Finally - and rather suddenly - after almost five years in this house, we are replacing the family bathroom. You can read here about how, four years ago, I tried to give it a bit of a tidy up and make it work a little better, but it was always doomed. It was poorly fitted, hard to clean, had no ventilation, no storage, and was always dark thanks to the tiny window and ground floor north-east aspect.
Having the family bathroom on the ground floor would not be my preference, but we got used to it and accepted it as one of the many quirks of our 1960s chalet-style house. We also have a toilet and sink upstairs (what would usually be the cloakroom) so it's back to front really. The downside to having your family bathroom downstairs is that it is also your guest bathroom for visitors. This - for me, anyway - means that it needs to be a clean and welcoming room and that I don't want wet towels on the floor or unflushed toilets (Angus and his obsession with saving water....) The old bathroom never looked welcoming, with the gloom, the beige tiles, the mould and mess everywhere, it depressed me.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, we had two very old double glazed windows upstairs replaced and decided to also have the bathroom window enlarged while we were at it. We kept the width the same, but brought the window further down as you can see below.
I knew that this would make a bit of a mess, but hadn't really thought through quite how much mess it would make.
We are having family stay with us over Christmas and suddenly I looked at the bathroom and thought, right, we have to do something. There is brick dust falling into the bath on a daily basis. We'd planned to do this room in the new year, but the window mess was the prod I needed. I phoned some builders, got some quotes, and found one who, due to a cancellation, was able to start quickly, meaning that the bathroom would be done in time for Christmas. Hurrah!
It's 90% done now and I thought you might like to see some of the progress, although forgive the photos - it's always dark by the time I get home from work now.
First everything was stripped out - tiles, bath, sink and toilet.
Then there followed three very dusty days where it seemed like nothing was happening because it was all taking place under the floorboards or behind the walls, generating a huge amount of dust.
The old ceiling light fitting was removed and spotlights installed.
We opted not to have a bath as none of us are bathers. The children have long since outgrown bathtime (sob) and shower quite independently now. Had we a bigger bathroom, I would have loved a bath and separate shower, but since this room is very small, we chose a large walk-in shower the same size as the bath that was there before.
Next the plastering began and all the wall mounted pipe work was recessed and hidden into the walls - less dust traps!
We made the decision to keep this funny recess under the window, giving us a few more precious centimetres of space. This is where the sink unit with it's drawers will be, and we didn't want them to be banging into the door.
Next tiles. The cheapest white square ones because I absolutely love them.
I realise this recess in the photo below looks really odd, but when the sink unit is in, the wall painted white and there are plants everywhere it will be lovely. And we will have storage!
The builder did not like my choice of black grout but he did begrudingly concede that it looked good, although he thought the tiles were "a bit retro". Fine by me! Today plastering was finished and the shower and screen fitted.
There's still plenty to do: lay the floor, decorate, install the sink and toilet, plus any other finishing off jobs I have not thought of, but I'm told it all comes together quite quickly at the end. I look forward to showing you the finished room. And using that shower!