Monthly Archives: November 2015

Mosaic tiling

I could not find the tile I wanted for a simple pattern on the wall despite visiting all the tile outlets within a 10k range. The perfect tile was a micro subway in black, but it comes on the sheet in a traditional brick layout.

subway micro

Encouraged by Emma at National Tiles in Mitcham, I took a sample home and played with peeling the tiles of the backing and resetting them. It worked. So my contribution to this renovation is preparing sheets of mosaic tiles. Not that hard at all.


subways realigned

Getting the first row in place under the niche was not easy, most tiles stayed on the backing, and most were properly aligned.

first row of feature tile

I am very pleased with the look so far, the grouting is to be white which will emphasise the zipper look.

feature tiles



Bath border

The new bath is shorter but a little bit wider than the old one, so just fitted into the existing space. The side of the old bath  met the wall just at the architrave of the door to the laundry. If you ignore the frame on the long side of the new bath you can see how close it is.

bath corner 1

Instead of installing it with the side going straight down from the rim I wanted a substantial flat edge, so it really is an inset bath. This also gives a good sitting and putting things on place. The problem is the doorway.

bath corner 2

My new wide ledge takes the side of the bath across the opening but not so much as to block it. Solution is to angle the corner, but from where and at what angle and what happens where the angle meets the end bath border. The house has a lot of angles, all 45 degrees which would not work if taken from the corner of the bath because the two borders are a different width. It was a bit like figuring out a mitre on a quilt border but harder as the final tile placement and grout lines had to be considered.

bath corner 3

Brilliant tiler solved it all by fitting a whole tile over the corner with very skilled cutting.


The grout line on the top does match up with the one on the floor,it’s just distorted by the angle of the photo on the left. Tomkins is looking for the door that is temporarily absent from its cavity.


Tiling a floor

Very exciting to see the floor tiles go down today. First job this morning was working out where they would start from. The obvious place is the bath and to avoid a very skinny piece at one wall they have been moved to the right a lot. With so many walls and doorways it was quite a puzzle working out a starting position that would look good and avoid the need for small pieces. In the end there will be one at the doorway between the laundry and bathroom, one at the end of the shower wall  and a slim row behind the washing machine. Not too bad at all considering the space to be covered.

The floor colour here looks mushroom, but it is a lot more grey.

Floor tiles

Because of the angles in this house when entering the bathroom from the hall the tile setting looks square. But going into the laundry they are on point. You can see that the floorboards do the opposite.

After tiling comes the grouting so I had to choose the colour today. Really hard to pick between light or dark. Final choice is Charred Ash which means the grout lines will be obvious, but not overpowering. Not quite as dark as weathered wood.


Came home after a day in the city with quilting friends to a strong chemical smell in the house. All the waterproofing had been finished.

waterproof laundry

The room shapes are now easy to see and the bath surround is looking impressive. More on that angle near the door later.

waterproof bath



Walls are back on

Monday and Tuesday were busy days with lots of cutting, hammering and the ratcheting of a powered screwdriver. Fortunately today was very quiet as Paul was away on family business. You can now see the bath niche quite clearly, it is centred to the wall not the bath and serves the shower to the left as well. The mess at the bottom of the bath is just a cloth drop sheet to protect it.


Most of the floor is sheeted too, just the tricky angles in the laundry to do. Next comes the waterproofing, a new requirement since the house was built and should prevent future water damage.

packed up

I am very lucky to have the neatest tradesperson doing this job, everything is left tidy at the end of each day, all offcuts are in the trailer in the carport and all dust is vacuumed up. The big black thing on the laundry floor is rolled up rubber matting that is put down on the thoroughfare to the outside to prevent floor damage in the family room.

New bathroom in one week

Despite what you may have been lead to believe by (un)reality television, this is as far as you can get in one week, assuming most of the planning is done and all fittings are on site.

Plumbing for vanity relocated, waste reconfigured for wall hung vanity, vent pipe angled around niche for cabinet. Wiring for power point, towel rail and lighting. Niche made, walls prepped for sheeting.

vanity prep

Bath frame built, niche made, bath installed on mortar base, plumbing relocated and configured for mixer with diverter.

bath in

Laundry taps repositioned for new sink, washing machine taps relocated into cupboard space, wiring also ready for powerpoint inside cupboard. Floors are also ready for sheeting.

laundry prep

Not bad for five days! Next week wall lining goes back on and waterproofing.


Where’s the switch?

Before the job started I was going through the plans with the tiler/project manager, including where the switches were for the lights. The ceiling light had to move because it would have been too close to the new shower set up. You can see the new LED oyster fixture here.

FullSizeRender 68

As we were going out of the room, the lights were switched off. Paul stopped and started looking near the doors and around the walls, “Where’s the switch for that one?” he said pointing to the bright disc on the ceiling. Fortunately I do not have a switch to turn off the sun, a solar tube is a very effective on a sunny day.