How Long Does a Bathroom Renovation Take?

white bathroom with a bathtub

Every renovation project is different. The characteristics of a bathroom and your vision of the space make for an absolutely unique combination that creates a distinct adventure.

Understanding the typical details of a home improvement project may help you to plan better, especially when it comes to scheduling and budget. Get to know the standard timeline of a bathroom renovation project and work out the details of your own renovation.

Below, we worked out the basic schedule of trades for a typical bathroom renovation. At the bottom, we’ve estimated the total weeks it would take depending on which type of builder you engage.

Planning and Design - 1 to 4 weeks

Like any major and complex project, it’s always best to have a clear idea of what you want and how you intend to get there. You should develop a plan for your bathroom renovation. Take some time to consider what’s most important for you and your family, and how you want the renovated space to work for you.

There are lots of things to think about when you are planning to renovate your bathroom. We give you a few suggestions to help you get the look you are after without breaking the bank.

  1. Think about your current bathroom plumbing and electricity;
  2. Make a list of your bathroom likes and dislikes;
  3. Think about your bathroom's finishing touches;
  4. Measure up your bathroom walls, windows and doors;
  5. Think about the positioning of towels rails and toilet roll holders;

These steps take between one and four weeks to complete on a typical bathroom remodel:

  • Prepare initial design or gather ideas for the renovation.
  • Meet with potential contractors - set up appointments at your home or take the floor plan and plenty of pictures into the contractor's showroom to work on the design and budget together
  • Choose materials, fixtures and finishes

White sink with a vanity Cabinet with white marble floor

Ordering and Delivery of Materials - 1 to 8 weeks

Before you shop for vanities and choose the material for your countertops, make sure you have a well-thought-out plan for your bathroom renovation.

The time of this second stage covers depends on the type of materials selected for your project. Standard items, such as vanities, cabinetry, basic plumbing fixtures and plain ceramic tile may be ordered and delivered to your home within five business days. Other special orders or customized items could be anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks in production, with more time required for delivery.

However, if you are looking for a custom vanity or cabinetry, KOAST can design and ship them in 3 days.

Actual Construction - 2 to 4 weeks

The following stages make up the construction stage:

Demolition

This can be done while you're waiting for material delivery, but only if another bathroom is available. The first thing a builder is going to look at is the existing space and what materials it is built from. This will give an indication of the timing for the demolition stage. Demolition generally takes one or two days.

Plumbing Rough Ins and Rough Carpentry

The plumber needs to rough in pipes and drains before the skeleton of your bathroom is created. Rough carpentry provides support where necessary. This portion requires at least two days, and often more than four if you plan to move major fixtures.

Electrical

You’ll also discuss your lighting needs with the designer. For instance, where you would like the power points to be in the new bathroom. The electrician does the rough-in near the beginning of the renovation, just after demolition and returns to fit-off after the tiling is done.

The electrician wires up lighting and power behind the scenes, usually within one day.

Insulation

Insulation keeps this room warm and protects plumbing in four-season climates. Putting up insulation takes just a few hours.

Drywall and Mudding

Once the insulation is up, drywall can be hung and mudded. Hanging drywall takes just one day, but the mud application and sanding require at least three more days.

Preparing for Tiling (walls and showers)

Depending on the tiles you’ve selected, larger sizes will need straighter walls than smaller ones. Wall needs to be straightened and strengthened. This will take between 2 to 4 days depending on the size of the room.

Sheeting and Waterproofing

Sheeting the wall and ceilings will require 1-2 days. Once the sheets are installed, the waterproofer comes in and waterproofs the room as required. This ensures a tight water seal for years to come and no leaking showers. Waterproofing takes at least 24 hours to completely dry, this can be at least a 2-day process for 2-3 coats.

Tiling and Flooring Installation

In a bathroom, the tiles aren’t only on the floors. They are also on the walls, and you’ve got lots of options.

For instance, you could choose floor-to-ceiling tiles on all walls or simply tile the shower and vanity splashback with a tile skirt around the floor. Tile, vinyl or engineered wood provides a beautiful finish to your bathroom renovation. The tiling takes between 5 to 7 days.

Cabinet Installation

Vanities and wall cabinets are mounted next, often within one day.

Plumbing Fit Off

Fixtures get hooked up last, with toilet installation, sink and faucet hook up closing out the project in one or two days.

Electrical Fit Off

The electrician is now back to install the light fittings, fans, switches and heated towel ladder. This will take switches

Finishing Stages - 2 or 3 Days

You'll need to leave a few days of grace for miscellaneous issues, tasks and general clean up. Washing the floors, hanging light fixtures, putting up exhaust fans and hanging mirrors will put the finishing touches on your bathroom renovation.

Once everything is in place, your bathroom is now ready for a final clean.