Time is money, and if you are going to renovate your bathroom, it’s essential to know how long it will take. The time it takes to install tile will vary and depends on things like the size of the bathroom and the skill level of the installer.
Installing tile throughout an entire bathroom can take a professional contractor around 6 to 8 hours, while a DIY enthusiast can take 10 to 16 hours to complete the work. Tiling just the shower alone will take 4 to 8 hours for a professional, while the average DIYer can take 8 to 12 hours to finish the job.
The timeframes listed above are just averages. Many factors can make a tile job take longer than expected.
Follow our tips to speed up the process of installing tiles in your bathroom.
Factors Affecting Tile Installation Time
The Size of Your Bathroom/Shower
The larger your bathroom or shower is, the longer your tiling project will take to complete.
We will discuss this aspect in greater detail later on by going into specific timeframes for small, average, and large bathrooms/showers.
Grout Mixture and Drying Time
Grout is a vital part of a tile installation.
First, you must mix your grout with water to the proper consistency. If it is not mixed correctly, then you must start the process all over as poorly mixed grout will crack, blister, or get chalky.
Once the grout is adequately installed, there is still drying time to consider.
Moisture is the bane of bathrooms and can impact your tile installation or remodel.
High moisture levels in your bathroom will slow down the entire process by increasing the curing time for sealant, grout, and adhesive.
The Skill Level of the Installer
Hiring a professional can nearly cut the length of a tiling project in half over doing it yourself.
Of course, not all professionals are built the same, which goes for DIY enthusiasts also. But at a higher cost and due to their experience, a professional will get the job done more quickly.
How Long Does It Take To Tile a Bathroom
The average size of a small bathroom is around 35 to 40 square feet. The tile work itself for a bathroom this size can be completed in about 4 to 6 hours, not including curing time.
The size of your normal or average bathroom comes in at around 41 to 100 square feet. Excluding curing time, the tiling itself should take roughly 6 to 8 hours.
The largest bathrooms usually measure in around 110 to 210 square feet. Laying the tile for a bathroom this size can take up to 8 or 12 hours.
How Long Does It Take To Tile a Shower
Small showers are around 7 to 10 square feet. You can put up tile in a small shower in around 2 to 3 hours. But you must then wait for everything to cure and dry.
Your average shower comes in at around 12 to 15 square feet. The tile work itself for your average shower will take between 3 to 4 hours to complete.
More oversized showers can be between 16 to 20 square feet or more. The tile installation alone for a bathroom this size can take 4 to 6 hours or longer.
Tips on How to Reduce Tile Installation Time
Use the Right Tools and Materials
It’s important to get off on the right foot and have all the right tools and materials for the job from the beginning. You will save time running to the hardware store getting the proper tool or material you forgot.
Also, pay close attention to the adhesive you are using, as some adhesives work better for small or large tiles. Having the proper tools and materials will make the job go more smoothly.
Prepare the Surface
A common mistake DIYers make is to not prepare the surface they are going to install tile on. Making sure the surface is dry and free of debris will help cut down on installation time.
If your surface is moist, then the curing time will be longer. Even worse, an unprepared surface can cause a failure of adhesion, basically meaning your tile won’t stick to the wall forcing you to restart the entire project.
Partially Tiling Your Bathroom
An easy way to cut down on installation time is to only tile what you need.
For example, partially tiling your bathroom can involve just doing a bathtub backsplash that does not need to go to the ceiling.
Or you can just tile your shower up to the ceiling and not tile the rest of your bathroom. Tiling your bathroom this way saves you both time and money.
Remove as Much Moisture as You Can
Once the tile has been installed, the longest part of the project is the wait for everything to cure. You can reduce this waiting time by removing moisture from your bathroom.
There are a few ways to accomplish this. If your bathroom has a window, you can open it on a warm, dry day and use a household fan to help with ventilation.
Another option is to use a dehumidifier. Your bathroom exhaust fan can help, but you shouldn’t leave it on for more than an hour, or you risk burning out the motor.
Alternatives to Tiling a Bathroom
Wall panels are becoming bathroom rivals to tile for many reasons. One of these reasons is they are quicker and easier to install.
With wall panels, you either apply the adhesive or hardware to the wall, attach the panel, and you’re done. No grouting or sealant to worry about.
So if you were looking for a tile alternative, wall panels would be the one I recommend.
Painting your bathroom seems like a quick and easy way to get the job done.
With waterproof paint, you also need waterproof primer and sealant. But even with these additional steps, painting is still quicker and cheaper than tiling when you account for curing time.
Beadboard is an interesting option. Usually only requiring construction glue and nails, the beadboard installation process is very fast and requires no curing.
The issue with beadboard is it only covers half the wall, which can be okay for most of your bathroom. But by no means should beadboard be installed in your bathtub or shower enclosure.
Tile requires curing time which is usually around 24 hours. So while you can easily tile a bathroom in one day, you would have to wait until the next day before you could use that bathroom.
It’s always best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding curing times for grout, sealant, and adhesive. But in most cases, you have to wait 24 hours after you finish tiling a shower before you can use it.