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Our DIY bathroom project

10 November 2021 (5 minute read)

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I’ve recently posted about our home, in which we’ve completed a few DIY projects, such as renovating the garden and building a small loft conversion (amongst other things!). Today I’m writing about a project we did on the bathroom in the house.

When we first moved into the house, which was an old student dwelling in disrepair, the first floor had a stange configuration containing a separate toilet and shower room. Both of these rooms were tiny, old, and damp. There was no space for a bath and also no window in the shower room and the extractor fan didn’t work.

In this post (complete with images) I will walk through the changes we made in order to turn this into a more liveable bathroom. We are by no means experts, but we managed to do the project pretty much by ourselves, with a fair bit of Googling and only one plumbing mishap!

Initial state

These images were taken from when we first viewed the house and also the first day we moved in. You can see the grotty toilet, shower, and the small, gloomy rooms.

The original toilet room, taken from the doorway The tiny sink in the original toilet room The original toilet room, taken from the doorway The original gloomy shower room, taken from the doorway The original shower room

Knocking down the walls

One of the aims of the project was to create one single room containing a toilet, shower, bath, and sink. This meant that the first thing for us to do was to join the existing toilet and shower rooms together, as well as to take part of the bedroom next door.

Luckily these were all stud walls, so aside from the mess, this wasn’t too much of an issue given a bit of muscle and a sledgehammer.

In the image below you can see where the previous toilet and shower rooms were. And the remains of where the two walls were. We took an extra window from the bedroom too.

The mess after knocking the two walls down

Sorting out the plumbing

To knock the walls down we needed to turn the mains water off to the house in case we damaged any pipes.

We then needed to remove the shower fittings and tray properly, and correctly cap all exposed water inlet pipes.

Capping the shower inlet pipe After removing the old shower tray After removing the old shower tray

Building the new wall structure

We needed a wall between the new bathroom space and the bedroom (for obvious privacy concerns). For now we just built the structure and would come back to finishing it off later with the plumbing.

Building out the structure of the new wall Building out the structure of the new wall

Trying to get the bath in

Probably one of the most challenging parts of this project was getting our ridiculously-shaped new bath into the room.

In the picture below you can see the two doors into the bathroom. We would later build over the one we (eventually) got the bath through!

Getting the bathtub through the door

Taking down the old plasterboard

Removing the walls had caused damage to the old plasterboard. We also wanted to replace some of this with moisture board instead in order to make the walls more water resistant.

We broke and stripped off the plasterboard from the inner side of the landing wall. In the images below you can also see the structure of the new wall we had started building where the old shower room door was.

Removing the old plasterboard Removing the old plasterboard

This required a bit of cleaning up. Notice the bath now (somehow) in the room!

Tidying up after pulling down the plasterboard

Continuing with the wall

With that out of the way, we could then add new plasterboard and moisture board to all of the new and exposed walls.

Screwing in the moisture boards The completed walls

Some drainage plumbing

We built a small raised platform that would more easily enable us to run drainage under the floor, which you can see in the picture below. We also got the bath plumbed in.

Building the raised floor structure and plumbing the bath outlet

Finishing off the floor

To complete the floor we added plywood and some simple lino flooring.

Laying the lino flooring Trimming the lino to size

Proving that the bath works! With inlet and outlet plumbing done.

The installed bath with running taps


To complete the wall around the shower, we added tiles in a herringbone style. Naturally we left the hardest bits (i.e. the edges) to last.

We also added in some of the shower plumbing through the wall so we could tile around it.

Starting the herrinbone tile pattern with shower head installed Continuing the tiling on all three shower-adjacent walls Finishing off the majority of the tiling

Installing the new shower tray and glass

Next, we needed to install the shower tray and glass. The shower would be a walk-in shower without a door.

We also grouted the tiles and sealed the shower tray.

The new shower tray and glass with grouted tiles The new shower tray and glass with grouted tiles

Building the sink

We bought a nice sink bowl and some hairpin legs to build the support for the sink, as you’ll see in the pictures below.

We also added some skirting rail, dado rail, and some panelling effect for improved aesthetics.

We plumbed the sink through the wall - just like the shower.

Building the new sink Building the new sink

Adding some paint

The next jobs were to plaster the remaining exposed plasterboard and add some paint. We also added some additional panelling to the wall.

As you’ll see from these photos, we went for a dark blue colour for the main part of the wall to match the tiles.

After plastering and painting the wall

Some more tidying up!

Mess and clutter on the floor

Closing off the door

Remember that old shower room? The wall to that still needed to be completed. We patched the hole with some plasterboard, plastered it and its surround, and painted it the same colour as the landing.

Patching the old shower room doorway

Once done, the old doorway was nowhere to be seen.

After plastering and painting the old shower room doorway

Finishing touches

Finally, we bought some mirrors, pictures, furniture, and some fittings (such as hand-towel rails) for the walls. We also added a rug and some hanging plants, which sort of water themselves from the shower’s condensation.

We plumbed in a heated towel rail next to the shower, added some coving, and some light strips.

The finished bathroom, showing new furtniture and fittings The finished bathroom, showing new furtniture and fittings The finished bathroom, showing new furtniture and fittings

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