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Bathroom Project, what the plumbers did ......

Discussion in 'Your Projects' started by Blofeld72, 13 Apr 2015.

  1. Blofeld72

    Blofeld72

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    Hi all, I'm new here, though not DIYing I thought I would add a thread here as bit of a blog as to our bathroom project.

    DAY 1, 4pm

    I have spent a year or more getting funds together for our bathroom project and have finally pushed the button on things and the contractors have commenced today. I live in a typical turn of the century terraced house with three bedrooms, the bathroom at present only has (or had) a shower, it’s odd because every other house in the street seems to have enough room for a bath except ours. The room’s is pretty small at about 1600x1600 currently with a corner shower, separate toilet and sink/vanity unit. But we have young kids so a bath is a must.

    So I found a small 1570L Bette steel coffin bath which cost the earth but was the only one that fitted, a toilet & basin vanity unit (more suited to a cloakroom really because of the size) will be fitted too and the door will open out as opposed to in as it does at present. The shower head will remain. As the previous bathroom had been done to a good standard with floor to ceiling tiles and funds were tight I have had to resort to just having contractors replace tiles that required replacing though that still amounted to around 35 tiles of which I have sourced.

    Finding some tradesmen has been difficult as we are new to the area but we have finally found some who seem on the ball and happy to take it on and at some point you've just gotta go with your gut!

    So I am sitting in my office at work writing this and hearing about their progress via my wife, who has sent me the odd text through the day. I shall post some photos as they progress. In theory they will (hopefully) be finished by the end of Friday and this week before anyone asks. I shall post progress photos of the devastation they have caused later on today and shall continue each night .......

    As existing

    Proposed

    Proposed

    Proposed
     
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  3. Blofeld72

    Blofeld72

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    Day 1 Progress Photos

    Am happy with progress so far, seems the walls are generally sound as was concerned that half the wall would come away when the tiles were being removed.

    As expected the existing floor was chipboard and was wet, to be replaced with Ply.

    Old vanity unit removed, it appears that on this wall at least the previous occupants tiled over the existing tiles.

    The bath will go along this wall.

    This is where the shower was, water damage to existing ply so that will be removed/replaced as required.

    Tiles removed where shower screen was fixed through tiles.

    A few more tiles to be removed where existing fixings were located.
     
  4. Blofeld72

    Blofeld72

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    Day 2

    All the pipework and drainage under the floor has apparently been completed and a new plywood floor has been laid. We had tiles on the floor but we will be putting vinyl sheet back down, what is apparent now(and pretty obvious in retrospect) is that because vinyl is obviously a lot thinner than the tiles there will be a big gap between the floor and the bottom row of tiles so I will get them to add another layer of 9mm ply to raise it up a bit.

    Behind the shower where the plywood was damp the plan was to fit a sheet of aquapanel however the existing plywood is 9mm so it will be plywood going back as aquapanel is 12mm.

    New floor down

    New toilet waste hole through wall

    Existing plywood behind shower now removed
     
  5. Blofeld72

    Blofeld72

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    Day 3

    Its not exactly racing along, considering there are two of them. And they seem to need a little nagging to do what needs to be done. They've put the extra sheet of ply down though they still need to finish it off as they've not done it right, as the door is being handed to open out they need to trim the carpet back and move the threshold strip, so the ply needs extending here. Its annoying as we've discussed it twice now. The old soil pipe hole is now blocked up and the bath is in place. The shower valve and shower hose elbow have been fitted. The bath will be filled via a filler/waste from the shower valve to avoid taps at the other end.

    Bath in position

    Bath was a nice snug fit, far more room in the bathroom now and room to stand in the bath to shower which was a concern because the bath is quite narrow as well as short.

    Shower valve in position, there happened to be a stud and noggin bang in the position where the shower valve would have ideally gone (in the centre of a tile), so its gone centred over the bath and as high as possible. funds would not permit the additional work involved in moving stud/noggins.
     
  6. drgl

    drgl

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    Are you paying a day rate?
     
  7. Blofeld72

    Blofeld72

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    No a fixed fee, with any extras agreed as we go along.

    So far the extras has been fixing down the additional sheet of 9mm plywood on the floor and today I instructed them to remove the existing cabinet as it will be too near the shower and originally it was staying put. Sods law has meant there are four fixings, one in each tile so four tiles to be replaced there.

    There is a tile cut-out in the bottom edge of two of the tiles that’s under the mirror on the right hand side which can be seen (the mirror not the cut-out) in my 3D image and the first photo of my second post, next to the radiator which was done by the previous fitters to make the old vanity unit fit. As the toilet is going against this side wall it may be that we can fix the toilet roll holder over the cut-out, but I won't know if this will feel right until the toilet is in place. If it’s not then the tile will be replaced which will mean the mirror will have to come off and probably all of the tiles the mirrors fixed to, about 6, so that will be an extra if it happens.

    Cut-out in the bottom of tile, if you have keen eyes you can just about see one down the other end too, the mirror is just above, bonded to the wall

    They said they would be tiling today so I will post more photos tonight.
     
  8. Blofeld72

    Blofeld72

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    Day 4

    Some tiling has gone on, though progress is not exactly rapid otherwise. Though they could not work from between 10.30 and 1pm today as events in our household meant it was not convenient for them to be there, though they didn't seem to mind. the new tiles are fortunately a good match to the existing.

    Tiles under mirror attached.

    Tiles surrounding bath going in, the existing cabinet removed, four tiles replaced at high level.

    Tiles to end of bath nearly completed.

    Happy with workmanship so far, just. Just a shame its a bit slow. They did say we would be able to use the bathroom over the weekend, subject to the silicone going off so in reality on Saturday night at the earliest, which means to keep to that target they need to

    Finish the plywood floor
    Fit the toilet and basin vanity units.
    Fit and plumb in the toilet and basin, fit the cistern and flush, fit the taps and connect sink up the drains.
    Silicone seal where necessary.

    I can't see all that happening, given their speed to date. But we shall see ....

    Beyond that, next week they have to make and tile the bath panel, re-hang the door, if necessary replace however many tiles will be required when the mirror is removed.
     
  9. r1flyguy

    r1flyguy

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    Good luck on the completion mate,

    And I'm grateful for the info on the bath as never seen the company before so I'll bookmark them for my future use :mrgreen:
     
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  11. Blofeld72

    Blofeld72

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    OK have been a little preoccupied but thought I should update the thread.

    Day 5

    OK so the vanity units and sink & toilet have gone in, really chuffed at how much room there is now (compared to before). Cocked up a bit on the toilet choice though to be frank, its a very compact fella with a very rectangular pan and with it being so close to the radiator you can't sit on it perpendicular to the rear wall, as you should so you kind of have to sit on it at an angle as your knees hit the rad so hardly comfortable. Still at least no one will be taking their time to have a dump! :p May shift the radiator when funds permit to alleviate the clash. Tis a good flusher though which is always a bit of a concern when you buy a new toilet and (apologies for the crudeness) your turd drops into the water rather than on the porcelain as it seems to with some toilets so that's good.


    The muppets, sorry workmen, fitted the vanity units back to the wall, as you would expect but clearly the thought of ensuring the floor was level beforehand had not even entered their minds as there was about a 6mm gap under the feet under the front of the vanity units, tapering back to about 4mm at the back.


    Exactly the same occurred with the toilet pan, which they sat on various spacers.

    This is obviously outside at the end of this day, the old sP on the right and the new one on the left, supported on some bricks, hardly impressive!

    Now fortunately they hung around on this day and I managed to leave work a little early so as to be able to see them before they left. The first thing I said as soon as I saw the vanity was why is there such a big gap under the vanity units any water that's spilt would simply flow into the gap. Some scratching of heads occurred and a silicone solution was proposed. Not impressed. The floor will be vinyl sheet and will be sealed at the perimeter with silicone anyway but a 10mm silicone joint was too much of a bodge for me. Anyway all was fairly amicable and they left for the weekend to return on Monday to continue.

    Over the weekend I gave it plenty of thought as to how I felt it ought to be resolved, clearly levelling the whole floor was a little impractical at this stage so I concluded that building say a (level) 30mm plinth, facing it with ply and either tiling it or applying some pvc cladding to it was the best way forward, but meaning both vanity units would have to be removed and refitted, as a good will gesture I was prepared to pay for an additional toilet vanity unit as the one already fitted would have been scrapped because of the toilet cut-out, my argument being that its an old house and uneven floors are to be expected so addressing them before the fitted the vanity should have been allowed for.
     
  12. Blofeld72

    Blofeld72

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    Day 6 (Monday)

    Now I have to say I wasn't looking forward to seeing them on this day, as I know we were going to have a bit of a chat about things, in addition to the vanity unit shenanigans I'd found a half dozen or so other things that were concerning me over the weekend, including the devastation outside, a leaky pipe, the sink not being fixed blah blah blah.

    But Monday arrived we had a good old chinwag about the vanity unit and their faces were a picture when I suggested a plinth was the only practicable way forward and that removal and refitting was on the cards. I could see the beads of sweat developing on their foreheads but it all remained nice and peaceful and amicable, so I left them to it with the conclusion being that they'd have a think abut it and we'd discuss it later that morning when they'd had a think about it. We did speak later and they proposed fitting a mitred piece of gloss white kitchen plinth under the vanity units which would sit straight on the floor and fill the gap so I agreed on the proviso that they took some progress photos and we would reassess it afterwards so in the end I drive home at lunchtime to check it out. Well it wasn't ideal but the gap was largely gone meaning there would be something to seal against when the vinyl goes down so I accepted it. Can't say as I thought too much of the mitre tbh but they seemed confident that they'd sealed it well, as they do kitchen worktops and the like.

    The other items I'd picked up were just simple snags so no problems there.


    They spent the afternoon doing the bath panel which is semi-permanent, that is there are two panels with a joint down the middle which cane be removed if necessary, each secured with two screws at the base. They'll be siliconed at the perimeters.
     
  13. Blofeld72

    Blofeld72

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    Day 7

    They seemed very confident they'd be finished today but I knew they wouldn't, it was clear that they'd suddenly realised their fixed fee wasn't looking quite so good now (bearing in mind that they said all along before they started that they were confident of having it all done within 5 days. According to my wife they worked like troopers, the radio wasn't blaring they weren't standing around chatting or singing to the radio etc.

    Shelf at end of bath now tiled

    Bath panel tiled

    Tiles to end of bath finished
     
  14. Blofeld72

    Blofeld72

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    Day 10

    Everything grouted and tiled and all looking sweet, door re-hung so now opens out which works ok. All taps work as expected.

     
  15. Blofeld72

    Blofeld72

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    Their initial quote for labour to include all sundries/materials and replacing the existing chipboard floor was £1900 but not including any of the white goods, taps, wastes, bath filler or tiles.

    Extras were the addition of some 9mm ply over the floor and to remove the wall unit, existing four tiles and replace with new tiles which came to another £120.

    So in total their bill came in at £2020 which I paid on Day 9 by bank transfer that evening.

    The bath should have cost £700 inc delivery, I paid £350 as a deposit and it was duly delivered, they never asked for the final £350! That was over a year ago so I'm kind of assuming they dropped a clanger there and have forgotten to invoice me for the rest. Never say never though .....

    The rest of the white goods, vanity units, taps, wastes etc was £553.

    The tiles cost about £75.

    The shower curtain rail (still to be put up :oops: ) was £35.

    So total bill was £3033.
     
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  16. Blofeld72

    Blofeld72

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    OK after about four days it seems that the mixer tap that feeds both the bath and the shower is restricting the temperature, it gets hot enough for a shower and for the kids baths but not hot enough for an adult bath or a really hot shower so they are coming back to have a look. Its odd because it worked fine for those first few days and really there's not much to a mixer valve so maybe it'll be the cartridge though again it's odd it worked ok initially.

    Of course I'm well aware that because I supplied the valve they will likely be reluctant to get too involved if it turns out to be faulty. Anyway I will update once they've been round to have a look.
     
  17. kingandy2nd

    kingandy2nd

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    Good write up - thanks for sharing!!

    After spending all that money, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT PUT UP A SHOWER CURTAIN!!!! Spend a bit extra and get a nice glass shower screen to finish the bathroom in a classy way
     
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