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4-stages of a bathroom remodel and how you can avoid project blowouts

Deciding to renovate your bathroom is no small undertaking. There are many decisions to be made and a lot that must go on before you start seeing your final design come to life in the space.

This helpful guide maps the process and expectations so you can embark on a project that delivers a great result and an experience you enjoy.

Be prepared to spend some time on the research and groundwork. This will allow you to make decisions during the project with speed and confidence and avoid project budget, timeline, and relationship blowouts!

  • Create a wish list of what you’d like in your bathroom, do some research online, look at Pinterest, and visit bathroom showrooms for inspiration and ideas.

  • Look critically at your bathroom and be realistic about what you can and can’t do. For example, if your bathroom is only 4m2, you are not going to be able to fit a bath, stand-alone shower, toilet, and vanity in the space! Be prepared to compromise 😊

  • Prioritise your wish list with what will make your day-to-day life easier at the top and what you are happy to compromise on at the bottom.

See our blog on the top 10 things to consider when doing a bathroom reno

Consult the experts; do you need consent, are there any industry tips on maximising your space, what budget should you allow for fixtures, where can you save money…?

Once you’ve got all that great advice on board, the design, fixtures and quote agreed on, the project can get underway.

Here are the 4 stages of your bathroom remodel and what to expect at each point

  • The Rip Out: The existing fixtures need to be removed and then usually the whole floor and any wall coverings. Depending on how much must be removed, this stage can take up to 4-5 days.

  • The Prep Stage (the longest and largest part of the work): This is the most important stage where following best-practise processes can extend the life of your bathroom and ensure your product warranty requirements are met. All first fix plumbing is completed (all pipework encased in floors and walls) to make sure that they are where they need to be for the new fixtures. This may include grinding up concrete or cutting into timber floor joists. Replacing any rotten, moisture or pest-damaged timbers. Preparing the walls, installing extra timber supports where needed for recessed soap niches and mirror cabinets, and wall supports for any wall-mounted plumbing, wall-hung vanity, or toilets. If the ceiling is particularly high or the tiles are large or particularly heavy, extra wall and floor timbers are necessary to support the weight of these. Any electrical wiring is run in the open walls ready for final connections at a later stage. Then the walls are closed-up with new GIB or other moisture-resistant board ready for tiling. The floor is prepared ready for tiling, installing extra floor supports to minimise future movement, re-lining with board or repairing concrete, laying any underfloor heating, and applying a screed to securely enclose the heating wires. Application of 2 coats of waterproofing membrane with 24 hours drying time between coats and installing any tile underlay (apartments must have acoustic underlay installed to minimise sound transfer). This stage can take approximately 7-10 days.

  • Tiling: These finer details make all the difference to the quality of a bathroom. The floors should always be tiled before the walls. The tiler will work out the best layout for your chosen tile and the space. Depending on the tile dimensions, the wall tile grout lines will be lined up with those on the floor. Once the tiling is completed the grout will be installed and once dry, any silicone finishes around the edges and corners applied. This stage can take from 3-7 days or more depending on the size of the tiles and the size of the space.

  • Second Fix: At this stage, your bathroom will very quickly take shape with the installation of your fixtures. All the larger components are installed first finishing off with tapware to complete the installation, and any electrical connections are carried out. If you are having made to measure shower glass, the measurements are taken once the grout is dry and the U-channel that holds the glass in place is installed. The shower glass is then manufactured and installed 5-10 days later.

You are now the proud owner of a fully renovated bathroom that hopefully sparks joy! As you can see there is a lot of work involved before your project will really look like a bathroom with the overall process taking from 3-4 weeks or more depending on the scope of work and the size of the space.



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