Back to the home page


July / September 2006

The family bathroom was probably the only room in the house which was "acceptable" as it only had icing on one surface (every other surface being covered in tiles) although obviously to fit in with the rest of the house everything was ice white. However, the sloping ceiling made using the toilet and sink a little uncomfortable and the velux made the room feel very small.

So, to make the bathroom more comfortable it was extended at the same time as the bedroom extension, being included in the approved plans. The room gained a full height ceiling, proper windows and also increased in depth by about 40cm. However, in doing this the toilet and sink had to be removed leaving only the bath and shower still useable. The poor kids had to use the kitchen sink to brush their teeth and use the downstairs toilet for nearly 3 years before I got around to sorting out the room!

February 2009

In February 2009 I ripped out the bath and pulled up the floor to install the underfloor heating. I removed the radiator pipes, insulated, fitted the underfloor heating pipes and spreader plates and then put down a new floor. I re-installed the old bath as a temporary measure so the shower was useable again but I accidentally bought black silicon sealant which I didn't notice until I squeezed it onto the bath. It looked aweful (and really funny), but hey who cares, it was only a temporary thing.

I later did some testing of the underfloor heating and found that the grey polybutylene Polypipe I had fitted to the underfloor heating just didn't release enough heat compared to the white Speedfit polyethylene pipe I had fitted in Luke's bedroom. There is no research on the internet about this (that I could find) but anybody fitting underfloor heating should definitely consider using polyethylene instead of polybutylene pipe. PB pipe is far more flexible and much easier to use compared the more rigid PE pipe (which is a nightmare to fit!) but the low temperature of the water pumped through UFH (especially from our air source heat pump) does not escape the PB pipe to heat the floor. Because of this I knew had to rip up the floor and replace all the PB pipework with PE. A very depressing thought!

May 2009

In May 2009 I removed the bath for the second time, pulled up the new floor, replaced the polybutylene pipe and put the floor back down. We then removed the door and liner and started to remove the tiles from the wall; an impossible task as there were two layers. I eventually got behind the wall and could pull the plasterboard off with the tiles attached. One large area of the wall came away and in my attempt to catch it I did it again, I put my back out!

This slowed the progress of the room but we during May and June we continued to remove the walls and ceiling, insulate and fit new plasterboard. I removed the old electric shower and fitted the new pipework for the shower and bath. The original pipes came into the room from the eaves but I connected the new pipes in the loft to shorten the distance between the tank and the bathroom. I fitted a new door liner then Steve did a great job of plastering the room, as usual a fantastic smooth finish.

June / July 2009

Karen painted the ceiling and during June and July we made a concerted effort to fit the new bathroom suite. I built the framework for the end of the bath to hold the surface and bath panel and then fitted the units and plumbing. I managed to mess up the panel under the sink so had to buy a new one but other than that things went relatively smoothly.

In July I took a week off work to finish the room. I hung a new door, fitted new low energy downlights, completed the plumbing, but I did not allow anywhere near enough time to finish the grouting of the tiles which were the same as those we bought for the ensuite, tumbled natural stone, however these were unfilled so took far more work. After many more evenings I finished everything including the screen and grouting so Karen then did all the decorating and waxed all the woodwork.

It only took me nearly 3 years but the finished result is a nice and airey family bathroom with a powerful shower running off the solar heated tank. It is only when the temperature drops will we find out if the underfloor heating along with the towel rail will heat the room enough. Fingers crossed!