On The Tiles

Previously, on Bathroom News..



It’s been a while since we’ve taken a peek inside the bathroom. This is largely because the tiler spent September cycling around Europe and although there was much scurrying about on the home front most of it took place behind the scenes. There is a limit to how many more bathroom shops I can describe visiting and the attendant escalation in blood pressure levels is, of course, invisible to the camera.



This was how things looked on the day the tiler went away and the view we had for all of the subsequent four weeks. Minus those door stop thingies on the left wall. They hold the edges of the tiles together while the adhesive sets. Until they’re knocked out 24 hours later. These last ones therefore fell into Mike’s lap, figuratively speaking. The task, using the rubber hammer we were left with, is therapeutic apparently.

I really don’t begrudge anyone a holiday. Especially when they’re doing such a cracking job. It’s just unfortunate that the timing fell as it did for us.



And this is how it looks today.

The contrasting end wall is there for a purpose. Distant objects in a stronger colour appear closer to the eye, paler colours tend to recede. It’s difficult to replicate in photographs (the camera sees things differently to a brain), but it does seem to work. It leads to a foreshortening of the room, making the narrow space appear wider and squarer. Once the bath gets installed across that end of the room I hope the effect will be even more pronounced. And of course, the wall is a design feature in itself.

There are a number of differences between the two photos above. The completed tiling, the mirror, the painted ceiling and the changes to the door recess far left to name but four. But there is also another fairly significant one. A further source of September angst. Brownie points to the first person who can tell me what it is.



Alongside the proportions of the bathroom the second major design issue that we’ve had to confront is the lack of light given this room has no window. The niche behind the bath-to-be has a mirror as we’ve seen and will, by next week with luck, have an LED light strip fitted into its upper surface. Mirrors really are a great way of bouncing light around a room.



Ditto the shower



The view back up the room towards the door.

There are two much larger mirrors still to come. New doors are being made out of frameless opaque glass, to provide borrowed light from the adjacent rooms. Ignore the pipe lagging affixed to the edge of the shower screen! It’s to help prevent accidental damage while work is still ongoing.



The medieval doorway into the bedroom

In my eyes it would have been wrong to tile right up to the old oak doorway. Such an ancient feature needs to stand alone. So we’ve stopped the tiling at the bathroom facing wall and yesterday the builder carefully plastered right up to those tiles creating an almost seamless edge. He’s done a fantastic job. Once the plaster has dried and the door reveal has been painted the original woodwork will shine out once more.




The doorway from the bedroom side, complete (second image) with a new step. The difference in height has always been quite a leap. And that was before we raised the level of the bathroom floor!

One of the most tedious and increasingly fraught jobs on the September to do list was to source the wood for this step. We’d hoped to use an original wide floorboard that had previously come out of my study. And then disaster struck. The precautionary treatment for woodworm soaked from the back of the plank right through to the front, leaving unsightly dark blotches. Nothing for it but to do the tour of the architectural salvage yards and source a replacement. Easier said than done since wide floorboards are more difficult to find these days than those proverbial hens teeth. Many many miles and wasted days later we fell gratefully upon an ‘offcut’ just wide and long enough to suit our purposes.. for an extortionate £10!

Again the builder has done an excellent job. First we removed that existing piece of modern skirting board to reveal more of the original oak frame. The builder then used the undamaged parts of the treated floorboard and spliced it into the wall to fill in gaps above and below the lower door frame beam. He’s used our salvage shop find to form the tread for the new step. Frankly it looks as though it’s been there forever and we couldn’t be more pleased. The new opaque glass door will sit within the door recess rather than outside it as the current door does, exposing even more of the beautiful old wood frame.

Contemporary meets medieval. After all this fuss and bother I just hope it works..