A Master Bathroom Renovation Timeline

Remodeling a master bathroom is a big home improvement project that can take months, depending on the updates. Each renovation that I complete with my clients is unique, however, I like to provide them with an estimated timeline when we first begin working together.

A major master bathroom remodel can take anywhere from six to 10 weeks, depending on the project size, and involves three phases: planning, construction and finishing. If you hire an interior design firm like Schlosser Design Group, you won’t have to worry about managing any of the details during this hectic process. Completing a renovation project yourself could take much longer if you’re unfamiliar with architecture, design and construction.

Planning Phase

The planning phase typically takes one to two weeks and consists of:

  • Designing — Your interior designer will work with an architect or general contractor to create blueprints for your new space. From there, they’ll also create a mood board to show off the new design style for your approval.
  • Sourcing — Your designer will begin sourcing the required materials like flooring, tile, countertops, plumbing fixtures, lighting and accents, and will also source any furnishings and accessories that may be needed to complete the space.
  • Homeowner Prep — You’ll pack away all of your belongings so construction can begin.

Construction Phase

The construction phase is the longest part of the process and typically takes four to six weeks, but can extend even longer if a problem is uncovered during demolition. Construction consists of:

  • Demolition — Before picking up the sledgehammer, your contractor should prepare your home for the upcoming mess. Installing extra air filters on the HVAC and zipper doors around the room should keep the rest of your home tidy. Next, the team can strip back the room to the studs. Demo typically takes three or four days to complete.
  • Plumbing and Electricity — Plumbers and electricians move or add pipework and wiring.
  • Walls — Walls are erected. This process spans framing, insulation, putting up drywall and skim coating.
  • Tile — Tiling for walk-in showers, tub surrounds and sink backsplashes happens next. If you’re also getting a tile floor, the wall tiling will be completed first.
  • Flooring — Flooring is laid.
  • Cabinetry — Bathroom cabinets and countertops are installed.
  • Plumbing Fixtures — Plumbing fixtures like toilets, sinks, showerheads and tubs are installed.
Tiling is part of any construction phase

Tiling is a key part of any construction phase, but especially in this master ensuite. I designed this walk-in shower to be a luxurious and spacious retreat for my clients.

Finishing Phase

The finishing phase typically takes one to two weeks and consists of:

  • Accents and Finishes — With the bulk of the work done, the construction team will start to put the finishing touches on the bathroom. This includes adding hardware to drawers and cabinets, installing custom closets, hanging mirrors and putting up light fixtures.
  • Paint — The room is painted.
  • Cleaning and Staging — The construction crew will clean the space and remove all of their materials before handing it over to the interior design team. The design team will add all the final touches like rugs, towels and art before the final reveal.
Arranging accents and making sure everything looks perfect

During the finishing phase I get my hands dirty in the client’s space, arranging accents and making sure everything looks perfect.

See an SDG Renovation Behind The Scenes

In the third video of my SDG Renovation series, I take you on-site at my client’s master bathroom remodel. You’ll see what their home looks like while workers are updating the space, how the home is kept clean, and how designs can change once demolition is complete. If you want the full context of the project, be sure to go back and watch Episode One first.

Quartz Countertop Vocabulary

If you’re not an experienced interior designer, talking about bathroom or kitchen countertops can be like speaking a foreign language. Veining, movement, porosity… what does it all mean? This is my cheat-sheet to understanding the professional lingo when choosing a stone countertop.

Edge Profile – The shape of the edge of the countertop. There are many different edge styles to choose from, like flat, bullnose, beveled and quarter round.

Engineered Stone – Countertops that are man-made from combining quartz with binders. These countertops look like natural stone but allow the manufacturers to have more control over what the finished product looks like. Engineered stone is more consistent than natural stone because it is manufactured instead of mined.

Fading – When a stone loses color after being exposed to sunlight.

Movement – A unique pattern that flows through a slab. Movement is the opposite of uniformity or consistency.

Non-Porous – A surface that does not have holes in it, so it does not absorb air and moisture. Non-porous surfaces are ideal for countertops because they do not need to be sealed. Most engineered stones are non-porous.

Porous – A surface that has microscopic holes in it, allowing it to absorb air and moisture. If a porous stone is used for a countertop, it must be sealed. Most natural stones are porous.

Sealing – The process of putting a clear coat on top of the stone to protect it from stains. Sealing is especially useful for porous stones.

Slab – A large, flat piece of stone. Stone countertops are made from slabs of either natural or engineered stone.

Veining – Long, thin strips of contrasting color in a countertop slab. Depending on how a slab is cut — either with the vein or across it — the veining can appear swirled and cloudy, or distinct and linear.

Faint veining - engineered stone

This faint veining in this engineered stone picks up on the soft wood tones from the custom cabinets. Design by Schlosser Design group.

Watch Behind The Scenes

In the second video of my four-part series SDG Renovation, I take you behind the scenes as I select an engineered quartz countertop for my clients. To learn more about the project I’m selecting countertops for, go back and watch Episode One.

Beautiful engineered stone

In my video, you’ll see how I selected this beautiful engineered stone for my client’s master bathroom. Design by Schlosser Design Group.

5 Signs Your Master Bathroom Needs a Renovation

A master bedroom suite should be tranquil and relaxing, but an outdated and poorly functioning master bathroom can make it feel exactly the opposite. Bathroom renovations are the answer — when renovating, you can wipe the slate clean on your bathroom and start fresh with a space that is beautiful, functional and safe.

These Five Issues Should be Red Flags and Help You Know if it’s Time to Renovate Your Master Retreat.


Electrical Hazards

Water and electricity are a dangerous combination. If your bathroom has electrical outlets, switches or lights too close to bathtubs, showers or sinks, you could be at risk of electrocution.

Lack of Privacy

Privacy is important in any bathroom, but especially in a master suite when the space serves multiple functions and two people may be using it at the same time. The ideal master bathroom should have a separate water closet, or W.C., for the toilet.

Poor Storage

Cabinet space, linen closets and vanities, among other types of storage, are important for master bathrooms to fully serve the homeowner. Depending on when your home was built, it may not make the best use of space to maximize storage for towels, makeup, hair products and other bathroom supplies.

Storage Closet by Schlosser Design Group

Storage is a critical part of any master bedroom suite. If your closet doesn’t have ample room to keep your clothes and shoes organized, it might be time for an update. Design by Schlosser Design Group.

Incomplete Design

All spaces in the home should be well-planned so they are both functional and beautiful. Sometimes one of these features is missing, however, causing a design to be incomplete. For example, I recently redesigned a master bathroom that was using a shower curtain with a walk-in shower stall because it did not have a door.

Shower redesign by Schlosser Design Group

Before our renovation, my client’s master shower was incomplete because it used a shower curtain in a standing shower stall. Schlosser Design Group redesigned the space to increase the size of the shower and add a glass door.

Poor Ventilation

Ventilation is a key part of proper bathroom construction because it prevents a buildup of moisture and humidity in the space. If left unvented, mold or mildew can grow in your bathroom. While some older homes don’t have ventilation at all, others vent improperly into the attic rather than directly outside through an exterior wall or the roof. It’s crucial that bathroom steam does not get released into the attic because it can cause the roof framing to rot.

Watch SDG Behind The Scenes

Recently, one of my clients tasked me with renovating their master bathroom, which you can see in my new video series SDG Renovation. In Episode One, I walk you through their existing bathroom and all of the functional and safety problems that existed.

What can a registered interior designer do for you?

That’s a great question. Clients I work with often wonder what a registered interior designer (RID) does that’s different from other designers. It’s complicated so let me simplify and offer some insight so when you decide you need an interior designer for your project, you will be well informed and make a good choice based on your needs.

Anyone can call themselves an interior designer. There are of course certified kitchen and bath designers, interior decorators and stagers who provide interior design services, but to become a registered interior designer requires a formal interior design degree from an accredited institution, a 2 year apprenticeship, and passing the professional examination (similar to the architectural exam) — the National Certification of Interior Design Qualifications (NCIDQ). This is a long process, allowing RIDs to stamp construction drawings for permitting. This is one of the major differences between registered interior designers and other interior designers and decorators. Of course there are other paths that designers can follow but the RID path is the most involved, most technical and requires the most education. A very small percentage of interior designers are actually registered with the state of Texas.

Why is this an important distinction? RIDs can develop construction documents, meet regulations and building codes requirements, and apply sustainable design principles, as well as the manage and coordinate other professional services including mechanical, electrical, plumbing, – all to ensure that people can work, live, and learn in an aesthetically pleasing, and safe environment.

RIDs have mastered the ability to understand people’s behavior in order to create functional and beautiful spaces down to last adorning detail including, furniture, window treatments and art and accessories. RIDs work with architects on new construction, design remodels, relocate plumbing, and electrical, and design kitchen and baths. Just like doctors, lawyers and architects, registered interior designers must complete 12 hours of continuing education every year so they are current on both technical (codes, universal & sustainable design) and design trends.

RIDs can help save you time and money with their extensive knowledge and an array of resources – they are not typically tied to any one product or manufacturer. RIDs are client focused not product focused.

Creating a mindful and appropriate solution for a space for any use takes knowledge and an understanding of human nature that goes beyond the selection of color palettes and furnishings. If you want a collaboration that allows the best possible options for you, hire a registered interior designer for your next design project and you’ll be glad you did.

Cristie Schlosser, principal and owner of Schlosser Design Group, LLC has been practicing interior design for 18 years. She is a professional member of ASID and the 2015-2016 ASID Texas Chapter Dallas Design Community Chair. Cristie has won numerous awards and is a member of NARI, NKBA and USGBC.

Blurred Lines

Written by Cristie Schlosser

As I draw close to the completion of my own project, it has never been clearer to me how the industry and disciplines fit together. The past two years, I’ve been both the client and the Interior Designer. Of course, my husband Rodney is the real client, but I’ve chosen to play that role as well. My goal, when Rodney suggested we “build,” was to put together a “team” that could collaborate to design the home we plan to live in for the next phase of our lives together. Not only would this “team” collaborate, but also to have others to bounce my thoughts and ideas off of and get professional feedback was critical. I’ve enjoyed the process. I’m anxious for the completion and the results. I believe my shortcomings have challenged me to change the way I work, to improve my process, and to rise to a new level of expertise. I have come a long way, but have much further to go. I am a perfectionist to some degree – always thinking I can do better.

The blurred lines became apparent to me in multiple ways. Not only am I am the client and the interior designer, but I usually work on behalf of the homeowner to manage the contractor. I am also the project manager placing orders and following up on deliveries – in new construction this in normally done by the contractor. I am used to working with my own trades, many of which in this case our contractor uses. Funny thing is I had no prior experience with the architects or the contractor. In some ways, the blurred lines worked to our advantage. In other ways, it has been more difficult for the architects, the contractor, and me; but most importantly, I really enjoyed designing with this team. Putting all typical home building frustrations aside, I know we will be pleased with the outcome.

For as long as the industry has existed, there have been blurred lines between registered Architects (RA) and registered Interior Designers (RID). Both are creative and have vision. Both create design drawings and stamp drawings for construction purposes. RAs and RIDs can create lighting, plumbing, and electrical plans.

They can space plan and layout the flow and interior non-load barring walls of a structure. Both can specify finish materials, cabinet details, and interior millwork. Both can complete a built space with furniture and decoration.

So what’s the difference? Each discipline specializes in their specific area of expertise, which requires rigorous education, apprentice work, and intensive board testing. An architect’s area of expertise is the building systems and how the structure is melded into the environment. An interior designer’s area of expertise is a psychological examination of human nature and needs as they are affected by the built environment.

So where do contractors and designers (non-registered) fit into the picture? Contractors execute the design vision as it pertains to construction, and designers adorn and beautify spaces that require no building modifications. There is no education requirement, licensing, or maintenance of continuing education. There is no ruling body mandating regulations. There are great contractors who are very responsible and run impressive operations. Generally, these contractors are members of organizations that require CEUs and have certified programs. NARI is an example of such an organization. Some contractors are as naturally talented as some RAs and RIDs. Decorators who call themselves interior designers don’t quite understand the meaning of the term. They aren’t trying to mislead; they simply don’t realize what the big deal is. There are plenty of non-qualified talented designers whose experience counts. However, there are plenty that don’t know what the codes are, or how to resolve construction complications. Their role is to make selections that beautify the interiors. That’s just plain decorating.

So you get the idea now; there are plenty of people vying for your business. How do you know whom to choose? It certainly depends on your project, but the best results come from a collaborative effort. Respect between the disciplines and working together to create your dream home or office. Starting with your design team will lead you down the right path and through the process that flushes out the options and creates a unique space for you.