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Loft Space Ensuite - Case Study 1

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

This client came to us after being referred by the sales team at Porcelanosa in Manchester. The icing on the cake of this detached, recently refurbished, property was a new loft space ensuite on the 2nd floor. The original ceiling was made up of 3 different pitches (more of that later) and the waste and water was already up there. This looked like a fun one!

Prior to the site survey, the client had already placed the product order with Porcelanosa and been given (very impressive looking) preliminary drawings, so on our initial visit we confirmed a couple of things:

· The original design had changed so the tile quantities needed to be altered.

· The shower screen was handed so we confirmed which way it needed to be.

Rip out brought up a major issue. We uncovered a steel beam which ran beneath the floor. This meant the shower waste couldn’t run where it needed to AND comply with building regs, so it was back to the drawing board with the layout. However, the shower screen had already arrived (handed) so just moving the shower closer wasn’t an option. We flipped the layout and moved some fittings, we were good to go. But not without further adjustments to accommodate the new shower!

It's normal for things to come up as the job progresses, most of the time it’s little things which are easily solved but this did create more work, and in turn, added time:

· The new shower position meant we needed to add more stud walls than originally planned.

· The customer also decided they would like to be able isolate all the fittings from one isolation point. They could be sited in the new void created by the move, however, it did mean we needed to run individual hot and cold-water supplies to all fittings.

· The new shower site faced the door frame. To stop splash creating issues with the architrave later, we removed it and tiled directly to the door frame.

two basins on a constructed wall.  Pipework running to both basins.
Running Hot & Cold Water Supplies to all Fittings

We also had a few product issues which caused some delays:

· Shower tray was delayed which meant we had to postpone tiling the shower area.

· The order for the mirrors wasn’t placed until after the basin valves were fitted so we already knew we would have to return later. However, when they arrived, one was smashed! We drilled, installed the brackets, and left the cables in wago clips so the client could easily fit the replacement.

· Although not really an issue in the end (more of an inconvenience), the shower valve arrived in the wrong finish.

· The wrong toilet seat was delivered so again, we left everything in a way which made it easy for the client to fit. This saved them from us having to bill for another return visit!

Recessed LED strip lit up in the corner of a bathroom, behind the toilet.  Also shows a recessed shelf and the mirrored shower door.
Recessed LED Strip

Our in-house team can do (almost) anything, but we do use outside teams of extremely skilled professionals who support our projects. We use PowerUp for the electrics on almost every bathroom and kitchen we do now. LED lights, spots, shaver points and illuminated mirrors are standard on most projects and they always do the best job. The client added some additional recessed LEDs to accommodate the new WC area. The effect they have, once the space is finished, shouldn’t be underestimated!

TIP: Consider recessed LEDs when ceiling space is restricted.

The tiles! First fix always looks slow and nothing particularly exciting (to look at) happens. When we’re ready for tiling it starts to feel like we’re winning. The client had chosen a distinctive, textured timber effect tile which could be installed in a few different ways. As the feature wall is relatively small, it was easy to lay all the tiles out so the client could choose the pattern. The tiles for the other walls and floor were semi-plain, so installation of those was very straight forward. Luckily, the shower base arrived just as we finished the floor, so that could be finished too…seamless! Remember the door frame? We also sourced a trim in the very same finish as the rest of the hardware. Perfection!

Now it’s not often we come across something we haven’t seen but this little gadget got us! As we had moved the shower to a new site, the bathroom door opened onto the edge of the glass. It’s easily stopped by a door stop but a standard stopper would have caused more than a few stubbed toes. We found a recessed, magnetic door stop and in all honesty…it may have changed our lives!

It was clear from the rip out that the costs on this project would increase a little. The knock-on effect of the steel beam added an extra 2 days to the schedule and the client added in extras too(the pipework and access panel). As always, when the costs and schedules are evolving, the client takes the lead with the decisions. We adjust as we go because we don’t like surprises any more than you do!

Timeline (days):

1 -6: rip out and prep, 1st fix electrics, roof vent installed for extractor fan, all pipework and fittings installed, timber walls constructed and boarded out.

7-10: walls and floor tiled; first coat of paint applied to ceiling.

11-13: second fix inc. install shower tray and screen, install basins.

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