Life is not perfect. Things can happen that change your plans in an instant. You might have a vague idea of remodelling your bathroom in the near future but then a leak occurs. Or the toilet packs in. And it starts to become apparent that you might as well bring your plans forward and bite the bullet. But what is the quickest way to remodel a bathroom if this happens?
There are quite a few products and techniques that can slow down an installation. There are also ones that can actively speed the process up. We will look at these in due course.
Keeping Your Existing Decoration
Just swapping your old bathroom suite for a new one is a very quick way to give the room a makeover. But this is not as straightforward as it might seem.
If you are happy with your existing decoration then it makes sense to leave it in place. There are two problems that can arise with this approach:
- the decoration can be damaged by the removal process when taking out the old suite
- the new products might be a different shape or size to the old ones leaving gaps or visible damage to the decoration
The section around the bath is one of the main areas that gets damaged when removing the old suite. Modern baths have brackets that are fixed to the wall behind the tiles. So when you remove the bath these brackets pull off the tiles in front of them. Baths are installed with a lot of sealant and this too can pull away tiles or leave unsightly marks. Older steel or cast iron baths do not have these brackets so you might get away with it in these circumstances.
Basins and cisterns are also likely to be stuck in place with silicone sealant to ensure they don’t move. Pulling them off the wall can mean the wall decoration comes off with them.
The components of the new suite might be a different size or shape to the old suite. A vanity unit might be lower than a basin & pedestal, leaving screw holes or sealant visible on the wall.
The position of the new bath panel can result in a gap if the new bath is narrower than the old one. There can also be a gap if the position of the new panel is slightly inboard compared with the old one. This can mean having to fit new flooring to cover up the problem.
Tips To Overcome These Problems
The easiest way to limit the issues listed is to leave the bath in place as this causes the most problems. If the taps are accessible you could swap them for new ones as part of the makeover. If not, you can fit replacement tap heads that match the basin.
A vanity unit might be a good way of covering up any damage caused by removing a basin. Some have adjustable plinths enabling you to vary the height. If not, you could make your own plinth and cover it with PVC skirting or something waterproof.
Modern cisterns tend to be narrower than older models so check whether your replacement cistern is wide enough to cover the screw holes. Another option is to box in the cistern which will cover any damage and provide extra storage – see this article for more information
Keep Your Existing Suite And Redecorate
This is another way to achieve a makeover in double quick time. Keep your existing bathroom suite and just redecorate the room around it. Changing the decor will have a major effect on the look of the room because the walls have a much bigger surface area than any other part of the room.
There are some things to keep in mind if you are thinking of going down this route though.
Hacking off your old tiles is not really an option if you are keeping the old suite in place. There is a risk of damaging the components and it can get very tricky when tiles are partly buried behind items such as basins. You might also need to skim or re-plaster after hacking off which is slow and expensive.
It is quicker to leave your tiles in place and decorate over the top of them.
Tile Over Existing Tiles
This option is sometimes feasible but you have to keep in mind the weight of two layers of tiles. Not all structures will support the extra weight which could result in the wall failing. This is especially relevant if you are thinking of using large, heavy tiles.
You need to ensure the existing tiles are totally sound and fixed firmly in place. Tap them to see if there are any hollow spots. It is probably best to avoid tiling over them if you find hollow spots.
If you are proceeding with the tile-over-tile approach you will need to ensure the existing tiles are cleaned thoroughly. They need to be free of any grease or soap residue to ensure a good bond for the new tiles.
It is usually easier to remove the basin and toilet cistern rather than trying to cut around them. But you need to ensure there is enough “play” in the pipework to enable the fittings to cope with being moved out slightly. You need to ensure that the tiles do not impede the use of the bath taps as it is not feasible to remove and replace the bath as easily as the other components.
PanelOver Existing Tiles
This is the way to go if you are looking for a speedy installation.
There are a whole host of panelling products available on the market these days. They have grown hugely in popularity because people are sick and tired of trying to keep their grout clean. It turns mouldy despite people’s best efforts at keeping it gleaming white. There are many reasons for this – we look into the problem in this blog post: How Do I Get My Grout White Again?
But rather than risk fitting new tiles, many people are switching to a system that uses no grout at all. Bathroom cladding is the cheapest option and is also the easiest to fit. It is the best option if you are on a budget and need your room finished quickly.
Bathroom cladding is made from PVC and has a tongued edge and grooved edge running the length of the panel. This enables the panels to be slotted together without the need for grout. They have a hollow construction so are very easy to fit. Click here to find out why so many people are switching to fitting bathroom panels instead of tiles.
You will still need to be wary of the issue of thickness when it comes to moving a basin or WC but you do not have to worry about the state of the walls underneath the cladding. They are incredibly forgiving when it comes to installation and can hide a multitude of sins.
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