Refresh provided this Illawarra homeowner with an upgraded bathroom and pergola.
WORDS Persephone Nicholas
Bathroom design wishlist
Ann’s project initially sounded straightforward, but when the renovation specialist visited the home to discuss the brief she uncovered a few challenges. To start with, Ann told the specialist that she wanted to renovate the guest bathroom but, as she found grout lines unattractive and hard to clean, she wanted to avoid the use of tiles. She also wanted to create a polished concrete floor using the existing concrete substrate.
The renovation specialist was keen to meet the brief but advised Ann that they would have to determine the condition of the substrate in order to know whether or not it could be polished. She also told her that she had a perfect solution for a tile-free bathroom.
Unfortunately, when the existing tile floor was removed it was obvious the substrate was unusable – it was reduced to rubble in some places and had disappeared entirely in others. So Refresh's team jackhammered it out, prepared a new frame and established barriers so a new concrete floor could be poured.
‘I brought in a specialist concreter,’ she says, ‘because pouring concrete is a really tricky process. After the concrete has been poured you have to trowel the top consistently as it dries to make sure it dries smooth. It was a cold rainy day when our concreter did the pour, it took 12 hours to dry and had to be trowelled the whole time.’
Once the floor had been poured and trowelled, the rest of the bathroom could be completed and Ann was happy to benefit from Refresh's design expertise.
It all looks really good and it’s easy to keep clean
Carrying out the bathroom renovation
She recommended Spapanel, a durable, laminated, marine-grade ply in two finishes - bronze patina and white gloss – for the bathroom walls and says it creates a good-looking, low maintenance finish.
‘There’s no need for waterproofing behind Spapanel, it can go straight on to the studwork, so it saves on installation time. Once installed, you just clean it with soap and water, so it’s a good choice if you don’t want to spend time cleaning grout.’
The renovation specialist suggested a floating white vanity, offset to dramatic effect with a matt black Parisi Pod basin.
‘Ann originally wanted a glass basin, but I knew it would ‘disappear’ in the space and suggested the Parisi Pod basin as an alternative. It’s perfect for the new, contemporary looking bathroom. Once we’d agreed on the black basin we chose matt black accessories from Phoenix to complement it. Even the floor grate is matt black.’
Ann couldn’t be happier with her finished bathroom.
‘I love it all,’ she says. ‘I like the fact there are no tiles. It all looks really good and it’s easy to keep clean.’
With the bathroom taken care of, the renovation specialist could turn her expert eye to the pergola. It needed new battens, a new roof covering and there was a significant leak in the corner which had to be addressed.
‘When the roof covering was originally installed the flashings hadn’t been done properly so rainwater was just running down the walls. But with a little bit of ingenuity we managed to get it flowing into the gutters,’ she says. ‘Now the outdoor area can be used all year round.’
Ann is delighted with her new, more functional outdoor space.
‘It’s rained since we had the work done and the roof doesn’t leak at all now. When it’s sunny in the morning, it’s so lovely to sit outside and have coffee there.’
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