Along with the question of cost, the amount of time it takes to remodel a bathroom is a regular ask. Obviously there are dozens, if not hundreds, of variables. Almost any Contractor, Interior Designer, or Trade Contractor will give the universal answer: “well it depends…”. We want to shed some light on this topic today. Just how long does a bathroom remodel take?
Size and Scope Affect How Long a Bathroom Remodel Takes
The first thing to consider when trying to determine timeframe is the size of your bathroom. Clearly a larger space will take more time than a smaller one. There are tradeoffs to this rule: a small bathroom means only one person is really able to be effective at a time. While in a larger bathroom you could have two, three, or even four people working at once. But do you really need that many people working all at the same time?
The answer to that question depends on the second factor: scope of work. If you are just giving your hall bathroom a little polish and shine with a new countertop, updated plumbing fixtures, and maybe a tile floor, you can expect things to go pretty quickly. One or two carpenters will knock that job out in a hurry.
Now if you are planning on remodeling your entire bathroom down to the studs, obviously things are going to take longer. You are adding multiple phases and trades to the project. This would add time whether it is a tiny bathroom or a huge master suite. A good Contractor will recommend taking most of the sheetrock off in a full-gut-remodel. There are a few reasons for this:
- giving full access to plumbing and electrical
- ensuring complete insulation throughout the bathroom
- finding and mitigating any potential framing issues with the proposed layout
- to make the finished product a true transformation for you, the customer
What is Behind the Walls
The age of your house will potentially have a huge affect on the schedule. Older homes are subject to dry rot and water damage in Vancouver and surrounding areas. Water areas like a bathroom doubly so. During the demolition phase, the Contractor may find damaged framing or rotten subfloor. If this happens you must replace it or address it then and there!
Small beginnings of rot or damage can be mitigated chemically with copper naphthenate or an epoxy based product. But for the most part, the best course is to cut out and replace the damaged area to stop the spread and maintain the integrity of the structure.
If after demolition you discover that your house is ship-shape and there is no rot or damage to be found, great! The next consideration is what your design says is going in the bathroom. If you are swapping that old yellowed fiberglass tub/shower unit for a full blown tile shower will a gorgeous glass enclosure, you have weight to think about. Can your existing structure handle the considerable weight of the tile and the glass? If not, it may mean additional framing work below the floor to ensure structural safety. This will obviously take a few extra days to address.
How Much Finish Work?
The final primary factor affecting the construction schedule is the finishes. Are you doing a simple tile shower with wood baseboard throughout the bathroom? Then you are looking at a week or so of “finish” work.
Let’s say you saw that HGTV episode of Chip and Joanna and you want a large walk-in tile shower, beautiful wainscoting, and framed mirrors below your Tiffany sconces. Let’s add a few more weeks of work: 100 linear feet of baseboard takes a little less time than 100 linear feet of wainscoting.
Typical Time Lines for a Bathroom Remodel
* Small bath: 30-60 square feet = 2-4 weeks
* Large bath: 70-150 square feet = 4-8 weeks
I hope this helps you understand where time is going for your bathroom remodel.