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How Long Does it Take to Remodel a Bathroom? Facts & FAQs

mans installing shower

If your home only has one full bathroom, then estimating the time it will take to remodel it is critically important. Because when the bathroom is out of commission for any significant length of time, you will have to make alternate arrangements for things like showering or bathing.

Unfortunately, there’s no hard and fast rule for how long it takes to remodel a bathroom. But on average, you can expect a renovation to take anywhere from a day or two up to a couple of weeks. It all depends on what the renovation includes.

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Elements That Affect Remodel Timing

In addition to the fact that renovations rarely go as planned, several things contribute to the timing—other than the actual specific tasks themselves.

Things to consider
  • Cosmetic vs. Complete Renovation: It’ll likely only take a day or two if you’re just doing a cosmetic upgrade like fresh paint and new fixtures. However, if you’re tearing the bathroom out and redoing everything from the bottom up, you’re looking at several weeks or even a couple of months.
  • DIY: Many people assume that DIY reno projects are cheaper. If you have the knowledge and time to do it, this is often the case. But when you run into problems you can’t solve, you end up costing yourself more money in the long run by possibly needing a contractor to redo stuff.
  • Contractor: If you hire a contractor that is working on several projects at a time and subbing out specific tasks of the reno, this is usually the most expensive—but highest-quality renovation. Hiring an independent contractor who does all the work themselves will save you a bit of money and usually be quicker than the other contractor.
  • Special Order Materials: If you’re doing something that’s unique and custom, the chances are high that there will be a large amount of time spent waiting. If this is the case, it’s a good idea not to begin the bathroom remodel until all the special order parts arrive.
shower curtain in the bathroom
Image By: Francesca Tosolini, Unsplash

Benefits of Hiring a Contractor

Bathrooms can be a bit more finicky when it comes to issues coming up that require more advanced knowledge. So, it’s usually a good idea to find a qualified contractor unless you have fairly extensive knowledge of home renovations.

If you’re hiring a contractor, they should be able to give you a reasonably accurate estimate of the time required for the remodel.

This isn’t to say problems don’t come up—because they probably will—but once you’ve explained what you want to be done, an experienced contractor knows how long it should take. If they are really experienced, they should be able to estimate timelines that account for inevitable problems accurately.

man installing pipe on bathtub
Image Credit: Pressmaster, Shutterstock

Timing Breakdowns

Because there are so many possible things that could be part of a bathroom remodel, we’ve put together a table to show you the average expected times for various related tasks. Keep in mind that all these averages assume a reasonably experienced contractor providing the service.

Job Average Number of Days Additional Notes
Demolition 1–2 Depending on things like where the bathroom is in the house and how comprehensive the demolition is will determine how long it takes.
Carpentry, Plumbing, Electrical 1–2 Each of these tasks may or may not be necessary. Depending on what’s required, each could take one or two days to complete.
Insulation and Drywall 3–4 Insulating walls and hanging drywall will only take about a day. But mudding and taping the drywall takes longer because you’re slowed down by drying time.
Painting 1 Even with a coat of primer and two coats of paint, not many bathrooms should take more than one day to paint.
Tile Work 2–3 Installing tile doesn’t take a long time in itself. Just like drywall finishing, you’re held up by drying time.
Cabinets and Trim 1–2 Many bathrooms only have a vanity and one counter to install and minimal trim. If you’re doing a larger bathroom, it may take a second day for finishing touches.
Flooring 1–2 Most common bathroom flooring materials can easily be installed in less than a day. However, some may take longer because of drying time.
Final Hookups 1–2 This would include installing bathtub and sink fixtures, electrical outlets, etc.
Inspections Varies The inspection itself doesn’t take a long time, but you’re at the mercy of the inspector’s schedule.

Bathroom Remodel Dragging On

bathtub repair
Image Credit: David Spates, Shutterstock

Looking at the table above, it doesn’t seem like a bathroom reno should ever take more than 2–3 weeks for a full renovation. But you have to keep in mind that it’s rare for most of these things to happen on consecutive days.

For example, after you or the contractor finish the framing and the plumbing and electrical rough-ins, the work must be inspected before proceeding. The work may only take 4 or 5 days to complete, but you may have to wait a few days for the inspector to be available.

At that point, 2 weeks passed with only a few days of work done. So, it’s easy to see how a project can drag on.

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The biggest thing to remember with a bathroom remodel is that it’s rare for everything to go as planned. If you’re hiring a contractor, they will usually be prepared for these things. But if you’re going the DIY route, make sure you’re familiar with the ins and outs of a bathroom reno, so you don’t get caught without a bathroom to use for longer than you have to.

Featured Image Credit: Parilov, Shutterstock


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