What is the process for a bathroom renovation and how long does it take?
First of all, let’s consider the trades that go into a bathroom renovation.
Each renovation is performed by up to 12 trades and each of those trades has to come back up to three times during the process.
The plumber and the electrician are involved in the early stages of each bathroom renovation. At smarterBATHROOMS+ we get our electrician to come in on day one to disconnect all the live wiring to the bathroom and make it safe for the trades that are to follow. It’s good practice to do this, not only to protect our trades but also the people who are living in the home we are renovating.
The old bathroom fittings and the walls are removed by a carpenter and the plumber and sparkie do what we call a ‘rough in’. They disconnect all the old points and run new pipes and wires to the new points. This usually takes a day per trade, but can be longer depending on the complexity of the job. For process reasons it’s best the trades don’t work in the room at the same time, so its best if one follows the other.
From there the carpenter takes over and builds the bath hob, the shower base, the floor if it needs to be altered and any new walls, doors or windows that need installing. He may also undertake work on the ceiling, getting it ready for the plasterer. This can be a day or more depending on the amount of work being carried out. He will also straighten the walls making sure the room is true. This is essential for the tiler later on.
The plasterer follows next and seals up the room. He will either use gyprock or sand and cement, depending on whether the structure is a stud and plaster or a solid brick home. This process involves multiple coats of plaster or render, with drying times in between each. The plastering usually takes place over three days or so with sanding and re-coating times to be taken into account.
Once he has finished, then the waterproofer comes through. He usually has to apply two coats with a 24 hour drying time in between. This is obviously the most important step of the bathroom if we want it to last the distance. So many times we are replacing bathrooms where this had not been done. You can’t tell by looking at the finished product if it was actually done as the waterproofing is applied behind the next layer – the tiles.
The tiler, one of the most important trades in the bathroom is next. We like to employ slow, fastidious types who take their time and have a sense of pride in the finished product. Many a bathroom is ruined by a careless, sloppy tiler. Keep in mind as well that the tiler’s job is nearly impossible if the structure is not straight and square. Good foundations build towards a great finish. Each trade is important.
Next we will install the cabinetry. Sometimes this is done prior to tiling. There are reasons why you might do one or the other. The stone mason is then called in to pick up the templates for the stone top and measure up. He comes back in one or two weeks to fit the stone.
While the stone is off being manufactured, the glass for the shower screen is measured and sent off to be made. The glazier returns two weeks later and installs the made-to-measure shower screen.
The plumber and sparkie follow up next and ‘fit off’ plumbing and electrical fittings.
The carpenter now does his fit-off, fitting doors and accessories, followed by the caulker, the cleaner and finally the painter.
The painter can come at any stage near the end once the bathroom has been tiled. Once he has finished, there is nothing left to do except give the room a really good clean where all the excess grout is removed from the tiles and the new bathroom renovation is shined up and prepared for handover to the homeowner.
Usually the homeowner is pretty thrilled at this stage. Not only do they have a new bathroom to cut the ribbon on and take their first shower in, but also they say goodbye to the building team that have shared their every moment at home for the last 4-5 weeks.
People are really pleased to see us when we arrive, but they are even more thrilled to see us go when the job is done, and we leave them with a sparkling new bathroom renovation!