A gooseneck tap over the claw-foot bath adds a traditional touch to an otherwise modern design.
A gooseneck tap over the claw-foot bath adds a traditional touch to an otherwise modern design.

DIY: Add a splash of luxury to your bathroom

LAST week we built a chicken coop, but this week I found out the best spot for a chicken to lay an egg is the front seat of your ute. We were nailing our trusses down of the house this week when I glanced over and saw a chicken in my car. It belongs to my new neighbours. I didn't think anything of it until I got in to drive home and found a take away egg on the front seat. It was delicious.

Our trusses are going up and by the end of next week we will be ready for the roof to go on. We are travelling at a good pace with the house build at the moment with a move-in date around September. With all the walls up, Jess can really start to visualise the rooms. So now is the time to lock in all bathroom designs, as the plumbers will be coming soon to do their first rough in with all the pipes.

Jess and I recently completed Highgrove Bathrooms "Great Bathroom Challenge" where we went head-to-head in designing a bathroom each. My bathroom is a pretty standard layout, but Jess's is something I had never seen before but since have seen more of. She built what is called a wet room: a bathroom divided by a large glass wall separating the bath and shower with the toilet and basin.

Wet area bathrooms:

A wet area means you will never step out of the shower on to a wet floor because you get dry in a massive shower room. It's like what you would only imagine in a luxury hotel-style bathroom. There is no discernible boundary between shower and bath, it's one big room. Jess's space is so big there's enough room to swing a proverbial cat. If you've got the room, consider a wet area. Interestingly, they're a great alternative to a traditional bathroom in small spaces as it facilitates the area better.

How many times have you jumped into the shower only to find the kids have taken off with the soap to the bath? Not any more. Simply walk over to the bath and take it back. The kids can even be having a bath while you're in the shower. The biggest advantage for me though is to be able to walk into the bathroom to have shave and not be walking on a dirty old soggy bath mat or wet floor (that has to be my pet hate).

Cleaning the bathroom is easier because there are no hidden corners for water to collect just large wall-to-wall tiles.

Things to consider:

Waterproofing: A wet area requires full waterproofing by a professional before tiling. More tiles and sealing can translate into higher costs.

Drainage: The floor gradient must slope towards a drain to prevent water pooling.

Ventilation: Ensure you have adequate ventilation, ideally an exhaust fan to extract steam.

Layout: Keep the toilet as far away as possible from the wet area to avoid splashes. There are also restrictions where electrical points can go, so seek advice from your local building authority for regulations.

Jess's bathroom style:

Marble: Or marble-imitation offers a subtle effect against the dark herringbone-laid tiles used on the floor.

Traditional style with modern features: I've gone for a beautiful slim basin, which I absolutely love and paired it with some more traditional fittings like a clawfoot bath.

Double Monsoon shower heads: These are popular especially if you have the room for it.

Glass screening: a nice trick for spatial divisioning between the rest of the bathroom.

Timber touches: Bring warmth into your bathroom using the amber colouring of timber. Try spotted gum, Tasmanian oak or western red cedar.

 

Ayden and Jess Hogan were on The Block Triple Threat and won Reno Rumble in 2015.



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