Hi, my name is Kat and I have just bought my 4th house, but the first to need urgent renovations (1950s concrete bungalow w cement tile roof). While I can do most DIY basic repairs, this will be the first time I have needed to pull down walls and remove major fittings.
My small bathroom (3.6m2) needs a complete rehaul. It is rectangular in shape - 2m long and 1.8 wide - doubles as the laundry (washing machine only, no dryer) and has one small, wooden, side-hung casement window. Lack of ventilation and little/or no proper undercoating or waterproofing, has caused mildew on the celling and scotia and cracking and peeling of the paint.
The seratone around the bath/shower is badly damaged and water is slowly leaking into the wall cavity behind it. The whole house is concrete - walls, floors - definitely not concrete blocks, but solid slabs (I think). I want to remove all the waterproof wall panels in the bathroom, back to the concrete and need to know what I need to do to the existing concrete, to ensure it is waterproof.
To maximise the small space I plan on removing the bath and installing a shower instead, replacing the existing toilet with a smaller one and putting in a new vanity.
To save on costs I want to do as much of the demolition as I can myself, but there are a couple if things I need to know, if anyone can help me:
1. Turning the water off for my unit also turns it off for the other 3 units in my block as there are no separate water meters. How can I stop the water from pouring out once I have removed a tap? I will need to turn the water back on before installing new taps.
2. If anyone out there has done a reno on a bathroom taking the walls back to the structural concrete, I would be interested in any hints, help or advice.
Have spent a bit of time on YouTube already but most of the DIY bathroom videos have tiles, not wet wall and I haven't been able to find anything specifically about concrete walls.
Thanks, in advance, for any comments or help
Solved! See most helpful response
Hi Kat @Drkatz65,
Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community. We're really pleased to have you join us and look forward to seeing how you can transform this bathroom, as well as other projects you might tackle in future.
Firstly, let me recommend you engage the services of a professional in regards to your waterproofing and plumbing.
I'd also typically be asking @MitchellMc to assist in any way he can but he is currently taking a well-earned break. Let me see if other helpful community members might like to kick off the discussion and share their thoughts: @ProjectPete, @redracer01, @JDE, @Mathy, @LePallet
Please don't hesitate to post anytime you have something to share with the community or need a hand with a project around the house and garden. We are here to help.
@Drkatz65 Hi there
I would think there is a stop tap of some sort of a seperate meter connected to your Unit. But if that’s not the case then I would notify the other Units to say you are turning the water off, then get a plumber to cut your line at the house and add a stop tap/ gate valve. So next firm you will be the only that will be affected when the water is turned off
Best suggestion from @LePallet get a plumber to install your own shut off tap for your unit only. This will make life easier for future repairs and renovations where plumbing is involved.
1. Get a notebook or use your ipad. Make a list of steps and attach dates to it from beginning to end.
2. Start getting quotes for jobs that need to be done by registered tradies. ( waterproofing, plumbing, tiling, electrical work )
3. Look at your list which one do you think you can do? Put a yellow tag on it.
4. Put a start date and make sure your finances are ready for the reno.
5. Don't be afraid to ask for help, getting second opinions is always handy when doing a reno.
Last tip stick to your start date and stick to your schedule.
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Hi Kat (@Drkatz65),
Have you made any progress with your project? I would presume that your walls are clad with Villaboard, as this is typically used in wet-areas. If there is no timber frame, then the sheeting is potentially attached directly to the concrete. When you tap with a hammer on the walls, it is likely sheeting on a frame if it sounds hollow. I'd suggest starting with the bath, as once you remove it, it will hopefully expose a portion of the wall.
The only difference with your walls and what you have seen is that they have tiled over the sheeting and have a stud frame wall. Let us know if the walls are just painted concrete, but I find it more likely sheeting.
We'll be looking forward to following along with your project and providing further help.
Thanks Red - great suggestions and would have replied earlier but have been crazy unwell for the last 2 weeks - great holiday!!! but at least it has been during holiday time so not sick leave
Thanks Mitchell, appreciate the advice. Would have moved forward with the project over the holidays, as was the plan, but have been really unwell and basically bedridden since day after Boxing day - at least during holidays so not time off work Looking forward to starting project this week - have been using time in bed to google new toilets, showers and other bathroom fittings, so not a complete waste of most of my holiday.