Hmmm! Our original bathroom rework was in 2004, just before Ami was born. We had the builder’s one removed. To have that done we paid some unearthly amount of money to a local company in Newport Pagnell. Whilst they did a decent job, and it looked good for its time, there were some features that I never liked. And much of the stuff was now looking shabby, or didn’t work. Bits of trim were coming off. Taps were gummed up with limescale. That kind of thing. The final straw was when the shower attachment on the bath tap broke off completely. It hadn’t worked for ages anyway, but one day it just snapped off. It wasn’t possible to change the tap without pulling the bath out from the wall. Which meant taking the radiator off and lifting the flooring as well as moving the bath and its panels.
There wasn’t a huge amount of planning involved, to be honest. We kind of got someone else to do it, much as we did with the kitchen refit. Our choice was to get Wickes to do it. We may have had a little look at some other places, but fundamentally Wickes offer a free, no commitment, design service.
As there was still a lockdown in place, we did initial meetings over a Teams meeting after I’d supplied rough measurements and photos of the offending room.
Within a short time (overnight) our designer came back with some photo mock-ups of his suggestion. We’d given a brief of something quite simple but more modern. Not especially fancy or fussy, but then Wickes don’t do much of that anyway. So something modern, functional, and more appealing to spend time in.
The designer did a good job. He mocked it up in a sort-of beige colour, but said obviously we could use any colours we liked. The best thing to do would be to go to the shop and have a look, then give him more ideas. We were happy with all-white sanitary ware, but we wanted to lose the green paint and “woody” feel. So we picked some mid-grey tiles to go all over. Later whilst shopping online I ordered samples of mosaic tiles for a “feature wall” – everywhere has to have one of those. We picked some that are a mix of silver, pale blue glass and turquoise glass.
So we did a deal with Wickes. They suggested some components for us, fitted to our space. We didn’t argue because a) they met the brief and b) I don’t know one bath from another. They also arranged the fitters (and would pay them). We just had to choose tiles.
Doing the Doings
Prior to beginning work, the fitter came round to check my measurements and discuss any extras. We knew there’d be a few because Wickes don’t quote for certain preparatory work with the walls or floors. And we had to wait several weeks for the various materials to be ordered and delivered.
The fitter expected it would take 8 days of work to do everything. The first couple were spent taking the old bathroom out. The next couple were spent rebuilding bits of wall and fitting new bits of wood and plasterboard.
After all that, they were ready to start doing things that look like a bathroom. Wet stuff first, then tiles, then cabinets, and finally the khasi.
There were a few mishaps on the way, but the fitter kept talking to us and we got there eventually. For instance, there was a nationwide shortage of toilet bowls. Secondly, our interior walls have an interesting construction that made stripping all the tiles of rather difficult. And I couldn’t find enough silver edging strips for the tiles, even after we’d actually chosen some. And the taps didn’t turn up so I had to buy some more and get Wickes to refund theirs. All irritating things, but not severe in the grand scheme.
The fitters did a good job, as you can see from the photos.