It takes 20 – 25 days to remodel a small bathroom, approximately.
Considering weekends are usually non-working days, these 25 days are spread over 4 1/2 to 5 weeks.
The duration primarily depends on the kind of changes you want to incorporate into the space. If it’s a minor change like replacing the old tile under the bathtub with a new backer board, you can get it done in less than a week. However, if there are too many things to take care— plumbing, electric work, or a complete overhaul—the project could last about 3-4 weeks.
To figure out how long it takes to remodel a small bathroom, you must know the various types of changes, the different phases of the project, and the factors affecting the duration. In this article, we are going to discuss all of these and more.
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Changes in Small Bathroom Remodel and Their Timelines
Remodeling a small bathroom can involve various steps and aspects that can help you determine the required timeline. To provide you with a detailed estimate of the duration, we are covering some of the elements along with the time it takes to finish them.
Demolition (3-7 days)
The first step of a small bathroom remodel is to demolish the old structure and make way for the new layout. You get rid of the old fittings, remove tiles from the floor and walls, window frames, etc. If you want to install a structural beam, you do it at this stage. Ideally, the demolition of a small bathroom takes about 2-3 days. But if you want a partial demolition to retain old cabinets or vanities, it might take about a week.
Tile Installation (1-2 days)
This stage involves attaching tile slabs to the floor and letting them dry. For a small bathroom, the tile work will take about two days. The tile cement usually hardens overnight and all you’re left to do is apply grout.
One thing to keep in mind is that smaller tiles take longer to apply than larger tiles. If your bathroom has a lot of strange edges, the tiler might have to make cuts and that can lengthen the process.
Framing (1-2 days)
Framing your bathroom walls should take a day or two unless you’re changing the size of the door or window. In that case, you’ll need an extra day to alter the frame measurements and install the new door or window.
Ventilation (2-3 days)
If you’re installing a new ventilation system install, you might have to create a hole somewhere in the house to connect it to an existing vent. This can be done in a day or two unless there’s an issue with the wiring or the electrical work.
Plumbing Changes (2-7 days)
After tearing down the old structure, you need to take care of the plumbing changes which will give you a clear picture of where everything will go in your new bathroom. It should take two days for the plumbing to be done. However, if there are major changes like replacing pipes or changing the location of the toilet, sink, or tub, you can add one week to two weeks to your schedule. From installing a new shower to handling minor fixtures, everything can be sorted during the plumbing stage.
Electrical Work + Insulation (1-2 days)
The next step after plumbing is to fix the wiring for electrical outlets. Unless you’re installing new light fixtures, the wiring process should take just a few hours. As small bathrooms have only one or two walls, the insulation process can be done in a day. The most common types of insulation are spray foam and fiberglass batts which take very less time to put in place.
One exception could be insulation inspection, which is a requirement in certain regions. This might delay the process as there is no fixed timeline for the inspectors’ visit.
Drywall (1-3 days)
Once the insulation is done, you can finish the drywall in a day or two. Adding new boards, taping them, and sanding the seams might take a little extra time.
Painting (1 day)
Painting a small bathroom is a pretty straightforward process, which gets done in just a day.
Decor additions (1 day)
This step comes after your bathroom remodel is complete. This involves you adding caddies, bath towels, stools, and other accessories to turn your small bathroom into a cozy sanctuary.
Factors Affecting the Remodeling Time for a Small Bathroom
There are several factors that come into the picture when you’re estimating the remodel time for a small bathroom. Let’s check them out.
Scope of the Project
A small bathroom remodeling could mean a complete overhaul of the space or a minor change like replacing pipes or altering the wallpapers. A complete makeover from scratch would definitely require 3-4 weeks while a minor fix could be done in just a day or two. Another aspect that needs to be considered is the size of the room. The average size of a small bathroom is 35-40 sq. ft. but in some cases, it can be a little smaller than that. A smaller space will naturally require less time to get remodeled.
The kind of materials you use also determines the length of a project. Materials that can be locally sourced usually arrive quickly but if you order imported goods, it can take weeks and sometimes even a month to reach you. Special orders or custom goods also take time as they need to be manufactured separately.
The duration of a project highly depends on the efficiency of the contractor. If your contractors hire subcontractors, your remodel will depend on the availability of the workers. This, in turn, can delay the entire process.
Permit and Inspection Procedures
Approval time and inspection procedures vary from region to region. There’s no fixed timeline for such processes and they can range anywhere between a week and 2-3 months.
DIY vs. Professional
Many homeowners take a small bathroom remodel into their own hands, as the space is smaller and manageable. However, DIY projects usually take much longer, assuming you’d only work on weekends or have to squeeze in work time. A job that takes 2-3 weeks for a team of professionals to complete can go up to a year, if you decide to DIY.
Whichever way you choose, DIY or hiring contractors, you need to be prepared for unexpected circumstances. Workers might fall sick and the project could come to a halt, the most relevant example being the pandemic. But you can also smooth out the technical bits of the process like making payments on time, being available for discussions regarding changes, avoiding too many alterations, and so on. We hope our article comes in handy when you estimate the timeline for your next bathroom remodel project.