How long does it take to remodel a bathroom? [2023]

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A bathroom renovation is a major step in upgrading your house, but it is often a lengthy process. The golden question you ask before starting a new project is, “How long does it take to remodel a bathroom?”

how long does it take to remodel a bathroom

The timeline of a project is crucial because you want to complete renovations quickly and get your bathroom up and running.

5 Key Points on How Long it Takes to Remodel a Bathroom: A Guide to Planning and Budgeting Your Renovation

  1. The timeline of a bathroom renovation is crucial because you want to complete the renovation quickly and get your bathroom up and running.
  2. A bathroom renovation generally takes a few days to several weeks and months, with a small bathroom taking 3-5 days and larger spaces taking longer.
  3. Three main factors to consider for a bathroom timeline are the scope of the project, materials required, and contractor and labor needed.
  4. The scope of the project, including demolition and underlying structure, can greatly affect the time it takes to remodel a bathroom.
  5. Having all materials ready and hiring a professional contractor can greatly reduce the time it takes to complete a bathroom remodel.

How long will different steps take to remodel a bathroom?

  • Pre-construction planning: 3 days
  • Demolition: 2-3 day
  • Permits and approval: 2 weeks
  • Rough carpentry: 3 days
  • Plumbing rough-ins: 1-4 days
  • Electrical and insulation: 3 days
  • Flooring, painting, and final approval: 3 days

Processes of remodeling a bathroom

Firstly, Why do we remodel bathrooms? Bathroom renovation is done for a couple of reasons, for example, before moving into a new apartment or when the current state of the bathroom is not ideal.

So, how does the project work, and how long does it go on?

A bathroom renovation timeline covers the pre-construction phase where all initial plans are made, the construction phase where all the major work is done and includes; the demolition of the old bathroom, and all the construction, plumbing, refixing, and electrical steps. Finally, the post-construction phase for final inspections.

What is the usual finish time for bathroom remodels?

According to remodeling experts, bathroom remodeling generally takes a few days to several weeks and months. According to Sweeten General contractors, a small bathroom construction can last between three to five days while larger spaces will take longer.

There is always a general variation in the time frame because many factors are involved in the pre-and post-construction phases, which directly affect the time for the project.

For example, If the bathroom size is smaller, the remodel will take less time, but a larger bathroom will require more work and thus take more time. Other factors include whether the project is DIY or contract-based, the materials needed, the contractor, and unexpected emergencies.

So, how long does it take to remodel a bathroom?

In this article, we will dive into details concerning everything involved in a bathroom remodeling process and break down the time it takes to complete each step in renovating a bathroom, so you can have an expected timeline in mind before you embark on the project.

3 Main Factors to Consider for A Bathroom Timeline

In the preconstruction stage, three significant factors must be considered before the project officially commences. These factors affect the time it will take to remodel your bathroom entirely, from the demolishing phase to the post-construction stage. Here are the three factors to consider.

  • The scope of the project
  • The materials required
  • The contractor and labor needed

The scope of the project: Before starting your remodel, you first want to visualize what you want to achieve with the project. Looking at your old bathroom, do you want to demolish the entire space, underlying structure, and rebuild? or just remodel the existing space.

how long does it take to remodel a bathroom visualize

You will also decide if you want to change the layout or simply do a cosmetic remodel—all of the plumbing, the electrical work, and other expectations you hope to achieve are also set.

After drawing up an overview of all the work you expect to have done, you can then deduce a timeframe for the work. If there is not much to be done, you can expect that the bathroom remodel will take less time.

The materials required: Having all your materials handy considerably speeds up the remodeling process. It is best to order and ship all special orders before the commencement of work. Compared to when they arrive later, the project will take less time to complete when you have them handy.

The contractor needed: Your bathroom remodel can be a DIY project, but it will take months, if not longer, to remodel than when you have some help. Hiring a professional contractor reduces the time considerably.

The contractor draws a plan and works alongside other professionals to get the job done as fast as possible. You can have a personal contractor that does not take on other clients while working on your project to allow them to focus on the job at hand and finish it promptly.

How long does it take to remodel a small bathroom?

A small bathroom has just the basics to save space, but that is good for when you want to remodel it because it takes a shorter time. A small bathroom remodel takes roughly three weeks at a minimum. This also mainly depends on the complexity of the project.

The most time-consuming aspect of the project is the flooring, plumbing, and electricity. After these major tasks are completed, other minor tasks such as paint, toilet, and others are much faster.

Plan for emergencies

Unexpected circumstances can occur randomly in the middle of a project and can account for weeks of delay. A major inconvenience is likely to increase the time for the renovation, and it should be considered when accounting for the required time needed for the project.

how long does it take to remodel a bathroom emergency

A step-by-step renovation guide and timeline

To plan a successful bathroom renovation project, you must critically analyze the time it will take to remodel the entire bathroom. Some steps require you to plan, such as hiring a reliable contractor, getting an interior designer for the aesthetics, and getting city permits and approval. This step-by-step breakdown gives you a realistic timeline for your project.

Schedule site visits and solicits bids

The first step in pre-construction is the site visit and soliciting of bids. You look at the space of the bathroom and what it is built with. Then you put up a notice so contractors can apply for your project. This process takes roughly about 2 to 3 days. This gives an insight into the time it will take for the demolition.

Level bids and choose a contractor

After soliciting bids, you can now choose a contractor. Multiple contractors bid for your project, and you can decide to go with more than one. Choosing a contractor takes only a few hours or a day at most. Multiple contractors make the work faster than a single contractor, but this depends on your budget.

Sign the contract and finalize the construction schedule (1 week)

Signing the contract is probably the fastest step out of the entire process. The contractor prepares a contract outlining a detailed description of the work to be done, payment, and other important information. After the contract is signed, you can finalize the construction schedule. This process takes only about a week.

Source materials

The materials you need for the remodeling process can be bought at a store or sourced online. if you are looking for a complete scale-up and need to replace your tub, or shower screen and buy extra collectibles such as a toilet paper holder, hand towel rail, and a heated towel ladder. Other projects can be underway while you wait for these items to arrive.

how long does it take to remodel a bathroom online

Obtain permits and approvals

Certain cities require you get an approval or permit slip signed if you will be doing work such as plumbing and electricity. Obtaining a permit is one of the big delays, but you do not have to worry when you have an expert contractor to help you navigate this process. The permits you will need include an architect permit and extra DOB permits. This step can take up to two weeks but you can continue with other steps to save time.

Tell your neighbors (15 minutes)

Construction work can be noisy and might disturb your neighbors. it is courteous and best to inform them ahead of the work and also inform them of your expected timeline. They will appreciate the warning.

It’s demo time (1 day)

Finally, you can begin with renovation properly. The first stage of the renovation is the demolition. this process takes only a day. it involves removing the old wall niches, floor tiles, and paint to make way for the new layout. This is helpful if you plan to do a total remodel. It should be put into consideration that it is easier and faster to demolish timber studs and sheeted walls than solid brick walls.

Construction phase

Construction proper begins after demolition. you have a bare structure ready to be built on. the next step is the rough carpentry. Structural beams are set up so you get straighter walls and your carpenter might use engineered wood. The carpenter also sets up new windows and doors. This process takes about 2- 3 days.

Reroute plumbing and electrical (1-2 days)

After the old bathroom is stripped bare, the next step is to invite the carpenter and plumber for the rough-in of the bathroom. The plumbing work starts with the rough plumbing of the plumbing points. The electrician does the electrical lines in the wall, light fittings, and then insulation to prevent water leakage.


After the electrical insulation inspection is complete, you can hang your drywall using a joint compound. the task takes only a day and can be done alongside installing windows and doors to save time.

Tile work

You can install new tiles easily and fast, depending on the size of tiles you have. The walls and floor use different tile sizes so you will need to get the tile cut according to the location.

how long does it take to remodel a bathroom depending

A tiling bed is created using a cement slab and your new tile is set up. The tile bed must be completely dry before the waterproofing stage.


The time it takes to install a new floor is about 2 days depending on the type of floor you choose. A simple vinyl floor takes only a day while a more complex flooring like tile and engineered wood may take longer.

Rough Carpentry

Rough carpentry is often optional when the condition of the old bathroom is still very good. New critical joints may need to be installed so the old structure can hold up nicely for longer.

Cabinetry and Trim

This step may not take much time because there are generally few cabinets in a small bathroom. if there are any, the cabinets can be touched up and possibly repainted.

Painting your bathroom

Give your freshly renovated bathroom a pop of color by painting it. Painting the walls and ceiling takes only about a day if the paint and painter are readily available.

City inspections and approvals

If you applied for city permits before you started the project, you will need to get the work inspected and approved after the work is complete to get a final sign-off. This should take only a few hours

Final walk-through with the contractor

It has been a long journey and the final inspection with the contractor officially closes up the project. This takes only about 30 minutes. you get to go through all the work and point out errors if there are any.


After a remodeling process, you will want to formally clean out the bathroom before using it. there may be tools lying around and dust from the work done, this should only take a few hours. The contractor will also be available to give the final touches

Factors affecting the Remodeling Time for a Bathroom

Is this a DIY or professional project?

Do-it-yourself projects work with your schedule and can take months because it’s a personal job. They also take a toll on you financially and physically, and mistakes are likely to happen if you are inexperienced. Professional projects take a shorter time because a structure is attached to the project. The contractor takes creative control and ensures every step is completed at the right time.

Project scope

The project scope affects the remodeling time substantially. The scope entails the nitty-gritty of every activity the contractor will carry out during the remodel.

How many contractors are being hired?

A general contractor will be accountable for every step of the project, but often this slows down the process. Having more than one contractor speeds up the project because each contractor can provide you with expertise in different aspects. There is a division of labor and thus reducing the time for the remodel.

How long will it take to get materials?

The materials you need for your bathroom remodel include; … you can get some of these materials at a store, but if you order materials online, it might take longer to arrive and delay the remodel, thereby increasing the remodel time.

What takes the most time?

The project can be divided into three phases. the pre-construction phase, construction phase, and the post construction phase. the construction phase takes the bulk of the time. Here is an outline of each of the processes and the time it takes for each to be complete.

Stage Duration Details
Pre-construction Planning 3 days Initial plans are made
Demolition 2-3 days Removal of old bathroom elements
Rough Carpentry 3 days Structural beams are set up, new windows and doors are installed
Plumbing Rough-ins 1-4 days Plumbing points are set up
Electrical and Insulation 3 days Electrical lines in the wall, light fittings, and insulation to prevent water leakage
Drywall Installation 1 day Drywall is hung using a joint compound
Tile Work Varies Installation of new tiles, depending on the size of tiles
Flooring 2 days Installation of new floor, depending on the type of floor
Cabinetry and Trim Varies Touch up and possibly repainting of cabinets
Painting 1 day Painting of walls and ceiling
Final Walk-through with the Contractor 30 minutes Inspection of the work with the contractor, pointing out errors if any
Cleaning Few hours Cleaning of the bathroom before use

5 bathroom remodel mistakes you need to make sure you avoid

Remodeling your bathroom can be a challenge, however, with proper planning and execution, the result can be amazing. If you are thinking about remodeling your dream bathroom, I help you to avoid the top 4 bathroom remodeling mistakes homeowners usually make.

Poor budget planning

Proper budgeting is essential for any renovation project. Proper research helps you avoid overspending or having to place the project on hold until having the funds to continue. You need to be honest with how much you can spend. Also, keep in mind that there may be extra costs, as sometimes projects don’t go as smoothly as planned. Make sure to put an extra 15-20% aside in case you face unexpected issues.

bathroom mistakes

Improper bathroom layout and drainage planning

The layout and drainage planning are important especially if you already have a small bathroom. You need to avoid clutter and leave enough storage space for items such as shampoo bottles, towel bars, light fixtures, etc.

Are you going to tear down a wall or move the plumbing fixtures? Then you need to pay extra attention to the layout of your new bathroom. Another problem you may have is improper drainage planning. This can lead to water pockets, mold on shower walls, and potentially damage your furniture or shower door.

Bathroom ventilation

The bathroom is the most humid space in the entire house. Unless it has a window, you will have to invest some money in an efficient bathroom fan. You definitely want to avoid issues such as mold or mildew, therefore, proper ventilation is very important. Our best advice for you is to choose a powerful yet quiet exhaust fan.

Light fixtures

Proper positioning of the lights is of huge importance, otherwise, they will cast shadows when checking yourself in the mirror. Doesn’t matter if you pick general lighting or task lighting, you really should consult with an electrician, as they will know the exact rules you need to follow.

Using cheap materials 

This solely depends on how much you are willing to spend. Neglecting the quality of the materials can lead to problems in the future. Ensure that all materials are designed for the bathroom and can withstand getting wet. Buying cheap can cost you a fortune in the future. Invest more today, so you avoid issues tomorrow.

The points above will minimize the unexpected issues with your next bathroom renovation project. Research, plan and execute!

Ariel Path

With over three decades of experience in food manufacturing and kitchen design, I bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. My expertise spans across various aspects of the culinary world, from kitchen appliances to cooking techniques, food selection, and promoting a healthy lifestyle. My ultimate goal is to educate and inspire you in creating your dream kitchen, where functionality meets aesthetics. As a trusted source, I strive to provide valuable insights and guidance to make your kitchen remodel an enjoyable and successful experience. Together, let's transform your space into a culinary haven that reflects your unique style and meets your specific needs. See more details here.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Avatar photo
    Sarah Johnson

    I recently went through a bathroom remodel and this post was spot on with the timeline and factors to consider. I especially appreciated the breakdown of the pre-construction, construction, and post-construction phases. As a first-time renovator, it was helpful to have a realistic expectation of how long the project would take. Thank you, Martha Stewart, for sharing your expertise.

    1. cropped ariel path
      Ariel Path

      Thanks, Sarah, for sharing your personal experience with our readers and for your kind words. We’re glad to hear that the information provided was helpful to you as a first-time renovator. Another tip that we would like to add to the list is to have a contingency plan in place. Unexpected issues and changes can arise during a renovation, and it’s important to have a plan in case they do. This can include having extra funds set aside for unexpected expenses or having a backup contractor ready in case of delays. Thanks for bringing this up and for your support

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