Sunday, 24 March 2013

Bathing beauties

One of the greatest challenges that Mr Flatzilla and I came up against in our flat was the bathroom. Long and narrow, verging on corridor proportions and with a rotting window at the end, it didn't meet our criteria (proper shower, separate loo) in any way, shape or form. In fact, I don't think it would've met anyone's criteria, unless they loved 1970s red and cream floral tiles and a loo with a barcode still stuck to it. Classy.

However, I was so in love with what is now our flat that I spent days staring at the plans, determined not to be outdone by a gross bathroom before a Eureka moment struck. Of course, you're probably wondering why we wouldn't just put a shower in the bath and leave the layout more or less as is. My problem lies in a dodgy knee and a tendency to fall over, so a shower in the bathroom would've certainly ended in a trip to A&E or at least an ambulance within the first six months. Plus, neither myself nor Mr F are that into baths and we really, really wanted a separate loo for practical reasons.

Anyway, back to the Eureka moment. The simple solution was to split the bathroom off into two separate rooms - a WC from the hallway and then a shower and basin en-suite. Seeing as its just us two and a sausage dog in a one bedroom flat, we're not expecting a lot of guests in need of a shower so this seems like the best solution and use of space.

Of course, it was never as simple as just putting in a partition wall. In moving the loo, we had to lower the waste pipe exit so that it would drain properly but one of the biggest challenges was the number of doors. Our bedroom is a decent size but by converting our bathroom into an en suite, we needed to add an extra door and risked losing space to the area needed for a door to open and close properly. We'd already decided to convert the door to our bedroom into a pocket door (or sliding door to you and me) to allow enough space for our bed where we wanted it, so it seemed to be the natural solution to put in a pocket door for the bathroom.

Thankfully, the partition wall between the bedroom and the bathroom had actually been modernised sometime in the last 50 years (unlike everything else in the flat), so the process wasn't too time consuming. The builders stripped off the outer plasterboard and rejigged the innards to create 'pockets' for the doors to slide into.

So, below you'll be able to see the changes we've made to the layout. On the left is the original corridor-like set up and on the right, the new version. We've put a large shower in that runs the width of the bathroom (a grand total of 120cm, I told you it was corridor-like!), plus a large sink, new window and a heated towel rail underneath.

I say we've put in but in reality, its all being plumbed in this week so hopefully by Easter we will have a fully functional bathroom and loo. Very exciting. In the meantime, here's a little peek at the bathroom pocket door - I took this photo a few days ago and the walls have been plastered since but you know, I don't want to give everything away yet.

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