When we moved into our 1930’s house in 2016 every room needed renovating, every surface was covered in wallpaper, carpet or a bad paint job.
When we decided that we were not going to go ahead with our extension and instead focus on working with what we had, there was initially a small part of us that felt defeated since it meant that we had to work with the floor plan that we had. This meant a very small downstairs toilet.
The small WC before the renovation
Okay, you’re going to need to use some imagination here, one of the regrets that we had during our renovation was NOT taking before pictures of the downstairs toilet. However this shot was taken just after we applied a damp membrane - more on this later. You can see that we had quite the challenge to renovate/drag this room into the 21st century.
We felt like there was no way that this space could ever be nice and felt like there was so much renovation work to do on it and it was basically polishing a turd. Look at the list of things to address:
No room for a proper sink
Single skinned walls
Evidence of damp
No hot water supply
Old drafty window
Old fashioned door
No hand washing facilities
Whilst Fi had so much other house renovation and design to be getting on with, she decided that she would gift me the enormous responsibility of designing this 2m square space (thanks Fi!!). Well I decided that I would show her and make it the best 2 metre square space in the whole house!
After our small toilet renovation
Look at the difference!
Getting the basics right with our WC toilet
Our builder Steve was great in putting forward some solutions to our problems.
Firstly for the evidence of minor damp he suggested that we apply this damp proof membrane stuff called Black Jack D.P.M which we would need to apply with a Tar Brush. In fact we used this all along the insides of our utility room walls too and it gives you that extra protection against water penetration. Applying it is THE most messy job in the world and you will hate your life for a few hours but it is SOOO worth the effort - trust us.
Ceiling and insulation
There was no ceiling installed - you could see the wooden rafters holding up the roof tiles! There was also no insulation so we got our builder to create a ceiling and stuff it with insulation.
The external wall was a single skin wall and since we had no plans to build a new cavity wall, our builder used some insulating boards inside a wooden frame covered with some plaster board to create a false wall. We lost a little bit of room doing this, but it meant we got that extra bit of warmth rather than having just brick and plaster. Because the space was so small it meant that it wasn’t going to be too difficult to heat and keep warm.
We ditched our old, drafty, single pane window and installed a new double glazed window so that we could optimise heat conservation. Probably the world’s smallest window but it is keeping the heat in great.
We were really up against it in this WC because it was such a tight squeeze of a room. So when if came to heating we first considered underfloor heating but in the end settled on a towel radiator so that we could also hang a towel. After hours of research looking for a towel radiator that would sit as close to the wall as possible to conserve space we chose this matt black towel rail from Ebay that’s smart, compact and throws out a lot of heat. Fi loves it because it’s so easy to keep clean. No shining required (like our stainless steel towel rail in our main bathroom)
Our builder cut a hole in our single-skinned wall and wired in an extractor fan.
Toilet with a sink on top
I had to Google for hours to find a sink small enough to install in our bathroom but I just couldn’t imagine it working in the small space we had.
Finally jackpot, I found this toilet with a sink on top which was the answer to our prayers; it was clever, space saving, ecologically focused and budget friendly. Amazing,
Every person that uses this toilet now comes out with a grin, saying how much they love the idea of the sink being on top of the toilet! Got to love a happy toilet goer :-D !
Until our renovation we had no idea at all that you could get toilet and sink combo!
Floors and walls
Obviously the space is quite small and it didn’t make sense for any pattern to be on the walls since this would make it seem smaller. The answer was to introduce some pattern on the floor so that it didn’t seem crowded.
The focus colour of the room is blue and the tone would be guided by the tiles. These beautiful Tangier Aniqua Decor Pattern Floor Tiles were another great find of the renovation!
They are rustic whilst remaining stylish and the varied, random tile pattern meant an element of interest is brought in rather than a simple repeating pattern.
I wanted the walls to be easy to clean and wall tiles achieve this. These flat white metro wall tiles gave an elegant, clean look; the perfect complement to the busier floor tiles.
Tongue and groove
I had the idea to have a tongue and groove back-wall behind the toilet after we introduced a tongue and groove section in our kitchen. I wanted to bring that style into this room to tie it into the wider design. In order to keep it wipe clean and to make the look compatible with the shiny tiles I painted it with this white Dulux Gloss paint, also it didn’t need an undercoat, saving loads of time.
We wanted to remove the old door and install a new door to create a rustic wood effect. We chose a Rustic Ledged Solid Wood Panelled Oak Slab Door from Wayfair the advantage of this particular door was that it could be easily trimmed down to the size we needed. The furniture was purchased from Amazon, the hinges are here and the latch is here.