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Bathrooms are one of the smallest rooms in the house and they are also one the most costly to renovate. Bathroom renovation is a job that, if done well, can add value to a home and a great space full of design and light.
Bathroom design is the first area of your bathroom renovation you need to get right. Just replacing the existing bathroom with the same design may not be enough. The key to great bathroom design is to design it with the people that are going to use it in mind. However be sure that your bathroom design also has a general use factor as well. For example: If you were designing a bathroom for families you could still design the bathroom with easy access to the shower and bath. This would ensure that the design would also work for people with limited mobility. This means if you decide to sell your home or if you are renovating for profit your design has a wider market appeal. Great bathroom design also uses the space well, taking into account the light or window space, size of fittings, and drainage options. Draw out a plan to scale and right down the sizes of your room. Mark the existing drainage points and then and water inlet points. Write down a wish list of the bathroom fittings to need and want with their sizes. Now marry the two together and see what fits. Note: Most bathroom drainage and water inlet points can be moved but this does come at extra cost.
If you have decided to do the work yourself or part of the work it is time to hire a skip bin and pull out the old bathroom. If your home was made pre 1980 you may have fibro bathroom wall linings with asbestos in it and great care will need to be taken. You will need some full body disposable overalls, eye protection, and quality dust mask. Check with your local building authority or council regarding the regulation on bathroom asbestos wall lining removal.
Remove everything except the plumbing. If you keep the bathroom plumbing in place you will not have to turn the water off for the whole house. Also you will need to jack hammer the floor tiles up and the sand and cement bed that they are laid on.
Bathroom Renovation and construction
Bathrooms must be construction properly from the ground up to ensure that the finished job is correct and true. This also ensures the design and look of the bathroom will have a great finish
The Bathroom Renovation Process
Step one – Plumbing and electrical
At this point all new plumbing is installed for clean hot and cold water and drainage. Careful attention needs to be taken when positioning the new plumbing so that the plumbing fittings are correct when the tiling is finished. For example: To centre a fitting in a shower recess you must take into consideration the thickness of the wall board, tile glue and tile so the fitting will be centred after the tiles are in place. The same applies to installing drainage pipes for a toilet; the wall lining and tile thickness must be taken into account so the pipe is in the correct position when the toilet is installed after tiling. Also rough in the any new electrical wires without connecting them to the mains power.
Step two – Install wall and ceiling linings
Install your 6mm wall lining being careful to nail the fibro board every 150mm without nailing into the new pipes and electrical wires. The best way is to measure and mark the pipe and wire layout onto your new wall board with a pencil as you go. Screw up (or nail) the ceiling lining, plasterboard is the most common. However if you are laying your tiles from floor to ceiling do not install the cornice as this is best done after tiling. If you are not tiling to the ceiling go ahead and install the cornice after the wallboard and ceiling lining have been installed. Also if your bath is not freestanding you can now make up the frame and install the bath. Ensure the bath is installed correctly allowing for the thickness of the tiles and glue.Be sure to check all linings and pipes before you continue with your bathroom renovation.
Step three – Waterproof your bathroom
Waterproof your bathroom floor, shower recess, and around the bath. When waterproofing the floor ensure that the waterproofing comes 100mm up the walls. The shower recess will need to be waterproofed 100mm above the shower rose outlet. Also the bath should be waterproofed 100mm above the lip of the bath right around and to the floor. At the doorway install a 25 x 25mm aluminum angle glued into place with quality silicone and waterproof into the lip. Your whole bathroom should now the tanked, so the all water will only go down a drain. Bathroom waterproofing tip: waterproofing is an easy job but quality and accuracy is most important.
Step four – Lay in the cement screed for the floor.
Before the floor tiles can laid the floor must be smooth and fairly flat with a slight fall to the drainage outlet. To do this you must use sand and cement mix and it is best to add a waterproofing agent into this as well. With a level, set the floor level at the doorway. Use the top aluminum angle as the finished floor level and measure down the thickness of the tile plus 10mm for the glue. Mark right around the bathroom with a level and then screed in your sand and cement mix with a 1 to 3 degree fall to the top of the drain outlet. Take your time and get it right with the finished level as smooth as possible. When the sand cement mix has set but is not dry (you can walk on it but you it is still a bit soft) rub it over with a house brick. This will remove all the small highs and lows and check with a level as you go. Let the bathroom floor fully dry and then you should have a great surface to tile onto. Tip: the more work you put into the floor screed the easier your tiling will be.
Step five: Tile floor and walls
Lay your tiles on the floor first and then grout. Then lay your wall tiles making sure that they are level as you lay. Once the bathroom tiles have been cut and laid, grout all your tiles and then buff the tiles clean.
Step six: Install plumbing fitting and fixtures
Install all your plumbing fittings and taps. Also fit all your towel rails and soap holders. Fit your new bathroom vanity making sure it is level and sealed around the top with silicone and also seal around the bath. Tip: make sure they are in the right place before you drill into your tiles.
Step seven: painting, and cleaning – enjoy
Paint your ceiling and do a final clean making sure everything is fitted correctly and that there are no leaks in your plumbing. – Enjoy your new bathroom.