Project Tofu: Squeezing storage & a separate shower cubicle in a small bathroom

This small bathroom wasn’t ticking all the boxes for its owners, who wanted a more stylish feel, less shell-like curves, more storage and if at all possible a separate shower due to both environmental concerns and issues with chronic pain – a subject I know a lot about! Kinda made me determined to shoe-horn one in somehow and my Moregeous brain went into overdrive. The layout which you see in the two ‘before’ images doesn’t leave any space for a shower cubicle, so there was no question that things had to be changed around, it was just a matter of to what extent. It’s always the most cost effective option to leave the plumbing services where they are when re-fitting a bathroom, but it doesn’t always make for the best use of the space. If you are going to re-plan yours, it’s worth considering whether everything is in the best possible place it can be. I had a think….. … and sketched some options. I prefer to draw them, makes me think more about the room. There were other options but these were the best ones for various reasons:

1 – Moving everything around to get the shower cubicle to the right of the door. Problems – expensive to move everything, wc soil stack cast iron so would need changing, the entrance faces the loo, no space for tall storage.

2 – OK this one but issues with detail on the bath / shower join up, no space for tall storage, also felt a bit cramped.

3 – Still need to move door but felt more spacious. WC still opposite door and no tall storage.

4 – Eureka! Definitely need to move the door but fits everything we need and still feels roomy. Also keeps costs lower by retaining all plumbing roughly where it was but just adding shower.

So No 4 it was, the bathroom door in the non-load-bearing wall was to be shifted over slightly to allow the 800mm required for a shower cubicle. Added to this we were going back-to-brick to allow us to fit thermal plaster board to make the external walls of the bathroom warmer (as well as doing this in the bedroom, hall, stairs and landing). Easy peasy! Of course, there were problems….. Once the plaster was removed, the stud wall dividing the bathroom from the hallway turned out to be as firm as an unset jelly, one push of a finger and it came a-tumblin down, meaning we’d to build a new and much more rigid timber stud to frame the new doorway. Below you can see from the hallway though to the bathroom window with all the walls stripped of plaster and the dividing wall down.

The bathroom floor, when lifted to sort the pipework, turned out to be a veritable tapestry of timber with a hugely deep space between it and the kitchen ceiling, along with a spaghetti junction of copper & push-fit piping. Nothing that couldn’t fixed with a deep breath, case of Red Bull and an extra day or two.

The bedroom ceiling decided not to play ball and be easily skimmed. The DIY dunce who’d owned the house previously had used a mixture of ply and plasterboard, then papered over it, an awful job! It all had to come down to be re-plasterboarded then skimmed. It’s a very good job new carpets were already in the budget.

Finished ‘afters’ in the next post, it’s like a Moregeous cliffhanger πŸ˜‰

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