - the cost of a new bathroom always leaves huge gaps in the wallet. The sanitary installation is traditionally one of the more expensive purchases when building a house. But what exactly does it cost? I've looked around.

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What is part of the sanitary installation?

Strictly speaking, not everything that is needed in the bathroom belongs to the sanitary installation. Tiles, electrical work or painting work usually come on top of that. The scope of services for the sanitary installation in a single-family house can look something like this:

  • Sewer pipes & connection to sewer
  • Ventilation of the bathroom through the roof
  • Central water supply from the water meter
  • Domestic water station with dirt filter and backflow preventer
  • Raw installation of the cold and hot water pipes
  • Wall installation bathroom
  • Sanitary items for the bathroom
  • Faucets for the bathroom
  • Washing machine connection

Your situation may be a little different, but the basic items are outlined here. There are differences, for example, in hot water preparation. This can be done centrally with a hot water boiler operated with gas or heating oil or decentrally with the help of instantaneous water heaters or local hot water storage tanks.

In the case of an old building, there are also the costs for the disposal of the old bathroom. Additional cost factors can be the replacement of the water pipes or the renewal of the electrical system.

It is therefore incredibly difficult to come up with a general formula for the cost of plumbing. Especially since everyone has different demands. A luxury bathroom costs a lot more than a standard bathroom. If you do some things yourself, you can also save costs, whereby work such as “removing old sanitary items” is meant. You should only venture into the actual sanitary installation if you are a specialist.

Costs for the pure sanitary installation

Assume that the costs for the pure sanitary installation, as listed in the previous chapter, amount to around four percent of the new construction costs for a single-family home. For example, if the house costs 250,000 euros, you have to pay 10,000 euros to the specialist installation company.

Of the 10,000 euros, around 50 percent are charged to the sanitary furnishings - i.e. 5,000 euros. As expected, there are the biggest differences here, as wash basins, toilets, bathtubs and the like cost quite different amounts.

The ratio of labor costs to material costs is around forty to sixty percent for both plumbing and items. The material is therefore more expensive than the wages.

Full bathroom costs

The bathroom is far from finished with the sanitary installation alone - heaters still have to be installed, tiles laid or walls plastered. Another important factor is the bathroom size - a small guest toilet is naturally a lot cheaper than a large wellness bathroom.

In the following table I have put together what a complete bathroom will cost, depending on the size and fittings. Take that as a rough guide.

small bathroom

(up to 6 m²)

average bathroom

(6 to 11 m²)

large bathroom

(from 11 m²)

Normal equipment15.000 – 18.000 €19.000 – 24.000 €From € 27,000
Comfortable equipment19.000 – 25.000 €25.000 – 30.000 €From € 34,000
Luxurious furnishingsFrom € 26,000From € 31,000From € 50,000

A bathroom with normal fittings has everything it needs in the bathroom - but without any additional frills or fancy designs. But the standard equipment can also be modern, functional and have a timeless design.

In a bathroom with comfortable fittings, there is also a rain shower, for example, and the products are of high quality. High-quality branded goods are used, which impress with their particularly successful design.

A luxury bathroom also has a whirlpool and / or steam sauna - or great lighting effects are created. The shower may have a flood shower, the bathtub is free-standing and a shower toilet provides additional comfort.

It'll be cheaper that way

The above prices apply to bathrooms completely furnished by handicraft businesses. So you also get the sanitary ware from the craftsman you trust. As a rule, they do not pass the purchase price on to you directly, but add something to the price.

It is certainly cheaper if you buy the goods yourself in a hardware store or in an online shop. However, there is then the risk that the craftsman will refuse to install the products. You absolutely have to clarify this in advance. If necessary, the plumbing company will agree that you pay them a higher hourly wage to compensate.

If you don't have a specific skilled tradesman in mind, I can recommend werkprofi.de to you. There you will find SHK craftsmen from all over Germany who are ready to install products you have bought. Ok - the whole thing is also a little bit of an advertisement from me, since the site is operated by my employer.

If you are reasonably skilled with your craft, you can of course also install the sanitary items yourself or lay tiles yourself. Here, however, nobody is liable if something goes wrong. In the end, it can be more expensive than if you had hired a specialist straight away.