How long does a bathroom renovation take in Australia? - Misc. AU
How long does a bathroom renovation take in Australia?

How long does a bathroom renovation take in Australia?

From planning to installation to decorating, there are many phases of a bathroom renovation. If it’s a challenge you’ve never taken on before, knowing how long it can and will take is something that can be hard to judge. So just how long does a bathroom renovation take in Australia and what are the steps involved?

Words by Yohei Guy

As exciting and beneficial as a bathroom renovation is, unless you have another bathroom in your home, it will disrupt your daily routine. It's a good idea to know roughly how long it will take so you can be prepared and make plans appropriately. The more meticulous you are with respect to this, the quicker the job will get done and the sooner you’ll be able to enjoy your brand new bathroom.

Bathroom at Dibartolo Residence in Eaglemont - Photography: Kristy Davis

Average time for a bathroom renovation

Depending on the extent of your bathroom renovation, it could take anywhere between 3 - 12 weeks. The planning and designing phase often takes the longest, especially if you’re still deciding on the design style of your bathroom.

Once you have your plans and paperwork in place, the actual renovation work could take just a few weeks depending on your schedule.

This is based on a team of professionals doing the work to remodel your bathroom over a 5 day working week. If you want to save money on your bathroom renovation, you may be planning to do the work yourself. Working on your bathroom during evenings and weekends could take 2 - 3 times as long.

Related article - How much value does a renovated bathroom add?

Walk in shower at Australis in the Noosa hinterland - Photography: Emma Bourne

Factors affecting bathroom renovation time scales

There's no 'one-size-fits-all' timescale for how long a bathroom renovation takes in Australia. The time it takes from your first day of planning to your first shower in your new bathroom will depend on many factors including:

  • Time taken to research your design and ideas
  • Hiring an interior designer
  • Planning permissions and approvals from your local council
  • Need for surveys or inspections
  • Whether you're building a new bathroom or updating an existing one
  • The size and scope of the project
  • Current availability of qualified tradespeople
  • Availability and cost of materials
  • Any unplanned delays.

Although it's not always the case, it's a good rule of thumb to expect that the duration and budget will go over by one-third which is something to bear in mind from the outset.

A shower over bath at Claremont House - Photography: Justin Alexander

Stages of a bathroom renovation

Generally speaking most bathroom renovations in Australia follow a similar structure to the one outlined below. Turning your ideas into real life is an exciting process involving many stages. Whether you hire a contractor to do it all or you manage the project and do it yourself, renovating a bathroom has many phases that can vary in duration.

Related article - Tips for your luxury bathroom renovation

1. Planning: 1 - 4 weeks

This can be one of the most exciting yet frustrating phases of your bathroom renovation. You can create a catalogue of ideas, fittings and materials you want to use with inspiration from designers and projects online.

Next, you need to get your ideas professionally drawn up by your local renovation company or architect. Depending on your plans, you may need to check with your local council office if you need planning permission for the work.

A local planning officer may need to visit your home to conduct a survey, especially if you live in a listed building or your home is situated in an environmentally sensitive area. Waiting for these processes can take time and be a little frustrating, but worth it in the end.

Wall mounted tap and vessel basin at Windsor Street House - Photography: Pablo Veiga

2. Demolition: 1 - 2 days

Once you have your approvals for the work, the first step will be the demolition. Removing your old bathroom fittings, stud walls and tiles can be a messy but fun experience if you're doing the work yourself.

However, it is safer and typically a lot quicker to leave it to the professionals to ensure the proper and correct removal of fittings – especially with plumbing and electrics involved.

3. Installation: 1 - 7 days

Now that you have a blank slate, you can begin the groundwork. This includes all the 'behind the scenes' elements such as the new plumbing, electrics, carpentry, and structural work.

The professional carpenters, plumbers, and electricians you hire will work around each other to get their work done in a few days to a week.

Related article - Renovating small bathrooms: the dos and don'ts

Spacious and light-filled bathroom at Heritage Fusion, Palm Beach - Photography: Walters Media

4. Fitting fixtures: 1 - 3 days

During this next phase, your bathroom will start to take shape and your design will come to life. The new tiling, flooring, and painting will come first which will require some drying time which can affect the timescale.

Next, your new toilet, baths, showers, basin, taps, and any other exciting new features will be installed and connected. The electrician will complete the final electrical work for lighting, sockets, switches, heated towel rails, and extractor fan.

Finally, any fragile elements such as glass shower doors or screens will be fitted ready for the finishing touches. This is a good time to inspect the work of your hired professionals in case of any last-minute adjustments are needed before you settle your bill.

You can also ask for advice on how to properly care for the new bathroom materials such as marble, tiles, or laminate flooring. That way your new bathroom will stay looking like new for years to come.

5. Decorating and finishing: 1 - 2 days

Once all the work is done and the tradespeople have cleaned up and left, it’s always a good idea to give your bathroom a thorough clean to remove any dust and spots of tile grout. Then you’ll have a clean canvas for any final painting or decorating you want to add.

You can finally step into your new fully functioning bathroom and make it your own to suit your style. Whether you have a large or small bathroom, choosing stylish accessories, plants, artwork, towel hooks, and toilet roll holders will complete the transformation.

Related article - How much does it cost to renovate a bathroom in 2022?

A bathroom with a view at Italianate House, Surry Hills

So how long does a bathroom renovation take in Australia?

While accepting the variables involved such as the size of your bathroom, wait time for approvals, and availability of products/tradespeople you can expect a full bathroom renovation to fall between 3 - 12 weeks with the more complex projects leaning towards the latter end of the scale. No matter how long it takes, the end result will be worth it as you'll enjoy an improved bathroom that will improve your happiness and wellbeing and increase the value of your property.

Recommended reading