Full vs. Partial Bathroom Remodel Pros and Cons

Regardless of the reason, you’ve made the decision to update your bathroom. Now, it’s time to decide the scope of your project. Choosing between a full or partial remodel is difficult. We weigh the pros and cons of each possibility so you can make an informed decision.

What is a Partial Bathroom Remodel?

A partial bathroom remodel is the process of separating a large, multi-faceted remodel into cost-effective smaller projects that can be completed individually. Plus, portions of a bathroom, such as replacing a vanity or toilet, can be completed DIY or by an affordable repair person. Homeowners often end up choosing a partial remodel of the wet areas to save money and decrease the level of disruption in their home. Afterall, no one wants to live without a shower for long!

When is a Full Remodel Necessary?

A full remodel is only necessary when you have problems that need to be addressed. For example, if you have a water leak or extensive mold, your bathroom may need a complete gut job. Often, homeowners who can afford a full remodel choose to do so because they want to completely change the look of their current space.

Pros and Cons of Partial vs. Full Bathroom Remodel

Partial Remodel of Wet Areas

Full Remodel


$$ - $$$

$$$$ - $$$$$

Timeline (design to execution)

4-6 weeks

6 months

Installation Time

1-3 days

60-90 days (about 3 months)




Specialties Involved

Bathroom Installation Company / General Contractor

General Contractor



Permit Requirement


Permit for each specialty

Cabinet Options

Not a complete update

Limited by budget


Luxurious, functional

Updated, luxurious, functional

What do I want?

The decision to complete a full bathroom remodel versus a less involved wet area update is up to you. These steps will help you decide the best course of action.

Start with what you want to change

Compile a list of everything you don’t like about your bathroom. Use these prompts to guide you:

  • Is it outdated? Does it have the style I want?
  • Is it functional? Does it meet my needs?
  • Is there enough storage? Is there space for all my stuff?
  • Does it have mold, mildew or stains?
  • Would layout changes improve the space?
  • What fixtures would I change? (Toilet, vanity, faucets, etc.)
  • Do I need to replace my floors?

Create a list of must-haves

What are your must-haves in a brand-new bathroom? A great bathroom remodel starts with a vision. What do you imagine your new bathroom will look like? Gather some inspiration online and keep track of things you like so you can share with your contractor later.

Prioritize based on your budget

Learn more about the costs of a full remodel.

Contact a professional

Once you have a clear picture of what you want and need in your new bathroom, it's time to call the professionals. Whether you're looking for a general contractor to complete a full remodel or a company that will install a new tub/shower, we always recommend getting multiple quotes so you can compare your options. Learn more about how to properly vet the companies who are bidding on your project.


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