3 minute showers not 3 minute renovations – bathrooms


How long does a bathroom renovation take?

In this article we take you through the process of renovating your bathroom. We don’t recommend taking on a bathroom renovation if you have no experience in this field. Bathrooms are not the place to start your DIY experience. Any bathroom renovation over $5,000 has to be done by a licensed builder with a DB number. If anyone is quoting a bathroom renovation for you and cannot produce a Builders License, Thank them kindly and find someone who is legitimate. If a bathroom is renovated properly, it will take about 4 weeks. Bathrooms remodelled quicker may have deficiencies that take a few years to become apparent.

Clear Out

The removal of the old Bathroom will take a couple of days, sometimes longer if the walls are solid brick and the floor concrete. Removing Tiles from solid surfaces such as concrete can be a painful process using jack hammers, chiseling away inch by inch.

Structural works and Rough In

If your bathroom involves

  • opening up or closing off any walls,
  • creating cavity sliding doors,
  • changing or adding windows,
  • dropping the floor to create a walk-in-shower,
  • creating a niche in walls,

The carpenter will need anywhere from 1 to 5 days to restructure the room.

Then the Plumber needs to ‘rough-in’ pipework to the new positions. If your new design has the vanity, toilet, shower or bath moving location, the plumber may need a couple of days to redirect pipes. We also take this time to set backing blocks in place to support the Towel rails, soap holders, glass shelves etc.

Falls and slopes and drainage

If you are having a walk-in-shower space or need a drain anywhere in the room, the floor will have to be carefully sloped towards the drain. This is not a job for amateurs.  The hands and eyes of a highly skilled tradesman are needed here. If the slope is too great, people will slip and if the slope is too little, pools of water will gather where they should not. This new slope should be left to cure for 7 days. It will shrink during this time and it is important not to rush this. If the slurry shrinks further after tiling, cracking will occur.

Sealing up the room

Once the room is roughed-in and floor sloped, we can seal up the room. Blue plaster or blue board is used on bathroom walls. Cement sheet can also be used. These boards are made specifically for wet areas and have a higher tolerance to moisture. Sometimes the wall tiling will run into the window frame. In this circumstance plaster or cement sheeting is prepared in to the window jamb. A niche in the wall has to be sheeted properly as well.

Water Proofing

Bathrooms must be water proofed according to A.S.1684. There are minimal areas that must be done. The best products on the market involve using a woven mesh inside the layers. This strengthens the seal against settling of the home. Obviously more coverage is better and thicker is better. This water barrier prevents moisture seeping into building materials and causing rot. The water proofing needs 2 days to dry after the last coat has been applied.


Tiling is the ‘make or break’ part of bathroom renovations. Bad setting out, or poor quality laying of the tiles will ruin the transformation. Older homes with crooked or out of level walls will make the tilers job much harder. A professional tiler will carefully set out the heights and widths before a single tile is laid. Making sure there is no unsightly thin pieces of tiles is part of a good plan. Careful use of the right trims and some mitering of corners will complete a professional finish. Tiling all the way to the ceiling can be a fantastic look in the right room. We usually recommend fitting the cornice after tiling so that is keeps its definition. The tiling of a difficult room can take a week in an average size room. This is not a part of the job that you want to rush.

Shower screens

Shower screens com in a few thicknesses of glass, frameless and semi-frameless, chrome fittings, brushed fittings and coloured fittings. Your budget and the size required may decide which is right for you. Semi frameless screens will take a few days to be made and custom made frameless solutions will take a couple of weeks to manufacture. They can only me measured after the tiling has be laid. So this waiting time can be used to finish off smaller items.

Fittings, fixtures, Painting and mirrors

The plumber will return now to fit the toilet, Taps, shower heads and rails. The carpenter will return to hang towel rails, soap holders and the like. Painters can now paint the ceiling, walls if any, architraves and skirting. The tiling will most likely need a few cleans before all smears disappear.
The shower screen will be fitted and usually has to be left to cure for a day. Then it’s all yours to enjoy. So four weeks plus structural re configuring is the simplest answer to how long this renovation will take.