A bathroom renovation is one of the top home improvement projects in Malaysia, and is a great way to give your house a New Year’s makeover.
The process generally involves the following:Hacking and demolishing the old tiles (floor and/or wall)Waterproofing the floorPlumbing and pipingWetwork such as constructing a raised divider or shower cubbyWiring for the water heater, lighting and plug pointsTiling on floor and wallInstalling new doors and windows or shower screensInstalling new bathroom fittings and accessoriesPainting work
With the average Malaysian home being around 110 sq m, bathrooms are usually in the region of up to 7 sq m. At this size, you can expect a general breakdown of costs as follows, bearing in mind these are just estimates and will vary according to bathroom size, materials and other factors.Hacking and demolishing: RM2,000
Consider removing cracked, dull and outdated tiles. Depending on your request, the contractor will hack the wall and/or floor tiles, which would include dismantling existing fixtures such as the sink and toilet tank.Waterproofing: RM1,500
After the old tiles are hacked, the contractor will level and waterproof the whole floor with material that prevents water from penetrating or permeating through. It might take some time to be fully cured before moving on to the next step.New plumbing and piping: RM1,000
This is an optional step if you intend to change the layout, such as moving the sink to a different location in the bathroom. It might also be needed if you want to relocate water outlets, such as switching from a bathtub to a standing shower.Wetwork: RM2,000
This is a term for building something using cement, laying bricks, plastering and skim coating. It also refers to the process of building a recessed shelf in the shower area, a new concrete top for the sink, a wall or floor divider to separate wet and dry areas, as well as installing tiles on the floor and wall.
Go with the porcelain tiles that are anti-slip and slightly textured for the floor. They are more durable and easy to clean. For the walls, opt for ceramic tiles all the way up to the ceiling or just 2m high to reduce costs. The rest of the wall can be painted.Bathroom fittings and accessories: RM2,200
The price for bathroom fittings such as the sink, toilet tank and bathtub varies depending on the size, type and brand. The same applies to accessories such as your faucets, showerhead and bidet.Glass shower screen and door: RM1,800
If you are currently using a shower curtain, consider an upgrade by installing a glass shower screen or door. The tempered glass will be a bit costly as it requires proper mounting and sealing, but it is durable, easy to clean, and will make your bathroom more luxurious.Cabinetry: RM2,000
Additional storage cabinets can be installed over and under the sink, or above the toilet tank. Some homeowners opt for full-height, narrow cabinets and floating shelves at dry sections of the bathroom to store towels and toilet rolls.Plaster ceiling: RM1,200
Some bathrooms in old landed houses have very high ceilings with exposed piping or water heaters near the top. Freshen up the look by covering them up with a plaster ceiling.Lighting: RM400
Install an LED light in a cool daylight tone as the main ambient lighting. You can also add a fancier task light above the sink and mirror, and a hidden LED strip light under cabinets to create a hotel-like mood.
Keeping it affordable
Here are some handy tips to keep costs lower:Don’t change the layout
Moving the toilet from one corner of the bathroom to another may look good, but it will add significant costs as the piping will need to be moved beforehand, requiring hacking and new waterproofing.Don’t change the size of the bathroom
Similarly, making major changes to your floor plan will significantly increase your costs.Repair instead of replacing tiles
Consider repairing damaged tiles if your contractor can find a matching replacement. Alternatively, you may choose to retile just the wall or floor.Don’t make last-minute changes
As with any major construction project, it’s best to plan well beforehand and stick with it, rather than make changes midway.