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  • Writer's pictureWeskus Jou Lekker Ding

Renovating a bathroom entails far more than what meets the eye!

Updated: Oct 28, 2021

Sunken basin inside a beautiful wooden shelf.
Drop in basin in wooden basin cabinet

I’ve been asked so many times, by so many home owners, Riaan, what do you regard as a modern bathroom design? Sir, Madam, there is no straight and easy answer to this question, because peoples taste vary radically, however, I can say, to me personally as a bathroom renovation specialist, and who has been in the industry for quite some time, I have seen it all, I have literally seen so many old designs, new designs, you name it, and I have seen it. To me, quite frankly, a modern bathroom design is all about the bathroom tiles, yes you heard me right, and a modern bathroom design boils down to really what catches the eye first, and to me, that is the bathroom tiles you have selected for your bathroom renovation project.

Especially when it comes to smaller bathrooms, this is when small bathroom decor ideas and bathroom tile ideas must really come together, and quality time being spend on choosing exactly the right bathroom tiles, is paramount to give that modern feel to your bathroom, even thou it is a small bathroom. I always advise any and all of my clients, when choosing their bathroom tiles, to not just focus on the tiles price, but rather to spend maximum of their budget to go as big as possible, on a decent quality tile, A-Grade preferably and ideally nothing smaller than a 600 x 600mm, whether it be porcelain or ceramic, go for size, because bigger tiles, with small spacers (2mm) just creates that space, especially on a small bathroom. Tile contractors most of the times just go’s with what the client buys, and this is wrong, your tile / bathroom renovation contractor should advise you on the best possible bathroom renovation ideas and even go so far as to accompanying you to tile companies to make an informed expert decision on exactly what tiles to procure.

Any bathroom décor ideas, should always take the size of the bathroom tiles into consideration. Modern bathrooms is the buzz word today, but call me old fashion, I still love the antique type finish to a bathroom, playing with a chandelier maybe, or that high-level toilet cistern with the ball and chain.

Beautiful bathrooms originates from bathroom designs done properly, and not in a hurry. Renovating your bathroom should take time, time to procure the right products, time to sit down with your renovating company and discuss in-depth that which you as a client expect and wish from the project, always keeping an open mind as to what is realistic and practical at the same time.

A simple example moving of the bathroom tiles subject, is making the right choices on the bathroom basins for instance, and your bathroom decorating ideas should focus heavily on this key aspect of the bathroom. Why, well besides the fact that every single product going into your new bathroom must be practical, it must look fabulous, in fact the synergy of all the products together, must ooze with style fused with luxury, and the basins will assist greatly in achieving just that.

Bathroom decorations does not always stop at the products being fitted. Other things of importance to consider is “curtains VS blinds’, the lighting, whether you choose ‘down-lights’ or a fancy chandelier, bathroom art in the form of a colorful and applicable portrait, or a phony bright colored cactus plant on a glass shelf, bright colorful towels, all these small things add value to the overall feel and touch of the bathroom.

Moving on, another aspect of the bathroom renovation project that must receive considerable consideration is the type of bath or shower to install. Bathtub prices can vary from the more cheaper ‘Plexicor type’ build in baths to quite expensive bathtubs such as the Victoria + Albert range of free standing bathtubs, or the more earthy Dado range of free standing baths. Depending on your budget and bathroom layout, small bathroom design ideas should ideally not include both a bathtub and a shower, but rather to create that little more space, preferably only have one of the 2, either a bathtub or a decent shower, framed or frame-less.

Bathroom shower ideas must also be a focus point during the drafting of the bathroom plans. Latest bathroom designs and trends is moving away from the more traditional framed shower build onto a ‘lip’ (brick height) type of installation, to the ever increasing and popular ‘no-lip-walk-straight-into-the-shower-unimpeded-type-of-design’, with an impressive shower drain as opposed to the conventional round shower grid. The combination of a flat floor surface, coupled with an impressive stainless steel shower grid, ensures an even more upmarket feel to your shower, which compliments the entire bathroom and its design. In this regard, shower screens have also become very much popular in a small / tiny bathroom, and bathroom designs for small bathrooms should ideally be formulated with space constraints in mind, to maximize the space in the tiny bathroom. For this purpose, sliding bathroom doors is also on the rise, and more and more clients opts for the removal of their bathrooms conventional door, to save space, because let’s face it, a swing door takes up unnecessary space, as nothing should impede on the bathroom space and design, if it can be avoided by hanging a sliding door, if space allows for a sliding door.

Coming back to the bathroom renovation process, what follows is a concise description of a typical standard domestic Bathroom Renovation project process and Flow of Work.

Hi all, thanks for reading so far. I pray I will through my countless blogs on the subject matter of renovating bathrooms, leave you with more answers as questions!

De Witt Bathrooms is a Bathroom Renovations and Remodeling Company with many years of experience in the Building Industry in South Africa. We really have the best of the best of tradesmen employed with a massive accumulated knowledge base between us, and no stone is left unturned to ensure that the service we provide is World Class.

We pride ourselves to always receive good and positive reviews / feedback from our clients and in all the years of operations, we have never had one negative review, we simply bent backwards to ensure we leave our clients site happy, and satisfied that they got value for their money and that their project came out a huge success. Call us today or visit our website for more information.

In a nutshell and very concise, I wish to briefly touch on the Description of a standard Bathroom Renovation project process and flow of work until completion.  First and foremost we meet up with our client, taking exact measurements of his or her bathroom, compiling a competitive yet realistic quotation and getting the quotation approved by the client.

After negotiating a day for the project to commence, we put in place all the necessary arrangements to make it happen, such as organising a proper size 'rubble removal bin', in all cases we rent a bin from Tshwane Municipality, 6 cube bin (6m3) and having it delivered beforehand.

The next step in the process is to prepare our tools needed for the project, thereafter arriving at site, we proceed to prepare the areas around the bathroom that could possibly be affected by the ongoing work on the bathroom itself. For example, laying 'drop sheets' as far as possible and securing these drop sheets in order for the tradesman to walk over it as a protective cover to protect the existing floors of the house, whilst we cart out the rubble that is being generated from breaking the bathroom.

The breaking of the bathroom is fundamentally the first order of business after the bin has been delivered and the drop sheets have been laid and secured. After the breaking process, the professional plumbing team arrives to commence with their preparation.  First off, they inspect the products to be fitted as supplied by the client. After inspection, they commence with marking out exactly where will what be fitted, for example, where will the shower mixer and shower grid go, and also the shower arm, heights, width, depths etc.

After marking out, the plumbers with their respective ‘charge hands’ (handlangers), will commence chasing the walls for the new copper tubing to be fitted.  The most common copper pipe being used in a bathroom renovation project, is an SABS approved 15mm copper tube, generally sold by all the major hardware stores in South Africa.

Once the piping is complete, in other words the piping has been laid, and the water turned back on again, we provide for 12 hours testing for any water leaks, before the tiling team commence with the tiling process. This in essence is a pivotal and non-negotiable step in our process and speaks of sensible and quality workmanship.

Once the tiling team arrives, they prepare and setup, which entails a thorough inspection of the walls and floor areas where they have to tile.  If they are not satisfied with the walls and floor areas as presented, they will call in the builders which consist of a bricklayer team who will in turn come and screed the walls and floor area to a proper working surface for the tilers to proceed with their tiling process.

The tilers are given adequate time to finish their tiling process, because in the end, the tiling process of the project, is the most important process from an aesthetical point of view.

Once the tiling team has signed off the project, in other words, they have tiled properly and everyone involved, especially the Site Supervisor is satisfied that the work has been done with precision and excellence, the Fitment Team is summoned next to come and fit all the products that the Plumbing Team have prepared. For example, water points and wastes for a free-standing bath maybe, or a shower mixer arm, shower arm, shower head, toilet, basins and bathroom accessories, etc.

On completion of the Fitment process, the site is properly cleaned up, and the bathroom given its final pre-wash.  We call it a pre-wash, because we cannot sensibly give the bathroom at this stage a thorough clean-up, because not everything is dried up properly yet. Too much water and soap being introduced at this stage could upstage things such as grout that is not yet properly dried etc.  We always advise our clients to let a bathroom we have renovated kind of lie unused for a period of at least 3 days after we have left the site, before they commence to thoroughly wash the bathroom.

All is then done and our clients are presented with a Pristine and Dream Signature Bathroom!

Follow my future blog posts on tiny bathroom ideas, small bathroom decorating ideas, contemporary bathrooms, luxury bathroom designs, and much, much more.

Until next time, stay strong, and above all "would be bathroom renovators", the key to a stunning bathroom, all lies in the planning and design phase, take your time, and don’t rush things, and above all, ensure to appoint a competent and reliable bathroom renovation contractor, because the latter can either make or break your dream.

Warm Regards,

Electronic Signature of owner for De Witt Bathrooms namely Mr. Riaan de Witt
Riaan De Witt

Riaan de Witt

Owner Operator for De Witt Bathrooms

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