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How long does it take to renovate a bathroom?

Ready for a brand new look for the smallest room in the house? Whether it's a quick paint and tile refresh or a sparkling new suite and flooring, here's how long it all takes.

Guest Author
Words by: Matilda Battersby


An ordinary bathroom renovation project is estimated to take around six weeks to complete, according to bathroom specialists Victoria Plum.

That includes:

  • removing your existing bathroom features

  • plumbing

  • re-wiring

  • installing new electrics

  • replastering

  • tiling floors and walls

  • and painting

But if you don't need to go the whole hog, there are ways to trim that time down.

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Refresh tiles and paint - 1 week

The cheapest and fastest way to refresh a bathroom is to keep your existing bathroom features and flooring.

If the loo, sink and shower or bath are in reasonably good condition, then a bathroom makeover can be done in around a week.

Refreshing wall tiles, a lick of paint and hanging new mirrors can work wonders with a small budget in a short time frame.

Replacing sanitaryware, tiles and paint – 3-4 weeks

If you're after a new look and style for the smallest room in the house and want to install new bathroom features, here's what to allow for:

  • Removing the sink, loo, shower/bath and tiles - 1 week

  • Installation of new pipes - 2-3 days

  • First-fix electrics - 3-4 days

  • Replastering walls 1-2 days

  • Laying new flooring - 2-3 days

  • Installing a new sink, loo and shower/bath - 1 week

  • Tiling the walls - 2-7 days (depending on tile size - the bigger the tiles, the faster the job)

Discovering a rotten board under the floor and having to deal with leaking pipes are common during bathroom renovations. So be ready to factor the extra time in.

Complete refit moving everything around – 6 weeks 

If you want to shift the arrangement for the loo, sink and bath around, your renovation is going to take longer.

Equally if you're knocking down a wall between a small loo and bathroom to create a family bathroom, you'll need to allow 5-6 weeks.

A bathroom layout is largely dictated by the location of the soil pipe. So unless you want things to become very costly, try and keep your toilet close to where it was before.

You’ll need to allow extra time to move pipes and to deal with any surprises which might occur when everything has been ripped out.

Installing a bathroom into a new room – 6 weeks

It can be time-consuming and costly to add a bathroom into an environment not previously known to plumbing and soil pipes.

Installing a loo in a new location usually means some external digging and the laying of a new soil pipe, which will add a good couple of weeks onto your renovations.

Building regs approval will also be needed for any bathroom work that involves:

  • installing a completely new bathroom, en-suite or cloakroom (for example if you're transforming a cupboard under the stairs into a WC - as new drainage is involved)

  • relocating existing bathroom appliances by more than a few centimetres

  • installing a new soil and vent pipe (the vertical pipe connecting the new bathroom fittings to the drains) or new connections to it

  • installing a new electrical circuit

And regarding draining, if you're planning to build a wet room, the gradient/fall of the floor will need to be steep enough so that the water drains away, and the pipes will need to work correctly to stop any water pooling.

If you use a Competent Person, they can self-certify the work that comes under the scope of the building regulations.

Otherwise you'll need to make a building regulations application to your local authority.

We try to make sure that the information here is accurate at the time of publishing. But the property market moves fast and some information may now be out of date. Zoopla Property Group accepts no responsibility or liability for any decisions you make based on the information provided.