Fitting the Bathroom and the Kitchen

Fitting the Bathroom and the Kitchen

The existing bathroom suite was white and fitted straight into the windowless room where the old kitchen was like a hand into a glove. I can’t imagine why the original designers put it anywhere else. It’ll need a good clean and perhaps the taps replacing, but everything works and there are no leaks. I’ll need to re-fit the hot-tank in the kitchen though before we have hot water.

Bathroom fitted in the old kitchen

Meanwhile the new plaster is still wringing wet so I can’t paint it yet. There is a dehumidifier, but they don’t work well when it’s as cold. The normal sequence is to do the décor or at least the emulsion before fitting the kitchen, as it avoids splats on the surfaces and wasting time ‘cutting in’ (neatly painting up to the edges). I normally leave bare patches for the tiles as they don’t stick well to emulsion. Floor coverings go in last of all.

Kitchen cabinets and worktops fitted in the old bathroom

So I’ve just spent £1,000 on little bits of chipboard and MDF, otherwise known as an Ikea kitchen. I’m fitting this where the old bathroom was, in what is now a corner of the lounge. Assembling and fitting the base units is a piece of cake, the important thing being to make sure the tops are absolutely level and the fronts all line up, especially after a gap for a washing machine or fridge. If you don’t you’ll have problems fitting the worktop and the jig-joints at the corners won’t sit flush.

Fitting the Formica-chipboard worktop is next, but I don’t like it as to my mind it’s an inappropriate material for worktops. Chipboard is one of the least durable materials when wet – so why put it round a sink? The Formica adds to the problems by being completely intolerant of the slightest error. The surface print is less than 0.1 mm thick and it chips like glass. Given free reign I’d only ever fit granite or slate worktops. It’s permanent and a fantastic USP. I can get a 2.4M x 0.6M x 30mm slab for just £130 if I collect it myself, but even that is hard to justify on a cheap little flat in Weston S M.

Wall unit supported on temporary batten. The pipes below are the h&c tails for the sink

Fixing the wall units is next, before putting doors on which just get in the way at this stage. I first attach a batten 610mm above the worktop. This height is 4 x 150mm tiles, plus grout and silicone. Then it’s easy to perch the unit on the batten, line it up and drill the holes to fix it. Wall units also have to be kept as plumb-level as possible, or you will have difficulty getting the doors correctly aligned.

I might write about the next stage of the refurb next week, or possibly about the highly unusual lady who lives next door – with her blessing of course.

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