Updated: Mar 29
Bathroom remodeling is a common home improvement project that can add value to a home, increase functionality, and create a more relaxing and enjoyable space.
However, the remodeling process can be overwhelming and complicated, especially if it’s your first time.
In this article, we will guide you step by step through the typical remodeling process for a bathroom under 100 square feet, though actual tasks and times will vary from project to project.
Planning and Design - The first step in any bathroom remodeling project is to plan and design the space.
This includes, deciding on a budget, creating a layout, selecting materials, and choosing fixtures and accessories.
While you don't have to finalize everything during this phase, waiting and changing plans later on can lead to delays and increased costs if not handled correctly.
It will be important to take into consideration the existing plumbing and electrical systems and consult with a professional if needed to ensure you get a holistic plan in place.
Some questions to ask yourself during this stage include:
What is my budget for the project?
What style do I want for my bathroom?
Do I want to keep the same layout or make changes?
What fixtures and accessories do I want to include?
What is most important to me during this process?
This is going to be the most important step of the entire process, so don’t take it lightly and try to wing it as you go. The better you plan, the more likely you are to complete your project on time and under budget.
If you need help with planning and designing your bathroom remodel, please feel free to reach out and we can connect you with a trusted interior designer.
Full demolition - During this process, everything will be removed as determined in your planning and design sessions, from bathtub, walls, floor, ceiling, fixtures, toilet, sinks, etc; then dispose of all trash and debris in a dumpster to be hauled off.
If necessary, the bathroom will be taken down to the studs, meaning nothing is left except the basic frame of the bathroom.
During most bathroom remodels, this is necessary in order to inspect and update the plumbing and electrical components before the new walls are installed.
Before the demolition even begins, barriers, walkways, and various other home protection systems should be set up to protect your home from any damage, dust, and debris.
Depending on the extent of the demo needed and the size of the bathroom, this will typically take 1-3 days.
Bathroom prep - Once the space is demoed, it will take some time to prepare the bathroom by adding/moving any walls or doors, replacing subfloors, or making any repairs as necessary, such as, water damage, mold, or structural issues.
Again, depending on the size of the bathroom, layout changes, and the extent of any damages, this could take another 1-3 days.
Plumbing and Electrical - While the bathroom is completely stripped down to the studs, this is the time for any plumbing and electrical work to be performed since everything inside the walls, ceiling, and floor is easily accessible.
A licensed and insured plumber and electrician should perform these tasks to ensure everything is up to code and set up properly.
This is also the time to make any changes to the location of plumbing and lighting fixtures before the walls go up. Once the walls go up, making changes will add significant time and money to the project.
On most occasions, plan on it only taking a day or less for each of the plumber and the electrician to complete their work, depending on the extent of the remodel and where fixtures are being moved.
Walls and ceiling - Once the plumbing and electrical components are complete, the walls and ceiling can be put up using drywall for the normal walls and waterproof boards and sealant for the bath and shower areas.
While this may seem like a simple process, it can take 2-3 days to complete because the walls and ceiling will need to have joint tape and mud applied to cover the corners, holes, and imperfections.
The mud will then need to dry and get sanded smooth, then the process will need to be repeated another 1-2 times until the walls reach the desired texture.
In addition to the drywall, the waterproof boards will need to be sealed to ensure the bath and shower area is 100% waterproof.
Shower and bath tile - Once the walls are up and the surface is smooth, the focus will be on tiling the bath and shower area.
The process of tiling will be accomplished in multiple stages.
1) Applying the adhesive and tile, then allowing it to dry, 2) applying grout in between the tiles, then allowing it to dry, 3) wiping down the tiles to remove excess grout, and 4) sealing the grout and tub/shower area to ensure 100% waterproofing.
Depending on the type, amount, and size of the tile, this can be a fairly extensive process that could take anywhere from 1-4 days to complete, and in some cases longer.
Just be aware, the smaller and more intricate tile designs will take much longer to install than large rectangle or square tiles.
Flooring - The next step will involve laying the flooring.
If you choose tile, which would be recommended for bathrooms, then the process will be very similar to the shower and bath tiling process.
However, flooring should be completed much quicker than the shower and bath tile, ranging from 1-2 days to complete.
Toilet, cabinets, and countertops - Once the flooring is laid and ready for foot traffic, the toilet, vanities, and countertops can be installed.
If the vanity and cabinets are pre-built and then installed, this process should only take a day, but if they are custom-built on-site, expect an additional 2-3 days.
Doors and trim - Then doors can be hung, which shouldn’t take too much time and then trim can be attached to the door and window frames, the base of the walls, and crown molding if applicable.
Overall, this entire process should only take a day.
Paint - With the walls, ceiling, and trim all in place, paint can then be applied. This will typically include one coat of primer and two coats of your primary color.
So, when you take into account the drying time in between coats, it can easily take 1-2 days to complete.
Fixtures - Finally, the fixtures can be attached, including things like shower doors and enclosures, sinks, faucets, lighting, knobs/handles, towel bars, and so on.
This part of the process should take roughly 1-2 days to complete.
Clean and inspection - the last step is to perform a full inspection of the project to ensure everything is complete, and then clean the area thoroughly to ensure the home is left in better condition than before the project.
Again, depending on the size and complexity of the bathroom and the number of people working on the job, this is a process that should usually take 2-6 weeks to complete.
A bathroom remodel can be a rewarding project that can transform an outdated or inefficient space into a beautiful and functional oasis, but there is a lot that goes into the process.
By getting familiar with these steps and timelines, you can ensure that your bathroom remodeling project is completed safely and efficiently, and that the end result is a space that you can enjoy for years to come.
Remember to plan carefully, hire professionals for any necessary work, and select high-quality materials that will stand up to the wear and tear of daily use.