Renovating a bathroom

Bathroom needing renovation so where to start? Most of the new fittings are going back in the same place but at what point is the tiling done? Do you take all the old stuff out then tile, then put the new stuff on top. Or do the new items go back in & then tile round them?
Also where to buy (and avoid and any ideas how to find plumber/tiler?

We are on the Dordogne/Lot-et-Garonne/Gironde borders so anywhere around here.
Many thanks in advance!

With our new build, the builder recommended (on which we agreed) that it is best to tile the whole floor and then place the « stuff » on top - same with the kitchen. If you need to replace any items in the future, your choices are maintained rather than trying to find and fit something in to what was left :wink:


I agree with Graham! Floor up.

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Rip out what’s coming out.

First fix plumbing - stuff under the floor or that you’re burying in walls.

Sort any electrics

Fix plaster / fix floor

Paint - not where you’ll tile obviously - saves getting paint on your new tiles

Fit shower tray - if its a bog standard bath that needs fitting before you tile walls - this can be a bit chicken and egg - your plumber should know how they like to work. Also are you tiling under the bath… freestanding bath you don’t have much choice but bog standard baths are usually fitted without tiles underneath (it does mean if you change bath you are limited to the exact size - but it makes the plumbing a **** load easier).


Final plumb and fittings.

Its a rough guide -there can be a little fudges.

If you’re having a freestanding bath … make sure your plumber knows the waste can be an evil … and if you’ve already tiled they can be beyond evil - the Victorian baths with legs are easy - its the modern all in ones that go to the floor… you can only plumb the waste by going under floorboards

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If the walls are plaster board the existing tiles and tile cement could be difficult to remove to leave a decent surface to then lay new tiles. One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen here is ceramic floor tiles in upstairs bathrooms, the movement of the under floor always leads to cracked tiles and grout.

Many thanks everyone! I was trying to squeeze in a bath but I think realistically it will probably be the replacement of the shower that will win in the end. So I think this would mean that the water should not be a problem as it all would then go back in the same place.
How to find plumber/tiler is the next problem!

and in our experience, two separate trades-persons that will need to be brought to the same table.

Aha! Watch out! The tiler will say tiles go down first. The plumber, hacked off with the prospect of drilling fixing holes thu’ tiles, esp if porcelain, will want to put his stuff down first. Resist! Say him nay! GL’s advice is sound.

And I do recommend porcelain over ceramic. For my kitchen floor I did a test. On a tile I put a blob of tomato ketchup, a blob of oily, tomatoe-y bolog sauce and a puddle of v.rouge. Left overnight. Next morning, all washed off under the tap with no traces. And much tougher, resistant to cracking when things drop onto …

But the price of drill bits that will drill porcelain tiles is eyewatering. The bloke at the tile shop said the price would come down as more porcelain was used rather than ceramic. That was 15 years ago.

Reluctant to pay £15 for a 4mm bit, I tried HSS. I used one HSS per hole [x3] except for hole 4, which took 2. I went back to the shop and paid the £15 …

Many thanks Christopher, all useful info! So it looks like I need a tiler first…
regards Beth

Tile bits definitely worth every penny.

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If you have a suspended floor on joists, watch out for the spaghetti underneath.

I had to take the whole floor up - there were 15 misc size bits of all sorts of timber, revealing evidence that the back of the house had been on fire!

I was going to do a course of tiling wooden substrates but when I’d finished this bathroom I discovered I’d done it all according to the book anyway.

First, w/proof flooring particle board - superior chipboard. In UK is always green

Next, a layer of 19mm waterproof ply. No need for ‘marine grade’ [which hardly ever is]. Shuttering ply - the stuff they use to make formers for concrete and put round building site as fences - perfectly good.

Keep scouting the oddments pile in the tile warehouses. I was lucky to find a few boxes of natural slate at £8/m. It is [minimally] porous, so a couple of coats of sealant …

Flexible adhesive - job done.

It’s not difficult to do but the pros are quicker.


Many thanks Christopher, The floor we have is already tiles, horrible things! So I wonder is it ok to tile on top of them? Or would you put waterproof flooring/ply on top of the old tiles? Please don’t say they’ve got to come up??? It is only a small ‘en suite’ and the new shower etc are going back in the same place so that’s a plus.

Yes,ordinarily, you can tile over tiles.

Depending on the finish of the existing tiles, it might help giving them a coat of PVA before re-tiling.

Many thanks again! Best place to buy porcelain tiles please?

Italy… :wink:

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Very funny Graham!

Or Limoges :grin:

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Thanks Mark, Could you advise the name of the company, distance is doable.

I believe Lapeyre have a shop in Limoges…
We’ve used them in Bordeaux, when we found what we wanted at the time…