Viewing 28 posts - 1 through 28 (of 28 total)
  • Tackling a bathroom as a DIY idiot
  • funkmasterp
    Full Member

    Our bathroom resembles a set from one of those torture porn movies like Hostel. Other than the toilet and window everything else is a bit crap. Ceiling is damaged from a leak, floor has gaps in (wood laminate stuff) due, I think, to not being bathroom spec and bath, sink and tiling are very tired. Is it madness to attempt to tackle as someone who’s DIY skills normally extend to painting and putting up shelves?

    Something definitely needs doing, but money is very tight at the moment. Would be looking for eBay bargains for sink replacement and may just need a new shower screen for the bath. Wouldn’t mind replacing tiles with those big wet wall things. Sound doable?

    ads678
    Full Member

    I’ve done a full bathroom fit out. It takes some thinking about but not that hard really. I had to redo all the plumbing as I was merging a separate toilet and bathroom to one room, with everything moving. The stand alone bath was the most difficult bit as the waste had to go directly down under the floor. Looks good now the though.

    I never really get why people tile the whole bathroom. Just do this you need to and paint the rest.

    Luxury vinyl flooring is dead easy to put down.

    Go for it, just take your time.

    HoratioHufnagel
    Free Member

    I’ve done it all too.

    Actually what I did was convert a small bedroom into a bathroom so we could still use the old bathroom while I was doing it.

    Definitely do-able. Takes ages. We got some people in to do tiling, and someone to plaster ceiling, as those things were quite cheap compared to plumbing etc.

    I wouldn’t muck around with any bathroom eletrics like towel rail or shower though.

    funkmasterp
    Full Member

    Luckily had a new radiator/towel rail installed last year and the shower is decent so will be left in. It’s a gas one fed from the boiler that is in the cupboard right behind it. Thinking of getting rid of the bath and replacing tiles with those waterproof wall things. Hate tiles with a passion. Bathroom is very moist so could probably do with an extractor fitting too. Might try redoing floor, replacing sink and painting walls and ceiling. If nothing explodes, leaks or falls to bits then move on to the rest.

    sofaboy73
    Free Member

    if you’re not moving any of the sanitary-ware from it’s current position and just swapping in new stuff it’s not that difficult, however prepare for it to unendingly awkward. plumbing always is. thrutching around in spaces too small for Victorian children, trying to bend your arm to angles nature did not intend and trying to undo piss corroded fastenings.

    the other factor to consider is how quickly you can do it all. being without a bathroom for a day / weekend while a professional does it is inconvenient, being without one or only a brely functional one for a few weekends is a royal pain. i learnt all of this the hard way unfortunately.

    retrorick
    Full Member

    My bathroom is under going a refurb at the moment. Doing it myself and taking my time. Trying to square up walls for tiling and swap out a bath which had leaky plumbing and leaked round the edges for a shower tray is the bulk of the work.
    I don’t mind having a wash in the kitchen sink whilst the work in on going 😭😂

    tjagain
    Full Member

    Vinyl floor not laminate. Cheap and easy. Wet wall stuff not too bad. Tiling is the only tricky thing that i would get a pro in for.

    Loos and sink not too bad to fit especially if you can use flexy hose tap fittings.

    oldmanmtb2
    Free Member

    Time bathrooms take a lot of time, did one for my son last year.. loo shower sink bath tiles extractor radiator new floor lights took me about 15 days and i am reasonably capable… but nothing is that tricky.. un square floors walls etc are the most chew

    dovebiker
    Full Member

    I’ve done a few, the things to consider are to check that the floor is level if you are fitting a new shower tray. Likewise, if you’re tiling using the bottom of the window reveal as your datum rather than tiling up from the floor to find you’re 1cm short (also check that it’s level too!). Plumbing is pretty straightforward with push-fittings. Flexi tap tails with isolator valves means that your pipework doesn’t need to 100% accurate plus, replacing a tap cartridge is a lot, lot easier. I also made a new false ceiling in one room as it improved the room proportions, fitted new plasterboard with recessed downlighters rather than pulling down the lath and plaster. If tiling, coloured grout doesn’t look so manky as quickly but keep to white tiles and bathroom suite.

    DT78
    Free Member

    Took me roughly 3 weeks from not knowing anything to be being done.

    That also included ripping out the ceiling and insulating. Building a new suspended floor to raise the floor level 6 inches. Moving the rad and fitting ufh and a heated mirror. Room fully tiled. Hardest part was working out how to fit the concealed cistern onto the existing cast iron stack. Oh and lifting in a bloody heavy shower tray solo.

    Saved a fortune

    finephilly
    Free Member

    It’s not hard but will take a couple of weeks at least. Longer if you only want bargain fittings. Also factor in some gremlins underneath the wet areas. I would recommend some kind of proper waterproofing under the tiles (is it called ‘tanking’?) rather than just water resistant adhesive.

    Also plan for the fact you won’t have a shower or bog for some time..!

    DT78
    Free Member

    Lots of options for tanking. I used insulated tile backer and sealed it before tiling over the top

    sadexpunk
    Full Member

    yep, try it yourself and keep this thread alive with advice as you go along. ive no skills either but have done a kitchen and a shed/gazebo with help from here and if our bathroom needed doing id do the same.

    job satisfaction at the end, save money and learn new skillzzz, whats not to like!

    andrewh
    Free Member

    I did it myself as a novice. Took ages but really pleased with it.
    Cost around £1,500 but that included putting a skylight in. My aunt has just spent £5k having her similar size one done professionally.
    .
    Only thing I would say is that it would be much easier if I had another bathroom to use while that one didn’t work, showering at work was OK but still a pain not having one. If you have another go for it

    nickjb
    Free Member

    I did ours. Wasn’t too tricky. Moved the bath and added a separate shower. Toilet stayed in the same place. The bath/shower was out of action for a couple of weeks. I kept the loo operational most of the time, but we do also have a downstairs loo.

    By far the worst job was stripping the old tiles and making good. I also hate tiles and replaced with shower wall panels. Loads easier to fit and it’ll be a doddle if me or the next owner want to change it. No more tiles for me.

    bigyan
    Free Member

    Is it your only bathroom or do you have another bathroom?

    funkmasterp
    Full Member

    Thanks all, some good advice and tips. It’s our only bathroom and the toilet is fine and doesn’t need replacing or moving. Thinking of doing ceiling and floor first. Just stripping and painting the former to see how it looks and replacing the latter.

    My main concerns are that I’m a cackhanded fool (but willing to learn) and the fact that the house is old. The good side of this is that most pipe work is external or simple to get at. The bad side is that nothing is remotely straight or level.

    Floor, ceiling and sink are the main bits that need doing. Would like to replace the bath and get rid of tiles, but money may not go that far. I’ll pop some photos up by the weekend.

    argee
    Full Member

    It’s not too hard if you have a proper plan and the right tools and equipment. Plumbing nowadays isn’t too hard if it’s not inside the walls or behind tiles, flexi pipes, straight valves, etc are all so easy to set up, same with waste pipes as well now, easy if you have the right tools to measure, cut and join.

    I’d just work out what you want and have the proper plan for each stage, then get access to the tools required and materials, preparation is the biggest thing, if you just attack it all at once it’ll tend to go wrong somewhere, nothing worse than keeping the flow going and then having to stop and do more prep, i.e. cutting material to size, getting adhesives or something else.

    As for tiles, they are an absolute pain, even worse if you’re changing showers!

    Also have that emergency plan, know where the stop cock is, when removing sinks use the straight valves and also blanks if possible!

    retrorick
    Full Member

    Start watching YouTube videos from a variety of professional and DIYers on the subject. Then watch them again and a few more times for good measure until you can do the jobs with your eyes shut. When you actually get round to doing the job with your eyes open it’ll still be difficult and slower than you’d like but at least you’ll have a good idea of what you are doing

    retrorick
    Full Member

    Buy a 16 line laser level.

    timba
    Free Member

    Swapped a panelled bath out for a free-standing bath and learnt that you can’t fit a conventional U-bend under a Victorian floor. Ended up with a combination of shallow-P and hygiene traps. Learnt that a free-standing bath has the plug hole in a different place, which of course coincides with the floor joists, etc. Learnt that I could swear for a minute without repeating myself.
    Then I started on the WC, shower and basin 🙂
    Not difficult but time-consuming and occasionally frustrating

    andy5390
    Full Member

    I did ours, a 12’x8′ space. Luckily, the shower and bath were on separate sections of the 8×4 boards, so for a while I had no bath but a working shower. Then no shower, but a bath.

    My nephew did the water pipe relocation for the bath (he’s a plumber), but I did pretty much everything else – new bath, shower cubicle and tiling.

    <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>TOP TIP</span>

    If you’re moving the toilet out of the way, have some plastic and tape ready to cover the exposed waste pipe. It shouldn’t leak, but there’ll be nothing stopping the smell from the outlet

    johnx2
    Free Member

    did a couple years ago before youtube, second one involved ripping out partition walls, building stud wall round a boiler, smashing old tiles and taking exterior walls back to the brick before replastering and retiling. I forget how we managed to keep this kids clean. My proudest DIY moment was when I realised I could use mains pressure to blow bits of a corroded washer out of pipes they were blocking just by opening hot and cold on a mixer tap and jamming my hand over the end so the systems connected. Cheered when the bits came shooting out…

    If I can do it anyone can, but bravery and energy was involved. Plans were made and remade as I went along. Far from ideal. Having one done at the moment. Not going to look until it’s finished but christ knows what it’ll cost.

    pocpoc
    Free Member

    I can recommend FloorsToWalls for the wall panels. I did our bathroom last year and did the shower over bath area in them. Great value compared to some of the prices I saw and had no issues at all. So much easier to clean than tiles.
    My main change plumbing-wise was to turn the bath round 180 degrees so just ran some push-fit plastic pipe around the 3 walls that are hidden behind the bath. Really easy, just pushing mechanical joints together. Make sure you get the little insterts to put in the ends of the plastic pipes at the joints.

    funkmasterp
    Full Member

    Thanks again everyone. Lots to think about.

    Olly
    Free Member

    We did ours, except when we started digging in to it, it was proper knackered so we ended up replacing the floor and walls too.
    I think that made it easier though to be honest, just starting with a blank canvas. Hot and cold came up from the boiler, waste went out the wall and we built around it.
    We have one of those showers and taps that comes out the wall, but that was easy too, as i just studded the whole wall out by 50mm, and ran the pipes before putting the plaster board over it. No awkward boxing in or messing around to do, just made the room 50mm smaller.

    Its just water lego.

    https://youtube.com/clip/Ugkx3xvBsvQ8GYfpFrH0ix3MfoHwIlEmILVy

    stevextc
    Free Member

    Thanks all, some good advice and tips. It’s our only bathroom and the toilet is fine and doesn’t need replacing or moving. Thinking of doing ceiling and floor first. Just stripping and painting the former to see how it looks and replacing the latter.

    Non of this is rocket science but taking your time and planning it is crucial if you are a cack handed fool.

    My main concerns are that I’m a cackhanded fool (but willing to learn) and the fact that the house is old. The good side of this is that most pipe work is external or simple to get at. The bad side is that nothing is remotely straight or level.

    Floor, ceiling and sink are the main bits that need doing. Would like to replace the bath and get rid of tiles, but money may not go that far. I’ll pop some photos up by the weekend.

    money may not go that far

    If that’s the case using a bath is hardly going to help matters..
    Sinks aren’t too much and depending on use and how the water is heated you might also benefit from a smaller bowl… other than the bath I suppose its also the bit you look at most in use… some nice taps and sink is relatively cheap.

    Anyway whilst the water is off it’s probably a good idea to add some isolation valves so you can selectively shut off the bathroom later…

    Depending on the rest of the house and how the water is heated and access to walls it might also be worth looking into an electric shower, even if its just above the bath…

    Personally I like tiles but they are a bit of a permanent thing… you don’t want to be having to pull them up later and decent tools make it much easier. I use my existing angle grinder and big mitre saw + drill and the investment in the blades/cutting disks and tile bits for the drill was fairly minimal…
    Tiling slowly is really easy… it just takes a lot longer than the pro’s… it’s really just attention to detail and make sure if you screw up you just correct it immediately…

    As its the only bathroom best I would say is never start anything you can’t finish if it takes twice as long as expected…

    tjagain
    Full Member

    The other thing with tiling is the setting out so you do not end up with slivers of tile and going round corners looks right. My bathroom is a complex shape but it took my tiler a day just to do the setting out. The result however is fantastic and I have never seen an acceptable diy tilng job. My standards are very high tho. One tile in my bathroom is less than a mm out. The rest are bob on.
    I have refurbed 3 houses and tiling is one job left to good professionals imo

Viewing 28 posts - 1 through 28 (of 28 total)

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