Category Archives: bathroom

Lights in the older part of the property

Written by stephen gale

We now have lights in the older part of the property.  We have had them for a week or so, but now we have light switches to turn them on!  Previously, we had to revert to using an iPad to turn the lights on and off.  Bizarrely, I could turn the lights on and off anywhere in the world – except (apparently) the room that I was in as there was no light switch. It doesn’t take long for the novelty of having to use an iPad all the time to wear off.  And before you ask, yes, you can use an iPhone too!  See previous post for information on the web interface.

In this part of the building alone, there are around 20 lighting circuits (a lighting circuit is a group of lights controlled by a switch) and about the same number of light switches.

Today we have installed all of the light switches and, after a bit of messing about, the switches do seem to control the right lights (most of the time).  Since the mapping between lights and switches is done in software, we can always modify the arrangement later on (unlike in a conventional system).  We had to reprogram a few of the switches, but all in all, it went pretty well. We have removed the stainless steel front plates from the switches.  This allows the rooms to be decorated without getting paint on the switches (and still being able to turn the lights on and off).  For more information, see previous post on light switches.

As well as the lights, the bathroom extractor fans are also controlled by the lighting computer.  This means that we can configure the system so that the extractor fans do not come on after midnight (say) as this might disturb others in the house.

In the upstairs bathroom, there are two lighting circuits.  One controls that main lights (and turns on the fan).  The other controls the LED lights in the shelf and along the plinth for the bath.  This circuit does not turn the fan on.  This means that you can have a bath and just turn the LED lights on without having the fan running.

This is one of the switches with the stainless steel face plate removed.  We will put the face plates on once the rooms have been decorated.  This is a Schneider GET Ultimate two gang switch.

This is one of the switches with the stainless steel face plate removed. We will put the face plates on once the rooms have been decorated. This is a Schneider GET Ultimate two gang switch.

ignore the cardboard box over the toilet and the board over the bath.  This is the upstairs bathroom with the main lights and LEDs turned on.  The extractor fan is running.  This is controlled by the left button.

ignore the cardboard box over the toilet and the board over the bath. This is the upstairs bathroom with the main lights and LEDs turned on. The extractor fan is running. This is controlled by the left button.

And now with the main lights off and just the LED lights on.  These are only 1W put these LED lights put out a lot of light.

And now with the main lights off and just the LED lights on. These are only 1W put these LED lights put out a lot of light.

Update on plastering

Written by stephen gale

We have plastered about 75% of the older part of the property and have started plastering the new extension.  This week we have plastered the two ensuites, the dressing room and the master bedroom.  With this much plastering, the building can get damp very quickly – plastering the walls in wet plaster introduces a lot of water in the building.  Although the ground source heat pump is up and running, we have also left a dehumidifer running to accelerate the drying process.

Next week we will make a start on plastering the kitchen.  My guess is that it will take most of the week to get the ktichen plastered.

The plasterers have made good progress this week.  The two ensuites, dressing room and the master bedroom have been completely plastered.  With the ground source heat pump running, the plaster is drying out fairly quickly.  To accelerate the drying process we are using a dehumidifer.

The plasterers have made good progress this week. The two ensuites, dressing room and the master bedroom have been completely plastered. With the ground source heat pump running, the plaster is drying out fairly quickly. To accelerate the drying process we are using a dehumidifer.

Leak found in the underfloor

Written by stephen gale

We have found the leak under the floor in one of the downstairs bathrooms.  This has entailed digging up some of the newly laid screed, but it is better to find it now than after the floor has been tiled.

The floor in one of the sownstairs bathrooms did not dry out over the Christmas period despite the underfloor heathing being on.  We suspected that there might have been a leak in the underfloor pipework.  This week we have had to dig out the area of floor screed to find the leak.

The floor in one of the sownstairs bathrooms did not dry out over the Christmas period despite the underfloor heathing being on. We suspected that there might have been a leak in the underfloor pipework. This week we have had to dig out the area of floor screed to find the leak.

The pressure in the underfloor heating had remained constant over the Christmas period, so we concluded that it was unlikely to be the cause of the leak.  As soon as we turn off the water, the floor started to dry out.  The leak had to be on one of the hot or cold feeds.  Turns out it was the hot feed (the pipe on the left) to the hand basin.  Both the T joint and a section of pipe were replaced.

The pressure in the underfloor heating had remained constant over the Christmas period, so we concluded that it was unlikely to be the cause of the leak. As soon as we turn off the water, the floor started to dry out. The leak had to be on one of the hot or cold feeds. Turns out it was the hot feed (the pipe on the left) to the hand basin. Both the T joint and a section of pipe were replaced.

New bath

Written by stephen gale

Although there is still some way to go to finish off the upstairs bathroom, the bath is finally in position.  It arrived about 10 days ago and has been downstairs waiting for the tiling to be ready.  It is a StoneKast bath that is made from limestone resin.  It is heavy – very heavy – 170kgs.  It took 5 plumbers to get it into its final resting place.  There were smiles all round once it was in position.

The bath is finally in place in the upstairs bathroom.  It weighs over 170kgs and it took 5 plumbers to get it up the stairs and into position.  I think there was a lot of relief all round once this was in position and still in one place.

The bath is finally in place in the upstairs bathroom. It weighs over 170kgs and it took 5 plumbers to get it up the stairs and into position. I think there was a lot of relief all round once this was in position and still in one place.

New bath has arrived

Written by stephen gale

The bath for the upstairs bathroom arrived today. 

Note to self – check how heavy things are before you buy them!  This bath weighs in at 170 kgs.  It takes 4 men to lift it.  So far, it has only made it into the property downstairs and is waiting for us to build up the enthusiasm to take it upstairs.

It is a StoneKast Ovale bath made from a limestone resin.  It is white with a matt finish and looks amazing.  But there is no getting away from the fact that it is heavy (and that is without the water in it!).

Just measuring up to work out how we are going to get this bath up the stairs.  It came relatively well packed and arrived in one piece (unlike an Ovale basin which has now been replaced).

Just measuring up to work out how we are going to get this bath up the stairs. It came relatively well packed and arrived in one piece (unlike an Ovale basin which has now been replaced).

This was the half way house - moving it from the front of the house to the back garden took a lof of effort.  Tomorrow, we will try and get it up the stairs!

This was the half way house – moving it from the front of the house to the back garden took a lof of effort. Tomorrow, we will try and get it up the stairs!

Bathroom tiles

Written by stephen gale

I picked up the floor and wall tiles for the bathrooms in the old cottages last week. I only got around to looking at them today.

It would appear that the tiles are slightly different colours. I took some photos from a number of different angles. I was hoping that it was a trick of the light. But it would appear not.

I will have a look at them again in the morning.

Mmmm....the floor tiles are a Matt finish and the polished tiles are for the walls. Unfortunately, they don't match.

Mmmm….the floor tiles are a Matt finish and the polished tiles are for the walls. Unfortunately, they don’t match.

Let's take the photo from another direction and see if the tiles look better. Nope. They still don't match. Maybe they will look better in the morning.

Let’s take the photo from another direction and see if the tiles look better. Nope. They still don’t match. Maybe they will look better in the morning.

New basin for the bathroom

Written by stephen gale

There is some good news and some bad news……

The new basin for the upstairs bathroom has arrived, but…….it is damaged.

It is a Stonekast sink made of limestone resin.  However, despite being well packed (in a cardboard box that was in a wooden create), it still arrived damaged.  Ho hum.

It is a great looking sink (I just love the shape and texture) and we have ordered a bath to match (this is due to arrive later in the month), but we are just going to have to wait for another one to be dispatched.

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Studwork starting to go in

Written by stephen gale

We have started to build the studwork upstairs that will form the family bathroom.  The other part of this space will be a (large) bedroom.

The partitions are tall – they go right up into the apex of the roof with all the roof timbers being exposed.  The purlins have worked out really well in terms of positioning and I am hoping that this is going to make the plasterer’s job a little bit easy.

Strangely enough now the partitions are going up, the space feels larger.  I was concerned that the bathroom was going to be a bit small, but as the joiner said “in a normal house, this is the size of a bedroom!”.  So maybe it is not so small after all.

The new bathroom is the other side of this very tall partition.

The new bathroom is the other side of this very tall partition.

The upstairs partition are starting to go in.  This will be a bedroom and bathroom. This was taken before Zep rolled in the sawdust.

The upstairs partition are starting to go in. This will be a bedroom and bathroom. This was taken before Zep rolled in the sawdust.

Mistakes we almost made: Obscure glass in the family bathroom

Written by stephen gale

Now the floors are in upstairs, it is possible to walk around and get more of a feel for how some of the rooms are going to work.  I thought it might be a good idea to mark out the partition walls upstairs on the floor in masking tape.  I wasn’t quite sure what this might achieve, but I thought it might further provide an insight into the rooms and what they might feel like.

When I stepped into the family bathroom upstairs, I realised that it has a great window at the far end.  The view is great – looking across the fields and Hagg Wood beyond.  This part of the building is not overlooked at all.  I thought about being able to have a bath and admire the view. 

Then it occurred to me!  This cannot happen as there is obscured glass being fitted in this window.  I had only specified the type of obscured glass earlier in the week.  The windows are due to be installed a week on Monday.

Anyway, a quick call to the joinery making the windows and the glass has been changed to clear.  If I hadn’t marked out the bathroom walls on the floor, I would never have realised.

Now the floors are in upstairs, we are mark out where the upstairs room are going to be.  The masking tape marks out the family bathroom.

Now the floors are in upstairs, we are mark out where the upstairs room are going to be. The masking tape marks out the family bathroom.

With a view this good, why would you put obscure glass into the windows?

With a view this good, why would you put obscure glass into the windows?