How long should a full bath remodel take??

kmarcelFebruary 2, 2012

I posted earlier this week about my indecision between a soaker or an airbath. Thank you for all the helpful responses.

I made up my mind to do the airbath and had my contractor over. What he will be doing is replacing tub with airtub, tearing up current tile around tub and on floor, removing 6' vanity, two sinks, two faucets and toilet. He will put in air tub, tile around tub (which is an alcove installation) re-tile floor, install one 6' vanity and toilet. We will do the other smaller things, such as painting, mirrors over sink and countertop people will put in the countertop.

My bathroom is 5' x 12' (including tub area) and is our only full bath - have 1/2 bath on first floor. He said this job will take 9 days. My husband is off the wall, needed to say, thinks that's ridiculous and wants me to get other estimates.

Does anyone think that is reasonable or longer than what it should be? He does not do this alone, it's his business full-time,not something he does on the side and he has an electrician who works with him as well.

Also, the tub as I mentioned is an alcove tub, which will have a skirt,therefore not continued tile from the floor up to the side of the tub.

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Your husband has been watching too much TV. Real life remodels do not happen over 48 hours time and under $1000.

Real world time lines would say that the minimum time for a bath remodel is around 7-10 days---IF everything you will need has already arrived in good condition and no emergency trips to the store to pick up last minute grout color changes or sealer etc. are needed. Some will go on MUCH longer, especially if you haven't finalized decisions or something is on back order.

You simply cannot get in a hurry. Things have to happen in sequence. Some things have to cure before proceeding to the next step. Start one step before the previous step has been finished, and you could be tearing out the whole shebang in order to fix issues.

Or, you can hire a crew to do the work round the clock at 6x the rate of even your highest bid and get it done in 3 days. IF you can even find an electrician to put in a GFI outlet at 3 a.m.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 3:12PM
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9 days is ridiculous...ridiculously short! Seriously, that remodel is going to take at least 3 weeks. I know on TV they make everything seem so quick and so easy but real remodels aren't that way.

In the long run you really want your contractor to take his/her time and do the job right. You are going to live with the quality of the job for a lonnnnnng lonnnng time, you hope. Give him the time to get the job done right.

one thing that adds to the length of a remodel is changes. things come up mid-remodel that have to be decided or couldn't have been anticipated that have to be dealt with.

By the way, are you taking the opportunity to put heated floors in your bathroom. I think you'll find that consistently folks on this thread find that is the one improvement that they are most glad they did.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 4:03PM
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I would allow 3-4 weeks for a bathroom remodel.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 4:11PM
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Wow, thanks for setting me (or my husband) straight on that. We'll have to make sure we have our plans pretty solid and not have make that many changes.

Andreadeg, I have thought about heated floors. Will have to see if budget will allow it.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 5:13PM
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Nine days is fine, perfectly appropriate. It could be done a few days faster. And it could be done several weeks slower.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 7:05PM
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Our gc estimated our full bath remodel would take 3 weeks. Of course he actually started 4 weeks late, and it actually took him almost 8 weeks (he had problems on other jobs etc). But we're not complaining...he does meticulous work and does not charge extra for every little thing.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 7:14PM
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You need to rethink your views on this entirely. Remodeling needs to be an open-ended philosophy. You do need to find out if your contractor will be doing multiple other jobs while he's doing yours, and that yours is not always the one pushed to the back. But if he's working hard and progressing on the intermediate steps you laid out, you need to step back and let

About 8 years ago we did a partial remodel in our master bath (partial wall removal, fan, toilet, floor, tiled shower). Good friends of ours recommended a contractor. He was in high demand because he was patient and made things as bullet-proof as possible. After several days into the job, I took the kids somewhere and he called me to say that he just had a bad feeling about the shower pan he was putting in. Despite whatever he tried, it just didn't feel right to him. But, he didn't want to put me back a further day or two. I said "no problem, take as long as it needs." He went out and bought a different pan that fit tightly.

If you are really pushy about deadlines, your contractor will ignore his gut feeling and just shove that pan in there with a "good enough." Is that really what you want?

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 8:24PM
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We actually got a full gut bathroom remodel done in about 9 days or less, and only two days without a toilet.

However, we live in a condo situation, it is our only bathroom, and the contractor specializes in and built his reputation on doing full, high quality remodels in a short period of time for the one full bath market. It cost roughly twice as much as the contractor we used on a bathroom project we designed for a client that took several weeks.

It was a highly choreographed operation with more than one sub in and out in a day, with daily checks by him.

You can get things fast, you can get them good, and you can get them cheap, but never all three at the same time.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 9:19PM
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Lynne Reno

Our contractor started demo on January 3rd. As of today (Feb. 2nd) the tile is almost done, then the granite top for the vanity gets installed, sinks gets installed, tile guy comes back for backsplash, plumber comes back out to hook up sinks and GC returns to frame mirror and install the medicine cabinets. I'm guessing another week or 10 days.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 1:10AM
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I agree colorfast I do need to rethink my views (actually my husband does) on this project. I am ok with it taking a couple weeks from start to finish. There will of course be a delays, i.e. countertop fabricator measuring after cabinets installed and then a wait for them to come back to install. I think probably what we're really looking at is how long to be without a shower? I will have to have another conversation with my contractor and ask that specifically, instead of length of time for the entire remodel. Thanks all.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 9:00AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Unrealistic expectations is putting it mildly. Get in a hurry, and you'll live to regret it. Give the pro's their proper respect and enough time to do the job properly, and have him take a big chill pill. Don't forget to factor in the time waiting on the inspector to come and approve the rough plumbing, electrical, water tightness of the shower pan, and any other items he has to approve. That can add a week right there.

It might be better to wait on this remodel and plan on adding a shower to the other bath first so that you aren't so inconvenienced as to having to take a spit bath.

And the funny thing is, it's usually the least handiest of white collar guys that always get their knickers in a wad and seem to think that the job is so easy and should only take a couple of days and that they trades are all cheating them. If your husband thinks it could be done faster, tell him to go ahead and have right at it. Years'll have eloped with the neighbor's husband where you've been taking showers at for two years, the bath will still be undone, and your husband will have become a hoarder who has only small routes through the trash and never bathes.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 11:53AM
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There are things that can be done/scheduled so that you can use the bathroom being remodeled. We have only 2 bathrooms in our house and frequent family guests. We asked our gc to minimize the time we would be without the 2nd toilet. He actually was able to insure that we had the use of this toilet for all but maybe 5 days during the 2 month remodel. He would take the old one out if needed and reinstall it (using temporary plywood supports) afterwards. He didn't put our new one in until the very end.

Also, we had him do the bathtub/shower first. We actually were able to use the shower after the first 4 weeks before the vanity went in or the floor was done.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 12:41PM
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I'm having a shower replaced with a swanstone floor and ceramic tiles. The guy said it will take 5 days. Though, I'm sure it's not full work days. example: day 1, demo old shower and install new plumbing. day 2, install shower floor and backer board. Day 3 tile. day 4 grout. Darn. I missed one. Maybe 2 days tiling.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 5:05PM
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One to two weeks. Don't believe those TV shows where a bath gets re-done in an hour.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 2:56PM
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Sounds reasonable to me. Things have to set up, dry out, and there is a sequence to doing things that controls the timing.

I just checked my remodel and it was about 10 days for the contractor. He was starting with a partial demolition I did to see what condition the wall was in. We replaced toilet and sinks, bathtub, installed grab bars for shower, shower head raised, alcove tiled, grouted and sealed. I painted later, much later.

There was quite a bit of drying time for the tile: the sealant on the backerboard, the tile adhesive, then the grout, then the grout sealant.

We had everything bought and on the premises before he started (tile, grout, tub, sinks, toilet and faucets), and I was available for the inevitable "look what we found, what should we do" consults.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 1:02PM
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A couple of weeks...that's if everything goes as planned and there are no "surprises"...which almost never happens in a remodel!

Tear the walls out and "surprise" a little water leak has damaged walls and floors. "Surprise", there's mold in the ceiling. Wonder why the previous plumber put that pipe there..."surprise". The fabricator calls to say your marble slab cracked..."big surprise". While you're in the process, might as well add more lighting here, more electrical there, heated floors would really be great, that nicer tile is only a few dollars more, EACH! Someone is probably going to be sick or hurt or hunting!

Anyone doing a remodel needs to chill, expect the unexpected, and know it will always cost more than you hoped it would.

In the end you will have a lovely space (hopefully) that you can enjoy for many years!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 1:12PM
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