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Classic bathroom renovation

Having an Impact
Having an Impact

Choosing materials that wouldn't easily go out of style was important in this bathroom renovation with white matte wall tiles and a timber-look vanity and shower niche.





The project


Our existing bathroom was not as old as the original 1950s house, but probably dates back to the 80s or 90s. The back portion of our house where this bathroom is used to be a granny flat and was probably constructed in the 80s, but then joined onto the main house in the 90s. The bathroom is only 1800mm x 1900mm and includes a shower, vanity basin and toilet.




The objectives for this project were:


  • Retain the existing basic layout as the floor penetrations could not be changed.


  • Demolish the blade wall between the shower and WC – this would provide an additional 100mm width in the shower, and also open up the room.


Bathroom exposed framing and blocking (22).JPG


  • Relocate the shower head and tapware to the opposite side of the shower as the existing taps were on the blade wall that was demolished.


  • Improve ventilation – the previous bathroom only had a low-powered, poor quality fan.


  • Install new louvre windows.




  • Install modern finishes with low risk of dating


I like the timber-grain laminex look as long as its not overused. I also think that some feature tiling has a tendency to get dated fast, so I opted for plain white matte wall tiles all around, but with a tiled shower niche.




I was very lucky to find a timber-look tile that matched perfectly with a laminex natural Oak. I was satisfied that using the laminex on the vanity and the timber tile inside the shower niche would provide enough of a feature against the plan white wall tiles and grey floor tiles.


Before and after








  • Earp Bros Tiles White Matt 600 x 300 wall tile


  • Earp Bros Tiles Minnesota Cream 1500 x 250 timber tile


  • Earp Bros Tiles Alps Dark Grey 450 x 450 floor tile


  • Custom made vanity and mirror shaving cabinet using natural Oak laminex


  • Bunnings shower head, taps, basin mixer, toilet


  • 10mm toughened frameless glass shower screen with black patch fittings


  • In-line extraction fan. I opted for a separate extraction fan, not the IXL 3-in-1 with fan included -because I wanted to ensure the best possible ventilation.


  • IXL (heat and light) 2-in-1




It's difficult to identify the total cost because I had some people do work for free or "mates rates". I also had some tradesmen doing other things around the house at the same time, so it's hard to pinpoint what the bathroom portion was.


Here is an approximate summary of the cost:


  • Demolition: $3000, which included a specialist asbestos contractor as all wall linings were asbestos


  • Tiling and waterproofing: approximately $2500 at a reduced rate


  • Tile supply: approximately $1200, which was clearance centre pricing


  • Plasterboard wall and ceiling linings: did this myself, but a tradesman would have cost approximately $2000


  • Vanity and shaving cabinet: $300 at a reduced rate and installed myself


  • Fixtures and fittings (taps, toilet, towel rails): total about $1000 and I installed the non-plumbing items myself


  • Electrical: approximately $200 at a reduced rate


  • Plumbing: someone did this for free as a gift, probably would have cost $2000


  • Shower screen: approximately $2000.


How to plan a bathroom renovation


No matter what type of bathroom you have, it all starts with planning and research to discover how you can make maximum use of what is often the smallest room in the house. Check out How to plan a bathroom renovation by experienced Bunnings Workshop member Adam Woodhams for advice on how to create a plan and redesign your space.


More bathroom inspiration


For more ideas and inspiration for your bathroom, check out our Top 10 most popular bathroom projects.


Becoming a Leader

Looks great, well done. I'm about to renovate a similarly sized bathroom which also contains asbestos fibro, so gently does it! Thanks for sharing.

Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Hello @BoeingFan


Let me tag @jaga to make them aware of your kind words. I recommend caution as well when dealing with asbestos. It sounds like an exciting renovation. Any updates you can provide while assembling your bathroom would be very much appreciated.


If you need assistance or information, please let us know,




Growing in Experience

Hey @jaga, how did you identify the presence of asbestos?

Having an Impact

Hey @Edgar 

in my job, I come across asbestos all the time, so I can usually identify by sight (ie: looks like fibrous cement sheeting, usually with dimples on the back - but I would usually send a sample to a testing laboratory to confirm. You can usually find a local testing lab that will take samples for about $100

Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @Edgar. It's terrific to have you join us, and many thanks for your question about this wonderful project.

I hope @jaga's reply was helpful, but please let us know if you have other questions or are concerned with the materials you are working with. It's always best to assume something is asbestos if you haven't had it positively identified as not being asbestos. Here's a helpful Best Advice article on Where might you find asbestos in your home.

Please let me know us you have any questions.


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