At the end of 2017, we updated and reworked our ensuite. The room was tired and we’d grown to hate so many things about it. We barely used it and it was essentially a toilet and a crap shower. When it was done we loved it and used it so much. The problem was it then became our “main bathroom” as the kids didn’t want to use the boring main one anymore!
After a lot of umming and ahhing, September 2019 marked the beginning of our bathroom makeover. Just like before we contacted out friendly Mr fix it Kevin Custom-fit Shek.
Ripping the Old Bathroom Apart.
Our modern house was built about 17 years ago. And for modern houses, it was fairly decent. However, trends and styles change. Then living with something brings out the issues.
The tiles were alright, but we’d started to get grout issues around the bath. Above the white textured tiles were blue glass mosaic blocks. Which we weren’t really fans of, but worked around it previously by painting the room blue.
The Suite had a bit of a shell pattern to the recesses. This was possibly stylish in the Millenium, but not our thing.
Anything that was white plastic was now a lovely shade of cream. The extractor fan is the perfect example.
Storage! There wasn’t any until we added the mirrored cabinet from “bargains r us”. Then that brought another gripe. Why is the sink not lined up with a surface for a mirror? If I was having a shave I’d have to lean off to the left.
The lino was tired and for some reason looked burned behind the toilet!
After a house party, the bath panel mysteriously got cracked and wouldn’t stay tucked into the bath.
The “cutting edge” Mira shower had yellowed but was anything but a power shower. The jets of water were a mere drizzle. As a result of this shower only ever got used for rinsing shampooed hair.
The Lighting was naff and also yellowing. However, had doubled up as a flycatcher. So periodically I’d have to shake out dried up flies from the translucent bowl.
The only thing we could do now to get it back as a “popular” cleaning room was to revamp it and resolve the problems.
Our Modern Family Bathroom
We knew that we didn’t want to have the hassle of painting the room again, so decided to fully tile it. We tiled the floor and all the walls. From our past experience looking for tiles, we drove straight back to Westerhope Tile Centre. Their showroom is packed with amazing tiles, that aren’t on display in all the other shops. The original plan was to get the same as the ensuite, but they’d been discontinued, so chose something similar.
We toyed with the idea of underfloor heating if it was within budget. The total cost for the system added just over £200, which seemed reasonable.
It’s hard to give an exact split on the cost of the tiles as we also reworked the downstairs toilet, but I would say £900 was in the right area for the wall and wood effect floor tiles. Grouting and adhesive were added to the fitting costs.
The bathroom suite was from Tecaz on Norham Road, North Shields. Again the exact costs were as part of a package but around £1200 for a wall hung toilet, hidden cistern, bath and bath panel, basin and cabinet including the taps.
By swapping the toilet and the sink around we were able to have a mirror in front of the sink. The sheeted mirror is glued direct the wall (tiled around) and has a heating pad on the back. This means that it won’t steam up when the room is in use.
The strange silver square is the extractor fan, which I’ll admit forgetting all about when wanting the mirror in place. We had to get a large hole cut in the mirror for the extractor to fit in.
We tried to avoid anything too fancy design-wise, so the basin and bath were both very squared/blocky. The taps tied in with our ensuite to keep a theme linking the two rooms.
During the summer we spotted a wall-mounted toothbrush charger. As simple an idea as this is it is pure genius. I’d previously been charging my toothbrush on the bedside cabinet. Then setting a charger on the landing for the kid’s toothbrushes. Now we’re tidy without trailing wires. They were only £30 each from amazon (we got two one for the bathroom and one for the ensuite)
A copper coloured towel radiator. This tied-in directly to the ensuite and is one of the few splashes of colour we added. We ordered this one from eBay for £120. For some reason, copper isn’t a common colour choice for lots of suppliers and eBay was our easier solution.
Plastic and real plants! Catherine decided to add some nature into the bathroom (hence the leaf print towels), so we have a few green leafy items. However, I will say that on one of the first uses of the bath I knocked the cactus on the stool into the bath and ended up with a bath of soil!
Also I’d like to point out the worktop/shelf surface. Instead of tiling it all, we contacted a local company Hawdon Work Surfaces to add a single piece of Corian. This was to add a cleaner surface and not have any joins in it. Our previous bathroom was tiled here and there were bottles that never sat flat.
Next up is lighting. Ideally, we wanted some form of mood lighting and it only came to us a couple of days before Kevin arrived. We created a false ceiling (I think it’s called a floating island), that left a 5cm gap around the sides. This was then lit with LED tape around all edges, to give a halo glow.
We also had primary lighting from a handful of LED spotlights.
We already loved our ensuite shower, so instead of finding something else, bought the exact same set. This is mounted to the wall at the side of the bath so you can turn it on without getting that blast of cold water, while the hot gets though.
The Showerhead is mounted over the bath and features a large rainfall set of nozzles as well as a waterfall feature. We’ve never used the waterfall option as it pummels you with some force, but love the power from the shower now. We purchased this from Soak.com for £300.
Our next piece of gadgetry is the TV. In an effort to encourage the kids out of our shower, we looked around for a waterproof TV. There are quite a few on the market, but none of them are brands that I’d ever heard of. The one we chose was a Sarason. When not in use it doubles as a mirror. With an Amazon Firestick attached to the back, we now have Netflix, Amazon Prime, Youtube as well as Live TV and catch up. The sound isn’t the best, but we have the option to attached external speakers if we wanted to. However, the TV worked and Abigail will happily have a 1-hour soak watching Youtube! Although the screen isn’t huge at 19″ it is more than enough. Including shipping this cost £295.
At only 2 Metres by 2 Metres, it was hard to photograph everything in one shot, but we are all very pleased with the end results. The kids now have their toiletry storage and have left our ensuite. Woo Hoo!
The fitting cost for labour was £1800 and took 3 weeks. This included stripping out the old suite, tiling and installing everything. With all the additional things like adhesive, grout, plumbing parts, lighting and the mirror, we think the total cost came to £5400. Which is quite a bit of money, but I know exactly where the money had gone. We could have saved in lots of areas, but the end results are exactly what we wanted.
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