Bathroom Shenanigans

So if you have just lost the use of the front balcony bathroom, one of five, due to failing pipes what would you do? I discussed in the previous bathroom post that we should remove this bathroom completely instead of spending vast sums of money to bring it back to standard. Removing this non-functional bathroom will be put on the backburner. We have decided to do up another bathroom, but which one should we choose?


Balcony bathroom

The back balcony bathroom is the most modern with a walk in shower, once you dodge past the hot water system that shares the bathroom space.  It would be nice to move the hot water system out of the room so you could turn around without touching it. This bathroom should have a lovely view out the east facing window and should be filled with the dawn light. Except that when they modernised it in the 1980s (that is a guess, maybe 1990s) they tiled over the window turning the bathroom into a windowless box with no natural light. I hate that so much. I would really like to change this room so that the window could let light in again but it is the most modern bathroom in the house. Therefore, it will be left alone while we upgrade at least one other bathroom so we are not too inconvenienced.

Back balcony bathroom

The bathroom at the top of the house has a new roof so water does not run down one of its walls to leak into the rooms below. This is a really good thing. While it would be nice to fix up the paint thin walls, as the dripping water washed away the plaster from the paint, it works fine as a bathroom. It isn’t used very much and so is not a priority.


Top bathroom. Wall above bath plughole is the paint thin one. The black floor paint has worn off the red concrete.

On the ground floor on the back west corner there is a small bathroom. Its main problem is that the toilet runs when the water is turned on. Simply replacing the valves in the cistern would fix that problem. I’ve done that job on other toilets but have chosen not to bother with this one as we have a working toilet on the other side of the floor about 10 metres away. So the water is turned off and we use this room and the associated laundry to store stuff. We have too much stuff but that is another story.


The back west bathroom. The smallest one.

The fifth and final bathroom is on the ground floor on the east side back corner. This was a bathroom that had a burst pipe when we bought the house. Although that wasn’t really obvious at first until I noticed the water running out of the bath’s ventilation vent and down into the floor drain. The very first plumbing job had the bath ripped out in the search of the burst pipe. It has remained in a deconstructed state since that day. At least the toilet and basin continued working.  We figure that this is the best bathroom to do first. It is larger than the bathroom on the other side. It also has an east facing window and better yet it has not been tiled over. Having a bathroom on this floor is really good for those visitors who have trouble with getting up the stairs. It will also change a bit of a disaster area bathroom into a fully functional nice bathroom.


The back east bathroom when it had a bath and leaking water from burst pipe filling up the bath cavity and dribbling out the ventilation holes to the floor drain. Note that the bath spout had also been broken off at some time.


After the pipe fix and bath removal

So we have called in the plumbers, electrician, and tilers to do the work. While I have no doubt that I could do most of the work I do know I would take at least 10 times as long to do it. I would also never be 100% confident that I had finished the work correctly. I do not like doing plumbing work. I can not only change washers and toilet valves but have also changed entire taps. I just don’t like doing it. Weird I know but it is my least favourite building activity.  I’m also very unsure that I would correctly organise all the pipes. Making sure the tiles are waterproofed correctly is also a skill I don’t have and I would like it properly done so the experts can do that. Then there is the gas for an instantaneous hot water service. I wouldn’t touch gas work with a barge pole. Not to forget there is the problem of getting electricity into this bathroom to power the light, fan, power point, and hot water service. It looks like the power cable to the room went along with the missing kitchen wall in the room next door.

We are installing an instant gas hot water system to replace the regular tank hot water system, which is located just outside the back door. The plan is there will be a shower in one corner. The toliet will be moved out of the corner and along the wall. A basin on a pedestal will be next to the door as you leave. There should be lots of room and the fittings will be a bit stylish but not real Victorian. The floor tiles will be non slip with a sand brown colour. The wall tiles will be very large white tiles to keep the amount of grout lines to keep clean less. The reason for not going all out on this bathroom is a) cost and b) if we win lotto the back of the house will be redone completely and all of this will be stripped out again. In the mean time we and our visitors will have a nice new up to date bathroom with easy access.


The loo was ok. Picture shows the sensor operated battery lights due to lack of electricity

The starting stage of work has been clearing the room. I removed the fittings and some otherstuff. James came with a jack hammer and chisel set and spent an entire day removing all the tiles and the concrete floor.


Through the door. The dark straggly things on the right are tree roots from the bath drain.


This shows the end of where the bath was. There is dirt on the left and the line of concrete matches that of the conrete slab at the adjacent back door. Obviously this bathroom was added on and extended out from the original building by a bit over a foot when it was built in 1925.




One response to “Bathroom Shenanigans

  1. Wow! This makes me very glad that I only have one crap bathroom to do up, though I don’t know when that’s going to happen. I’d be interested to know what sort of costs you’re facing.

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