How Long Does it Take to Remodel a Bathroom? (Time, Cost & Effort Explained)


Remodeling a bathroom makes a world of difference to the comfort of your home. But before doing it, it’s a good idea to know what you’re getting into. Today, I’ll explain everything you need to know about remodeling a bathroom.

As a general rule, it takes 2 weeks minimum to remodel a bathroom. But, this is provided it’s done by professionals, & that they have all parts & components readily available, & that all of the subcontractors are lined up. On average, it costs $6,345 to $19,016 to remodel a medium-sized bathroom. 

Accounting for realistic delays it would likely take about 1 month. However, many people have done one a lot sooner. Below, I’ll provide a cost breakdown for each of the things that need to get done, as well as, how long it takes depending on what kind of bathroom you have, based on what professionals and DIYers have reported.

How Long Does it Really Take to Remodel a Bathroom?

If everything goes according to plan, a full remodel should take 2 weeks to complete. Of course, this is going to depend largely on the size, type, and location of your bathroom from other parts of the house such as plumbing, etc. But to give you an idea of how long your bathroom remodel might take, here’s what members of the public have said about their bathroom remodels…

Many people have reported it taking only 2 weeks to remodel their bathrooms when working on them during the evenings and weekends only.

And here are some estimates people have given based on their own experiences:

  • 1 day to do the demolition and clean up
  • 1 day to prep the floors, walls, and shower pan
  • 3 days to tile the shower
  • 2 days to install the floors and walls
  • 1 day for any plumbing work
  • 1 day to place the vanity

In total, this is about 10 working days or 2 weeks. But we all know things go wrong and cause delays, right?! Let’s consider what can make that timeline move further apart…

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What Can Cause Delays in a Bathroom Remodel?

Here’s a quote from someone who remodeled their bathroom themselves:

“It ended up being a full renovation. Working by myself, took about 3-4 weeks. I think it took so long because I have never done this before and I would just check and double-check everything.”

It’s well known in new builds and renovations that things often take much longer than expected. There are a range of reasons why this can occur:

  • It can take longer than anticipated to source the materials
  • It can take longer to remove everything in the existing bathroom
  • It can take longer to coordinate with subcontractors
  • Unforeseen problems may occur when removing old components, such as revelation of damp, or damaged walls, etc.

At certain times there can be momentary shortages of certain things such as tiles, or vanity units. Or there can also be something specific that you really like, that needs to get custom made. These can all add days to weeks, where there’s nothing to do but wait around.

Also, when you remove the existing components of a bathroom such as the tiles, or vanity unit you can find that they weren’t installed exactly right. Or, the person who installed them was a novice and took ‘shortcuts’. (This is the one that I find the most frustrating!

This can make it take much longer to remove existing fixtures, or it might require more work than anticipated to fix the damage caused by not installing it correctly.

For example, tiles could have been installed incorrectly. Often, this is where not enough tiling adhesive has been placed underneath the tiles, or something similar. When this is the case it can require MUCH more effort to remove them.

When working with subcontractors such as electricians or plumbers, it’s common to have to wait until they have some free time, or schedule them in advance.

They can also have delays themselves, that require you to wait for them. All of these days, half days, and hours can add up to things not quite going as planned, despite the best planning in the world. Soon the estimated time it takes can be a week or a month longer.

For planning purposes, it’s best to allow a bare minimum of 2 weeks for a complete bathroom remodel. But to be on the safe side, plan for an additional 2 extra weeks for any unexpected delays so that you are prepared.

Now that you’ve set some time aside for your bathroom remodel, it’s time to take think about the cost and how much to budget for. Firstly, the time of year you plan to do your remodel can affect how much it will cost you…

The Ideal Time of Year to Remodel a Bathroom

  • If you’re getting the remodel done by a contractor – The busiest time for contractors is over the summer, so to get the best deal for a professional remodel, it’s best to get it done in fall or winter time. At this time of year, contractors are typically the least busy, so you can negotiate a better price based on getting quotes from different contractors too. 
  • If you’re doing the remodel yourself – If you’re remodeling the bathroom yourself, then summer is an ideal time. There are more sunlight hours, and you don’t need to worry about rain so much when getting new fixtures like the shower or vanity delivered. Dryer weather helps speed up the process too as there is less waiting time for things to set and/or dry before moving onto the next step.

Cost Breakdown for Remodeling a Bathroom

There are a range of different things that need to get done when remodeling a bathroom. The first of which is the demolition/ripping out of existing features. And then there is the installation of the new stuff. These are going to include:

  • Shower – optional bathtub
  • Floors
  • Walls – painting and modifying
  • Vanity unit
  • Lighting
  • Toilet

Here’s a table that shows a broad overview of each, and how much each of them costs:

Installation & MaterialsCost
Rip out existing fixtures and flooring$1,000 to $3,000
New shower$3,118 – $9,944
New floors$300 to $1,800
New lighting$1200 to $2800
New vanity$477 to $722
New toilet$250 to $750
Total$6,345 to $19,016

From the table, you can see that the materials and installation for a complete bathroom remodel is in the range of $6,345 to $19,016. This cost can be brought down a lot if you do some or all of the installation and demolition yourself. 

Below, I’ll provide a breakdown of the cost of the components and the cost of labor. That way you can see how much can be saved if you do the labor yourself.

Cost to Rip Out Everything/Demolition

There are two options for remodeling. You can either keep some or all of the fixtures, or you can rip out everything and replace all of it. The total cost to remove everything and start fresh is on average: $1,000 to $3,000 for a medium to small-sized bathroom.

Money Saving Tip: This entire amount can be saved if you choose to rip it all out yourself.

New Shower Install & Cost of Materials

The cost of a new shower, and to have it fully installed is $3,118 – $9,944. Here’s the cost breakdown:

  • Labor to install shower – $400 to $1,000
  • Shower – $2,118 to $8,944
  • Materials and labor to install plumbing – $600 to $1,600

According to Home Advisor each of the different things required to install a new shower are as follows:

Materials for the ShowerCost
Actual shower (not including shower door)$700 to 1,600
Shower fixtures (shower head and turning knobs)$50 to $900
Shower door$600 to $1,350

Cost to Buy and Install a New Toilet

Buying and installing a new toilet is one of the cheapest parts of remodeling a bathroom. On average, the cost for a brand new toilet including having it installed costs $250 to $750. This includes any plumbing work. 

But since it’s a remodel, all of the existing plumbing will be in place already. Toilets do range in size however, they can be wider or stick out more. Therefore, take this into account when buying a new toilet and planning how close it will be to any fixtures next to it. The further away the new toilet will be from the original plumbing, the higher the cost of installation will be.

Cost of Brand New Lighting: Installation and Fixtures

In an average-sized bathroom, you’ll need four light fixtures. Each light fixture is $100 to $480. Then the cost to wire and install all 4 light fixtures is $400 to $2000. Therefore, the total cost for brand new light fixtures will be $500 to $2480.

The amount of lights you need is calculated using what are called foot candles. (Another common measurement is lumen).

In a bathroom, you need approximately 70 to 80 ‘foot candles’ of light. This is 70 to 80 candles per sq foot. A large-sized bathroom is 10 ft by about 10 ft. (or 100 sq feet). So you need about 7,000 to 8,000 candles per bathroom.

An average light fixture is 1500 to 1700 lumen. So you need about 4 light fixtures total.

Cost of New Tiles in a Bathroom

Tiles are the ideal floor for a bathroom. Another good option is linoleum which is a VERY low-cost way to floor your bathroom. However, tiles have a much better look and are much longer lasting.

The average cost to tile a bathroom, including labor and materials is $2000, but it can range from $450 to $10,000. Per square foot, the average cost to install tiles and the materials is $12.50 per square foot.

The Cost of a Brand New Vanity for a Bathroom

The cost to buy a brand new vanity and install it is on average $477 to $722. A new vanity is one of the cheapest things that need to get done to remodel a bathroom. But, it does take nearly a full day to install it.  

How Long Does It Take To Redo a Shower

Many homeowners don’t redo the whole bathroom, but just want to spruce it up a little. Upgrading just the shower can make a big difference to the look and feel of a bathroom.

But before redoing a shower, it’s a good idea to know what’s involved, such as how long it takes and how much it costs. So, here’s a rundown of how long it takes to redo a shower.

On average, it takes about 5 and a half days to redo a shower. It takes 1 day to remove the existing shower, 1 day to prepare the floors, walls, and shower pan, 3 days to tile the shower, and 1 day of plumbing work.

If it’s a large shower such as a walk-in shower, or specialist fixtures and tiles are used, it can take half a day or more longer. So about a week, at the most about 2 weeks, unless it’s a very complex design.

John

I love fixing up my own home and I set up this blog to help others do the same.

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