It took a fair bit of planning, getting my head around what was available, what my plumbing system dictated (poor pressure at the top of the house) and what we wanted. I let Kay do a lot of the choosing as it is the bathroom she would be using. She's been used to a dribble for a shower, poor flush on the toilet and increasing growth of mould, so I figured she deserved a big say in the design. She had a vision for colours, so I gave her free rein.
Here are some of the before, during and after photos.
BEFORE - The sad 1960s style bathroom
DURING - Back to the brickwork and replastering
The plumber and his young gofer lad worked like Trojans every day for the two weeks allocated to the task, bringing in a plasterer, electrician and tiler in a well organised relay. The young plumber's lad ran up and down my five flights of stairs all day long, carrying out the discarded rubble and rubbish and bringing in the new, lugging about 20 different toolboxes containing valves and pipes and screws. He also used to vacuum-clean down the stairs each evening before they left. They barely stopped for refreshments which I plied them with regularly. I cannot fault their stamina and attention to perfection. But, oh dear, they managed to mark walls up and down the stairs with their grubby hands and tool boxes, so that I had to paint one complete landing wall after they'd gone and touch up the skirtings. The lad seemed to spread all the tool boxes into three of the bedrooms, even though I had shut the doors deliberately to keep out the brick dust. Each evening I would find the bedroom doors open again and a layer of brick dust covering everything. Each morning I would shut the doors to find them open yet again in the evening. One evening I discovered a brown wet stain on a cream bedroom carpet. I worried overnight that there was a pipe leaking and rusting from the adjacent bathroom work, only to discover the next morning from the lad that he had accidentally kicked over a full mug of coffee. On a cream carpet! He looked sheepish and said he had tried to clean it up himself, but of course had said nothing until confronted by me the next morning, by which time it was too late to remedy. I have scrubbed and scrubbed and removed about 90% of the stain but it still shows slightly! They could see I was not happy, but I did not have the heart to push it further as I was so happy with their hard work otherwise.
THE FINISHED ARTICLE - Clean and fresh
So it was all worth it, although I can see why my reluctance to get workmen in is backed up by the pain, mess and damage they cause all over the house. I shall try not to leave it another 30 years to get my en suite bathroom done, but may just give myself a few months rest before I put myself through it all over again.