Things to be aware of when renovating your bathroom #2

Following my last post on what you should be aware of when renovating a bathroom, our learning curve got even steeper. So this is another post to detail what we have learnt after that. The bathrooms were coming together pretty well, the toilet bowls are in and all 3 flush down violently, just the way we like it. A minor hiccup with the sinks though. We bought two full pedestal sinks for the 2nd and 3rd bathrooms because I don’t like the sight of bottle traps.

# – This is a full pedestal sink.

# – This is a sink with no pedestal and hence the bottle trap is visible.

However, as our contractor was about to install them, he realised that in one of the bathrooms, the floor trap was located right beneath where the sink should be and therefore if we insisted on putting in the pedestal, it would obstruct the floor traps. As illustrated below:

# – This is the situation we were facing. Major nono to have the floor trap obstructed.

This is absolutely unacceptable, so in the end we decided to do away with all the pedestals and just use pretty looking bottle traps (so I won’t have one bathroom with pedestal sink and another with none).

That said, it’s still not my most ideal situation as I don’t like seeing bottle traps whether pretty or not, but it’s just something I have to deal with because it cost too much to relocate the floor traps. So if you’re installing sinks, make sure your floor traps are located in the appropriate areas of your bathrooms.

So that little issue out of the picture and we thought everything was fine and dandy again. Till we walked into our bathrooms one day and we were greeted with the sight of this monstrosity:

# – This was OUR stopcock.

The stopcock is a valve that regulates the flow of water in the pipes. You’re probably familiar with its sight, those faucets that stick out of your walls with no apparent use (till you have a leak or something one day, of course).

Like the floor traps, make sure they are positioned in the appropriate areas if you could help it, not near where you might want to put in a cabinet or mirror etc. This was something that we didn’t think of, so now our stopcocks are very visible in the bathrooms. If I had known earlier during the renovation, I would have requested that they be relocated to areas more hidden from view (such as below the sink or a corner).

Anyway, back to the monstrosities. We were shocked by its sheer ugliness. It was big, shiny and made of plastic. All six of them.

I didn’t know how much trouble we were in until I consulted my contractor, whose face promptly turned a darker shade of pale after I had expressed that I could not accept the aesthetics of the stopcock faucets and they must be removed.

As it turned out, stopcock faucets are all different in built from brand to brand. Changing one, even if it’s just the exterior would mean hacking into the walls, cutting the pipes and replacing it. Can you imagine replacing all six of them? I can totally relate to his anxiety.

Anyway, we decided to take a sample of our current stopcock faucets to our regular kitchen & bath shop. According to the salesperson, there is a chance that the exterior of one brand might fit another and we may not have to resort to hacking the walls. With our fingers crossed, she cross checked multiple brands with our existing one, and finally, she FOUND A BRAND THAT FIT! And the best thing of all, it’s the exact design that we were hoping for.

# – Monstrosity on the left and the new stopcock on the right.

So yeah, we are pretty lucky in that sense. No hacking, no cutting pipes, just unscrewing the exterior and screwing the new ones in. So if you’re ever re-doing your bathrooms, please, please, please remind your contractor that you want a specific design for your stopcock faucets (unless you don’t give a damn, of course).

Seriously hoping I won’t need to write a 3rd post on bathroom! /cross fingers.

Happy renovating :)


Wu wu wu. We’ve ripped them out, all out. Our floor skirtings I mean. Why? Cause they were just not up to par with our expectations.

Which is why I love my contractor. He is reasonable and willing to listen and when he acknowledges work that’s not up to standard, he’s willing to fix it no matter how taxing it is. Without so much of a protest too.

Anyway, check out the sorry sight post ripping:


And here are the new skirtings being painted…


There’s also a minor problem with downstairs bathroom. We bought a full pedestal sink but totally forgot about the location of floor trap which, unfortunately for us is situated right where the pedestal is supposed to rest on, FOL. Thank goodness we’re only wasting a couple of hundred ringgit to discard the pedestal. But an even better alternative came up….my contractor offered to buy the pedestal from us to use for his own house haha. Also because he felt responsible that he forgot to warn us about the floor trap’s location. Have I mentioned I love my contractor? :)

Oh well, hope everything will be ok the next trip we see the house /cross fingers

Things to be aware of when renovating your bathroom.

Bathroom/toilet is probably the single most daunting part of a house renovation. Before we embarked on our home renovation, we did A LOT of research over the Internet as well as reading home improvement books (ok, the boyfriend did, I only had the fortune of reading all the relevant stuff he copied and pasted to me on emails). It’s really important to read up because then you’d be able to gauge your contractor’s level of knowledge and experience.

If your contractor claimed that he could change your toilet position where ever you fancy, BEWARE. It’s not recommended to change your toilet’s position (unless you’re planning on tearing down the entire house and rebuilding a new one) because that would mean moving the outlet pipe, which is a very taxing task and not to mention, RISKY. If your contractor didn’t have the chops to do it, you might just end up in a world of shit. Literally.

Even tasks like water proofing the toilet and tiling requires a lot skills. So yeah, that’s why it’s important to know your contractor’s skill level.

For instance, it probably seems a no brainer buying toilet bowls. You measure the space you’ve got, go to a shop and choose the design and size that fits best, right? Nope, it’s not that easy. First of all, you need to have the measurements of the distance between the outlet pipe from the wall, which you should be able to get from your contractor. Each and every toilet bowl has different tolerance of distance so you have to buy the one that fits. We wanted all the sanitaryware in our bathrooms to match so we were very lucky to find one model that could tolerate the “outlet pipe – wall” distance of all our three bathrooms, which are 6″, 9″ and 12″ respectively.

So after the toilet choices are narrowed down to the right fitting then only you can start choosing designs and size. The person selling the toilets to you should be able to assist you with finding the correct fit. If they can’t, please stay away ;)

There are generally two types of toilets; syphonic and wash down. Syphonics are the ones that flush down in a slow circular motion and are quite trendy now due to its supposed feature of saving water and almost silent flushing. Wash downs are the traditional ones that flush everything at one go.

But what many people don’t know is that your outlet pipe plays a main role on whether to get syphonic or wash-down. The rule of thumb is, if you don’t wish to run the risk of getting floaters, just get wash-down. Unless you’re absolutely, 100% that sure your outlet pipe is straight, do not get syphonic toilets!!!!

Another thing I did to make sure that the bathroom sinks and toilet bowls fit comfortably with ample space to walk and dance in my bathrooms was that I made actual size cutouts of the sanitarywares and placed them over their respective position. That way, I could see for sure how the space would be like after installation. Some people have a good feel about space, I don’t, so doing that really helped to ease out the space concerns.

Okay, hope this helps! I can’t think of anything else to add on, but will do so when I figure out more things. Feel free to ask any question in the comment section or better, feel free to comment about additional stuff one should be aware of when renovating a bathroom, will deeply appreciate them :)

Posted from my Crackberry.