• Bathroom Contractors Facebook Page
  • Bathroom Contractors Twitter Profile
  • Bathroom Contractors  Linkedin Icon
  • Bathroom Contractors Youtube Channel
  • Bathroom Contractors Google Plus Page

Category Archives: News

The Importance of Detecting Plumbing Leaks

It has been one of the basic thing to say that leaks in the plumbing should be detected as early as possible because later on nobody would like to deal with the mess which is accompanied with such leaky plumbing issues. The breakage of pipes, the cost associated with repairing as well as fixing not only the pipe but the other damage it brings along with it. However most importantly one should understand the symptoms regarding the plumbing leakage. There are few indicators which one should make a note of that can probably tell you that there is a water leakage somewhere in the house. Some of the signs are common and can get easily detected whereas others you may not be too aware about.


  • When there is a leakage one may experience a gradual increase in the water bill.
  • There would be a different kind of stench at the leakage place or one may notice signs of mold or mildew being formed in those areas which are mostly hard to reach.
  • There can be bubbles formed on the paint or wallpaper which is one of the obvious signs that something is not right and there is water seeping through or trying to from the other side.
  • In homes which have a flat roof, one may notice that the ceilings can start to sag off or warp when there is water being accumulated at a particular area for a long period of time.
  • There can also be sagging of flooring or cracks on it too. The smell in that area can be musty or earthy which would be difficult to get rid of.
  • There can be formation of damp patches in the yard or around the areas of the home which tends to appear wet.

Leaks are very much dangerous if not noticed on time. They can bring along with them a wide range of problems which becomes a big task for the homeowners, few which are seen and few which are not. Also it tends to affect more than just the home.

Leakage brings about health problems: Ignore leaks are known to cause a significant amount of health risks which can increase in frequency as well as the severity. Which means that the longer the leak is not treated and thus remains undetected it can lead to more trouble on the health as well. Mold is known to be one of the leading causes of allergies in most of the individuals thus leading to a start of new allergic symptoms in addition to increasing the existing symptoms as well. If an individual inhales any certain kind of molds then it can be fatal for the person which can also lead to death. There can be symptoms such as headaches, having trouble in breathing and dizziness. One of the huge factor to be considered for the leaks are bacteria. They grow optimally in almost all of the places and if there is a leak then it acts as a perfect host for the growth of the bacteria and also it gives them a chance to enter the homes through the pipes and into the water supply leading to contamination of the water supply and causing a host of health related problems.

Leakage brings about home damage: Leaks and molds tend to cause great damage to dry and beautiful walls. Once the mold starts to grow on dry walls then the only thing would be to get it replaced entirely. This in turn would lead to a major cause for renovations to the impacted site which is often costly mostly if it is a structural damage. Also one can say that larger the amount of water which has been associated with leak the more important it becomes to carry out the repair work as soon as possible. However, in case of flooding or too much of water would be that there is too much of a mess to be cleaned up and one would need to start all over from scratch. Flooding is said to cause damage to both the home as well as everything inside it whether it is structural or personal belongings. In certain cases, the damage is so huge that the house is treated as unsuitable for stay and one would need to rebuild it entirely or get it renovated properly.

One can detect leak through naked eyes and in certain cases professionals would be required. It is always better to address such issues on time and get it repaired as early as possible to avoid the situation of flooding. One of the key to prevention would be to ensure that the systems through which the water comes in and goes out are thoroughly serviced on periodic basis thus keeping an eye out for anything unusual.

Facebook Twitter Youtube Google+

Pros & Cons Bathroom Sink Styles

When it comes to adding that extra gleam to the house, one would love to for detailing work and something very much unique to make it look different yet useful. There is always a lookout for carrying out something unique in the everyday items, it can be pertaining to anything such as cabinet styles, tiles, fitting and fixtures, hardware and many more. The sinks are something which is mostly overlooked by many of them, usually one would go for the standard one since it is hardly looked upon. But the reality is something different because today there are various unique options available in the market to make that dull looking skin much better. Let’s have a look at the various sink styles and their pros and cons.

Pedestal Sink: Pedestal sinks had been around for quite some time but then its popularity started fading away gradually. But they say, what goes around, comes around. Gradually pedestals were out of fashion, but today the scenario is different. These pedestal sinks are again gaining popularity and are found in most of the houses. Pedestals seem to suit most of the bathroom types over the other styles. They work well where there is limited space in the bathroom. It provides the bathroom with an open and airy look as opposed to the bulky look which is provided by vanity style cabinet sinks. The drawback of pedestals is there are no counters or space for storage. Couple of the pedestal sinks offer limited space at counter. Most of the pedestals have flat surface hence it becomes difficult to set anything on them.

Sink Styles

Console Sinks: The console sinks are pretty much similar to pedestal sinks but the only difference being they offer a built-in-storage. The good part about console sinks are they offer more space at countertop and also there is a room available underneath to place a basket. It is one of the easy way to add storage as well as texture to the bathroom without it taking any additional space at floor. Console sinks are either freestandingwherein they can either be mounted to a wall or supported on four or two legs. These legs of the console sink can be just simple steel tubes or it can be decorative posts. The good part of the console sinks is if the legs are wide enough then it can also accommodate a person in it. This extra width is known to allow for some space on either side of the basin for storing any toiletries items. With some other designs one can also add towel bars at the sides of the sink. Even though the extra width is an advantage however it can also make the sink look too huge especially in case of small bathrooms. PVS or ABS drainpipes are not something which can be used since the plumbing is more exposed. If the console sink is wall mounted, then one would need to install blocking.

Vessel Sink: These type of sinks is mostly placed atop the vanity and are basically exposed from all the sides. It is for those individuals who want to add a style statement to their bathroom. They allow for a lot of cabinet storage. The good part about this sink is that it is pretty much easier to install but the edges are often exposed hence it is more prone to cracks. Since the vessel sinks sit atop a vanity hence there should be a tall person using the sink or select the one which is just few inches tall. The material of vessel sink made from other material apart from china ones are very costly. The vessel sink may need to be complimented with a vanity storage pretty much less than its usual height.

Drop in sinks:The drop in sinks are also referred to as self-rimming sinks. They fit inside a hole which is cut in the counter top. These sinks are very much in use. The drop in sinks are easy for maintenance and also fit well into the custom made cabinets.  The rim of the sink rests on the edge of the hole and is very much secured to the countertop with the help of a sealant which his waterproof such as silicone caulk. The cutout which is in the corner does not need to be finished, they can stay rough since it would be covered by the sink and hence it won’t be seen. Another advantage is that the vanity cabinets act as a perfect hideout for the water supplies and the drainage pipe. However, one the disadvantage part of these sinks, the rim makes it pretty much difficult to wipe out the water from the counter on into the sink.

Undermount sink: Very much similar to drop-in sinks but in case of undermount sink it is attached from the below to the counter hence the edges of the counter should be properly finished instead of leaving them rough. They have a sleeker appearance and also with no rim in the way one can wipe out the water from the counter directly on into the sink. But the disadvantage of these sinks are unless one removes the vanity top one would not be able to install an undermount sink.

Facebook Twitter Youtube Google+

How to Choose Tile for a Small Bathroom?

When one thinks about remodeling the bathroom, each and every part of the room has to be thought in details so that later on is there is no regret that it should have been done this way and not the other way. When it comes to small bathrooms, there is a question about tiles. What should be the design, how they should be laid and what color it should be so that it makes the bathroom look bigger and also neat. Tiles are always one of the best bets for smaller bathrooms. When it is laid out correctly it provides a good impact. Tiles provide basically a waterproof barrier against the significant amount of water which gets accumulated in the bathroom. There are endless possibilities of tiles which one can select from, the basic idea is to have the knowledge of mix and matching various sizes, styles, materials and shapes to get that perfect look in the bathroom.

Diagonal tiles work their magic: The diagonal placement of tiles work their magic for smaller bathrooms. It provides a feel that the bathroom is larger than it actually is. One of the reason for this trick is that if a tile is laid in 90-degree angle then it can be easy to count even if one is not actually doing so however when those same tiles are placed diagonally the eyes are unable to pick out or quantify so quickly. Also tiles placed diagonally add spark and vibrancy to the small bathroom. However, the only downside of this technique which even architects avoid are the issue concerning the diagonal placement and cutting. At times it becomes difficult to cut it. If you are not the one satisfied with the diagonal option, then think about laying the tiles in brick bond format. This has been considered as one of the popular choice when it comes to metro tiles however ensure to limit the grid pattern

Tile for a Small Bathroom

Go in for lighter colors: This is one of the basic rule of remodeling. Light colors tend to open up the room whereas dark colors are known to make it look smaller and box it. Have you ever wondered why the ceilings are painted white or anything light? The main reason for this is because it does not make it look like the end. The room looks wider with light colors. This does not mean that one should go in for white flooring, you can go in for any light shade which suits with the other color combination of the rooms. You can trick the sub-conscious mind by using glossy light colored tiles. It would enhance the space of the bathroom by the reflection of light thus providing a sense of it being grand.

Large Tiles: When we talk about large tiles it does not mean the one which are used in larger bathrooms, there are certain large sizes which are available for smaller bathrooms as well. If you use the smaller tiles, then it would only add up to the problem. If there are lots of smaller tiles in the bathroom than in the future years one would end up having a lot of grout work to be carried out. You can look for mixing options of different size in the different areas of the bathroom. When it comes to the majority of the bathroom area then go in for large format tiles.

Selection of the tile material: There are a variety of options available for material of the tile. Marble, slate, granite, limestone and many more. It is often confusing whether to go in for porcelain tile or ceramic tile since they are the ones which are pretty much affordable and it also has a wide scope in case of finishes. When it comes to smaller bathroom which has the bathing facilities, selection of porcelain tiles would ensure that there is low water rate absorption. Slate has been also considered to be a great option for bathrooms since they are low in porosity and has a riven texture. It is also non-slippery whereas the marble ones and limestone can be polished well to provide a high shine when it comes to a stunning finish but it requires to be sealed properly. For smaller areas the mosaic, glass or ceramic also look great. They can be used to be placed behind the basin.

Number of tiles: It is important to measure as well as calculate the number of tiles which would be required before you go to purchase the desired one. You can also use the help of online tile calculator for making life easier. Whenever you purchase the tiles ensure to add on an additional 10 percent so that it can be used in case of any breakage, waste, cutting. It is better than last minute rushing around to find the tiles out.

Facebook Twitter Youtube Google+

Tips for Planning a Quick and Inexpensive Bathroom Renovation

Are you looking out for renovating your bathroom but the mention of money scares you to bits. Figuring out to remodel the bathroom along with managing the financials is no longer a stressful job. One can easily handle it, if certain things are kept in mind and followed as a rule of thumb.

Planning is a must – Planning is the most crucial stage. It goes without saying that anything if not planned well may either turn out to be superb or it would be a disaster. Who would want to take such chances when it comes to renovating anything, for that matter even a bathroom. There would be certain hurdles or delays during the renovation part but everyone would need to ensure that the delay should not happen from their end. Hence before you visit the contractor have a rough layout in your mind. With the world going so smart, there are so many options laid out. Do some planning on where you would want to have the basin, what color or pattern the tiles should look, what should be the design of the basin or the taps and the list is endless. Remember there is always room for improvement in planning as and when you meet more people to discuss this but firstly the individual who is looking out to renovate should have certain things planned in his mind so as to avoid last minute hustle or running around here and there. To save those extra bucks as well as energy you can work with a designer who can give you good ideas on where budget cut can be done and what all would be required.

Bathroom Renovation

Think from long term perspective: With the changes in time, there are so many trends which have come and gone and many of them look so appealing. There would be cases wherein an individual would be obsessed with a certain pattern of the tile or the certain way the tap should look and so on but it is always wise to avoid too many trends since it can happen that after a couple of years they can look so dated and when you plan to sell your house it may cause as a hindrance. Hence one should try and keep the design timeless so as to protect the resale value of the house.

Check out for rates from various contractors: Individuals who are on a budget when it comes to renovation should always ensure to get the quotes from more than one contractor. By doing so, you could get an average estimate about the total cost of the renovation and also there would be some room for negotiation. This would help you to save a lot of money rather than just going with whatever the first contractor has to say.

Think! What needs to remain and what can be remodeled: For those renovations which are done on a tight budget, it is always good to determine which places or areas in the bathroom need remodeling and which of the areas can be kept as it is. Even the minute work done in remodeling should be worth the investment. If one thinks that the tiles are good, then you can play around with the lighting wherein you can add some good modern looking bulbs or some lamps.

Keep the plumbing intact: Unless there is a major need for plumbing work, one can go along with the existing plumbing work since most of the money would be spent in getting the plumbing work done correctly. When it comes to relocating certain sections of the bathroom such as moving the bath tub or some other utilities then it would not cost you much as when you plan for changing he plumbing fixtures.

Don’t let the money go down the drain: When it comes to remodeling the toilet section, just look to replacing the toilet seat and the lid instead of going in for the whole porcelain perch. When just the above two things are changed, it would give the toilet a fresh look without the need for purchasing an entire new unit thus saving on the cost.

Co-ordinate and limit the accessories: When you look to remodeling the bathroom, always match the accessories. Do not bring too many items in the bathroom, keep it simple but give it a designer look. When it comes to flooring, always choose something which is durable and resistant to moisture such as vinyl wood planks for someone who loves wooden accessories. Instead of stone slabs one can go in for tiles which are pretty much cheap as well as have varied patterns and shapes. If you are one of those tile lovers, then go in for small tiles instead of the larger ones since they become difficult to cut and can also lead to improper drainage. You can also go in for handheld sprayer to be maintained near the bath tub if you have a tub. This would make the task of rinsing pretty much easy and at the same time maintaining the tub as well.

Power of shelves: One can also add in pullout shelves instead of going in for deep cabinets so that you ensure to only store in the necessities and perfect order and also which can be found when you need them. Prepping up such cabinet interiors with such sliding surfaces avoids the digging around in the dark and also keeps you away from purchasing items which are already present in the bathroom. If not the shelf, go in for utilizing any drawers in the house which are currently not being used. Back up these drawers with some pretty paper cutting and drill them to the wall. Clean the drawer and make it look new with a fresh paint. Voila, your old drawer is now re-purposed and used as shelf in the bathroom. Saves lot of money and at the same time you can reuse old items rather than simply throwing them away.

Facebook Twitter Youtube Google+

10 Common Mistakes Everyone Makes In Bathroom Remodeling

It is so easy to become excited about a simple bathroom makeover or remodeling. But reviving any part of the home requires a lot of care and time. Thoughtful planning accompanied by focus on the main areas which need the remodeling are of utmost importance. Below mentioned are few of the common mistakes which one should avoid to make the process of renovation an easy and fun task rather than a grilling encounter.

Bathroom Remodeling


  • Spending more than the budget:This is something probably everyone who has undertaken the task of renovation would have experienced. What starts as a minor remodeling turns out to be a major job and we end up spending more than what was decided prior to starting the work. When it comes to the bathroom, first plan what are the areas of the bathroom which needs an immediate remodeling. Accordingly, you can plan how much money should be spent on each of those aspects. Try and avoid going in for too much of custom making items. Try and keep the fittings and fixtures as minimal design as possible.
  • Use the contractor wisely:Remodeling a bathroom is not a menial task, it is a unique specialty in itself and when you just go in for any contractor without wisely thinking the pros and cons, then no matter how much you have planned or have prepared the budget things may not turn out to be the way you have wanted. Hence try and reach out to multiple contractors, get their rates and check out few of their work before you finalize an appropriate one. Now-a-days there are specialty contractors who mostly undertake bathroom related work and they have an idea of diagnosing the problem areas and getting those fixed quickly without the need for you to put in too much of effort and energy at a very reasonable cost.
  • Improper ventilation: The last thing one would want to see in the bathroom are the mold coming up on the newly painted walls or ceiling. This happens due to improper ventilation. An exhaust fan is a must in the bathroom even though there are windows fitted well in the bathroom. The exhaust fan would pull out or extract all the steam from the bathroom which is usually left behind post a hot shower.

  • Overcrowding the bathroom: Squeezing too much in a room can lead to chaos and would make the room look untidy. It becomes a big task when you plan to clean the bathroom in the future. With too much items squeezed in, cleaning each nook and corner of the bathroom would seem like a gigantic task hence it can be left out which in turn would lead to unwanted smell, buildup of dust or mold in such corners of the bathroom. Keep the bathroom less cluttered and maximize the space as much as possible. Keep only those items which are essential in a bathroom, unwanted items should be avoided.
  • Poor use of Lights: A good lighting brings life to the room, so what if it is a bathroom. Many of the activities carried out in the bathroom should require proper and good lighting. Activities such as waxing, shaving, shower, makeup and so on are difficult to be carried out in dim lit room. Hence try to place good lighting at the appropriate corners or ceiling of the bathroom so that the bathroom should not look dull. Now-a-days there are so many options available on lighting which are cheap as well as look good, try out those options.
  • Fault in the drainage: Proper drainage facility is also the key to a good bathroom remodeling. You would not want someone to fall in the bathroom to realize this mistake. Hence try to maintain the floor in a slope such that the water flows towards the floor waste efficiently and there is no water clogging or accumulation of water on the floor. While using floor tiles, try and avoid the large format floor tiles since they make this process difficult and you would realize this mistake once the work is completed.
  • Not enough room for storage: Just as any other room in the house where a storage space is required, similar it is for bathroom as well. One would need proper storage compartments to keep all the toiletries such as shower items, face wash, cosmetics, hair dryers, shavers, towels and so on.  Rather than the doors, go in for vanity drawers which would help to save in a lot of space. Go in for towel rails wherein one can hang more than on towel at a time and the bonus point is they will remain dry always. You can go in for cabinets which are available in various sizes.
  • Purchasing substandard quality products: Fixtures and faucets which look cheap eventually turn out to leak and they can start to wear off within just few months of fixing them and thus would need constant adjustments to make them intact. When you purchase new faucets or shower components always go in for the ones with highest finish quality. Some components may look fancy but eventually they would be difficult to fix and also wear off soon.
  • Mismatching components are a disaster: There have been so many bathrooms which have enough of space, have the best tiles but when it comes to sink, toilet and shower or bath tub the matching goes all wrong and ultimately the remodeling turns out to be a disaster. Some look ugly and do not feel right at all. Hence one should always ensure to match the tub, sink and the toilet. Compare certain samples before you go in for the final purchase.
  • Inexpensive or no sealing at all: If there are ceramic, porcelain or natural stone tile installed in the bathroom then the grout lines must be sealed properly. Grouts which are not sealed properly can get dirty easily and also become breeding ground for mold. The sealant corners should not be cut. Go in for good quality sealant.

Facebook Twitter Youtube Google+

Bathroom Renovations and Licencing

Victorian standards for tradesmen are set across the board to maintain equilibriumand to ensure a fair workplace for customer and tradesman. Tradesmen whom are not licenced generally don’t have the foresight and know how to construct bathrooms in a manner that meets Victorian Building Code of Victoria.

Bathroom Renovations and Licencing


Licenced builders limited or unlimited are to be engaged by the customer if the bathroom works is valued over $5000. Under $5000 the contractor is not required to be licenced.  Any bathroom with building works over $16000 a formal minor works contract is to be engaged between customer and builder which covers building works for 6 years. DIY builders aregenerally reasonable with their workmanship but should definitely be working under the supervision of a licenced tradesman. Licenced tradesmen endure years of practical workshops and theory in order to fully understand the mechanics of the operational system of a bathroom.

Victorian building authority guidelines is extremely important, as it engages all building works, time frames, additional costs and additional building works.

Other fully licenced trades are plumbing which falls under the Victorian Building Commission and Electrical Trades which falls under the Victorian Electrical Commission,

These two trades are highly regulated and it simperative that plumbing and electrical is completed by licensed tradesmen. The disaster factor of a DIY builder is extremely high if works are attempted by an unlicensed person in these areas.

Electricity is not an element of building that should not be tampered with as it can lead to injury or death.

Plumbing is also a category that should not be tampered with as it can also lead to injury or death

Demolition should be completed under the supervision of a licensed tradesman as unforeseen materials may appear such as asbestos. Asbestos needs to be handled in the correct manner.

Tiling is an apprenticeship however it generally takes years of experience before this trade is mastered.

order to protect the customer and the builder, and to ensure the job is completed within Australian Standards, on time and the exchange of money is complete dharmoniously within both parties. Licenced tradesmen must be fully insured and generally can only purchase insurance with a builders licence number. Insurances are only purchased through Masters Builders Association the Housing Industry of Australia. Customers can contact these associations to confirm whether or nor particular tradesmenare actually licenced in the appropriate areas.

Bathroom disasters can occur when unlicensed trades personsare unaware of structural measurements, weight Distribution of floors , layout of fixtures and fittings, precise presentation of tile layout ,finishing, waterproofing to Australian standards, plumbing pipeworkie drainage and water sized accordingly in order to ensure adequate water flow and ease of drainage restrictions.The end result can be unsatisfying to the eye and poor building practice can lead to water leaks therefore shortening  the life span of your bathroom. Ensuring that contractual agreements are met within time frames and adhered to by the Carpentry is also a trade which can entail straightening wall and floors , additional stumps, forming of insitushower bases and so on. Skills of a carpenter have to be of a precision construction in order for the tiler to have a straight substructure to lay his tiles and finish off with a perfect result.

Mostly all trades in Victoria carry some form of licence.

Integral Bathroom Renovations provide all licensed trades with experience and professionalism. We pride ourselves on delivery and with creativity working along side our customers we have potential to create a beautiful bathroom.


Water Saving Ideas in your Bathroom

Saving water in your bathroom is ideally the sensible thing to do in this modern day of environmental awareness. 60% of water is used in bathrooms. Education on water saving devices and techniques is a key to preserving water.

Water Saving Ideas in your BathroomOur climate is struggling and a small impact by each household within Australia can make a huge impact in relation  to climate control. Melbourne water regulates our water control constantly. For this reason the water supply in Melbourne is considered in the top 10% in the world. All more reason to try conserve our water supply everyday.

There are many options to save water in your bathroom

Water preservation not only helps with environmental issues also maintains your water bill at a reasonable cost.

Rain water tanks that fill your toilet cistern via means of a pump and rain bank. Rainwater is directed in a singular pipe via a pump and transferred to your toilet cistern. When the tank runs low the rain bank on the pump  automatically transfers the water flow to mains pressures via means of a solenoid. This is an extremely cost effective scenario and well worth the initial outlay. Solar hot water is also an excellent substitute with government rebates available.

Water saving devices that allow your flow rate at 9 litres per minute as opposed to 20 litres per minute.These devices can be installed to the tap ware or to the outlet of the fixtures. Not particularly necessary in a bath however extremely affective in a shower and basin.

Prevention of your toilet and taps from constantly dripping. Frequently dripping taps can use up to 20000 litres per year of water. That works out to approximately 40 bathtubs per year depending on the water leak frequency.

Updating your toilet cistern and using full flush only when necessary. Old fashion toilet cisterns have more volume of water. Nowadays the cisterns are considerably smaller.

Try not to use your toilet as a rubbish bin flushing unnecessary.

By adding food die into your toilet cistern you can determine if the reisany leaks that are not usually visible. If you have an old style cistern fill a milk bottle full of stones and place it in the cistern. This will reduce the volume of water and still provide adequate flushing.

Reducing your shower time by two minutes will help immensely. By installing a low flow shower head will this  allow you to shower by an extra 2 minutes with reduced water wastage . Low flow shower heads can be received for free from some departments or for a small price can be purchased from any hardware store. A clock or timer located in your bathroom could be a reasonably good idea.

Try not to run the basin water continually when you are brushing your teeth and shaving.

While waiting for the hot water to arrive through the pipework, let the water fill into a bucket and use this water on your garden  beds.

If accessible, directing your basin drainage pipework and possibly diverting your shower and bath pipework onto your garden bed is an extremely healthy way to conserve water especially in the summer. Its obviously impossible if your drainage pipes are located in a concrete slab, however if your drainage pipes are located under a sub floor then it is highly probable water diversion can be installed.

Apart from conserving water in our bathroom there are many other ways to save water throughout the household,in our gardens,kitchens,laundry and general cleaning using.

Any further information that is required in regards to water saving please don’t hesitate to contact Integral Bathroom Renovations. The experts in bathrooms.

Toilet Remodeling Tips : Toilet Talk

I just thought of something interesting. After being a hard core toilet fan for so many years.how do I determine if a toilet is up to standard?

I noticed that different people have different ways of determining whether a toilet is up to standard. Some people are very concerned about cleanliness,while others care whether the toilet is old or new.

In this post,I will share with you my way of rating toilets. What type of toilets do I really fancy?Of course,there is no right or wrong.This is a very subjective matter.You may or may not agree with me.

But if you share the same sentiments,then I think we are in the same boat.

Toilet Remodeling1: Toilet Bowl

To me,this is the most important thing I look for in all toilets that I visit.If the bowl is screwed up,it affects the overall rating of the toilet.How do I rate the bowls?

The very first thing I look for is congruence.If the toilet is old,then the bowl must also be old.No point having an old toilet with a new bowl.The feeling sucks.It is like asking an old man to dress up like a teenager.

The next thing is whether the bowl is squatting or sitting. tend to win more favor as compared to sitting ones.I am a great fan of squatting toilets.

Of course,if I were to rate a sitting toilet very high,then that toilet must be really good.

Next is the brand of the bowl.Is it my favorite brand?If it is,the overall rating of the toilet will also go up.

2: Flushing System

This is another important thing that I look out for. The toilet’s flushing system can affect the flushing sound of the toilet.

If the bowl is a nice brand and the flushing system is screwed up,it can spoil the flushing sound of the toilet bowl.

To me, the high cisterns are the best.They are nice to flush,and they sound the best.There is a climax,and an anti-climax. My favorite cisterns are the Shires Cisterns.In my opinion,they are the best.Nice feel and they are really powerful.

If you love toilets like me,you know what I mean.

The worst flushing systems are those small cisterns with 2 buttons on top. These are the worst. There is always not enough water to flush everything away, and the flushing sound sucks big time. Go try it out and you’ll know what I mean.

I really hate these small cisterns with buttons on top.They spoil the flushing sound.No matter how good the toilet bowl is, this cistern will spoil it all.

The next screwed up ones are the sensor flushes. Although they may be cleaner,but their flushing sound sucks big time. They are slightly better than the small cisterns.

Speaking of the high cisterns,there are also 2 types.One with the straight pipe and the other with the twisted pipe.I like both actually.But let me tell you their differences. The straight pipe is more powerful that the twisted pipe, because the water flows down directly.

The reason why I like the twisted pipe is because it looks nicer and it is more uncommon.

3: Ambience

The ambience of the toilet gives you a feeling of what type of bowls you can expect to see.Of course,in certain cases,the ambience may be good,but the bowls are all new ones.It can be very disappointing.

Those who score well in toilet bowls will usually score well in ambience.

What do I mean by ambience?Ambience refers to the type of floor tiles,walltiles, sinks,the layout and the lighting of the toilet.

Toilets with older ambiences usually score better.I am not really a fan of newly renovated toilets.

New toilets only score well if they were built from scratch.Those which are renovated will usually get a lower score than the original old ones.


There is a saying that you can’t judge a book by its cover. But let me change that a little bit. You can more or less judge a toilet by its exterior.There is a 70% chance of being right,basing on my experience.

The exterior usually gives away the first impression of the toilet.Anice, old exterior may score better than a newly renovated exterior.Unless it is originally new,then the rating is higher.

There are also cases where the exterior can be misleading. You might see an old exterior with new toilets in it. But most of the time,the exterior can give you a rough gauge of what to expect inside.

5: Number Of Cubicles & Layout

The number of cubicles will play an important role if the toilet bowls are my favorite. A toilet will score bonus points if it has a large number of cubicles with my favorite bowls.

An example would be my beloved Jubilee Street Public Toilet in Central, Hong Kong.It has 20 cubicles of squatting Victorys, all with high cisterns.

I really hate those toilets with one cubicle only.Especially those with suckybowls. They are bound to fail, if I come across them.

Layout is also important.I like toilets with interesting layouts.I noticed that the Public Toilets in Hong Kong have very interesting layouts. You can visit all of them and find that they are mostly different.

My favorite layout would be a row of high cisterns toilets side by side.From out side, it looks like a row of soldiers standing tall.The Shires look the best.A row of Black Beauties.

Another aspect of layout is how many different types of toilet bowls are there in the toilet. I have come across toilets with 3 different types of bowls in one single toilet. That was really impressive. Especially when all the different types of bowls are the brands I like.

In December 2002,I stumbled upon this Public Toilet at Queen’s Road East, Hong Kong Island.It had 4 different types of bowl in one toilet. There was the long Squatting Victory(original),pear shaped squatting Victory,pear shaped Armit age Shanks(Singapore style) and lastly squatting American Standard.

I was pleasantly surprised when I went into that toilet. But sad to say,when I visited it again in 2004, it was demolised. The good thing is that I still have some photos of it. You can find it in my earlier posts.

Yet another aspect of layout is how you access the toilet.In a number of public toilets in Hong Kong,you need to climb up the stairs to the 2nd or 3rd floor to access the toilet.For a few rare cases,you need to climb down the stairs as the toilet is underground.

But this is not as important as the number of cubicles and number of types of toilet bowls.

6: Cleanliness

I believe cleanliness is very important to the majority. But for me,it is one of the last criteria.It is no use for a toilet to be clean if the bowl and ambience are both screwed up.

But I would not say it is totally unimportant either. When I went to China,that was when I started to appreciate clean toilets.The toilets there are really terrible.I had to hold my breath when shooting videos.

Cleanliness only becomes important to me if I need to use the toilet. If not,I don’t mind dirty toilets,as long as they meet criteria #1 to #3.

These are the 6 Criteria that I look out for when I visit a toilet.How about you?

Whew, I worked really hard for this toilet.It took me more than an hour to locate this toilet.But I would say that it was really worth my effort.

Cha Kwo Ling Public Toilet cum Bathhouse is located at 90, Cha Kwo Ling Road.The easiest way to reach it is to take the MTR and alight at Yau Tong Station. But for me,I didn’t take the MTR. I walked all the way there from Kwun Tong Ferry.

It took me around an hour to reach there. But to make matters worse,I lost my way.I wasted at least half an hour walking to and fro Cha Kwo Ling Road,trying to locate this toilet.

But looking at its exterior intrigued me.I knew it was going to be something good. The toilet was at the second floor.See the photo below, you need to climb up the stairs located on the left.

Facebook Twitter Youtube Google+

Small Bathroom Remodelling : Bathroom Beginnings

Many people assume that if they are remodelling a small bathroom it will only take a few days, or anyway it will take much less time than a larger one. This is not necessarily the case. Depending on how many items you are changing in the bathroom your contractor will have to go through all the same steps as a larger bathroom. However, planning refers not only to defining the duration of the renovation works but also certain intermediate steps such as ordering and purchasing tiles, fixtures, custom-built vanity or cabinets to make sure they can be delivered when your contractor needs them.  Planning time is also crucial for those with only one bathroom in their house as they will have to make arrangements where to take a shower and use the toilet while the bathroom is taken apart.

Small Bathroom RemodellingAn upscale remodel includes expanding the room an additional 8 square feet into existing space, adding a window, moving fixtures such as the toilet and replacing them with high-end models, a 4-X-6-foot tiled shower with a shower wall, a bidet, stone counter tops in the vanity with two sinks, linen closet, tile floor, lighting, an exhaust fan and other amenities.

A bathroom is a room of personal hygiene. It is a room where individuals create visual character. Construction of a bathroom is based around millimetre perfect design techniques with the scope to move freely within your bathroom. Visual effects, colour and layout are important considerations along with colour and practicality. 27 years in the building industry has enabled our team to be diligent expert craftsmen.

A small budget means there is always a temptation to do some or all of the work yourself to save money, but a DIY bathroom renovation can easily backfire. According to research from Gumtree Australia, 75% of Australian homeowners have commenced DIY projects, with one in five ending poorly. DIY is a HUGE risk. Did you know that Dream Bathroom’s all-inclusive bathroom renovations packages cost about the same as a DIY project so why would you take the risk? Well, here are six big reasons to not DIY:

When you’re ready to start the renovation process, it is important to consider popular trends as well as your own family’s needs. First of all, you should consider how best to use the space you have. Think about what your family needs most, and then determine if that pedestal bathtub or larger vanity is worth the investment. Next, find ways to add more bathroom storage. Adding more cabinets and shelves to such a small space can be tricky, but it is often crucial for storing towels and beauty supplies. Finally, think about the overall feel of the space. With a creative use of materials, even a bathroom can have decorative elements.

Facebook Twitter Youtube Google+

15 Bathroom Points to consider while Renovation

1. Budget

If you don’t know already you should work up an idea of how much you want to spend on your bathroom renovation. Setting a budget will help guide you as you make decisions about what to include in the remodel. Once you’ve figured out what you can spend and substracted the amount allocated to labor, you’ll have a clearer sense of what you can spend on tile, fixtures, and extras.

2. Time

Many people assume that if they are remodeling a small bathroom it will only take a few days, or anyway it will take much less time than a larger one. This is not necessarily the case. Depending on how many items you are changing in the bathroom your contractor will have to go through all the same steps as a larger bathroom. However, planning refers not only to defining the duration of the renovation works but also certain intermediate steps such as ordering and purchasing tiles, fixtures, custom-built vanity or cabinets to make sure they can be delivered when your contractor needs them.  Planning time is also crucial for those with only one bathroom in their house as they will have to make arrangements where to take a shower and use the toilet while the bathroom is taken apart.

3. Works sequence

When it comes to bathroom renovation by completing the job in a specific sequence you can save yourself from a lot of clean up time and mistakes. Whether you are demolishing sheetrock or simply repainting, you always want to start at the top of the room. Remodel your ceiling first, walls second, and floors third so you can prevent damage to your new components.

4. Hidden problems

If you are doing a major upgrade to your bathroom consider doing a “full gut”. When done by a professional with expertise you end up with a zero problems bathroom that will function flawlessly and add tremendous value to your home for many years to come. Depending on the age of your home and how well it was built the biggest hidden problem you may encounter is water damage, so look for structural deficiencies in the floor framing, not properly vented plumbing, old corroded plumbing, non-waterproof tile shower/tub surrounds, etc.

5. Design style and functionality

When first starting out start by thinking about the look you want for your bathroom. There are many factors to consider like paint color, tile choices, vanities, showers, tubs, faucets, etc. It can get overwhelming very quickly so start with some research. You can start to piece together elements that you like into what will become the final design of the bathroom or you may choose a design item you want to feature in the bathroom and then work the rest of the bathroom design around it.

Design should work hand in hand with functionality so consider who will use the bathroom and how, consider an eventual resale of the house and also take a moment to think how the bathroom design will fit in with the rest of the house.

6. Measurements

There are 3 major limitations which really make size matter in bathroom renovation: the overall size of the bathroom (usually the smallest room in the house), the location of existing plumbing pipes and electrical wiring and the typical standard dimensions of bathroom fixtures. Therefore make sure you have the correct measurements and specifications when you go to the store. More frustrating than trying to shop without measurements is to end up purchasing stuff that doesn’t fit.

15 Bathroom Points

7. Contractor

Hiring a contract for a conceivably DIY job? Well, yes, that is a smart thing to do given the complexity of the job and difficult operations involved (electrical, tiling, plumbing, etc.). Therefore do not overlook the advantages of hiring a contractor and save yourself a load of misery and time.

8. Plumbing fixtures and features

No renovation is complete without remodeling or repairing fixtures and features, which could very well make a separate checklist themselves: shower, bathtub, toilet, bidet, sink, faucets and shower heads. You should also update or repair your mirrors and shower doors. You can also change the look of your bathroom very easily by changing out door handles, drawer pulls and the hardware for your shower doors. If you have the budget a new set of shower doors can completely change the look of your room.

9. Cabinets, storage and shelving

Planning cabinets, shelving and storing solutions is a tricky problem in most cases. In small, irregular shaped rooms like the bathroom, it is even more so. They need to be functional and accommodate all your stuff while keeping everything easily reachable, they must fit into the available space and make the most of it and on top of it all, they need to look stylish.

10. Walls and flooring

Virtually any material can be used to surface walls and floors in the bathroom as long as it’s waterproof, either naturally or by means of an impervious finish. Depending on your budget and style, ceramic, marble, and granite tiles make handsome and highly durable flooring and wall surfaces for baths. For flooring additional options may include cement (painted or stained), sheet vinyl or vinyl tiles which are inexpensive and look better than used to. Whatever your choice, always mind another key criteria for choosing your bathroom flooring: durability and slip-resistance.

11. Lighting

A bathroom can be rendered impractical or downright dangerous without adequate lighting so plan for design lighting that is functional and also creates atmosphere. Plan for maximizing natural light first, whereas for artificial light it is advisable you should have least 4 watts of incandescent lighting per square foot.

12. Accessories

Although apparently insignificant in the bigger picture of the overall project, no remodel is complete without new accessories. And surprisingly enough, the small stuff like new towels, wash clothes, soap dishes, mirrors, towel racks, bath mats do add up to the final bill. If you are on a budget, new hand towels will be better than nothing.

13. Ventilation

Ventilation is crucial in a wet room like the bathroom. It is also a tricky task which needs good planning: choosing the right fan, the right position for its installation and dealing with the electrical wiring. Poor ventilation can leave your bathroom damp, mouldy and can even harm your health. A well-ventilated bathroom, however, isn’t just a healthy bathroom. Continual airflow can also prevent both the decay of any wooden trim or fixtures and the saturation of building insulation.

14. Going green

Even if you personally don’t care about going green one way or the other, the market is trending toward this so it’s something to consider. And there are many budget friendly options for adding a green touch to your bathroom: a low flow toilet that uses less water and saves you money in water bills; low-VOC or no-VOC paints; vanities made from sustainably harvested wood; recycled glass tile surface countertops, etc.

15. Final clean

The final clean should include a thorough cleaning of all cabinetry, inside and out, duct work, walls, floor, windows, and light fixtures. Although often overlook in the planning phase, in the case of a major renovation you may want to consider contracting a cleaning service which means additional costs that impact your budget. If you feel up to doing it yourself, you may need to add a day or two to your initial timing.

Facebook Twitter Youtube Google+

Get Inquiry

Enter captcha here


Bathroom Renovators
Plumbing Contractors
MBAV Member Registered Building Practitioner