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The Block – UnBlocked

Debunking the myths around the block bathrooms.

Is 48 hours and $10,000 even possible???

At Smarter Bathrooms we are all watching with interest as five couples struggle to renovate a bathroom and a bedroom in 48 hours.

Now is this possible, we all ask ourselves, as most of our bathrooms take around 20 working days to complete. And this is after a considered selection of the correct materials, a thorough budgeting process, then careful planning of the build process by a team of experts. The results speak for themselves, as we are very proud of our finished product.

So how can a young, enthusiastic couple, who have little experience in bathroom design and construction, new to Melbourne, a $10,000 budget, let alone the 48 hour timeframe, even hope to create something that will last for more than 2 showers?

The Smarter Panel

Russell Henderson, Smarter Bathrooms most awarded designer mused that, given careful planning and selection of materials, the 48 hour timeframe could be possible. That is if it was 48 working hours. That way, the various layers of waterproofing, glues and grouts would have time to dry, in between the processes. Russell went on to say from a design perspective he would be limited to what was available off the shelf. “For example, a custom made vanity is vastly preferable to an off the shelf vanity. It fits exactly to the space that is available, something that is super important in such a small room, and the colour can be exactly what you want to match with the tiles and the look you are trying to achieve.

Alex Heaton, Smarter’s Building Manager says, “You would be limited to what you could build. For example, you could not physically achieve a waterproof walk through shower. The best method of building a walk through shower is screed the base, let it dry for 24 to 48 hours, and then waterproof on top of your dry screed. This then needs a drying time before you can tile, again the tile adhesive needs to dry. We have tried to find materials such as fast dry screed, but we find they just crack and compromise the finished product. It’s physically not possible to get two wet substances to bond to each other”.
“You could get an off the shelf shower screen, but they are mounted in channel, and do not fit perfectly the way a custom made screen does. Custom made screen are a minimum 5 day turn around”

“We leave our floor tiles to dry overnight, so the glue can set. If you walk on them before that, the tiles separate from the glue, and quite quickly fall off”, says Andrew Crawshaw, Smarter’s Design Director.

Vanessa Cook said “It’s about the finished product. A well tiled bathroom take 2-3 days to get right. Time needs to be spent planning where the grout lines should be so you don’t end up with small cuts in the wrong places, and the horizon lines are correct. For example, you want the vanity top to line up with the grout lines and the tiles not to be ½ way up a window and look odd”

Sophie Lucas said “ Its not like decorating, about throwing on a coat of paint. Bathrooms are structural!”

Steph O’ Donohue’s comment was:” It’s a linear process where one task needs to be completed before the next can be started. And even if you could do multiple things at once, it’s a small room. Try to fit 4 tradies in there, let alone having them work on something. It would be like cooking in a small kitchen with four cooks all working on different dishes!”. “I wouldn’t want to be the owner of those bathrooms. They would definitely leak!”

Russell Henderson finally makes the point, “Renovating should be fun! It should NOT be about the tears”. “Take your time, get it right and have fun during the process. It should be a relationship maker, not a relationship breaker!”

Contact us on 1300 662 838 to speak with one of our award winning designers or book free in-home consultation online to explore your bathroom renovation options with us.


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