Changing a cramped bathroom to a more spacious shower room.

Again, the usual modern house bathroom as fitted by the builder. Oh dear! I know that budgets are tight, but seriously, and look at the amount of money you pay for these houses.

Where to start? The main problem, as with most modern houses is “the room is too small”. The builder works on the premise “we need a sink, a bath a WC, what is the smallest space those items will fit into”? The answer is a room approx. 6′ x 6′ (1800mm x 1800mm). Due to land prices, houses are getting ever smaller. To compound the issues with this room we have a sloping ceiling… the shower curtain is pure class! I know most women like a bath, to relax and soak, this room could have been fitted with a concealed shower valve and a concertina shower screen, then again it could have had a few more tiles on the wall!

So what’s the solution? First off, no woman so no need for a bath! This room was a full refit, mainly due to the poor construction methods which are now often employed. Because it’s a solid floor, all the heating and water pipes are run behind the plasterboard, resulting in the board being about 25mm away from the solid walls, not enough drywall adhesive means flexing of the boards and draughts and spiders┬ábecause not sealed correctly!

Also the internal walls are just constructed of layers of plasterboard bonded together with minimal timber support, some of the worst I’ve ever seen. The Japanese have something slightly thinner which is made of bamboo and stretched rice paper but they have earthquakes!

As can be seen from the pictures, in order to gain access to the pipework and to provide decent fixings for the sink, shower and radiator, most of the plasterboard was removed along with the tiles, back to the bare block work and start again. A new timber frame was constructed to conceal the shower and associated plumbing and to strengthen the ludicrously thin walls, the two shower walls were clad in cement board, bonded to the block work with waterproof cement based adhesive, the walls are now completely solid.

The wall under the roof light was battened out to provide support for the sink unit and to hide the waste and water pipes, then the whole lot over boarded, again, now solid. The wall with the towel rail on had timber supports bonded into the very thin wall and then the whole lot over boarded to give some solidity and soundproofing.

Some low voltage led lighting was fitted into the shower tray base to provide muted illumination to the floor so during the night, one is not “blinded by the light” when making that call. High power led down lights to the ceiling along with loft mounted extractor.

The shower consists of six body jets and a drencher head, these can be operated together or separately. The floor was fitted with electric under floor heating with a colour touch screen display and the walls and floor are tiled with a honed & filled Travertine stone, which was then sealed. The shower screen has a hydrophilic coating on the inside to aid cleaning and the walls in the shower area given an extra waterproof coating, again to aid cleaning and minimise staining.

Towel rail by Acova, Travertine tiles from Turkey, all other fittings supplied by me.

Once I’ve fitted a job, I really don’t want to be coming back to fix problems, therefore I don’t want any problems, therefore I work the way I do. I’ve often been accused of putting too much effort into a job…guilty as charged!
After more than 30 years I’m not going to change now.

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