How Long Should A Bathroom Remodel Take?

Remodeling a bathroom is always a solid investment. Of course, before you get started, there’s a lot to learn. Part of a successful renovation is being prepared in advance so that you know what to expect. In this guide, we’ll help you figure out what to expect in terms of a timeline for your bathroom remodel so that you can plan accordingly.

Several factors affect the duration of a bathroom remodel or any remodel, for that matter. You’ll have to consider what you want from the project, what your contractor suggests as far as a timeline, and how long each of the three phases of the project takes individually. Since this is one of the most-used rooms in the home, you’ll probably want to get it back in functioning shape as soon as possible. However, you need to be willing to give the project the time it takes, no matter how long that might be.

Related: Spring Bathroom Remodeling Tips

tape measure supplies for bathroom remodel

What Factors Affect Your Remodeling Timeline?

Although reality TV would have you believe otherwise, some bathroom renovations can take weeks, and some up to a month or more. The average timeline for a small bathroom is between three and seven weeks, according to the experts.

Size: How big is your bathroom? The space that needs to be redesigned and renovated will impact how long it takes and how much it costs. While a small bathroom can be completed in 3-7 weeks, it could take up to 12 weeks or longer for a large bathroom renovation, depending on the work that needs to be done.

Complexity of Renovation: Someone who is upgrading their tub and shower will have a quicker renovation than someone doing a full remodel of the entire space. If you’re tearing the room down to studs and starting completely over, your timeline will be double or triple that of someone making cosmetic and small improvements.

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Who’s Doing the Work: Naturally, professional contractors will be able to complete the job in a quicker, more efficient way than if you were trying to do the work yourself. Not only that, but if you hire a solo contractor, it will take him longer than a team of renovators who can work together to get the job done more quickly. Specialized contractors will ensure that your bathroom renovation is done properly and quickly so that you’re not without a functioning space for very long.

While there are some projects where a longer timeline for DIY might not matter, having a bathroom out of order is something that many homeowners don’t want to deal with for any longer than necessary. The size of your bathroom and the scope of the renovation project will help you narrow down a timeline, but the best thing to do is to ask your contractor for a schedule, both at the planning stage and as renovations begin, so that you can anticipate the various aspects of the project and when you’ll get your space back.

Related: How To Install A Freestanding Bathroom Vanity

bathroom remodel digital vision

What Bathroom Upgrades Take the Most Time?

As with any renovation project, some upgrades take longer than others. The most time-consuming project in a bathroom remodel is tile work. This can take up to seven full working days, depending on the size of the space, what kind of tile is being installed, and how much tile there is. Most of the steps in the process take one to two days, while things like demolition could take up to five days and waterproofing may take two to four days. Simple upgrades, such as if you choose to replace the vanity, can be done in a matter of hours in most cases.

This is, of course, assuming that all materials, workers, and equipment are available and in place. Otherwise, you could add time to the schedule just waiting on the right people, the right tools, or the right materials for the job.

Related: Adding Large Showers And Relaxing Spa Features

89 Inch Double Sink Bathroom Vanity with Offset Sinks

89 Inch Double Sink Bathroom Vanity with Offset Sinks

Get a Schedule from Your Contractor

As mentioned earlier, remodels are typically broken down into three phases:

  • Planning
  • Design and Approval
  • Building/Upgrades

Before doing anything, you’ll want to sit down with your contractor and plan the remodel that you have in mind. This will help you come up with a schedule of projects and events so that you know what to expect. Then, you’ll have the design and approval stage, where you’ll work together with your contractor or hire a designer to assist with creating the perfect bathroom design. Once the design has been decided upon, a firmer timeline can be put into place.

bathroom remodel cost worksheet

Once this is done, the renovations can begin. The first step is the demolition and removal of the old fixtures, furnishings, and materials. If you’re redoing the floors or replacing tile, those will have to be removed or otherwise prepped for their upgrade, too. The process could take anywhere from a few days to a few months, depending on how big the space is and what kind of upgrades are being made. A typical schedule will look something like this:

  1. Demolition
  2. Rough-ins for plumbing
  3. Rough carpentry (as needed)
  4. Tile prep (as needed)
  5. Sheeting
  6. Waterproofing
  7. Tiling and tile finishing
  8. Trim additions and painting
  9. Plumbing installation
  10. Electrical installations
  11. Accessories
  12. Cleanup

Each of these steps will involve its own amount of work and your contractor should keep you apprised of which stage you are at and whether there are any schedule changes or delays that come up as the project goes on. Prep and cleanup usually only take a day or so, but they’re important parts of the process so be sure they’re not forgotten.

Related: Tips For Upgrading To A Luxury Master Bath

digital bathroom floorplan

The Bottom Line

As you can see, there’s no real hard-and-fast answer as to how long a bathroom remodel will take. It depends on several factors, including the materials, designs, and finishes that you choose. Keep these things in mind and if you need a quicker renovation, ask your contractor where you can save time or skip upgrades without compromising the end result. And remember, always leave room for contingencies because there are several different things that could come up along the way.

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My name is Julia Ritzenthaler, Founder and President of Unique Vanities, started in 2005. I started this business as an extension of our residential remodeling business, which focused on the design and build of custom cabinetry and architectural trim. I also worked as a financial advisor for 10 years at Ameriprise Financial, helping clients make sound money decisions, including budgeting for home improvement expenses. This expertise led me to start Unique Vanities, which offers a handpicked selection of high quality bathroom vanities, sinks, mirrors and more. You can find me most days sitting in Starbucks, my second office, or in my car driving my daughter across Dallas to gymnastics training.