How Long Will it Take to Remodel My Bathroom?
You want to remodel the bathroom, but how long will this essential space be out of operation? Will you have contractors in the house for weeks–or months? Use these tips to estimate your bath remodel timeline.
DIY or Pros?
The question isn’t simply “Should I do it myself, or hire a professional?” There are really three choices here, not just two, and they affect the time frame:
- Do it yourself
- Hire a professional for whom your bathroom remodel is the only job at the time
- Hire a professional who does multiple remodels simultaneously
Some remodeling firms work on several projects at a time. You can end up with days when no one is working on your bathroom because workers are doing other jobs, notes interior designer Sarah Nolen. Using a firm that works solely on your bathroom will save time.
DIY can be a money-saver but it’s not always a time-saver. If you have to work your remodeling around your day job and family commitments, DIY can take much longer than hiring a pro.
You probably need permits for electrical and plumbing work. Getting city or county permits could take as little as two weeks or as long as several months. You might also have to schedule an inspection to check finished work. Though the inspection can be quick, you might have to wait days or weeks simply to get a slot on an inspector’s schedule.
Maybe you fell in love with an imported ceramic tile. Maybe you need a roll-in shower for a wheelchair user. Special materials and fixtures can require special orders, which can delay starting your remodel. If you need a quicker remodel, consider alternative materials.
Creating Your Schedule
Generally, a remodel that strips the bathroom completely and moves electrical and plumbing lines to install new fixtures in new locations will take four to eight weeks (and that’s with a professional doing the work). A small bathroom remodels without demolition or electrical or plumbing rerouting could take as little as five working days. Below is a breakdown of what to expect.
Demolition: One to two days
If your job is cosmetic, “demolition” might mean simply yanking out an old vanity or removing the toilet. But if the bathroom remodels requires stripping down to the wall studs, pulling out the tub or shower and its surrounding tiling, and so on, you’re looking at true demolition. Expect it to take a few hours to two days, depending on how much needs to be removed.
Plumbing and Electrical Work: One to four days
This is called the “rough-in” stage, and this is when “It depends” becomes key. If you’re using a remodeler whom you share with other clients, expect the bathroom remodel timeline to take longer, as much as four days. If you’re the sole client, expect one to two days. If you’re relocating plumbing to move the toilet, tub/shower, or sink, or you’re changing the electrical layout, roughing in takes longer.
If the work has to be inspected, you or your remodeler can’t progress until the inspection is done.
Insulation, Drywall and Painting: One to four days
This might be a simple one-day job if all you need is paint. If you remove drywall and need to insulate, hang new drywall and prep the drywall for painting, allot one to two days based on the size of the bathroom. Drywall is a fast job for most pros. Professional painting is quick, too, so give it one day on your timeline unless you’re asking for extras like special trim work.
Tiling Preparation and Installation: Seven days or more
Preparing and leveling walls for tiling takes time. So does the drying time before tiled surfaces are ready for use. A DIY remodel with a novice who hasn’t installed tile could take weeks if you’re working on the remodel piecemeal.
A professional installation could take from one to two days to prep walls plus another five days for floor-to-ceiling tiling on a shower stall if your remodeler is devoted to your job full-time. If your remodeler is working other jobs, expect tiling to take longer, as much as 10 or more days. Here’s where “It depends” comes up again. Small tiling jobs, done with readily available tile, could take far less time.
Flooring Installation: One to two days
A small bathroom floor with vinyl? Schedule a day, maybe less. A larger bathroom, or one of any size with tile flooring? Figure on two days.
Fixture Installation and Hook-Ups: Two days
Getting a toilet, sink, or tub into place and connecting it to plumbing is usually speedy, for pros. Figure on time for caulking to dry before use. Installing vanities and light fixtures takes little time once the electrical setup is ready.
Remember: These estimates do not include days spent waiting for permits, waiting for inspectors, or dealing with issues revealed during the remodel, such as hidden mold or previously unseen structural damage. For DIY remodels, assume time for potential do-overs if you’re not already experienced.
Work with a professional bathroom remodeler to assess your bath remodel timeline. Contact your nearest Bathroom Tune-Up team today.