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April 25th 2020
5 min read

Q&A With Our Customer Services Manager

Lydia Luxford, our customer and technical services manager, is an experienced bathroom installer, and she’s here to answer your questions about DIY bathroom and tiling installations.

What things should I consider before wall-mounting a tap?

Best practice is to stud out the wall, so that you can conceal the pipework behind it. If you have the space for a stud wall, and 70-100mm void, then it's fairly easy to do. A bonus is that you can use the stud wall to build recessed shelving, for additional storage space.

However, if you are short on space and can't afford to lose 100mm of floor space, you can also chisel out the channels into the brickwork and bury the valve into the wall, but it isn't the easiest approach.

For the tap itself, it's best to choose one where you're able to change the cartridge from the front, should anything go wrong in the future. If you're looking for a simpler install, go for an integrated spout and valve, rather than two separate fittings, which minimises complications with connecting it to pipework.

I want to turn our dressing room into an en-suite and my main bathroom isn’t next door, what do I need to know before I start?

Any room in a domestic house can be altered to fit a bathroom or en suite. However, there are a few things to be mindful of before going ahead with the work.

Layout, pipework and access should all be taken into consideration.

Hot/cold water and waste pipe connections need to be found before the work starts. Water supplies are usually straight-forward and can be connected via existing supplies from another bathroom, kitchen or boiler. However, the waste pipes can be difficult and costly to reroute. Connecting into the current soil stack - the large waste pipe connecting to the toilet - is the most common practice, but if access is not possible, you may need to lay and install a new soil pipe from an external drain into the property which can increase costs dramatically.

Figuring out the route for pipework is important, to ensure that all costs are pre-planned; any disrupted walls or floors will increase the cost.

Layout shouldn’t be an issue once you know where your pipework will be laid and can easily be changed by building additional full or half walls.

Finally, do not forget that doorways and staircases can cause access issues, so ensure the goods chosen can be carried into the desired room.

We want to transform our en suite bathroom and include a walk-in shower. We have timber first floors, so what do I need to do/know to include a walk-in shower successfully?

Altering an existing bathroom to include a walk in shower is generally straightforward, because waste pipes and water supplies will already be in the room. However, it is important to check the location of all pipes in the room to ensure the new tray can be installed flush to the floor. This can be achieved with a low level shower tray or a wet room kit.

The waste pipe will need to be below the floor level to allow you to sink the tray as required. Any pipes/cables currently under the area of the new enclosure will need to be lowered or completely moved to allow for the change.

If the waste is not under the floor level, it will need to be repositioned to allow for the new suite.

It is also important to ensure the whole showering area, plus a clearance zone, can all be waterproofed to prevent leaks and water escaping - so check if the floor will accept additional boarding/tanking as well as tiles at the door way as these will lift the floor level.

I want to renovate my en suite bathroom and this will include updating the shower enclosure. At the moment, the shower tray is high and not flush with the floor. What work will be involved if we opt for a flush shower tray? What do we need to investigate? How much will it cost?

“Flush to the floor shower trays provide a simple and elegant look to a bathroom. Depending on your flooring and waste connections, this can become very costly so it is worth investigating a few areas and if necessary getting the advice from a professional to help with your decision.

Waste pipe position:

  • Ideally you want your waste pipe to come into the room under the floor substrate as this will reduce the costs
  • If the waste is entering the room above floor level, this will need moving and reconnecting into your soil stack (the large waste pipe connected to your toilet) or to an external drain which can add £200 - £400 to the work.

Floor substrate:

  • Concrete floors are difficult to sink a tray into, as it’s very time consuming and often can add between £1,500 to £3,000 to a standard bathroom cost, depending on the amount of concrete required to be moved and how/where the waste pipe would run. It is always worth having a qualified professional advise you on this.
  • Timber floors are perfect for sinking a tray - the only difficulty can be if the waste hits a joist, but there are many trays you can purchase which can be cut down to fit so that the waste can be positioned to suit. The floor covering will need to be removed for the tray to be sunk and additional supports added under the tray to ensure it is well supported.

The average family bathroom costs around £5,500 to renovate including materials, and adding a sunken tray would add anything between £1,000 - £2,000. It is advisable to always get a quailed installer to advise you on this as any complications can increase costings substantially.”

If you are renovating a bathroom, contact [email protected] and we will answer your questions!