1st time DIYERS - doing a whole bathroom?

1 Oct 2014
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United Kingdom
Hey, Im new here so apologies if this is in the wrong bit. I think its more of a general enquiry than anything specific at this point.

Basically........My family and I live in a 1900's house. The bathroom is an add on and I don't think its been redecorated since the 90's!

We would like a new one, but at 9k from all-in-one companies its too much. We think we can do the work ourselves.

I am trying to not have grand plans, and ideally dont want to do a complete overhall.

Does anyone have any good pointers or recommendations? We need to first off start with a new consumer unit as its from the 70's! Dont worry - an electrician will do that - and fit a fan to the bathroom (or at least the wiring to start with )

I just dont know if we should do things like rip out ALL the plaster ? We have Lathe walls with some weird rather like concrete plaster.

I want to have built in units, and had fancied making these ourselves out of marine ply, stained and varnished. Is that too crazy a plan?
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Pics would help, you could overboard the walls if they are bad, ply furniture would look nasty [IMO] kitchen cupboards etc can easily be modified to give a cheap alternative to made to measure units.
You could change the suit and tile. I did a modest size bathroom for around £700 , new floor , ceiling and fully tiled with new suit and rad. I used recycled floor tiles and shower screen from previous job.
I will get some tonight, be warned. its BAD. Not falling down bad but not good.

ive been having a look about this afternoon, trying to get ideas.

when I say plywood units I was thinking along the lines of this type of finish. Sanded and stained and then varnished. :


I do have a whole kitchens worth of doors that I got 3 years ago off a local freecycle. They are the shaker style though, not what we are after.

I've been having crazy ideas like a butler sink instead of a normal basin. Mainly as we want a straight edge shower bath so wanted to keep in with the straight lines. That and it seems easier to put in a unit/worktop than an angled one.

For the floor my partner wants slate tiles, which would be on the shower wall as well.

I guess we are thinking industrial. I am trying to NOT over complicate it though
We have done a bathroom ourselves, except the wiring for a fan, a shaver socket, and mirror lights. New floor (the old boards and some joists were rotten), new pipes, tiles floor to ceiling, the floor is tiled as well, new door, built-in vanity unit and concealed cistern (bought from Wicks but needed some redesign). Nighter me, nor my partner had any previous experience with bathrooms or tiling, although we had done some diy before. I found all the information we needed here.

My tips are

1) go to the tiling forum, read the sticky, and then search for anything you want to know and ask questions if necessary.

2) Don't forget to put stop valves before the taps.

3) If you have to secure some panels by screws that will be visible - use mirror screws.

4) Use good tile adhesive, look for deals online

5) Don't use black or white grout on the floor, it will get dirty. The guys here say that grey is the best option. I used buff to much the tiles, it works well too.

6) This tool
http://www.vitrex.co.uk/details.php?sc=19&id=149 works as magic, cleans the exess grout in no time.

Can't think of anything else right now. Good luck with your project!
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The best advice I can give you when doing a complete bathroom (I am a fitter) is to be at least five steps ahead of anything you are doing. Try and plan in advance. The order of jobs will differ depending on your bathroom layout and whether or not you have alternative facilities.

And of course post on DIYnot but in the correct section -plumbing, tiling etc.

BTW, you can get a bathroom fitted for a lot less than you were quoted. Get quotes from local fitters and order your suite yourself. Any good fitter will be happy to advise you on what you need to buy.
Cheers folks! Not planning on doing anything before summer next year so I have plenty of time to plan!

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