While choosing your dream bathroom design and style is exciting, you need to be mindful of the looming costs for the bathroom installation. Bathroom installation requires a lot of hard work and planning too, at times just as much as the actual planning of renovating a bathroom. There are several factors to be considered which is why in this article we will talk you through some of the useful tips when installing a bathroom.
Bathroom installation requires not just one or two, but a set of various techniques and skills. This is the reason why fitting a bathroom is riskier than any other room of the house. It requires plumbing, plastering, electrical work and other bits and pieces that you will often only realise once you are well into the job, making it one of the biggest reasons why most of the people prefer getting the bathroom installation job by the professional fitters. At Perfect Plumbers, we’ll help you with your bathroom installation to help make the process easy for you with minimum disturbance to the regular functioning of your house.
In this article you will learn about:
- Tips for a Smooth Bathroom Installation
- Tips for Planning bathroom Installation
- A Step by Step Guide on Bathroom Installation
- Tips to Keep the Cost of Installation Low
Tips for a Smooth Bathroom Installation
As we discussed above, bathroom installation requires a variety of skills. The number or set of skills you will need depends on whether you are replacing an old bathroom with a new one or putting in a new bathroom from scratch.
Some of the things which will make the whole process smoother and easier for you are:
Making a Plan: Make a plan on how you would like to get your bathroom installed and stick to it. Clear any confusions before you start the process to avoid any hiccups along the way. Once you are clear of what you need to do, you will have peace of mind and the whole process can go without any big disputes. If you’re not sure, it’s best to get some tips from a professional. They’ll be able to provide some advice and often help you with this for free!
DIY or Professional: It is important to know whether you would like to do the job yourself or hire a professional bathroom fitting company. Unless you have very polished DIY skills, hiring a professional fitter is the best option as it saves a lot of time for you, and as they are better able to handle any issues along the way you’ll be in safe hands. At Perfect Plumbers, we can help you with this to make sure you get the job done right.
Public Liability: Once you have decided to hire the services of professional bathroom fitters, the next thing is to check their public liability. The public liability insurance protects your property from any damage that may occur during the whole process of bathroom installation. On the other hand, in a DIY job, if anything goes wrong you will have to cover the costs on your own.
Make Necessary Arrangements: Before the tradesmen come in, a bit of homework on part of the owners is required. Little things make a big difference and can help a lot if done at the right time in the right way. Some of the things you can do to make this task easier are:
- Remove all decoration and wall hangings from the bathroom. This includes any paintings, plants or any other small objects that can easily get damaged during the process.
- Cover the area, from where the fitters come in up to the bathroom entrance with dust sheets or plastic carpet protection. This will reduce the risk of damage to any of your belongings.
- A good bathroom installation tip is to inspect your whole area of the bathroom carefully. Know your walls, tiles and roofing etc. This is so that you know what condition they were in before the work began. This will also help you know if there was any pre-installation damage anywhere in the bathroom.
Empty the Bathroom: Take all your personal belongings out and empty the bathroom from top to bottom. This included the areas that you think will not be touched during the installation job. This makes sure that there is no risk of damage to any of the items. This includes all your toiletries, towels and even inside the bathroom cabinets.
Removal of Old Fittings: Something that’s good to get out of the way first is to remove all previous fittings from an old bathroom to make room for the new fittings. This can be removing the old sink, tiles, bath or shower etc. Take everything out so that your installation process is quicker and smoother. If you’re hiring a professional company, this can be done by them if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself.
Pre-Ordering: another useful bathroom installation tip is to order all your installed equipment before you start the job and store them at a safe place in the house. Or, if possible, hire a storage space. The benefit of doing this is that you can avoid any delays in the process so when your bathroom fitters are at your place ready to install the bathroom, you should have all the raw material on you so they can do the job quickly and without any delays.
On the other hand, if you want to deliver and install on the same day, there is a big chance you will get delays if the delivery does not arrive on time.
Secondly, pre-ordering will give you the chance to inspect and check the material for any damages. If there are any damages you can return the items and get new ones delivered in before time.
Make Way: Another one of the useful tips when installing a bathroom that often gets overlooked is to make room for the installers. For example, they might need to stop the water supply from the main pipe. You might need to remove all contents from where the water supply connection is just in case you are not there when the tradesmen need to do that. This will make it easy for them to see the connection and also it will reduce the chance of damaging any items that are lying in the cabinet. It’s worth talking to the tradesmen before they start as they’ll advise of everything they need in advance.
Tips for Planning Bathroom Installation
Planning is the first and foremost thing that you will need to do to make the whole project of bathroom installation easier for you. There are a few things that you may find useful when making a plan for installing your bathroom.
Make a Draft: Make a draft or rough sketch of what you want to be done. This will help you to keep things organised and in place and will make the task easier when the actual installation work is being done.
Discuss your Plan: You should discuss your plan in detail with your professional bathroom fitter. There will a lot of things that you might not be very clear about, especially the technical aspects of the installation. You can ask these questions with your bathroom fitter and they can guide you through the technical constraints on the job, making it easy for you to understand. Our team at Perfect Plumbers will be happy to have a chat with you and help wherever we can.
Make a Method for Payments: You will also need to discuss with your bathroom fitter on how they would like to be paid. Once a plan for payment is in place, it will be easy for you to keep a budget and also it will help the fitters to know when to expect payment. Some tradesmen would take some advance payment which is not unusual. This is especially when they are also buying the material for you. If you are buying the materials yourself, you can still have a plan in place for payment. This may be all at once payment, credit or weekly instalments.
Check the Location and Condition of Pipes and Wires: One of the useful tips when installing a bathroom is checking the condition of the existing pipework beforehand. This will give you an idea if they need to be replaced while you are reinstalling the bathroom. Having damaged or rusted pipes will make the effort of putting in a new bathroom go to waste. Therefore, it is important to keep an eye for those little details.
This goes the same for the electric wires too. If any of the wires need to be replaced, its best to do it while the installation work is taking place to avoid any hassle in the future. It is also important to note their location and the length so that if you are planning to have your sink installed somewhere else, you may be able to extend the pipes if there is potential.
Stick To The Plan: Once you have made a sketch of the bathroom and have discussed where each component of the room will go, then stick to your plan. The best bathroom installation tip is to check the progress of the work at the end of each workday. If at the end of each day you are happy with the progress, the tradesmen can go ahead with the rest of the work. If, however, there are any changes that you might want, you can discuss with the team and they will be able to assist you through it. Some of the issues you may have if you keep changing your mind are:
- Your project will keep getting delayed.
- Installing and removing and reinstalling will add to the cost of the labour.
- There will be a risk of damage to the material.
- There might be technical issues. If for example, you want to have the sink where there is no pipework, it will take a lot of effort to put a new pipeline where you now want to have the sink.
- It may increase the cost substantially.
Have Realistic Expectations: You know the situation of your bathroom more any anyone, and you are the best judge on how it will be used. When it comes to installation, having realistic expectations in terms of the designs will save disappointment in the end massively. Plan and design your bathroom according to the use it will have. If it is a family bathroom then a simple design will be more effective than a sophisticated design with a lot of decorations.
In terms of having a time frame from planning up to the completion of the whole project, you must have realistic expectations as there might be unexpected delays. Most professional bathroom fitters are very fast and can be expected to finish the job on the target they have given you, but always factor in some leeway to be on the safe side.
Here at Perfect Plumbers, we are highly efficient in delivering the best service in less time and adhere to any agreed deadlines.
A Step by Step Guide on Bathroom Installation
There is a lot of homework and planning involved when it comes to installing a bathroom. Apart from labour work, there are many different technical and designing factors that you need to be aware of. We have made this guide in a step by step method which is to help you to understand the process better and make your project easier for you. Our team at Perfect Plumbers will be happy to help you every step of the way to make the whole process hassle-free.
Step 1 – Removal and Emptying the Bathroom:
Before the bathroom installation team arrives, you will need to have done some prep work. This way they can get straight to work and will save time. All the personal belongings must be taken out of the bathroom including toiletries, toothbrush and soap dispensers, towels and mats etc.
Empty the bathroom cabinet and take it out too. Other things that you can start taking out first are; Toilet roll holder, towel rail, shower tray or bathtub, shower or bath screen, toilet and sink must all be removed beforehand. Some items that are fixed to the bathroom will be removed by the installation team, but small objects or toiletries can be removed easily.
Tips For This Step: Start with removing the light and easily movable items first then move on to the fixed items.
Step 2 – Turn off Heating and Water Supply:
Before the installation team comes, you must turn off the water supply and central heating system must be drained. By doing this you will save yourself and the installation team a lot of hassle and time because when they arrive, they will ask you to do it anyway which will be more time-consuming. If it is done beforehand, a lot of time can be saved, allowing the team to crack on without needing to wait around.
Tips For This Step: A professional bathroom installation tip here is to remove the bathtub last. This way if there is any water left in the drain pipes of the sink or the toilet it can be emptied in the bath.
Step 3 – Turn off the Electric:
Turn off the electric supply into the bathroom. All electric connections must be disconnected properly such as electric showers or shavers switch. If you are not confident at doing the electric work on your own, don’t take a chance as this may be risky.
Tips For This Step: If you are not much of a technical person, this job is best left to the experts, to avoid any risk.
Step 4 – Drain Pipes:
All drain pipes or wastewater pipes will be removed and replaced with the new ones. If you can handle this job on your own, you can remove the old water waste pipes. These are removed in every bathroom installation so that if there is any scum or debris in the pipes, it can be thrown away and replaced with new pipes. There is likely to be some soap and hair scum in the old pipes even if you kept your bathroom very clean.
Your professional bathroom installation team will take care of this aspect, so don’t worry if you are not sure which ones are your water waste pipes. Our team at Perfect Plumbers is very efficient at their job and can take out your drain pipes in no time.
Tips For This Step: Make sure the waste pipes are fully empty so as not to have any spills while taking them out.
Step 5 – Remove Tiling:
After all the furniture and fittings have been successfully taken out, now you can move on to remove the tiles on the walls and the bathroom floor. This is your chance to see if there is any kind of breakage or water damage in the walls and get it fixed before installing new tiles in. Our expert team at Perfect Plumbers can give you professional advice if you believe you have any issues you might have regarding the seep or leakage within the walls.
Tips For This Step: Take all the tiles out and inspect the condition of the walls carefully.
Step 6 – Insulation and Humidity Control:
Once the tiles are removed, this is the stage where if you desire more insulation or humidity control in your bathroom, you can make it happy much more easily as there are a lot fewer obstructions. We at Perfect Plumbers can guide you through this and help you to choose which insulation and humidity control methods would suit your needs.
Tips For This Step: It good to have more insulation as well as ventilation in the bathroom to avoid any dampness.
Step 7 – Electric Work:
Now that your bathroom is ready to have the installations, there is some electric work that needs to be done. All the wires for the electric connections in the bathroom are supplied in at this stage. This includes, electric supply for the extractor fan, switch for shavers, wiring for the spotlights, power supply if you are installing underfloor heating, a digital thermostat for temperature control, and electric connection for the main lights.
It’s surprising how much electric work is needed in the small space of a bathroom. This is made a lot easier when you have the right people doing the job you as don’t need to worry about any of the problems that may arise as part of the plumbing.
Tips For This Step: An additional switch button for extractor fan so that it can be turned off manually when needed. This will come in handy more often than you think!
Step 8 – Levelling the Walls:
Once the electric connections are fitted in, you can now work on the walls, the walls can be levelled and plumbed at this stage. One of the tips when installing a bathroom for professional fitters is to look for the wall levelling more carefully where the shower tray or bathtub would sit. This is important to have it in level so that the sealing can be easily fitted and made watertight.
If the levelling is not done right, the water may leak through the gaps inside the shower tray or bath. Therefore, all walls must be levelled and squared up before any installation takes place. This will also give a smooth finishing to the bathroom once the job is finished.
Tips For This Step: A good way to check if the levelling is done properly is to check it against a straight ruler or using a spirit level.
Step 9 – Run the Water Supply Pipes:
At this stage, the water supply pipes for hot and cold water can be fitted and plumbed in. This is only the main supply pipe which will then be distributed at every point in your bathroom, (we’ve included more details in step 11 below).
Here at Perfect Plumbers, we’re the best choice when it comes to plumbing and pipework. Not only are we affordable, but we will make sure that you get the best service and the best results.
Tips For This Step: Plumbing goes a long way and is one of the most important jobs in bathroom installation, so it must be done the right way and handled by the experts.
Step 10 – Paint the Ceiling:
Once you’ve got the pipework in and the walls are done and dusted, now you can paint the ceiling. It’s best to do it at this stage before you get everything else in as you’ll have minimal disruptions or obstacles to work around. Painting the ceiling before the fittings and tiling means you don’t need to be too careful if your paint splatters at a few spots.
Tips For This Step: If you paint the ceiling afterwards, you may splatter some paint on the fittings or you may have to cover them. It will be harder to avoid spraying the tiles with any paint as well as it would be to avoid painting the corner tiles towards the top. Hence, the best way is to get the painting of the ceiling done before there’s anything else in the way.
Step 11 – Fixing the Supply Pipes and Drain Pipes:
The water supply connection is now taken to the main supply points. A hot and cold connection is given to the shower and the bath filler tap. Same goes for the basin or sink taps where a hot and cold connection is given. For the toilet, the cold water connection is connected.
The water waste pipes are also installed at this stage. They take the wastewater from the sink, shower and toilet into the main drains. This job is best left to the professionals as this is a more technical job and be left to the people who are more experienced. Perfect Plumbers are the expert at plumbing and pipework, making sure that this is done properly to guarantee it works correctly.
Tips For This Step: A good bathroom installation tip here would be to keep the toilet where it was before, this will save putting another pipe in for hot water if you were to put a sink or shower in its place.
Step 12 – Fitting Bath or Shower Taps:
The bath or shower taps are fitted in before the shower tray or bathtub. This is because they are fitted into the wall and when you do the tiling first you will damage the tiles while fitting in bath taps and shower.
Tips For This Step: Unless you have a rainfall shower fitted into the ceiling, you will need to fix the shower in before the tiling work.
Step 13 – Bath or Shower Tray:
Bath and shower trays are also fitted in before the tiling work. This is because if you are fitting in a bathtub, it will cover a lot of your tiles from the sides and the back. hence, you will waste a lot of tiles and money on buying them which will not even be seen.
It’s also important from a technical aspect, to make the shower tray and bathtub watertight and seepage free. This needs to happen before the tiling is done.
Tips For This Step: Fitting in the shower tray or bathtub first will save you buying more tiles than required, and will save money. You can calculate the estimated number of tiles leaving the space where these units will be installed. Professional bathroom installers will be able to help you save money wherever possible.
Step 14 – Central Heating:
The central heating connection should now be installed. If the pipework of the central heating is been relocated from its old position, it’s important to refill the heating system and turn it on at this point. This is done to check if the piping work is done correctly if it is working properly and if there are any leakages.
If you are planning on underfloor heating, this can step can be omitted. Tips for underfloor heating are given in step 17 below.
Tips For This Step: If you have relocated the radiator, make sure that you’ve factored in the pipework in the walls in the previous steps!
Step 15 – Securing Floorboards and Pipework:
Once the central heating is being tested and there are no leakages, the floorboards on the bathroom can go back in their place and fitted in. The pipework can now be fitted into the walls after being wrapped in waterproof and damp proof tape so that they are not damaged by chemicals or water over the years.
When that’s done, the pipes can be securely fitted in the walls with clips at their designated places and secured with plaster with cement and sand or drywall.
Tips For This Step: Make sure the surface is smooth and levelled when the plastering is done as this will make the tiling job easier. It is advisable to leave the plaster to dry for a couple of days (up to 4 weeks) before tiling work is started.
Step 16 – Tiling The Walls:
Tiling work is best started in the shower corner. This is done by securing the wall by a waterproof material so that the water does not penetrate through the tiles into the wall. When the bath and shower corner is done, tiling work can move on to the rest of the bathroom walls.
Tips For This Step: A good bathroom installation tip is to start tiling in the middle and move to the corners so that if there are any cuttings, they can be in the corners not in the middle of the room. Similarly, the small cuts should come towards the floor rather than the top of the wall to hide them from view easier.
Step 17 – Under Floor Heating:
Floor tiling follows on from the wall tiling. If you are installing underfloor heating, this must be laid out when the floorboards are secured in. The heating cable can be laid out throughout the floor, which once complete, must be checked properly.
Tips For This Step: It is not advisable to put the tiles in without testing the underfloor heating system. If it is not working properly, the whole tiling will have to be removed to correct the fault which will result in breakage of the tiles and can be costly.
Step 18 – Floor Tiling:
When the underfloor heating is being tested and approved, the floor tiling job can be carried out.
Tips For This Step: The adhesive must set in properly to fit the tiles in as the floor tiles are more likely to move or break than the wall tiles.
Step 19 – Grouting and Sealing:
Once all the tiles including the wall and floor tiles are secured in and the adhesive has dried, the grouting can be done. Make sure that the grouting job is done properly as a lot of grout sticking out from between the tiles does not look very appealing.
Next comes sealing the corners. By this, we mean the corners where the wall meets the floor and all the gaps between the taps in the shower and the wall behind. This must be sealed with silicon. Again, a lot of excessive silicon will make the look of the bathroom look poorly installed and make it appear like a cowboy job so it’s important to use reliable tradesmen if you’re hiring someone for the job.
Tips For This Step: Grouting and sealing only look nice if it’s done properly and no extras are sticking out. While it’s wet, it’s easy to move and reapply so make use of this whilst it’s being installed.
Step 20 – Electric Fittings:
Your bathroom will now be nearing a finish, making it time to fit the electric fittings in. This includes the shaving socket, the pull cord for the spotlights or the switch button (on the outside of the bathroom), the spotlights, manual operating button or pullcord for extractor fan and thermostat for underfloor heating. These must be fitted in and secured before moving on to the next steps.
Tips For This Step: There are a lot of options available for switchboards and spotlights. As these will make your bathroom more decorative, take the time to research and find the ones you’ll love before buying anything in a hurry.
Step 21 – Vanity Unit and Door:
It’s ideal to take the door out of its frame before the removal and installation work is being carried out. This will make the entrance and exit easier for the workers and also easy to take out and bring in stuff. Now that all the major work is done, the door can be fixed back in.
The vanity unit or the countertop for the sink can now be installed at this stage too.
Tips For This Step: Do your research before buying the vanity unit. Go for something that would last longer and is durable to save money in the long run!
Step 22 – Plumbing Finishing:
Now that you’re coming to the end of the project, a little bit of plumbing work that still needs to be done can now be accomplished. This includes fitting in the toilet cistern and toilet bowl, the soft close seat, the showerhead and shower screen, the sink and the associated taps.
These jobs will require fitting in and getting a connection to the water supply and drain pipes. Once that’s done the toilet and the sink must be sealed in properly with the silicon.
Tips For This Step: At this stage, like always, make sure there are no leakages and that the water connection is done properly. Our tradesmen at Perfect Plumbers are experts in plumbing to make sure it’s done to an exceptional standard, giving you a perfect finishing touch in every aspect of the bathroom installation project.
Step 23 – Finishing and Decoration:
All you need to do now is install a few bits and pieces to finish the bathroom installation. These items typically are fitting in the toilet roll holder, a mirror and a bathroom cabinet. The towel rail and toilet roll holder can be easily drilled in and secured after the tiling is done as it is unlikely to damage the tiles if done carefully.
Again, the professional fitters can help you with that if you are not confident about doing that on your own. The last things you would want to decorate the bathroom would be a nice bathroom mat, blinds for the window, a shower curtain and a nice painting on one of the walls where you think it would be appropriate.
Tips For This Step: A towel rail would be an ideal add on at this stage, if you prefer not to have the towel on the heated towel rail (radiator) and if you have space for it.
Tips to Keep the Cost of Installation Low
Now that we know what to expect and know some of the best tips when installing a bathroom, here are a few guidelines on how to keep the cost low when installing a bathroom.
Remove the Fittings Yourself: If you remove the fittings from the old bathroom yourself, you will be saving the fitters time and effort and hence the overall cost of the project will be lower. This includes removing the toilet, sink, shower or bathtub and even tiling. Remove all decoration and other fittings such as bathroom cabinets too. The more you do it yourself the less the tradesmen will have to do and the less will be the cost on you.
Keeping Plumbing Work to a Minimum: This is perhaps the best bathroom installation tip. if you decide to move the pipework there will be additional plumbing work which will add to the cost, plus additional time will be needed to complete the job. So, you can save your money and time by keeping the plumbing work to a minimum and let the pipework be where it already is if possible.
Design Yourself: This is your best chance to be creative and show off your designing skills. Hiring the services of the designers will be very costly rather than doing the job yourself which will only cost you a couple of interior design magazines maybe. There is a lot of stuff on the internet which will guide you on how to best utilise the space according to the size and usage of your bathroom. You can even invest in a couple of designing magazines and they will help you to get your bathroom designed without hiring expensive designers.
Tiling First: The best way to install a bathroom is to do the tiling before any of the fittings are installed. This way, there will be less wastage on tiles. Once the tiles are in place, you will know exactly how to cut them out to fix the fittings in. When the wastage is less, it will save the cost of tiling.
Keep The Same Layout: Unless there is something wrong with the present layout or design of your bathroom, its best to keep the same layout. This will save you the cost of moving the pipes and electric wires from one point to the other, hence saving time and money.
Cleaning Up After the Installation
Your new bathroom may look untidy and dirty once all the installation work is finished and you would want to clean it properly before you start decorating and putting your stuff back in. Although the professional fitters will always clean up after them, you will want to give it your personal touch to make sure you’re 100% happy with the result.
- The first things you can do is to hoover the floor and take all the dust out.
- Once this is done, you can move on to cleaning the tiles one by one and make them shiny clean.
- Move on to the taps and shower to make sure they’re dust-free and looking nice and shiny.
- Lastly wipe the surfaces such as bath, sink and countertops.
- Clean and wipe the toilet.
- Enjoy your new bathroom!