How to Remodel Your Bathroom in Barely a Month

When you watch any of the some improvement shows on TV, it's easy to believe that a remodel takes 30 minutes or less, involves minimal hassle and everything always goes right, the first time. While the latter has been known to happen, it's nearly impossible to completely overhaul a bathroom in a few hours. It is possible, though, to do it in a few days or weeks.

The number one step to a fast remodel? Planning. The importance of determining exactly what needs to be done, developing a plan of attack and gathering all of the necessary supplies can't be overstated. Part of this planning process includes measuring – carefully – the entire space and getting exactly the right materials. Measure just an inch off and that gorgeous vanity won't fit, getting you off schedule and adding cost – and stress—to the project.

If you're just doing a cosmetic redo, though, it's possible to have a whole new room in just a couple of weekends.

Week One: Demolition

Once you know what you want in the new bathroom, the first task is to get the old stuff out of the way. Clear everything out of the bathroom, and start taking the room apart. That could mean ripping out the old Bath Vanity, taking out old flooring, light fixtures or old shower enclosures. Now, it's time to repair damaged walls, shore up wobbly floors and deal with any issues that have cropped up in the room, like water damage. Depending on the condition of your bathroom, this process can take up to four days.

Week Two: The Bones

Once the old stuff is out and basic repairs have been completed, you can devote the second week to plumbing and electrical issues. This is where you should get help when you need it. Unless you are a plumbing or electrical expert, some things are best left to the professionals. Redoing your own plumbing based on instructions from an online video might seem like a good way to save time and money; it's more likely to end in disaster, though. A professional plumber can usually complete the rough plumbing in a small bathroom in a day; if you want to move your toilet or sink, expect the work to take up to two days. Since electrical systems in bathrooms tend to be simple, that work shouldn't take more than a day either.

Even if you are planning to leave fixtures like lights and sinks in their original locations, it's a good idea to get a professional's help, just to make sure all of the new items are connected properly.

Week Three: Tile

Once the electrical and plumbing systems are taken care of, you can paint the walls. It's easier to paint before the new cabinetry and flooring is installed.

When the paint is dry, which should take 24 hours, start working on the floors and tile. Installing tile, whether porcelain, ceramic, stone or glass, takes time. Since cutting tile requires the use of a wet saw, and very precise measurements, unless you're confident in your abilities, it may be best to hire a professional to install tile. It can take up to three days for the adhesives and grout to dry, meaning by the time you're ready to finish the project, it will be ready to go. If you're installing vinyl flooring, either tiles or sheet vinyl, the process is much faster and can be completed in half a day or less.

Week Four: Cabinetry and Details

The last week of the bathroom remodel is for installing the final pieces. Fixtures like toilets and sinks, vanity cabinets, and new tubs go in last, once everything else in place. This usually takes a day or two, depending on how many items you're replacing.

Once all of the fixtures are in, clean up the construction dust, add your accessories and enjoy your new bathroom to its fullest.

This plan assumes that you will be working on the bathroom remodel on weekends only; if you want to complete the entire room at once, it's not unreasonable to expect the project to be complete in two weeks or less. Even so, remodeling any room can be stressful, especially if it's a room that you use every day, like a bathroom. If you need to use the bathroom while it's being remodeled, you can work around it, but it's much easier if you have another room to use while it's under construction. The hassle will be worth it when you're enjoying your brand new, stylish bath.

This article was written by Ryan Tupper, A plumber and contractor with over 10 years of experience in bathroom remodeling. Ryan writes for DecorPlanet.com.