Build the bathroom of your dreams with the correct plumbing
The average cost to rough-in plumbing for a bathroom is $6,500. However, it can range from as low as $3,000 to as much as $20,000. The final price depends on the piping material, bathroom size, labor fees, number of fixtures, and more. Whether you’re constructing a new home from scratch or renovating your current one, you’ll need rough-in plumbing completed for a bathroom addition.
Considering rough-in plumbing costs at the beginning of your project can help you stay within your budget later on. This guide will help you make your dream bathroom a reality while accounting for project factors like labor and bathroom size.
|Minimum Cost||National Average Cost||Maximum Cost|
What Is Rough-In Plumbing?
Before you learn about the cost breakdown of rough-in plumbing, it would be beneficial to know exactly what it entails. Rough-in plumbing is the initial installation of a home’s plumbing system, including the water supply lines, drainage pipes, and vent pipes.
Rough-in plumbing comes in before the walls, floors, and ceiling, mainly because it’s much easier for the plumber to get into these spaces beforehand. Once all is said and done, these plumbing components are hidden from sight with the rest of the construction.
This step is important in the construction process because it sets the foundation for the whole plumbing system throughout your home. Just think about how much of your home uses plumbing—it’s everywhere! Without a solid (and correct) foundation, you could have serious plumbing problems in the future.
After installation, a building inspector takes a look to ensure the rough-in plumbing meets all local codes and regulations. After this, the drywall can go up to complete the walls and ceilings. The last step is installing accessories like toilets, sinks, and bathtubs.
Rough-In Plumbing Cost Breakdown and Factors
Since this is a major plumbing job, you might be wondering what factors go into the variable costs. Factors like materials, labor, and home size all play an important role in the overall money you’ll be spending.
Each piping material has its pros and cons at different price points. It’s common for homeowners to choose a different type of piping material when remodeling their homes. The piping material factors into the total cost.
Copper piping is durable and resistant to corrosion and bacteria. It can last for 50 years on average, but it can last up to 80 years with proper maintenance. The cost of using copper pipes for rough-in plumbing in your bathroom is about $4 to $12 per linear foot, including labor.
PEX piping is flexible and resistant to corrosion. It requires fewer connectors than copper and isn’t as vulnerable to freezing temperatures. You can expect to pay around $1.50 to $4 per linear foot for PEX piping, including labor.
CPVC piping is corrosion-resistant and can withstand high heat and water pressure. On average, homeowners pay $1.50 to $3.25 per linear foot for CPVC rough-in plumbing in their bathroom.
Your local licensed and insured plumber is your go-to pro for rough-in plumbing for your bathroom. Hiring a plumber costs about $45 to $200 per hour, but the average range is $80 to $130 per hour. Depending on the plumber and the region in which you live, you can potentially pay an additional $50 to $300 in travel fees.
The size of your home will determine the distance between each bathroom and the piping material required for your plumbing lines. On average, you’ll pay more for a three-bathroom rough-in job in a 2,000-square-foot home with bathrooms on different sides of the building than for a job in a 1,250-square-foot home with bathrooms that share a wall.
Number of Bathrooms
The number of bathrooms you need rough-in plumbing for can impact your final price. Here are some cost estimates for rough-in plumbing by the number of bathrooms involved in the project:
|Number of Bathrooms||Cost|
|1 Bathroom||$1,600 – $2,900|
|2 Bathrooms||$3,200 – $5,800|
|3 Bathrooms||$4,800 – $8,700|
|4 Bathrooms||$6,400 – $11,600|
If you need a permit to get the bones of your dream bathroom installed, it can cost about $30 to $500. At the bare minimum, a plumbing permit is required for large plumbing jobs based on state plumbing codes. In addition, you’ll need a special rough-in permit and final inspection permit. You might also need a water and sewer connection permit, but your plumber should be able to tell you precisely which permits are required.
Plumbing Rough-In Cost per Fixture
The type of fixture you need rough-in plumbing for will influence this project’s actual cost.
As you might expect, the number of fixtures can drive up the cost of materials and labor. For example, rough-in plumbing for dual sinks and a walk-in shower in a primary bathroom will cost more than a half bath or a powder room.
|Faucet||$230 – $480|
|Double Faucet||$400 – $600|
|Toilet||$350 – $3,500|
|Sink||$300 – $5,500|
|Bidet||$1,500 – $2,900|
|Bathtub||$500 – $2,750|
|Shower||$1,500 – $3,500|
What Is the Cost to Move Plumbing in a Bathroom?
If you’re considering moving or replacing plumbing in a bathroom, several cost factors will affect how much you pay. As a general rule, moving a plumbing fixture 3 or more feet can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000, but speaking with a local plumber will get you the most accurate cost range. The actual cost to replumb a bathroom depends on the fixtures, how far you need to move the fixtures, and if you need anything changed.
Sinks are generally the least expensive to move, so long as it stays on the same wall.
Toilets are generally the most costly to move, especially if it’s on a second floor.
Bathtubs require the plumber to relocate the hot and cold water and drainage, causing this to be expensive.
Showers are tricky to move because they involve moving the pipes in the wall and floor.
Additional cost factors for moving plumbing in a bathroom include permit costs, labor costs, materials, and disposal fees (if any).
DIY vs. Hiring a Pro
There’s no denying that you can save money on labor fees by doing the rough-in plumbing for your bathrooms on your own. While most people love to save a few bucks wherever they can, this project requires skills, time, and a lot of extra know-how.
Even if you’re handy with tools, some homeowner’s insurance only covers work completed by a pro, not DIY jobs. Any water damage due to faulty pipe connections will have to come out of your pocket, which could be thousands more than the initial labor fees. Keeping this all in mind, unless you have extensive plumbing experience and expertise on building codes and inspection requirements, leaving a rough-in plumbing job to a licensed and insured plumber near you is best. Talking to at least three different plumbers in your area and asking for a quote will get you the best results.
Bry'Ana Arvie contributed to this piece.
Frequently Asked Questions
Generally, rough-in plumbing can take anywhere from three to five days for a pro to complete. The exact time to complete this job depends on several factors, such as the size of your home, the number of plumbing fixtures, and how accessible the plumbing system is. If any complex plumbing problems come up during the process, it might extend the length of your project.
No, rough-in plumbing is one of the last steps before your drywall goes up. This is because essential things like pipe installation require space before other elements go up. After the rough-in plumbing is complete, your inspector will also come to conduct an examination and tell you if your plumbing is approved and satisfies your building permit.
No, rough-in plumbing isn’t usually required for minor bathroom changes. However, if you’re taking on the cost of a bathroom remodel and require plumbing work, hiring your local plumber to replumb your home is best. Rough-in plumbing is only ideal for new construction and full-blown renovations.
The cost of rough-in basement bathroom plumbing can be less expensive than the cost of rough-in plumbing in the rest of the house. Materials, labor, and fixtures make up the bulk of the price, but plumbing and electrical are often nearby to where your basement bathroom fixtures will be.