Sam - Real Life Reno

July 09, 2021 5 min read

Check out Sams newly renovated bathroom! As a first time renovator- Sam never anticipated some of the surprises that comes with a renovation. But after everything was completed, she was amazed with the end result. A timeless, modern design using the much loved Newport Gloss Square and Subway pattern tile with the Paddington Grey Terrazzo look tile on the floor.


What spaces did you renovate?
We are slowly renovating and restoring most of our home. We bought it just over 12 months ago, and since then have spent time fixing cracks, painting, restoring weathered timber windows, and lots of little things - like installing picture rails and replacing doors. The bathroom was the first big project we did where we've called professionals in for help. Now we've done the bathroom, next up is our kitchen!



What motivated you to renovate?
Our bathroom was quite outdated (hello yellow and brown tiles) and it had waterproof issues. It also wasn't really functional for us, as it had a very short vanity/sink and the bath was very narrow and uncomfortable to stand in (we have a shower-over bath arrangement).

Were you living here at the time of your renovations?
Yes, we lived here for the full duration of the renovation. We were lucky to have a second toilet in the house, and then it was just a matter of finding places to shower (family, gym, work, neighbours etc).



How would you describe your style?
I would describe our style as clean, simple and practical. We are big believers in 'less is more' - so if something has a place in our home, we look for it to be functional, made of quality materials, and with a classic design that won't age quickly.

Talk us through the process you took in the planning stages of the renovation!
Our main source of inspiration was instagram - there are lots of beautiful home renovation accounts to follow. We also looked at real estate listings for ideas, particularly on floorplans. No mood board here - but yes, my phone camera roll is full of beautiful bathroom screenshots!


Were there any delays? How long did the renovation take?
In total, our bathroom renovation took about 5 weeks. We had some small delays of a couple of days. We had to render the bathroom as part of the renovation, and because we're in an old house there are always challenges with ensuring things are straight! One of our walls needed a bit of extra attention. There was also a solid week of rain during the renovation which meant the waterproofing took longer to dry.

What was the most challenging part of the renovation? Did anything go wrong? How did you adapt?
I was working from home full time during the renovation, and i found it tricky to be managing tradies and juggling work calls at the same time. It was also a big challenge not having a shower at home for 5 weeks! For my husband, the hardest part was doing the initial demolition - both in terms of physical labour and a few unknowns - such as how much of the floor needed to be removed.
Things that went wrong - we ran out of tiles and had to quickly purchase another box (thank goodness they were in stock!). We had to move our vanity sink tap by ~2cm after the bathroom had been rendered to ensure that the spout would line up with the waste plug. I was very unsure about tiling under the lip of our bath - I had wanted it flush for a clean look, but our tiler insisted it was better to go under to ensure the tiles didn't pop off. He was right in the end - and the finish looks great.



Were you juggling a career as well as overlooking the renovations?
Yes - we are finance and engineering professionals, which can both be quite demanding jobs. We spent lots of evenings researching and making decisions on design, fittings and which tradies to engage.

Did you and your partner or family butt heads over the design at all?
We only had a small space to work with, and we both agreed that our existing layout worked. We didn't really butt heads - our biggest challenge was probably around the vanity and how much storage we would have. In the end we decided on keeping a floating vanity - so we could still see the floor (in order to make the space feel bigger).

Did you come into the TileCloud showroom to look around at tiles? Did you order samples?
Yes! We ordered samples to start based on the styles we liked - such an easy process. We then came into the showroom and found it extremely helpful to see all of the different options in full size. We also loved the extra styling pieces available - towels and metal/brass discs to really help visualise how it would all look. The TileCloud staff were super helpful in telling us about the tiles and different options.



Why did you choose TileCloud / What did you enjoy best about the TileCloud experience?
We chose TileCloud because it was just such an easy experience - from using the website, to ordering samples to getting the tiles delivered. The tiles are beautiful and well priced. We went with the Newport Gloss Pattern on the walls, and loved that this is a clean style, but also a little bit interesting.

Any advice for first time renovators?
We are also first time renovators - and I really underestimated how long a bathroom would take - particularly the rendering and waterproofing stages. Ensure you have a good understand of both time and cost before starting.

What did you hire trades for and what did you do yourselves or with help of family and friends?
*The demolition: My husband completed the demolition himself, with the help of his brother. It took a full weekend, we filled a skip and was incredibly hard work! He was pleased he did it, but wouldn't do it again.
*The plumbing: We hired a plumber - who was also able to recommend a waterproofer and tiler. We used our local community facebook group to search for a well reviewed plumber (and it was a great choice in the end).
*Waterproofing: Recommended by plumber
*Tiling: Recommended by plumber
*Painting: We did the painting ourselves - just the ceiling and door architraves.
*Project managing: Overall, the plumber project managed the job quality and organised the tradies for us, but on a day to day basis i was at home to answer questions as needed.


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