The Wilson Job – Structural modifications + child-friendly made easy
The key purpose of the Wilson’s main bathroom upgrade was to modify and suit a young, modern family’s evolving needs.
The Wilsons wanted a bigger area for bathing the kids, and moving around the general bath area. To do this, we re-structured the floor plan of the bathroom with some key structural changes that are more simple and affordable than you might think!
A child-friendly shower and vanity were also key requirements. To create a child-friendly shower, we decided on an open-ended configuration with a strip grate (for speedily and safely draining water) and a 2-in-1 shower – two shower heads! The first is an overhead rain shower, and for the kids, we chose an adjustable handheld. On a rail, this can be adjusted for height of children as they grow.
The Wilsons updated from a 1950s small basin and small recess mirrored cabinet, to large, 1200m wide mirrored cabinets paired with a wall hung, floating vanity.
Structural Changes, simplified…
Many potential clients are initially put off by the concept of structural modification – it sounds expensive, stressful and complicated. The reality is, it often sounds more complicated than the process may be. My team of carpenters, plumbers and trades are very familiar in this area, and as a team, we can often find simple, affordable solutions.
To make the Wilson’s bathroom goals a reality, the bathroom required structural work. In order to create this wonderfully effective floor plan, the original 50s terrazzo floor needed to be turned back to dirt. This meant we could install new underfloor plumbing, which allowed us to redesign the floor plan.
Structural work was also required on the roof to reinforce the structural integrity of the space, as one of the walls we were removing was a supporting wall - in the first photo, you can see it on the right. This wall separated the toilet.
We removed two walls to incorporate the new toilet into the main bathroom, and closed off the doorway to the laundry to create an open space for the large, freestanding bath. We also installed a new ceiling, because once the walls were removed, it created gaps in the ceiling. The cornices had gaps which needed to be renewed or patched, so new cornices were applied over new tiling. The ceiling height was maintained as the new ceilings were applied directly over the existing tiles.
Again, this process is not as expensive or complicated as it sounds!
The old toilet window was bricked up to make the space feel cohesive, and we retained the window above the vanity and shower, to let in good natural light. The cabinet area over the sink was also filled in.
A note on waterproofing
Historically, bathrooms were not always waterproofed correctly. This was rectified when Australian standards of waterproofing came into action in the 90’s, requiring all bathrooms to be waterproofed in the shower and around the bath.
During week two of the process, the waterproofing was applied.
As you can see, we waterproofed the whole bathroom, not just around the bath and shower area. This was for additional safety and insurance on the future of the bathroom.
The original bathroom had a leaking shower alcove, leaking directly into the brick work. It also had leaks into the linen cupboard backing onto the bathroom. To rectify the existing moisture, we artificially dried out the walls with blow heaters prior to starting waterproofing.
The Finishing Touches