Hello my lovelies,
We are almost at the stage of the house renovation where we will have to take a step back and let the professionals in to do their thing.
We are pretty capable when it comes to the basic house renovation things, but plastering and major tiling projects are out of our remit.
There is no way we could get the same kind of finish that a professional plasterer can, and although I’ve tackled a few small tiling project such as the two bedroom hearths and the outside lavatory, tiling a wet room is way beyond my amateur capabilities.
The bathroom was one of the biggest problems in this house (one of many actually). It is tiny. I mean so tiny that only one person could stand in the space between the toilet, basin and bath. Two people could not fit in the bathroom… and we thought the bathroom in our previous house was small, heck no! We realised early on that we were going to have to sacrifice the hot press to gain a bit more space in the bathroom.
If you don’t know what a hot press is… well…. it’s basically a space where the water cylinder is stored, with shelving space above for storing towels and linens. They can sometimes be known as airing cupboards. To be honest, you’re better off googling it.
Storage is something I’m continually considering in every room of the house. I’m not a fan of clutter, I need to make sure every room has enough storage space for the amount of things that will be stored there… i.e, towels in the bathroom, clothes in the bedrooms, coats and shoes int he hallway, etc, etc, you get the idea.
Luckily for us we still had the original pantry cupboard in the old scullery (set to be the new utility room) and although the hubs wanted to get rid of it (sacrilege) I’ve desperately clung on to it as I know we will need some major storage for things like spare towels, linens, toiletries, pet supplies, kitchen equipment, etc. I don’t think men really think about this sort of thing!
So now we had agreed to get rid of the hot press, we hauled the basin and toilet out to the skip and broke up the bath (of course it had to be bloody cast iron) and took it out in manageable pieces.
Next, the beauty boards came off the walls, then the tongue and groove behind that. We also took the tongue and groove off the ceiling leaving the rafters bare to the attic.
It’s worth mentioning here that the old lead water tank was still up in the attic space above the bathroom (and when we removed the tongue and groove ceiling we could see it much clearer). A new one had been put in some time ago (thankfully) however the old lead one hadn’t been removed. The space above the bathroom is on a slightly lower level to the rest of the attic, meaning that it was difficult to access the tank and it couldn’t be easily shifted.
Of course, once we seen how much bigger the bathroom looked when the low tongue and groove ceiling was removed, we knew we were going to extend the ceiling height in the bathroom, so the old lead tank had to go.
This involved securing sections of the tank to the rafters and using an angle-grinder to cut the sections apart… it was not a pleasant job and I was thankful that the hubs volunteered to do it. Once the sections were apart the hubs was able to lower them into the bathroom below and we chucked them in the skip.
So then came more complications – what could we fit in here? First we decided that we were going to try and fit a small space saving bath (think Tubby by Albion… yes that small) in with a shower over…. then when we marked out the dimensions on the floor we realised that it would still leave us with very little space.
Next option was to just have a shower and forgo the bath completely… however when I thought about it I didn’t like the idea of having a shower tray cutting off the floorspace… the room would look much bigger if we could make the tray level with the floor… and so we decided on doing the wet room.
We lathed out the walls – as per everything in this house they were all uneven and had to be packed out level – and put a new sub floor down (the floorboards weren’t in great condition so it was best to replace them).
Then we used tile backer board on the floor and walls where we would be tiling only (no plaster). We used plasterboard on the ceiling and the walls which would only be half tiled.
Then we tanked out the room, we went overboard on the tanking really – better safe than sorry, especially because the wet room is on the first floor – we didn’t want any chance of leaks.
So now it’s down to the plasterer and tiler to do their thing, then we will fit the pan, cistern, shower and basin. We have a pretty cool cistern which a friend pulled out of an old latrine on a job he was doing… but I’ll wait until we have it fitted to share!
Although it may look like we are going more modern choosing a floor level shower tray instead of a shower over bath, we are still very much keeping in mind the house’s heritage and era. I don’t want to give too much away, but although a wet room is a more modern thing than we would have chosen to do had we more space, it will look very much in keeping with the era of house, but I don’t want to give away any of the surprises!
Big hugs! x