How long does a bathroom remodel really take?

Posted June 02, 2015 by Gabriel Posternak

When it comes to estimating how much time does a bathroom remodel really takes, everyone has an opinion. Bathroom contractors will give theirs, the customers will measure them against their expectations, a friend of the customers will say that the contractor’s estimate is way too long and urge them to seek a second opinion and so on. In the end, all of the opinions will collide – and you’ll end up not knowing who to believe.

Of course, you can always trust your contractor’s estimate. After all, contractors have the expertise and the experience to give you a somewhat precise estimate. However, contractors sometimes don’t agree with each other in how much time does it take to remodel a bathroom. You know why that is? Because there are a lot of factors that can influence how much time is needed.

First and foremost, the total time will depend on how deep your bathroom remodeling project will go. If you just want minor aesthetic changes, a few days should be enough. But if you’re thinking about a larger project (one that involves plumbing or tile work), then the equation gets more complicated. To fully understand how much time it can take, let’s break down a complete bathroom remodel project into smaller parts.

  • Demolition – normally takes 2 days to remove and clean everything. Keep in mind, though, that such time can be extended if moving materials out is harder than normal (a bathroom on a second story)
  • Plumbing – between 1 and 2 days in normal conditions and depending on bathroom size. If you’re going to move the tub and toilet, then definitely consider the 2 days for your estimate
  • Electrical1 day. Bathrooms usually don’t need much work in the electrical department. A few lights and sockets is all you’ll probably need, a work that takes no more than a few hours to a good electrician
  • Insulation – a key component on any bathroom, a fast insulation job is usually done in a day.
  • Drywall – once the insulation is up, it’s time to go ahead by hanging drywall, which will certainly take a day of your project. Once that’s done, it’ll be the time to finish the drywall (i.e. applying joint compound, letting dry and sanding), which means you’ll have to add at least 2 more days to your count.
  • Flooring – depends on the floor you’ve chosen. If you are going the way of the vinyl, then half a day should do it. Tiles and engineered wood will certainly take more, sometimes up to 2 days to finish
  • Cabinetry – bathroom cabinets are usually finished quickly since there isn’t much work here anyway. Add 1 day to your estimate.
  • Fixtures – probably one of the easiest and swiftest works on any bathroom remodel, installing them shouldn’t take more than a day.


  • Contingencies – Add 2 days to your estimate just in case. You’ll never know what problems you might bump into that can delay your remodel. It’s better to be prepared from the get-go than to suffer during the project. Besides, if you end up not needing these extra days, you’ll be glad that your bathroom is completed sooner than you think!
A few extra considerations

If you’ve done the math with the numbers above, you’ll see that, according to it, a bathroom remodel should be finished in roughly two weeks. However, there are other things that we haven’t discussed yet that can make your remodel take a little more time.

For instance, the above didn’t consider the rough carpentry, just because not every bathroom needs it (your current bathroom may have a solid underlying structure that’s better left untouched). In case you need to replace that, you’ll be looking to 2 extra days.

Additionally, we also didn’t take tilework into account, because some people chose not to do so. But if you do, then you’ll be needing 3 more days. That’s because all tilework-related tasks are pretty similar to those of the drywall – applying, drying – that takes some waiting time.

Finally,  you’ll have a huge factor we don’t want to overlook here – size. Size is a defining factor for estimating the time of a remodel. A large bathroom can extend some of the times stated above, while a smaller bathroom might cut them. However, that’s not always the case. A large bathroom can fit more people working at the same time, while a smaller bathroom might not give you this possibility.

All in all, you’re looking to at least 3 weeks of work – and that’s without unexpected complications that can appear from nowhere. Be that as it may, 3 week is a lot of time for having contractors stomping around your home – especially if you don’t have a second bathroom. That’s why you should keep in mind that, when remodeling yours, you’ll have to spend almost a month of a disruptive remodeling that, nevertheless, it’s one of the most rewarding home improvement projects.

Posted June 02, 2015
by Gabriel Posternak.


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