The Bathroom Mods

We have a bungalow with two bathrooms, the original one and a newer one upstairs.

We decided to remodel the original one (again) but change the whole layout to make life easier.

This bathroom was a fairly small one, about nine feet by seven feet, with a bath, shower, washbasin, wall mounted radiator and various odds and ends. Next to this was a six feet by three feet toilet room. Each of these rooms had an access door from a short corridor which was accessed from a longer corridor running the length of the house downstairs, so lots of wasted space.

The plan was to completely strip both rooms, remove both doors and add a door from the long corridor instead.

What was the toilet would be a walk in shower, with the toilet,  bath, washbasin and radiator in the other room. The walls would be completely tiled, as would be the shower, while the rest of the floor would be oak planks.

The shower tray was to be formed from Wedi board and a proprietary drain in situ under the tiles. Above the shower was a combined light and extraction fan outlet, with the extractor fan in an overhead box above the window in the larger room.

Lighting was by a set of four LED lights in the extractor fan box and a main LED light in the centre of the larger room. A wall mounted spotlight was located in what was the short corridor.


After removing the plaster on the walls, the old doors and frames and the old wooden flooring, along with some of the supporting joists, the whole area was measured accurately and an assessment done of what would be required for the project.

All the walls were of brick construction but between the toilet and the bathroom was a boarded up window (?) so this was removed and replaced with bricks.

The ground level under the floor was damp clay about two and a half to three feet below.

We decided on the bath, toilet and washbasin we needed and these were ordered and dimensions obtained.

We had had a water meter fitted previously next to the original toilet, but this would prevent the shower being fitted, so was relocated on the opposite side of the wall between the two rooms.

We found that above the door into the main bathroom the existing wooden lintel was only about 6 mm onto the supporting brickwork so a vertical support was bolted into place to support the end. Previously this did not matter too much as above it was only empty roof space, but now we had the new bathroom there the loads were greater.

The floor was originally to be tiles but when we looked at the overall cost of waterproof plywood, adhesive, grout and tiles plus the amount of work required we decided that oak planking would be slightly cheaper and easier to fix. On their advice we decided on flamed oak planks as these would be stronger and more waterproof than ordinary oak planks. The wood is burnt slightly on the surfaces to make water absorption harder, this makes it slightly darker but as we were using light tiles on the walls it would not be too dark. The required quantity along with oil to treat the finished floor and specialised fixing nails was ordered to be delivered and kept on site to acclimatise.

The Wedi board we used for the shower tray was a thick closed cell foam sheet with a harder cement board top surface. We ordered a pre formed shower tray with extra flat board to make up the required area in the room.

The preformed tray was cut to size and the drain outlet position measured. The supporting joists were then cut to size, levelled, positioned underneath and secured in place.

The shower drain used required a support structure so a wooden box was fabricated between two joists and the drain positioned and secured in position. Between the box and the drain was filled with cement to provide more support.

The rest of the joists under the oak floor were then cut to size, levelled and secured in place.

Vertical battens were secured up one side of the shower area to hide the shower piping.

Other wall battens were used as needed throughout the bathroom to hold plasterboard and level the old walls.

The piping to the shower was 15mm copper from floor level with plastic piping used elsewhere. The copper pipes had shower connector elbows secured to one end then secured to the wall using a template to provide support for the shower controls. Once these were in position the pipes were covered with Hardie Backer board – a mesh reinforced cement based waterproof board, this was used instead of plasterboard to prevent any water damage in future. The boards were secured with large galvanised washers and rustproof screws.

The Wedi board was then glued in position on the joists and specialised Wedi joining tape was used all round to prevent leaks.

Before the oak flooring was laid temporary flooring was used and the position of the toilet outlet pipe marked. A hole was cut through the wall and the new outlet pipe to be positioned and joined into the main outlet pipe. Fortunately there was a “Y” connector in the outlet pipe for the original toilet, so it was a simple job to swivel this round 180 degrees for the new toilet.

At this stage the walls were plasterboarded then tiled, using waterproof tile adhesive. A batten was run round the main bathroom walls a few inches above floor level to start the tiles and maintain levels. A trunking was located on the end wall above the bath for an electric shower and piping and electrical wire were run ready.

The positions of the new bath and washbasin were marked along with the measurements for their new pipe positions. The water feed and drain pipes were placed in position. The water pipes were connected into the original supply pipes while the drain pipes were run out through the wall through the original hole in the wall. Glued waste pipe was used to prevent leaks. The plastic water supply used was high quality and care was taken to prevent tension on any of the joints. Suitable supports were used to prevent sagging and leaks on horizontal runs.

In the new shower battens were used to lower the ceiling slightly and hold the shower light / vent pipe. A hole was made above this into the main bathroom and the vent pipe and electrical feed wire run throu. The battens were clad with plasterboard, a hole made for the light fitting then plaster skimmed to give a smooth finish. The light was connected to the wire and pipe then secured into the ceiling.

In the main bathroom a framework was constructed  on the outside wall above the window. This housed the extractor fan, whichever was ducted outside, with four LED down lighters in the base. The base was plasterboarded, the holes cut for the lights and then plaster skimmed. The lights were fitted and wired to a new switch outside the bathroom ( UK regulations). The fan was wired to a separate switch.

The old main bathroom light was replaced with a new four bulb LED switch, the new corridor spotlight was fitted and wired into the shower light circuit, but had it’s own local switch as well.


A door frame and door were secured to the end of the old short corridor where it met the main corridor.

After the tile adhesive  had set thoroughly the oak floor was laid in position and secretly nailed.

While fixing fixing the floor holes were cut for the water feed and drain pipes and these fed through at the appropriate time.

When this was finished the tile battens were removed and short pieces of tile glued in place. where the front of the Wedi board shower tray was a piece of oak to match the floor was glued in place.

The shower bar was secured into position at this stage.

The toilet was placed in position with a connector to the outlet pipe and the holes for the concealed brackets marked. The toilet was removed,the brackets screwed in place and the toilet refitted and secured. A flexible pipe was connected between the water supply and toilet, this had an integral shut off valve.

The washbasin and pedestal was placed in position and the taps, drain, water feed and outlet pipes connected. A high grade silicone was used to secure the washbasin to the wall and allow easy removal.

A support frame for the bath was built in position with a top part matching the floor, the bath was lifted into position and secured with the same high grade silicone as the washbasin. The pipes and drain were connected.

The  electric shower was connected to the water pipe and wiring then fastened to the wall.

All the water supplies were then tested for leaks, and the lights, fan and shower for functioning.

The bath frame had an end panel fixed and tiled. A removable side panel was made, secured into position and then tiled.

A front cover was made for the extraction fan housing and on the base of the housing an oak batten was used as a mounting for the window blind.

After All was complete the temporary floor covers were removed, the bathroom cleaned and several coats of protective Polyx oil applied to the floor, with a large amount of buffing between coats.



Author: trebor

I am a retired engineer who likes to keep busy with various projects. I am married with two grown up children and live in Yorkshire the north of England and have lived in my present house since 1978.

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