Bathroom renos: Day 12

28 02 2023

Today was the final tiling and all the wall and floor grouting. It’s now all drying in prep for tomorrow when some of the fittings and plumbing will start to get installed. It’s starting to look more and more like a bathroom!
Only the silicon beading to be done in the corners of the shower and where the wall tiles meet the floor.

Tiled floor has been washed and is now drying—the tiler did a great job matching the tiles in the channel drain with those on the floor. I watched him set aside those pieces several days ago when he was making his cuts for the floor tiles—that prep certainly paid off.

In this last photo, the grouted area is on the left showing how clean a finish grouting makes to the tiles; the ungrouted floor tiles are on the right. And my purple Crocs are making an unexpected appearance 🙂

Bathroom renos: Day 11

27 02 2023

The tiler and project manager (PM) here bright and early this morning. By lunchtime, the tiler had finished almost all the wall tiling, the PM made the surround for the in-wall toilet cistern, which the tiler mostly tiled. More time to cure, so they’d both left by lunchtime. The tiler will finish the last bits of tiling tomorrow and then do the grouting.

Later this week will see the return of the plumber and electrician, plus the painter, and most of the fittings will be installed. Next Monday is a public holiday, so the shower screen may not come until next Tuesday, but we should hopefully have a functioning bathroom sometime next week, a couple of days over the expected time. The doors won’t be installed until 14 March (I think), then I think the painter comes back to do those. And yes that now very yellow caramel paint will be replaced with a much lighter beach sand colour.

Bathroom renos: Day 10

24 02 2023

Almost 2 weeks into the 3-week reno (though it maybe a couple more days than that until it’s all finished). And by the middle of Day 10, we’re at the stage where all the floors have been tiled (not yet grouted) and the walls are partly tiled. I’ll add more photos at the end of the day.

Photos after the tiler finished for the day (I like how he tiled the floor and wall area that will be hidden by the vanity unit—it means that if we ever decide to change out the vanity, we won’t need to redo the tiling):

Bathroom renos: Day 9

23 02 2023

We have progress! The floor tiling has begun and is expected to be finished in a few hours. We’re getting floorboard-look tiles for the floor, in a soft caramel colour. Why? Because the wooden floors in our house are a honey-coloured blackbutt (Australian native timber) and the carpet in the adjoining bedroom is a caramel colour as are the walls etc. and I didn’t want to depart too far from what we already had.

I took a couple of photos when the tiler went to lunch. Possibly more to come later today. And yes, the shower will have a channel drain.

By 2pm, he’d finished the main bathroom floor except for a tiny bit in a corner and the toilet. The bathroom floor looks like that little Aussie bleeder, Norman Gunston (only Australians of a certain age will get that!)

Bathroom renos: Day 7 and Day 8

22 02 2023

Not a lot to report. The 3 coats of waterproofing need a day to dry between each coat, so the first few days this week is just watching paint dry—literally!

Both the tiler and the project manager have been here for short stints on both days—the tiler to do the waterproofing and prep work for tiling (which starts tomorrow, Day 9!) and the PM to do small things, like patch holes in walls then sand down in preparation for the tiling and painting, vacuum the concrete floors with an industrial-strength vacuum cleaner, replace skirtings on the bedroom side of the en suite that were taken off to allow the doorway to be widened etc.

And the tiler has put up his plan for the floorboard-style tiles he’ll be laying on the floor.


Bathroom renos: Day 6

20 02 2023

Day 6 of bathroom renos. Very quiet today. The only activity was the tiler doing the first waterproofing coat, and the project manager installing the architraves for the 2 widened doorways. Both were finished and gone before 11am.

Tomorrow will be another coat of waterproofing around 8am, with possibly the final (3rd) coat tomorrow afternoon if the weather remains hot and dry as expected. The Australian Standard for waterproofing is one coat up to 1.8 m high in the shower, but this company does 2 coats as standard and up to tile height (2 m in our case). Because I’ve had 3 bathrooms retiled in the past 16 years because of waterproofing issues, I insisted on 3 coats—I DO NOT want to have to be in a situation where this has to be redone.

Also, sometime in the past few work days, the cistern got installed inside the frame that will conceal it.


Bathroom renos: Day 5

17 02 2023

A very quiet day today. The PM and tiler both turned up early, and the tiler got on to filling and screeding the floor and wall area for the shower. But concrete (or whatever he uses) has to dry so he was done and gone by mid-morning. He’ll be back later today to do a bit more, then it will all dry over the weekend. He’ll start the waterproofing on Monday and that will take 3 days because I want 3 coats and up much higher on the walls than the Australian standard. He told me he’s not just waterproofing the shower area, but also the walls, floors and window ledges where water could splash, and the back wall where the bath used to be, and into the main bathroom area too. Each coat has to dry, so 3 coats = 3 days before he can start tiling. He can’t start tiling earlier from the toilet out otherwise he could be out in the measurements—the tiling has to start from the where the shower screen will go, which is why he can’t do anything until the waterproofing is all done. In my chat about our 3 previous experiences with bad waterproofing and bathrooms, I found that he and I are very much on the same page about getting the waterproofing done right the first time, because it’s way to expensive to fix later. An extra day for a 3rd coat? in the scheme of things, it’s a small price to pay.

The PM was also here first thing (it’s his day off!) and we pulled down the blue plastic that we’d had up to minimise the dust. He did a few things then took off for the day.


Bathroom renos: Day 4

17 02 2023

Much quieter today, though there was some noise at various times. Fewer people too! The project manager (PM) was here bright and early, along with the tiler. The tiler spent the morning starting the work on the floors, specifically concreting the hole through to the sane where the bath and its waste pipe had been (the blue level in the photo) and smoothing the window ledge and walls for the shower wet area. He left about midday as everything has to dry before the next stage. Luckily we’re in the middle of summer so we can keep the window wide open and the ambient temperature helps with the drying process.

We nearly had a potential long-term problem yesterday. Fortunately, our PM is on the ball. Before the tiler smoothed out and coated the shower walls, the PM called me in to see how high I wanted the shelves for the shampoo etc. to be. My husband has deliberately not seen ANY of renos and wasn’t going to until it was finished. But we needed him to come in and check the height for the shower shelves (he’s 190 cm, I’m 168 cm, and the PM is not much bigger than me). And then we realised that the shower head position was going to be about 5 cm above his head, which is not enough! So, the PM made a quick decision to call back the plumber and raise the fitting for the shower head (we couldn’t raise it too far because there’s a stupid [but necessary] bulkhead in the way, but it’s gone up about 10 cm more). Meanwhile the PM got straight onto clearing out the cement the plumber used to cover the chased section of new pipework that he’d only done the day before, before it hardened fully. The plumber came a few hours later and made the change in about 10 mins. Phew! The PM said this wouldn’t be an extra expense as it was his fault for not checking first.

Another cool thing—back in the day, tilers etc. would mix their cement outside and bring it in with a wheelbarrow,  which is not good for the floors it has to cross to get to the en suite bathroom. But these days it’s a bit different. Our tiler mixes in situ, using one of those big plastic tubs (the blue one in the photo) and a mixing machine that’s like a big blender! Easy peasy, and no mess! The only thing that comes from outside is a garden hose to add water to the mix.

Bathroom renos: Day 3

15 02 2023

Midway through Day 3 of the bathroom renos… Not much to report—just more noise.

Plumber came again this morning (more drilling), as did the project manager (more drilling; put up the door frames in the newly widened doorways; marked up for the electricians; installed the cistern). Then came the electricians (3) who’ve done more drilling to relocate light/fan switches, shift one power outlet and add another, including drilling through the wardrobe in my sewing room. Our power will go off this afternoon for an hour or so while they connect it all up (plus work in the roof space — under Western Australian law the power must be turned off if anyone enters a roof space).

Reminder to those who don’t live in Australia: Most houses in Western Australia (and much of Australia) are built of brick, typically double brick outer walls and single brick inner walls. And our electrical voltage is 240V so only licensed electricians are allowed to do electrical work. Every time I see a North American reno show where they just knock down or put up walls willy-nilly or do their own electrical work, I shake my head as our experience here is so different to that.

End of Day 3. The project manager popped in to do a bit and check the work and told me that the worst of the drilling is over!!! Yay!!! It doesn’t look like much has changed but it has and ultimately all that work will be concealed behind tiles and paint.

The photo below is of the new power point locations on the wall below where the vanity and mirrored cupboards will go. The power point on the far right wall had to move because it’s where the sliding door will run. You only get to do this once so I went for it and said 2x double power points!

Next one is of the new light/fan switch location inside the toilet. The previous one was inside the left of the door frame, but with a sliding door, that was going to be a silly place. The project manager suggested here, handy to where you open the door, so here it is. The other is the relocated one for the light/fan switches for the main bathroom. The architrave for the doorway is now in place.

This final photo doesn’t look much but it was a LOT of work for the plumber. The wet cement hides where the old tapset and shower head pipes and connections were. They had to be pulled out and covered over. The hole near the top of the wall on the left is for the new rain shower head, and the bit sticking out halfway up the right wall is for the new mixer tap for the shower. The original plan was to have that tap much further right so you don’t have any chance of scalding yourself when turning on the shower. But those plans had to change quickly once the demolition guys had exposed the bare wall. Why? Because if you look on the right wall, towards the corner, you’ll see a ragged line of grey cement. And when the project manager and I went outside, we discovered that that bit of cement conceals the ONLY hot water pipe into the house. They couldn’t run the pipes between the tap and the shower head without cutting into that pipe—it’s likely not very far below that cement. So the compromise is to move the tap to the right side. It couldn’t remain on the left as it would be too close to the fixed-glass shower screen and would almost certainly be a scalding hazard as there’s no room to move out of the way.

Bathroom renos: Day 2

14 02 2023

Not a lot to report today.

The project manager was here this morning framing the surround for the toilet cistern, and bringing in some of the fittings (e.g. toilet—yes we have a toilet in the bedroom right now!).

The new toilet is now inside, but has only made it as far as the bedroom

Wooden framing done for the surround for the toilet cistern

Very narrow toilet cistern, which will be hidden inside the framing but accessible from a removable lid

The plumber may be here this afternoon or tomorrow morning (the strip-out people finished earlier than expected, so the plumber may not get here today).

Tomorrow the electricians will be back to shift/add power points and re-situate light/fan switches etc. that had to be moved when the doors were widened. Then on Thursday the floor and wall prep starts ready for the tiling.