They had last been renovated around 16 years prior, by the owners when they first bought the house- but little did they know that the work done then, was more than ‘shoddy’.

Bathroom one had a claw foot bath, which had rusted and the enamel wore off. It had to go! It is now an outdoor herb garden.

The tiles were ‘Federation Style’ subway tiles in Cream and Dark Green and very dated. The vanity was a keeper- it had been custom made originally and it was a corner unit- so it was compact and fitted the space. The owners wished to retain and revive the vanity but to renew everything else.

As is the case with many older homes, the situation ‘ underneath ’ was going to be a lottery. You just can’t tell what dodgy tiling, ancient pipe work and bad plumbing, asbestos walling or harzardous wiring may be lurking. A good warning to the owners and a bit of a contingency fund, is always a good idea when starting a renovation in these older homes.

Straight up, we encountered a problem with the old floor. There was no concrete slab at all under the old tiles- just a pile of sand rubble. This had been put on top of the previous tile and just re-tiled over. It was substandard work and not a good start- so we needed to dig it all out and re concrete the entire floor. This did cause a time lag and an increase in the costs- but better to be safe than sorry.

On the upside, we managed to save money by re using tapware that wasn’t very old and buying discount tiles at a warehouse clearance for $15 a square meter. We added a beautiful decorator tile that cost more but set the whole thing off. Re varnishing the vanity, adding new chrome knobs and adding an IKEA round mirror, added the finishing touches to the room.

Bathroom B had the same floor problem and an ‘inbuilt’ old moulded plastic shower cubicle which was just such an eyesore- and a dirt trap to boot! We ripped it all out but kept the vanity which was still ok? A bit old fashioned but ok.

However, once we had re tiled the floor in Latte 300 x 300 tiles and crisp white walls everywhere- we made the split decision to get a new free standing vanity from a Bathroom discount store, to replace the old one. With a white stone top, a top mounted vessel basin with chrome mixer tap and groovy timber colour facia on the new vanity- we knew we had done the right thing- you just can’t do things by halves sometimes can you? The owners agreed- it would be a shame not to go the whole way. Now extremely happy with two clean, tidy and crisp white tiled bathrooms and a new deep bath tub, a proper tiled shower in bathroom B and flash new vanity- all is well in Mount Hawthorn again.

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