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I got the bathroom blues...

You know how I showed you my depressing bathroom? It's starting to get to me. Well - that's not strictly true. It has been annoying the crap out of me since we moved in. But bathroom renovations are so HUGE, aren't they? It takes a bit of fortitude, not to mention money and time to deal with tarting up the smallest room in the house (which in our case is really small - 2.3x1.8 metres, in case you were wondering). So to date we have concentrated on other things.

Well now, I've been doing quite a lot of paid work (!) lately and those dollars are just burning a hole in my pocket. We could always go on another cruise, which wouldn't be too foul, although in our el-cheapo interior cabins, the bathrooms are pretty tiny.

But day after day, my bathroom does my head in. It's not just the cramped space and lack of actual bath (although those things are very annoying) - it's the slap-dash workmanship of the previous owner, who believe it or not, renovated it not long before we moved in. Don't believe me? OK, I'll share the intimate details of my most intimate room (not for the faint hearted and please don't zoom in on the grot):

Stunning light switch
(I do clean it, no matter how it appears)

Old-fashioned, painted on tapware

Great workmanship on the tiling and the electrics
(the switches are permanently stuck on "on")

More great workmanship on the bathroom accessories
(note addition of toilet paper)

And yet more great workmanship on the toilet,
coupled with worn-out dual flushers

I stare at that cracked tile every time I sit down on the loo -
please also note excellent tiling skills

Cracked shower screen

Hubby's attempt at waterproofing - renovations will NOT be a DIY job!

More glamorous tapware - hot or cold? You decide

Quite possibly the worst tiling job in the world

As they say, it's the little things in life. And so I spent much of this morning wasting time on the Reece Bathroom Planner planning our new bathroom.

 It involves moving a door and one piece of plumbing, but I will hopefully gain a Tardis-like sense of space, a bath (oh, how I long for a soak in a bath), heated towel rails, a toilet that doesn't have ugly pipes hanging out the back and decent tiles. Or I will if we ever get past dreaming and planning and start doing.

Have you ever renovated a bathroom?
What tips do you have for me before I subject my family to bathroom hell?


  1. I have not renovated a bathroom, but we did gut our kitchen in our last house. Also, my dad is a contractor, and I have spent my entire life around construction.

    The most important piece of advice I can give you is to allow AT LEAST 10% in your budget for "surprises" and frankly, 25-30% would be better. In rooms where a lot of water activities happen, you never know what you will find when you take down the tile. You will certainly have to replace the backerboard behind all the tile, and quite possibly some of the studs/joists as well. Depending on how old your house is, actual pipes may need to be replaced. Have as much money set aside for what's behind that walls as you can, and if everything is fine back there, then it's a happy surprise rather than an unhappy one and you can upgrade your fixtures with the extra.

    Also, there are a lot of new products available now - waterproof vinyl-ish grout, for example, so make sure your contractor is up to speed on all the latest and greatest products.

    Also, do not skimp on the faucets/taps. A good tap will never give you trouble, and a bad one will only have to be replaced.

    There. Now aren't you sorry you asked? LOL!

    1. Well...I did ask!! I am under no illusions that underneath those crappy tiles is a pile of rotted everything! And the backboard is made of asbestos - so that will cost a bit to remove too.

      I'm liking the sound of waterproof grout (I wonder if we have that yet in Oz? Some things take a long time to reach our shores). And bring on the expensive tapware - "but Deb told me to spend up big!!!"

  2. We've renovated our bathroom twice (also a small room, shoe-horned in when this house upgraded to running water) and added a half-bath. A one-piece tub/shower makes cleaning easier, acrylic seems easier to clean than the fiberglass one we used to have. Also, we now have a glass block window. The bathroom had no outdoor light before and I battled the mold constantly. The glass block is attractive, gives us privacy (though it's up so high only a giant could look in) and lets in lots of light. DH did it all himself and added some neat little features. An outlet behind the toilet lets us plug in a nightlight/air freshener. A high powered fan over the shower with light and heat. The brightest light source at the mirror. All the shelves we had space for. And enough outlets.

    So now we have two toilets in this house and someone is still waiting in line most days. What's up with that?

    Have fun with renovations.

    1. We are going to redo the window - since we will have to pull the wall off anyway, seems to make sense. And although I didn't show it, our existing window is the most el-cheapo thing you could imagine.

      Loving the idea of outlets everywhere (again, might as well while we have the walls off).

      We only have one bathroom, but two toilets (although poos are banned downstairs as it doesn't flush well). It might as well be a nice bathroom!

  3. Hi Ing

    When we renovated the bathroom downstairs we put in a small downlight over the head of the bath so I can read in the bath. If you are going to relax in the tub might as well have the light to do so. Also, like our bathroom there isn't much room for the "electrics" - toothbrushes etc. Think about a shelf that will hold all those - get them off the basin - with dedicated power points. I would also love to have one of those hairdryer holders - again gets it off the basin and saves on cupboard storage.

    1. Great tips! I can feel the electrics and shelf-space are going to get priority!

  4. We have renovated five far. I'm lucky to have a hubby that can do everything. As Deb commented, budget for the unexpected! There are ALWAYS hidden costs. Here are a few tips...because you asked:
    1. Waterproof {wet areas}
    2. Fibre Cement Underlay {under tiled areas}
    3. Prior to sheeting the walls, decide where you are going to fix towel rails, shelving etc. so the tradesman can put extra noggins in if required.
    Best of luck! I look forward to progress reports :)

    1. Oh wow - FIVE??? Can I borrow your hubby, for about the next ten years? Mine's good at....maths! Loving the noggins tip!

  5. i always have a hard time specially in dealing with problems in my bathroom, that is why i am looking for some helpful tips on what would i do for my bathroom problems..your post is so helpful to us specially it gives us a lot of ideas


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