The smallest room in our house possibly just became my favourite. We have a really small shower room, just off my son’s bedroom, and along with the adjoining family bathroom, it’s the last rooms to get the colour overall. When we bought our house, it was head to top beige-a-la-beige and room by room my husband and I have been renovating it and chipping away at the 80’s ‘rustic’ decor. Read fake brick slips, Artex, faux country pub finishes. It’s all had to go!
I was interested in the concept that most bathrooms are very neutral. All chrome taps, and white ceramicware most people fail to break out of the neutral zone. So, it was really serendipitous that when I was planning my bathroom, Burlington launched a new coloured ceramicware range. I’ve used Burlington on other projects as I like classically styled sanitaryware and they are a good price matched with quality- so happy to recommend. But this time they were offering everything in pink! My heart skipped.
So, having a coloured pink loo really ramps up the colour quota and I wanted to match it on the walls and not default to white. The bathroom was small, and I didn’t want it to feel too dark. Starting by looking at when we use the room and how we want to feel the bathroom is very much a shower-and-go type of room, not somewhere to dwell. Therefore, a sunny yellow would flood it with the feel-good vibes. Also, isn’t yellow and pink such a sweet combination? It was all tied together by this AMAZING floor tile which I was delighted to discover as that then anchored the whole scheme together.
So, colour schemed nailed, it was time to rip out the bathroom and convert it into a wet room. The room measures just 1 x 2 meters and so having a shower enclosure really did make this small room feel cramped- a wet room with no need for a screen or tray would really open it up. We offered up the sanitary ware on Facebook marketplace and it all went on to be recycled into new homes. This is really worth doing and is so much better than sending it to landfill and your unwanted stuff can find a use in another’s home. I offered the items up for free as we just wanted them gone quickly and nothing gets things moving quicker than a freebie!
Next, the floor had to be adjusted to lower the shower drain below floor level to make way for the wet room tray. We used a wetroom tray former which you lay on top of the floor, but it creates the ‘form’ you need to lay the tiles into, so the water falls towards the tray. You tile into the former, so you never see it. We bought ours from Topps tiles as theirs was the cheapest I found on the market at the time. We had to cut it down to fit the space, which you are not advised to do but it’s worked fine and was way less hassle than making a customised former. There was also more fiddling around for the plumber as the basin I had chosen was wall hung- the waste and pipes had to be set inside the wall. A wall hung basin is a much better choice for small rooms, again helping to visually open up the space.
With the former in place, the room was then tanked to make it waterproof. This is the most essential part of the process and we used a water-based wet room tanking product, that you simply roll out before tiling. Next electric underfloor heating went in. In small bathroom sand especially wetrooms I’d recommend that underfloor heating is a must. It helps keep the floor dry and so the tiles in good condition and in a small room like this there is no option for a radiator. I chose encaustic cement tiles because I just love the texture and of course the pattern. However, note that they are a labour of love. They are hardest to lay as they are so much thicker than a porcelain or ceramic tile but our tiler was very capable. Also, they need sealing properly. I have heard of so many horror stories from people who have had a nightmare with their cement tiles staining, but it’s all in the preparation. They need sealing multiple times before you grout- or the grout will stain the tiles.
We put five layers of sealant on before we grouted and I’ll be honest, this wasn’t enough, we should have not hurried and done a few more as they grout has marked the tiles slightly. However, I rather like the aged appearance it has achieved. But just be warned! If you seal your tiles properly at the start, you should have no problem with them staining and you can enjoy them for years to come.
With all the tiles in place, the exciting part was seeing the pink confetti ceramicware and shower valve go in. I was blown away by the transformation and now the room is honestly one of our favourites to use! And my son Arthur loves the pink loo!