I'm doing a total bathroom refurb next week - it started off as a bath
change, now the whole lot is being changed/decorated, including
I'd like some views as to the best way of going about this, firstly to
get things done as soon as possible, and to cause as little disruption
to the customer.
My plan is:
Monday: Drain/freeze system, fit isolators to all pipes in the bathroom
(none fitted at all now).
Remove row of tiles above bath (possibly remove all if they come off
Remove old bath and refit new.
If all goes well, this should be easily achievable in 6 hours.
Tuesday. Remove sink and toilet, fit new laminate floor below where sink
and bog were, then refit new sink and bog.
Maybe a morning?
Any spare time, carry on fitting the rest of the flooring.
Wednesday. Finish off flooring, then start on tiling.
Thursday, finish tiling, get paid.
I've told the chap that it could take 5 days, which gives me some
Any thoughts on what I've missed, or potential flaws in my plan?
Seems about right to me Al. Tiling always takes me longer than I think
though - don't forget the grouting - that takes up some time.
I always use 22mm flexibles for fitting baths - you can get them 1:5m long.
Means you can do all the plumbing then slide the bath into places - saves a
lot of time & fiddle.
Good idea removing bog & sink prior to laminating - thats gonna save a lot
of time & aggro - do they have another bog they can use though?
You were wise to quote 5 days - finish early & you are a hero.
Let us know how it goes?
Yeah.I'd be inclined to get rid of ALL the old tiles first and have
the walls prepped for tiling new THEN put in the new bath ,leaving
the shrink wrap on and cover it well with several thicknesses of
whatever . If you remove the old tiles with the new bath in ,with
the best will in the world something is bound to happen to damage it
when doing this ( It is Sod's Law) ,like a large chunk of old sharp
tile,or a hammer or chisel getting dropped .
Let us know how you get on (time wise). Depending on the tiling area to do
I think you may have under estimated. If it were me I would remove ALL the
tiles before fitting the bath. What if after fitting the bath a large chunk
of wall/plaster comes off with the higher row of tiles? Good Luck!!
No, it wont happen - that has been planned for before when I've done
tiling in bathrooms - I've got a sheet of mdf for sitting on top of the
bath - makes life so much easier with no chance fo damaging the bath,
and a 6' x 2' ready made workbench.
SWMBO wants the same, exactly as your scenario, started out with her
wanting a bath change and ended up with moving the sink and covering the
floor with tiles and underfloor heating.
Not starting till the new year so will be very interested as to how you
get on, I do have another toilet downstairs so the bog is no problem but
having a good wash could be a problem, long time since I could fit in
the kitchen sink.
Keep us informed of your progress.
Well, things didnt go quite as planned.
Got there at 8am Monday, and was told it wasnt laminate floor now, but
tiles. That buggered up the plan to lay floor then put the bog own 10
Monday went OK, removing old tiles, and fitting the new bath. Had a
little trouble getting a good seal on the waste, and had to re-pipe the
existing waste, as it was such a bad design. Took ~8 hours.
Tuesdays plan was to fit the new bog and sink.Had to stop off at the
wood shop to get a sheet of ply for putting on the T+G floor to allow
laying of tiles.Lost a hour there. Removed bog, and cut the wood and
fitted that, then cut tiles to size that fit around the soil outlet.
Before tiling began, it was time to make sure the new pan fitted the
soli pipe ok. Oh dear. 1st major problem here - the sol pipe was too far
forward to allow the fitting of the new close coupled WC.
Ok, off to the plumbers merchant (Plumb Centre, which I hadnt used
before, but was nearest), who didnt seem to have much of a clue, and
said my only choice was a flexible soil pipe. So I bought that at £15.
It fitted, in a kind of way, but looked awful.It was now 2pm, and
customer would be home at 4pm, and didnt have a toilet or sink at this
time. Rushed back, laid the tiles around the soil/pan area. It'd be an
hour or so before the pan can go down, so time to build up the new
cistern and sink fittings.
Put the siphon in, and realised there was no large nut to hold it in
place. OK, I've got a new one in the van, so go and get that.The only
trouble was, this one I was fitting was a centre button, with a large
outlet, the one in the van was a std fitting. Damn. Off again to the
cluless Plumb Centre, who dont keep centre button siphons in stock, but
will sell me a complete cistern. Err, no thanks. Off to my normal
Plumbers, who had a spare nut, and gave it me FOC.
Back in, it was 3:45pm now, so running out of time swiftly. Go to fit
nut, and realise that the clamp plate was also missing. Shite. OK, I've
got a new one in the van, get that. Not realising that the hole would be
too small for this siphon. Double shite.
Ok, just leave the pan, and tell them to flush it with a bucket of
water. He was quite sympathetic as I explained that the bits were not
supplied, and now too late to go and fetch some.
It was now 4:30pm.
OK, I'll get the sink fitted, then bugger off - it shouldnt be too bad,
as all pipes and waste had been prepared ready. Then, as documented
earlier this week, the basin and pedestal fit was so bad that I thought
they must be wrong. Things were getting worse.
Made my excuses and left, feeling shattered and disappointed/embarrassed
that I'd left them without a flushing bog, and no sink.
Wednesday. First call at 9am at the Plumbers. He seemed to think the
sink/pedestal wasnt too bad. He gave me some putty, "use that to fill
the gaps". He knew it was a crap fit, but didnt have any similar in
stock. I also got a much better 'proper' toilet waste pipe from them as
well as the missing toilet pieces.
The rest of the day went fairly well, toilet and sink went on, a few
more floor tiles were laid under the sink, then I heard a constant
dribbling. The toilet siphon was leaking into the pan. Ok, maybe a bit
of muck on the seal, will clear overnight, so leave it as is until
tomorrow.Got a few wall tiles on.
Thursday. Most of the plumbing done now, so just tiling the floor and
walls. Customers comes in, "oh, I've changed my mind now, we will be
having a new shower after all - oh, and the spare tiles, we may as well
do the whole wall around the window". So another days work just like
I'd been told all the stuff for the tiling was sorted, I'd even told him
to get a good quality bath/tile edging strip.
So I get the adhesive out, and was just about to start, when I realised
I hadnt seen the edging strips. Give him a ring - "oh, I forgot to get
them". Off to the tilers to get 2 strips and some other odds and sods.
Another hour lost.
The rest of the day went reasonably well, albeit slowly.
Friday.Screwfix at 7:30am to buy some white grout. Tiling to do, and fit
a new toilet siphon. Siphon went on fine with no leaks this time - I
inspected the old one and couldnt see any fault with it at all, strange.
Finish floor tiles,Customer there, OK, I'll get the floor grouted before
"What, with white grout?"
"No, I want grey grout"
Me to self, groaning inside, this is the first time grey grout has been
'Ok, it cant be done today, but I'll be here Monday to finish off.'
I know it all cannot be done today.
Fit bath panel, then put up some more wall tiles.
Cutting and measuring is very time consuming, and it felt like I was
Remove old shower, after having to fit 2 new isolators, as the gate
valve isolators they currently had (in the loft) were dribbling when
fully turned off. More time wasted.
3:30pm now, and I'm getting frustrated, so spend the next half hour
cleaning up, and bugger off home at 4pm.
Work left to be done:
There's only around 30 (large) tiles to be put up, and all grouted, as
well as fitting the shower (which shouldnt take too long), but I think
there is easily another days work there.
I'll be making up a box section for hiding the pipes over the weekend.
I'll be back there on Monday to do a bit more, and hopefully finish
what I had originally intended to do. the tiles around the window can
wait for another day.
If it had been the original plan, I think it would have been finished
today, but the tiled floor chucked a large spanner in the works, and the
other problems I come across definitley put me back a day.
Still, it's all experience.
2 pics, before, and as left today.
See the lovely colour of the old, and the numerous cleaning bottles
liberally spread around the room - you can see less than half of what is
Apart from the bath panel and the paint on pipework, I saw no problem.
Readers of the Mirror, Sun, Mail?
Distorted fingers could be apparent from damaging the remote whlst
avoiding adverts to gawp at more Household Refurbs.?
Long live Darwin.
Often happens, punters change their minds part way through a job. I alway
make it clear that I can change things but it will affect the price.
Depends on who supplied the kit. I'm never sure what is best; (1) let the
customer get the suite, helps the cash flow & you can blame them if bits are
missing or (2) get the suite myself & know its all there. I'm starting to
favour option (1) to be honest.
I know that feeling well Alan. But its not your fault - its thiers. They
completely changed the job spec. They should be feeling bad, not you.
Which I hope you are charging for. Second time the customer has chamged the
Third screw up by the customer. He has to pay for it.
Finish floor tiles,Customer there, OK, I'll get the floor
Forth change of plan/screw up by customer.
But it shouldn't cost you money mate. The customer has changed the job at
least 4 times.
Can you imagine taking a car to the garage to have new brake pads fitted,
then asking for a new clutch, new tyres etc? They charge for what they do &
so should you.
Sometimes you have to be hard not nice. I'm still learning that lesson
after two years.
Looks good, but why would the customer want to cover up that lovely wood
He dosnt know if he is indecisive, or just not quite sure.
A couple of things I didnt get an answer to, so just did it how I
thought - I said the skirting needs packing out, so I'll fit some new
skirting, "do you want fancy or plain skirting?" He hummed and hahhed, I
never did get an answer, so just bought plain.Other things were the
same.He just hadnt thought about it, and bought a new suite on impulse,
when he only wanted the leaking bath changing at first.
It was a horrible crinkly vinyl.