Bathroom Installation Plumber in Dartford Kent

How Long Will it Take For My New Bathroom to be Fitted?

Looking to refurbish your bathroom? One of the most common questions I get is “how long will it take?”.

A perfectly reasonable question because you have to factor in how much time you need to take off of work and if it can be done whilst you’re away on holiday for example. Now I know this is an annoying answer but the truth is, it depends.

The general rule of thumb for a complete bathroom fit out is 10 days. Any shorter than the builders are probably cutting some corners somewhere along the line which is obviously a bad sign. Any longer than it’s likely that they’re taking their time so if you’re paying them on a day rate you’re probably getting charged more than you should be.

Now I must emphasise that it really does ‘depend’ on what’s involved. If you’re just having your sanitary ware replaced and there’s no tiling work involved then you are looking at a couple of days work but if you going for mosaic tiles everywhere in the bathroom than it’ll probably take two weeks just to do the tiling!

We’ve installed thousands of bathrooms over the years so we have a pretty good idea of what’s involved. In this blog post, we’re going to walk you through the basic steps involved in process of a typical bathroom refurbishment so you can understand what actually happens and why it takes the time that it does. By the way, if you don’t feel like reading, I made a video on this topic too which you can watch if you prefer (scroll down to the bottom of the page!).

Ok.. Ready? Let’s dive in.

Day One – Stripping Out the Old Bathroom

First things first, the best way to start any bathroom installation is to strip out the old bathroom completely, and I mean completely. Removing the old tiles, bath, shower, taps, toilet, basin (annoyingly most people refer to a basin as a sink – a sink is in the kitchen, not the bathroom!) pipework, electrical cables etc and bringing the walls and floor back to brick and concrete or wood.

This can continue on to the next day if it’s a larger room but typically one day should suffice. To get that showroom finish it’s vital that you work from a bare shell so that everything is flat and level to begin with. It makes a big big difference to the overall finish.

Day Two & Three – Preparing & Plastering the Walls

Now we need to make sure that all the walls, ceilings and floors are level and straight. We prepare the surfaces in the right way and plaster the walls and ceilings. This gives is that really smooth finish and it’s the perfect base to work from. If it’s a concrete floor then we make sure that it is level. Wooden floorboards are prepared in a way that they are flat and level and have no protruding screws or nails sticking out.

If this preparation stage isn’t done properly it affects the rest of the job in a massive way so this is why you should allow at least two days. The timing can vary during this period as we have to allow for the plaster to fully dry otherwise the walls will crack and you could experience damp issues later on. A cold house in the winter would take longer to dry out so this needs to be taken into consideration when outlining a realistic time frame.

Day Four, Five & Six – First fixing

In the trade, we refer to this stage as the ‘first fix’. This is basically running all the copper pipes, waste pipes, traps, and cables so that they run ‘inside’ the walls and ceilings as opposed to ‘outside’ in some kind of casing or trunking (this looks very amateur and we are professionals). During this stage of the bathroom installation, we’d install the shower tray only and/or the bath so that it’s fixed and the room is ready for tiling. If the customer opted for underfloor heating we’d install the ‘first fix’ part of this system too at this stage.

Bathroom Installation Dartford Kent First Fix 1

First fixing a bathroom in Dartford Kent..

Day Seven & Eight – Tiling

This is where the bathroom really starts to take shape as the tiles start to bring the new bathroom to life. We normally allow at least two full days for this part but, like I mentioned earlier, if you want a crazy custom designed mosaic pattern then allow much more time.

Tiling is an art form and should never be rushed. Tiling can and will make or break a bathroom in terms of the final finish. Some tilers from hell will use the adhesive to level out the walls which is such bad practice I’m amazed that people still get away with it!

Bathroom Installation Dartford Kent Tiling 170313 2

You can’t tile properly without using a level!

Day Nine & Ten – Second Fixing

For most bathroom installers this is the final step but for MultiPlumb it is the penultimate step. Second fix is an industry term where we pretty much fit everything that needs to be fitted. We fix your toilet, hang your basin (not your sink!), fix your shower enclosure, shower valve, slide rail kit, toilet roll holder, bath screen, and taps and shower etc. Basically fixing the items that you’ll actually be using.

Day Eleven & Twelve – Finishing

This is the part which, unfortunately, most plumbers do not enjoy and normally don’t spend enough time on as a result. The problem is that a lot of work goes into a new bathroom install, most of which is never really seen and thus not normally appreciated by the customer. This is totally understandable because how can you fully appreciate something that you’ve never seen or understand right? From the plumber’s point of view, they’re probably ten days deep into the project and they have another job to start and their enthusiasm has worn off but they can see the finish line and can’t wait to reach it!

Through experience, we have learned to take our time and give the finishing the attention it deserves. Little things like the silicone sealant, wiping the tiles, polishing the taps and shower, making sure that the mirror is level and that the door closes smoothly all make a big difference to customer satisfaction and the overall finish of the bathroom.

So The Answer To My Question Is 12 Days?

Yes, 12 days is the average amount of time a typical bathroom installation takes from start to finish.

If you liked this blog post and found it useful I’d be grateful if you could help by sharing it with your friends and family on Twitter or Facebook.

If you have any questions feel to free to comment down below and I’ll answer them personally.

In the coming weeks, I’m going to answer one of the most popular questions regarding a bathroom installation. “How much does a typical bathroom installation cost?.

If you’re thinking of updating your bathroom suite at home and need some advice feel free to get in touch with us. We’d love to help you create and plan your dream bathroom.

We install bathrooms in all areas around South East London and KentCall us for a free quote!


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35 replies
  1. Karen
    Karen says:

    I enjoyed reading this, thanks. Shame you’re down South :0( I’m in the process of buying a house with a small bathroom approx. 2.38 X 1.78 I am wanting to rip the whole lot out & have a shower bath, ‘Basin’ ( ;0P ) & toilet with floor & wall tiles. I’m up North though in West Cumbria. If you can recommend anyone in this area, I’d appreciate it.

  2. olu
    olu says:

    Shame I have just read this after a very traumatic, yes I mean traumatic bathroom installation. What happened was so unbelievable so I am not going to say on this forum. I wish I had come across this blog earlier. I do not trust anyone now not even the big companies. I must say however I had a fantastic tiler who just made my day and gave my bathroom the wow factor I was looking for. Thanks for your blog. If and I say if I ever need a bathroom refit I know where to come.

    • Richard Costello
      Richard Costello says:

      Hi Olu,

      Thank you for your comment and I’m really sorry to hear that you had a traumatic experience with your bathroom installation..

      It’s a shame that there are still ‘cowboy builders’ out there but the Internet is definitely helping to crack down on them!

      I’m glad that the bathroom turned out good in the end.

      It would be great to see pictures of your bathroom – feel free to email them over.

      If you ever need any plumbing work done I’ll be more then happy to help 🙂



  3. Stanleys
    Stanleys says:

    Thank you for informative post! We are just starting our house renovations. We have had people round and quote the bathrooms. We budgeted £2,000 for the labour. Husband is an electrician so will do all electrics. Could you recommend anyone in Crawley to take out bath, loo and sink and replace them? Thank you in advance.

    • Adam
      Adam says:

      Hello Stanleys,

      Did you find anyone for your bathroom renovation? I’m based in Horley and do full renovations, bathrooms included. I’m actually just finishing a bathroom over in Outwood as it goes. I’m not personally available anytime soon but I have some friends locally that I can out you in touch with if you’d like a local friendly tradesman to point you in the right direction. Gotta ask though – if your husband is a sparks does he not have any friends he can rope in to help with the renovation?

      I’ll refrain from putting my contact details on here out of respect for the website owners but also just general protection for myself! I’ll check back in in a few days to see if there’s a reply. I only chanced upon this site as it turned up on google whilst I was helping a friend plan their bathroom ideas and explain the schedule (which this site does really well by the way!)

  4. Julie
    Julie says:

    Brilliant article and really helpful to understand the process.
    Question: if you only have one bathroom and cannot go without washing or showering during the refit because of school/work, can it be managed around the refit so that either bath or shower is always available of a morning?

    • Richard Costello
      Richard Costello says:

      Hi Julie,

      Thank you for your comment 🙂

      Unfortunately, it’s not going to be possible to set up a temporary bath/shower situation throughout the bathroom installation.

      We can arrange temporary toilets but not a temporary shower or bath.

      I know this wasn’t the answer that you were looking for..



    • Richard Costello
      Richard Costello says:

      Hi Mirek,

      It depends on a few factors such the size of the room, workload and the requirements of the job and client.

      It’s normally at least four people but it can be anything up to eight.

      Not all at the same time but at different stages of the job. Labourers, plumbers, tilers, electricians etc..



  5. Anthony
    Anthony says:

    Fantastic article and an excellent outline of what takes the time and why. The reason I Googled ‘How long does it take to fit a bathroom?’ and why I found your article was that my plumber said 12 days and I was curious to know if that was accurate for somebody ensuring a good finish, or a bit over the top, as instinctively it seemed a lot for such a small room. I am delighted that your figures coincide, which has put my mind at rest that I have found the right person to do a top quality job..

  6. Sue Johnson
    Sue Johnson says:

    Hi Richard
    What is the average cost to remove a bath & fit a shower, sink and toilet, remove all tiles & re tile walls & floor replace radiator, heated mirror, and heated floor, look forward to your reply.

  7. Conner
    Conner says:

    Hi Richard,

    I’ve just bought a house and I am wanting to do a renovation on my bathroom that requires knocking a wall through
    and installing a stand alone shower and bath.
    How much do you think it should cost including the construction work?

    • Richard Costello
      Richard Costello says:

      Hi Conner,

      Thanks for your question.

      Without actually seeing what’s involved it’s guessing how long a piece of string is..

      If you’re looking at an average ballpark figure then I would estimate between £5000 and £6000.

      I hope this helps 🙂



  8. Andrew
    Andrew says:

    Hi Richard, surely sinking the bath/BASIN waste pipes in the walls/floor would seriously compromise the integrity? Neat boxing in with tiles is much better and can be used for shelving etc, I’m a bathroom fitter and would never dream of letting another trade in, a master tiler should be a plumber, carpenter at very least, as you can work furniture and window etc to full tile.

    • Master Bathroom Fitter
      Master Bathroom Fitter says:

      Hahaha, obviously an old fashioned fitter without any compromise for room design, In way way does hiding pipework compromise any sort of bathroom unless your not confident on the integrity of your plumbing, there are ways and means around accessing and replacing bath taps and/or failed products behind tiled bath panels, furniture even tiled in cisterns/basins with an ounce of thought while installing, but boxing simple pipework, no thanks

      • Master Bathroom Fitter
        Master Bathroom Fitter says:

        Agree with all richard has said by the way other than we normally tile majority first and finish ceiling, normally cladded, spotlights etc and put baths and shower trays in after to minimize accidental damage chance, dirt debris on new products and simply more work space while tiling 90% of the bathroom, then tile floor and tile bottom row to floor and bath/shower last

  9. Stacey Johnson
    Stacey Johnson says:

    Love the forum. I had a company come in and do the whole thing in 5 days at a fixed cost which I thought was fantastic. I did read this forum before and as you said 12 days is the average I panicked a little when hearing 5 days to complete. As I wouldn’t of want it rushed. I’m in the north and would recommend bathroompackage to anyone in the area who needs a new bathroom.

  10. Kate
    Kate says:

    Really interesting article, thanks! I’m looking at buying a house where the current bathroom is downstairs, and ideally I’d like to install one upstairs – I’m looking for some advice as to how long it might take and how much it might cost to install a bathroom including all the necessary plumbing – any thoughts?! Thanks

  11. Susan H
    Susan H says:

    Great read but every time I find someone like yourself, and I look at the area served its the opposite side of London, I am West London Isleworth☹️ If you can recommend someone as skilled as you I would be mostly greatful for West London, as I need someone to do a wet room shower with frameless shower screen. Thanks, this was a big eye opener and answered a lot of my questions.

  12. Shady
    Shady says:

    Hi Richard,
    I am looking to install an ensuite shower in my room, as my bathroom it’s on ground floor, I bought all the bathroom accessories, pipes, even the waste pipes and including the soil system pipes, could you give me the estimate of the Labour please

  13. William Eason
    William Eason says:

    Really interesting blog. We had been putting off changing our bathrooms for lack of confidence – concerned we would be ripped off and/or get a bodged job. We took the plunge after seeing work done by our installer in our neighbour’s house. They could not praise him highly enough. We spent about £12K on one bathroom and 2 ensuites including all materials and labour. Lessons learnt from the experience.
    1. Quality of workmanship is top priority. This is where 70% of the total costs are but get this wrong and you will be finished before you’ve started. Key things to look for: personal recommendations are an absolute must. Ideally you will find someone who has built up a good reputation and be able to see their work and speak to previous customers. Our installer was a one man operation – this also can keep costs down – he probably has fewer overheads and did not charge VAT for example. Another good sign – they cannot start next week – of course they can’t if they are any good they will be in demand. In our case we had initially asked our installer about 2 bathrooms – the work was so good we persuaded him to do the third as well.
    2. Don’t skimp on quality of fittings. What is the point of getting bargain basement toilets and taps? The savings don’t amount to much of the total budget and you will pay in the long term. We wanted fittings that would last and not date (ie 20+yrs). We went for well known brands like Ideal Standard, Aqualux, Multipanel, Mira and Bristan – all with long warranties – also likely to be able to get spares in the future. At the same time be careful about buying high end “designer” offerings from these brands – they can be 3-4x the price of their mid level products – for example the Ideal Standard Sandringham 51 toilet and basin look great – around £170 for the toilet and £100 for the basin. Echo comments about suppliers – yes you can save a bit on line but watch out for sky high delivery charges – also if there is a problem it is much easier to sort out with a local supplier.
    3. Futureproof. There is no getting round the cost and disruption of having a new bathroom installed so we didn’t want to repeat the process for at least another 15-20 yrs. Avoided “over designed” look and went for simple, clean lines that that hopefully won’t date too quickly (unlike our previous sculpted “champagne” suite). Also thought about future maintenance – access to the isolation valves and pipework for example – when you need to replace the shower in 5 yrs time say. Of course also kept spare tiles etc in case we need to make minor changes later.
    4. Minimise disruption. We are lucky enough to have 3 bathrooms so we always had somewhere to wash. We did all 3 in the same job but stipulated that work on the next should only start when work on the one before was finished. I guess this was easy in our case as it was a one man unit anyway – but this was a good incentive to complete work and to a high standard. Our installer obviously knew how to reduce the impact – he always cleaned up every day and put down dustsheets – he always explained what was happening and when – he would always check on details with us throughout the job. I was expecting floods and mess but no – one of the least stressful events ever. This all goes back to point no 1.

    • Richard Costello
      Richard Costello says:

      Hi William,

      Thank you so much for the level of detail in your comment. I’m really happy to hear that you had a good experience with your bathroom installation experience.

      The advice you’ve given from a customers point of view is invaluable and you bring up some really good points.

      A bathroom should last a minimum of at least 10/15 years but this is only possible if the workmanship is of a high standard, the materials are good quality and the layout is a user-friendly design.

      Thank you once again for your comment 🙂


  14. Jolene
    Jolene says:

    Interesting article-we are planning to put a shower room in the space where the airing cupboard used to be-now extended into the loft space.


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