a happy couple smiling in their bathroom

Remodeling can be a great investment. It can improve your quality of life, your comfort, and increase your home’s value. However, one concern homeowners have is how long it takes to remodel a bathroom.

When you remodel your home, there’s a good chance that the room or areas you remodel will be out of commission for a while. This can impact your schedule and living arrangements in a big way - especially if your household is busy, with multiple schedules and multiple kids to coordinate.

Knowing how long it will take you from start to finish to remodel your bathroom allows you to plan the best time to undertake the project. For example, if your mornings are busiest during your kids’ school year, timing a remodel so that it takes place during the summer can alleviate some of the stress.

To help you plan, we’ve compiled this guide. We’ll walk you through the factors that go into the remodel timeline, and how to plan out a remodeling schedule.

Total Remodel vs. Superficial Remodel

The extent to which you wish to change your bathroom can have a huge effect on how long the remodel takes. If you’re totally stripping down the bathroom to its studs and starting fresh, this remodel can take 6+ weeks. If you’re adding a fresh coat of paint, new tile, and a few new fixtures, the remodel can be done in as short as 2 weeks.

For a simple remodel, you can do it in phases as well. If your kids are at the grandparents’ house for a weekend or two, this is a great opportunity to make small steps towards a simple remodel. For example, painting one weekend, and replacing fixtures the next. With this approach, your normal life goes on with fewer interruptions.

DIY vs. Contractor Remodel

Doing a bathroom remodel entirely on your own can be an exciting project to undertake. In some cases, DIY projects can save you money. However, they require a large time investment. You may only be able to get work done during the evenings and weekends, and life can get in the way. DIY remodels can take as long as a year to complete.

If you are remodeling a guest bathroom or one that doesn’t get a lot of use – this could be a feasible option. But if your space is used at capacity by your busy family, as is the case with most families, a one-year project is not an ideal timeline.

Hiring a contractor, on the other hand, means that a professional comes in and gets the job done with a team of workers. This is the fastest route – especially if your contractor is hiring subcontractors – like electricians, plumbers, etc. If your contractor is doing all the work themselves, the process can sometimes take a bit longer, as they might have multiple clients at one time.

There’s always a combination of the two: maybe there are some steps you’d like to do on your own, but you plan on bringing an electrician and a plumber in for the technical work. Either way, this can change how long it takes to remodel your bathroom, so keep that in mind.

Planning Out Your Bathroom Remodel Schedule

Here’s a list of the key stages for a bathroom remodel and approximately how long each step takes. These times are based on an experienced contractor doing the work. If you’ve decided to go with a DIY remodel, the time it takes to do each step will depend on your skill level.

Your remodel may not require every one of these steps. For example, you may not need carpentry if your overall bathroom structure is in good shape and you’re not planning to change it much for the renovation. If you have a contractor, you can run down the list with them and figure out what steps you will and won’t need.

  1. Demolition – 2-3 days
  2. Clean up – 1-2 days
  3. Carpentry – 1-2 days
  4. Plumbing – 1-2 days
  5. Electrical – 1-2 days
  6. First Inspection: Electrical – 1 day
  7. Drywall installation, finishing, and painting preparation – 3-4 days
  8. Painting – 2-3 days
  9. Tile prep, installation, grout work – 8-10 days
  10. Cabinetry – 1-2 days
  11. Lighting fixtures – 1-2 days
  12. Final cleanup, hardware installation, and final design touches – 1-2 days
  13. Hookups – 1-2 days
  14. Final Inspection – 1 day

Be sure to factor in the time it will take to plan and schedule things. For example, getting an inspector to come in can take a week or two to schedule. In addition, things happen. You may be delayed by a contractor getting sick or calling out. It’s a good idea to factor in a few extra days for contingency’s sake.

Overall, with a contractor, a remodel should ideally take no more than six weeks. Again, if you’re planning a DIY remodel, that can multiply the total several times over.

Does Remodeling Fit Into Your Life?

Understanding how much and for how long a remodel will interrupt your life is essential to decide if it’s right for your family. Also, the financial aspect of a remodel is important to consider. Fortunately, homeowners can fund the remodel in several ways, including utilizing their home equity for a loan or line of credit.

If you’re still contemplating whether remodeling is the right choice for you, check out our blog post on remodeling your home versus moving.

Deciding Between Remodeling or Moving