Tag Archives: ensuite

Long, slim and trim!

26 Aug

What a week! On a positive note, the (unfinished) ensuite bathroom now looks like this…………………



There’s still a way to go, but when you think how it started out (I know I’ve showed these photos before but I just find the difference between the two shots mind blowing!)………….



But as amazing as this progress is, it has been a rollercoaster ride to get to this stage. First the tiler and I disagreed over what area of the shower should be covered in mosaic tiles – I wanted the whole thing done, he wanted them to stop a foot shy of the wall on the right. I won, but the victory was bittersweet as we didn’t have enough mosaic tiles and had to wait twenty four hours for a delivery of an additional batch. This meant  Mr Tiler couldn’t move on and start tiling the wall he wanted to once the floors were done, so he wasn’t happy with me. Apparently he plans out the order of a job in advance and HE DOES NOT like to deviate from that. But in the end it was worth enduring his wrath I think……….


Anyway, the mosaic incident was quickly overshadowed when Mr Tiler found he had ‘spontaneously chipped’ not one but two tiles AFTER they had been glued down AND grouted. He had to shimmy them up again, not an easy job when you consider all the tiles around them had also been stuck down and grouted.

Then there followed a ‘trim’ (you know the stuff that you put round the edges of tiled walls) disaster! As a result of two and a half hours driving round three different tile shops (including four visits and two phone calls to one) I now know more about tile trim than I ever thought it was possible to know. For instance did you know that trim not only comes in different widths, but also different lengths and it seems qualities.

After deciding late on Monday evening, under the advice of Mr Tiler, that we could do better than the Wickes own brand beige trim that IB had bought, I set out on Tuesday morning to buy some Homelux tile trim, thicker and curved with a smooth satin finish, it was a more substantial and superior tile trim. Unfortunately, only one of the local tile shops stocked it but only in white. Taking pity on me, the nice man in Reed and Harris introduced me to silver trim, an EVEN MORE SUPERIOR tile trim (who knew!) but it was pricey and a quick call to IB resulted in a trip to Wickes where I got a version (not quite as good) that was £5 cheaper. Ten sticks (I’m not sure if this is the official term!) of trim later I arrived home only to be told by a now once more irate Mr. Tiler (who was refusing to move on with tiling the next wall  wall until he had the trimmed up the first one!)  that the new trim was shorter (by half a meter) than the original beige one. So after a quick call to Reed and Harris to determine how long their trim was, it was back in the car again. A half hour later I was proudly brandishing the new longer length trim in front of Mr Tiler’s nose only to be told that I’d been sold 9mm trim that had been labelled as 10mm trim and so I needed to take it back and get the next size up (12mm in case you’re interested)…………. Anyway, it was all worth it in the end because  now we have the Louboutins of the trim world on our as yet ungrouted bathroom walls, and because Reed and Harris sell at trade prices we’re still in budget – Hurrah!


12mm wide, 2.5m long, silver trim in situ!


Let her eat cake!

12 Aug

It’s quite frustrating knowing that you’re not making much progress on your home renovations, particularly when you’re pumped and ready to go! We’ve done everything we can since coming back from holiday to prepare for the kitchen build and the  bathroom refit, but we’ve had to twiddle our DIY thumbs until the ‘professionals’ come in and do their bit! Anyway, a huge HURRAH because hunky plumber man started work on the ensuite on Thursday! Actually he arrived with a plus one, as there was no way he was going to be able to remove the sunken bath without some help (I would happily have lent a hand if only he’d asked!). So now, the bath is gone, the toilet and sink have been removed and the boarded up door has been plastered over, all ready for the tiler to start next week.

Remember this………..



And the view from underneath (i.e. in the garage)….


Well instead we have this………………


OK so its a work in progress!


We had a slight tile crisis on Monday as it turned out the Travertine tiles that we’d set our hearts on need sealing after they’re laid, plus resealing every couple of years after that. This all sounded like too much hard work – they were high maintenance tiles and high maintenance anything is to be avoided! On top of that, when the tiler came out to measure up the room and check out the sample tile, it literally crumbled into pieces in his hand!






Oh and this is what I’ve been getting up to when I’m not DIYing! Made from scratch – even the almond and lemon pastry! I’ve got to have an outlet for all this  pent up DIY energy…………


When is a door not a door?

25 Apr

Anyone who has been following this blog from the beginning, might recall that one of the more quirky features of this house is a Jack and Jill en suite bathroom. For anyone not familiar with such a concept (like me before our first viewing) it’s a bathroom that’s got two doors and is basically accessible from two different bedrooms. Good idea? You decide…….. personally  I’ve never been very sold on the idea and having spent the last few months trying to remember to lock TWO doors when using this bathroom, I didn’t shed any tears yesterday when DIY dad in a last DIY act before he left these shores, blocked one door up! We needed this done in preparation for fitting a walk in shower later in the year but apart from this, the other advantage is that in one of the bedrooms we’ve reclaimed some much needed wall space.  So  now our Jack and Jill en suite is only accessible to Jack (not to be rude to Jill but given it can only be entered via our boys’ bedroom………………..)

Anyway more interesting than why we bricked up one door to the en suite is how it was bricked up. For some reason (which I still can’t explain, maybe because it lends itself to a step-by-step systematic approach like baking) I was fascinated by this and followed DIY dad’s progress with great interest – interest which I think he was more irritated than flattered by yesterday morning as he rushed to finish the job before he caught a 15.30 flight out of Heathrow.  However, I do now know the steps involved in blocking up a door, so look away now if this doesn’t interest you in the slightest.

  • Remove the architrave on both sides.

  • Take down the door


  • Cut thin strips of wood into appropriately sized battens and place at strategic points in the doorway as so:



Remember the battens will ultimately support the plasterboard that blocks up the hole, so there should be a suitable number of them and they should be screwed in tightly.

  • Next measure up the doorway and cut your plasterboard to appropriate size shapes.
  • Then fit the plasterboard, on both sides,  into the lower section of the doorway and secure into position with appropriate length screws.
  • Pack this lower cavity with acoustic and draft proof insulation.



  • Then fit plasterboard to ONE side of the top section of the doorway. Secure in position.
  • Pack the top cavity with insulation as before.



  • Finally fasten the top section of plasterboard into position.



And there you have it, one blocked up doorway! It’s not chocolate cake but it looks just as good (well not quite but you  know what I mean!).