How Long It Takes to Remodel a Bathroom

Luxurious Modern Bathroom 470649469
Luxurious Modern Bathroom. Getty / ML Harris

The full-scale tear out and rebuild of a small bathroom should not take long.

When all working parts mesh correctly, you can expect a bathroom to be fully remodeled in a total of 23 days.  Assuming that no work is done on weekends, this translates to 4.5 weeks.

Is This Reality, Though?

The timetable below assumes that all tradesmen show up on time, no one gets sick, materials are readily available, and you--the homeowner--do not issue any change orders that slow down progress.

More importantly, this is a cumulative timetable.  In other words, dead days have been removed and all work days have been pushed together so that no gaps remain.  It assumes that the minute one person is finished, the next person steps in immediately.

Because reality rarely cooperates with plans, you can safely double the cumulative time to 46 days.  Translated to business days, this is 9 weeks.

TASKALLOTTED TIME (DAYS)NOTES
Demolition2Tedious work that may take longer if bathroom is on a second story or otherwise difficult to move materials out of.
Rough Carpentry2Optional: You may not need any carpentry if the underlying structure is in good shape.
Plumbing Rough-In1-2Plan on the full 2 days or more if you are moving services like tub and toilet.
Electrical Rough-In1-2A good professional electrician can move swiftly, so it would be unusual for this to go more than a day.  Rough-in means to run the electrical lines but stop short of hooking up the final connections.
First Inspection1The first inspection prior to buttoning up the work with drywall goes fast and should only add one day to the total timetable.  However, since scheduling inspectors can be a problem, this may slow down the remodel by a week or two.
Insulation.5Insulating a bathroom should go very fast, as only one or two short walls are involved.
Hang Drywall1Drywall may be begun the minute insulation is up.
Finish Drywall2Finishing means applying joint compound, letting dry, sanding, and sometimes repeating.
Paint1Painting a bathroom while it is still in its bare state is relatively simple and fast.  Except for the ceiling, no masking is required.
Final Inspection1Like the first inspection, final inspection itself does not take very long--perhaps less than 20 minutes for each inspector.  However, scheduling the inspector may slow down your work.
Tilework2Optional: you may not be doing tilework, but like drywall, there is the applying/drying cycle that takes time.
Cabinetry1There tends to be minimal cabinetwork in bathrooms, so this should go quickly.
Flooring2Plain vinyl floor could go down in a morning; tile, engineered wood, and the like will take longer.
Hookups, Fixtures, Etc.2Hooking up toilet, sink, etc.
Miscellaneous1.5Allow time for contingencies.
TOTAL23--