Things You Need To Know for Your Bathroom Renovation

Are you planning a bathroom renovation?

Make sure you watch this video first before you start your bathroom renovation.

We’re doing a bathroom renovation in this video. There’s a couple of things that concerned us. So, if you’ve got a house that’s built in the seventies and early eighties, there’s something you need to be aware of before you just go rush ahead with the renovation. Because if you don’t do this, you’re going to end up in a lot of grief later on down the track.

The Issues

Back in the 70s-80s, they were allowed to put water pipes underneath the slab. That’s how they used to run it. They just put it in there, under the laundry and the bathroom, and just tee it all off. But what happens later on down the track, they’d have a bit of rubble that’s laying on the hot or cold pipe, and with that expansion and contraction over the years, it would just burst and then the water would just pour out underneath the concrete, and you have to knock up the floor.

So, a good thing that we came out to this job and noticed the issues. You can see how the pipes all go in into there. That’s a sign that it’s going down into the wall. And this is just on the laundry. You can also see that the pipes probably come down and then go under the floor, and that’s what we reckoned when we came out to see them. And so, we just made the owners aware and said, “Look, it’s probably a good chance that all the water pipes are under the slab. So you’re spending all this money on a new bathroom and if you don’t get rid of them and rerun them, that’d be a world of pain later because you drop all this money on this new bathroom, and you got to knock up your floor later on.”

And we were right. Occasionally, we were right. So, you can see, all the water pipes and everything go under the slab. The two pipes are coming out from the laundry side, then go off to the bath. Another line goes off to the other side of the bath, the cold side. Then, they’ll go under and go up to the bathroom basin. And you can see the other tees off that goes down and would go over to the shower.

The Solution

So, what we suggested that we do is we get all the pipes, run them up into the ceiling, and then go across the top of the laundry. Because eventually, after this, they’re going to renovate the laundry. So once that’s sorted, when the new laundry gets installed, we can do the same thing; run the pipes up, join it up into the roof, and then we don’t have to worry about this anymore.

All we’ve done so far is, you can see here, we’ve just deleted the pipes off. These two are still live, but everything else here is all dead. Then we’ll go up over the roof and across. It’s also very important to get rid of your galvanised waste pipes because these galvanised waste pipes that you see here… You have one for the shower.

You can even see the outside is rusting a little bit. What happens, they start to rust inwards, and they have little hooks in there so all the soap and hair and everything get caught in it and it gets blocked up. So, what we’re going to do is put a big central floor waste in the middle of the bathroom. There’s going to be a bath across, so that’s going to go into the floor waste in the middle. There’s also going to be a basin that’s going to go in there. And then, that 65 mil pipe’s going to go outside and into a new connection outside. So, it’ll be fresh, new floor and everything.

The Floors

Now, we were encouraging them to get rid of this floor because back in the day, they just put down the slurry. They’d mix up a bit of slurry. You can see it’s only about 50-60 mil thick. It’s so brittle. So, this whole floor is very easy to take out. You get a sledge hammer, you give that a knock, it goes out.

The tiler said that he was happy just to leave it in there. But the trouble is how are they going to connect the new bit of concrete that they’re going to have to install into the old bit? You just can’t do it. Normally, if you want to tie into concrete, if you’ve got the existing stuff, you drive some 10 mil holes in there, you put some 10 mil reo bar, and you bend it down so they can bond in and you put the mesh down.

So, we said to the owner, “You don’t want to drop all this money on this new bathroom and then have these hairline cracks popping up later on. Because the two bits of concrete aren’t going to match, especially if it’s so thin and it’s just rubbish slurry. So, you want something base and strong.” That’s what we’re going to do. He’s just going to knock it out, and then just get the concrete taxi in here and put it in.

You can see over where the bath, the grate, the basin, and the shower is going to be, with a diverter and everything. They also will have a nib wall.

Always Check

So, if you are doing a renovation, just make sure that you check with your plumber if he thinks the pipes are under the floors. And if it is the case, just get them out. Whatever it costs, it’s good to get them out because it’s going to save you heaps of money in the long run.

We did a quote for a lady one time. It was about six grand to do all this sort of stuff. When we showed her the price, she said, “Oh, the other plumber was only doing it for two and a half grand.” And we remember thinking, “What are we doing here? How can this guy make money? Forget it. What a waste of time.” But when we looked at his quote, he hadn’t mentioned anything about rerunning the pipes up into the ceiling, or even replacing the galvanised pipes. And then, in his quote he said just to connect onto existing sewer and existing pipe work. So, he would’ve been connecting onto all this stuff under the floor. You could easily just tee onto this pipe here, bring it up and over, and then have your new bath connected in there. But then, as always, it’s going to be under your brand new bathroom. So, make sure your plumber gets it out, gets it above.

One other thing is how we’re getting the hot and cold water up into the roof. It’s as easy as this, guys. You got your hot pipe that we teed in. So that’s got to jump across. That’s going up. So now, we got hot pipe up in the roof. Cold line joins on here, goes up. And so now, once we’re up in the roof, then in the future, when the laundry gets renovated, new couple lines in the wall there, down there, and then it can all be just redone and everything. So from then on, there’s no water pipes in the floor anymore.

The Results

We put new concrete floors down because we had to take out the galvanised pipe and all the copper. All the copper was below the floor and went over to the laundry. So, we’ve taken all that out, put new drains in, and everything so that’s all good now.

The basin was a wall hung, so quite difficult to get right because the wall here sort of went back on a bit of an angle. So, we had to seal that up. And also, because the wall sort of went back this way here, we had to jimmied across a bit, just enough so when you open it, it just misses the wall. See, it’s got about a 5-10 mil, and then back here, it’s got nothing. So, we had to make sure that all opened instead of putting it in there and it’s not going to work. But it had to be just enough of an edge here to hang over it.

The bath had an overflow on it. We had to seal that in because what the deal was is that the overflow went onto the bottom of the trap, but there was nothing that was shallow enough to go to so the bath wouldn’t sit on it. So, we have to just remove it completely, seal it up. It doesn’t really matter. If you fill the bath up and it overflows, it just goes down the shower anyway so it’s not the end of the world.

It just had a chrome bath waste that was already installed, so we just took that out, put a nice black one in there so at least that matched. And then, it gave us that 40 mil bit of room that we could put the normal bend on. And so, that’s got really good fall now with a little cutout.

The Tiling

One unfortunate thing is the poor tiling work. The tiler didn’t have any diamond hole saws. Now, we think it’s only his poor form. If you’re a tiler and you don’t have diamond hole saws, you really should. They’re not that expensive anymore. We’ve got a set in each car just for stuff. You never know. We might use them once a month, but you, as a tiler, you’d use it all the time.

It’s so much easier and does so much of a better job. Look what’s happened in this job. You can see the corners. We’ve had to sort of silicon that in there. Now, if that was a hole saw, you could have that drilled out nicely. It’s right on the edge of the tile, but what we do is just get a bit of styrofoam or foam, pin it down, and then have a hole and a bit of plywood and you can just rock steady it, and then it chucks it through and it comes out sweet.

Even down here, you see a little bit of crack down the bottom where they cut it. But this one here has got no chance at all, just massive holes. We just left this one here, haven’t filled it up with silicon because hopefully, they can get another flange. We’ve noticed that the flange in one of the taps can come off, so they can get one that’s the same and put it over. You’ll still have that little corner showing, but then, after that, it should be all right. It is a bit of a shame.

The Flooring

There was a chip on the bit of a floor as well. Looks like there’s gap there into it, so, we think, it might happen beforehand. We don’t know if they’re meant to be like that. And it goes under the wall there. We hope we can still get them out, but that’s one of the things.

They’ve put a whole new concrete floor in here. They dropped it down 30 mil from the finished, the Jarrah flooring. They’ve dropped it all the way down, so that was great. With the idea that when the tiler comes, he can get that tile to the same level as the floorboards. That would be perfect. In our warehouse, when we cut the floor out to put the new disabled bathrooms in, the guy did it five mil higher because we were putting some lino stuff down, and it’s just perfect. It’s just flat from the lino straight down onto the bathroom. There’s no trip hazard.

But unfortunately that wasn’t what happened here. You can see that the bathroom floor is higher than the floorboards. The edges are sharp. It hasn’t been cut, and he didn’t put one of those edges things on it. It’s a real shame.

Lessons Learned

So, if you’re engaging a tiler, just ask a question, “Do you have diamond hole saws, various sizes?” If they say, “No, no. We just use the angle grinder. That’s fine,” then probably just send them on the way.

But anyway, the bath’s all in. They can start using it, which is good. We show you outside. There’s a floor waste gully in there. The bath and the basin goes into it. Obviously there was copper of pipes under the floors that used to feed the bathroom. They’re still live. They still feed the laundry, but this is getting replaced soon. And so then, when the laundry gets done, we’ve got pipes going across so we’re going to chase them down the wall and hook onto that, and then, all these ones through here. New line for the toilet. Then, that’ll all be out completely.

Here’s our 65 pipe outside. That goes out to the center of the floor there, and goes down into a new DG. So, very easy access to clean in the future and stuff. That future-proof your house. If you need any help with this, give us a call. We’ll be happy to help.