Almost two whole years after getting the keys to our house, we have finally done it… we have a brand spanking new, super shiny, bathroom of dreams!
We had to endure months and months of our awful 70’s bathroom suite and a hideous artex ceiling whilst we decorated other parts of the house and then saved up for the bathroom we really wanted but I can confirm it was more than worth the wait.
I wrote a post back in January detailing my hopes for our house in 2017 and it mainly focused on our bathroom. You can read that here.
When we bought the bathroom suite from Victoria Plumb in the January sale, I majorly underestimated just how much planning, disruption and money a new bathroom costs! This room was by far the most work we have done on the house so far in regards to (hopefully!) adding value to our home, hence the January – April delay whilst we saved and got everything in place ready to go.
As mentioned, our old bathroom wasn’t great. It lacked any real style and I refused to take a bath in it as no matter how much bleach and elbow grease I used, it never really felt entirely clean.
The worst part for me was the delightful plastic sink. I have no idea why it bothered me so much, but it didn’t feel permanent to me.
The room was tiled floor to ceiling on three walls, and painted a peach colour on the rest. The tiles were plain and a bit wonky. We inherited a cabinet when we moved in and just kept it as we always knew one day we’d change it. It was by no means offensive, but it wasn’t us.
Prepping the room
We are lucky enough to have a good plumber living on the same road as us, who had previsouly fitter our radiator in our new bedroom. We decided to go ahead with him as the fitter for the job as we knew he was reliable and lived literally 20 seconds away.
I booked for a skip to be delivered the day before the work started as everything needed to be thrown. The plumber and a work mate came in on Friday April 7th and ripped the bathroom out in a couple of hours and so started the destruction! I am lucky enough that my work is flexible to let me work from home on occasion, so I was there to supervise and be on hand. I mainly spent the day freaking out at the mess and dust that was settling on every visible surface.
By the end of day one we had a room that resembled a building site, but the plumber had also managed to move all the pipes into their new home under the floor. They were all visible before so this was already a great improvement.
We also had encountered our first problems to the job!
- After pulling off the tiles it became apparent that the walls were in a much worse condition than expected and would require more time (and money!) to repair ready for the next part of the job.
- The plumber managed to hammer a nail through the wall knocking some plaster out of the hall wall so we have since had to redecorate. (No biggie though as I hated the colour and was looking for a reason to convince Craig to let me paint it all again only 18 months after we had originally done it.)
- The wall where the shower used to be, where we intended our new one to go, was too thin (and weirdly made of straw!?) and unable to hold the weight of a shower head. Cue panicked phone calls to my husband, who was in a meeting and didn’t answer, meaning I had to make the decision to there and then change the layout of the bathroom and move the shower to the other end of the bath, with the addition of a new built up wall to hide the new pump and pipe work.
The next day, our plasterer made an emergency visit so we could show him the extent of the walls after the tiles had gone so he could re-quote us for the extra work. It only added half a day onto the plastering job in the end of it, so it could have been much worse.
We were working to a tight schedule to allow for the drying of the plastering to be done in time for us to cove and paint the room ready for us going on holiday as the tiler was due to come in and finish his job whilst we were away. Luckily the plastering went to plan and was finished within three days, slightly delayed after the plasterer had to take a day off for an emergency dental fix for a lost tooth!
We could already start to see the room taking shape just four days after it was all ripped out. The weather was fairly warm for the plaster only took two days to dry. That meant Easter weekend was full on for us, getting everything done before we flew off to Venice after Easter Monday.
The plumber spent good Friday building up the end of the bath, complete with pigeon hole for our shampoo, and putting the tub in place.
My Grandad kindly did the coving for us, as he has all the other rooms in our house. Once this was done, we got to painting the ceiling and walls. Luckily we opted for tiles half way up three of the walls so we didn’t need to do much painting but as we had fresh plaster, it meant adding a mist coat to the walls first. My absolute least favourite decorating job. Half of the paint ended up in my hair. Next time I am wearing a shower cap I swear! I was still picking it out of my hair four washes later in Italy.
We must have spent a small fortune on paint samples again for this room. Why do they always look so different than promised! In the end we ended up choosing Valspar’s ‘Touch of Spring’, really subtle light green colour. It is absolutely what I envisaged in my head and it makes the room feel so light and spacious. Valspar nailed it again! We are very loyal to their paints and have used them throughout the whole house.
Once the painting was done we breathed a sigh of relief and off we went to Venice for a relaxing four days whilst we left the job in the capable hands of my parents to monitor whilst we were away and the tiler was in.
We got sent updates whilst we were away and were actually excited to get back home and see the finished tiling job. We are SO pleased with the tiles, it really makes the room.
It’s ridiculous just how many evenings I spent looking for tiles online. We wanted matte white flat metro tiles and in the end decided to order from Crown tiles. They were much cheaper than anywhere else I found, but the quality is the same and they were really helpful in replacing some tiles that were delivered chipped. 11 square meters of tiles just did the job, with not a single one to spare!
Our plumber went on holiday the day we flew back home, which meant there was time to get the floor hard boarded and the new vinyl laid. We were undecided for a long time about whether we should lay tiles or opt for a vinyl floor. We had a nightmare in our rented flat with the tiles cracking and rotting, and the floor having to be relaid so we decided on the dreamiest vinyl floor. In the end we bought it from eBay, after finding a seller on there as opposed to the flooring website we had original seen it on, and it was so cheap! The style is called Lisbon 900L and we managed to get enough for the bathroom and also our entrance hall for less than £60!
The next day our plumber came and fitted the rest of the bathroom suite, taps and our new radiator – it was an exciting day!
As I mentioned, we got our suite from Victoria Plumb in the after Christmas sales. We chose the ‘Camberley Grey‘ suite. We bought the vanity unit and basin, toilet unit and matching bath panel. We also bought the hinged shower screen too. This is great as it folds back completely. We thought we better think ahead to when we have a family as this will make bath time that much easier, but it still looks stylish. The bath tub was also from Victoria plumb as is a really lovely shape (and super comfy!).
The taps and shower
Again, I spent hours and hours researching in the evenings for the perfect taps and waterfall shower. We opted for the more traditional taps, knowing that the rest of the bathroom would be modern enough to balance them out. We used TapsUK.com for both the basin mixer taps and the bath shower mixer taps. Having never heard of the site before, delivery was super quick and the products are great and a really competitive price.
The shower came from Soak.com. We chose the traditional wall mounted shower head and thermostatic wall plate and we are so happy with it. We had an electric shower before, so our new shower meant we had to have a powerful pump installed but the water pressure is so good, it’s hard to leave the shower once you are in.
We are SO pleased with the radiator. It is such a feature in the room. It is a traditional style like the taps and shower, but it is practical too as it seconds as a towel rail, something that we didn’t have before. It came from Victorian Plumbing and is a beauty.
Before and after
The finishing touches
The finishing touches are always my favourite part. The amazing industrial shelf was from Loaf.com and I have wanted it for sooo long! I have enjoyed finding little pieces to go in each compartment. The art is all from John Lewis and each print was just £5 each – what a bargain! The colours go perfectly. The frames are just Ribba Ikea ones for £6 each. The big round mirror was an absolute Ikea bargain. The ceiling light we bought was also from Ikea but you can’t see it in any of the photos, but it also has an industrial feel.
Now the room is done, we are just enjoying it completely and it is so nice to have a dust free house again! Being able to relax in the bath is a dream.
Our next project is doing our conservatory. It is never quiet for too long in our house so watch this space for more house before and afters.