Thur 5 - Sun 8 September 2024
Auckland Showgrounds, Greenlane

Beautiful Bathroom Renovation

Winter- Ready Homes: 8 Tips for Canterbury Residents

If you’re considering a bathroom renovation, you’re probably already dreaming of the chic waterfall shower head, stylish tiling, luxe double vanity and free-standing bath you want in there… not to mention all the stylish décor items you saw on Pinterest to go with them.

But the reality is that redesigning any bathroom, big or small, is going to require planning ahead and careful budgeting. That means starting with the less-glamorous prep work to ensure you don’t go over your intended budget.

According to a recent report released by Australia’s Housing Industry Association (HIA), 71% of bathroom renovations are on bathrooms between 11-20 years old. Eleven years is a considerable length of time; and apart from putting the decor a full decade (sometimes two) out of date, even the best bathrooms will succumb to leaks, mould, damage and deterioration after such an extended period.

Plan to build a bathroom you’ll love for at least a decade, or more…!


Best practice for any bathroom renovation is to start with a clean slate and that means anticipating the unforeseen – it just takes a couple of nasty surprises to eat up the funds before you’ve even started. Setting aside around 10% of your budget for those situations will provide you with a realistic base from which to begin your planning.

What’s behind the shower? Plan for some restoration before you start.


Look carefully and realistically at what you’re starting with. If there’s any obvious rot in your old bathroom there will likely be more behind. Expect to need to restore the floor and wall linings before you begin. You might not need to, but better safe than sorry!


Go through your checklist. What are you wanting to achieve? What can you keep and what will need to be new?

Every bathroom needs an extractor fan, but what other electrical items do you want? Underfloor heating? A fan heater? Heated towel rail? New lighting and power points for your hair straighteners? Demisting mirror?

A heated floor being installed under tiles – warm on the feet!

Want to open up the room by recessing a medicine cabinet, having a shower sill or putting in a floating toilet or vanity? You may need structural changes in the walls for adequate support.

Consider heated towel rail, shelving and lighting before you renovate.

And the all-important plumbing. Plan where you want your taps and shower heads. This is a good opportunity to replace your ageing hot water cylinder with a new mains-pressure tank, or if gas is available in your street, investigate an infinity system and never run out of hot water again. Install a drain in the bathroom floor in case of flooding?

And surfaces: tiles are on trend now and last much longer than many other linings, but there are many other easy clean, water-repellent linings, including complete acrylic shower-boxes that make installation simple and long-lasting. Do the research and save a heap of time and money later.

Is your bathroom well insulated? Here’s your chance to warm up the entire house by insulating all four walls to the maximum.


Don’t get stuck in a time warp, you’ll need to think a bit into the future for a style you’ll love and will last the distance.

Not all tapware is chromed! Black is on trend now, but watch for copper and brass making a comeback.

Need some inspiration for your bathroom renovation? Check out our trend blog post here:


Even on a small bathroom renovation or a straight swap out where nothing major gets moved, you will still need trade professionals like plumbers, builders and electricians in some capacity.  Start by asking around and getting recommendations. Don’t be scared to ask friends who’ve had recent renos and get their advice.

Plumbing is a professional’s job.

If your pipes and drainage don’t have to be moved, the plumbing won’t require new permitting, but if you’re moving a shower head, taps or waste, you’ll need a plumber to do the installation and permits.

The sky is the limit with modern tapware, but you’ll need a plumber to ensure your services can cope with it.

If you’re replacing wall linings, you may need to get a certified builder in to do the work. Councils are very clear that wet area linings and plumbing changes should be permitted and done by a professional.

And tiling? If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, this can be a rewarding project, but if you’re wanting that perfect result, a professional might be a great call to make.

Tiling? Consider using a professional.

Even if you engage a professional that you have vetted, and they have advised you are good to go – double check with your local council if your job requires consents or permits and what regulations apply to your region. There is nothing more expensive than having to pay for a renovation twice – so always be safe rather than sorry.


Nothing puts pressure on a relationship like not having a functioning toilet for a month or having to shower at the neighbours house for a few weeks. If your tradies’ diaries don’t line up, this could be a very real possibility, so put a timeline together and plan, plan, plan. Put a year planner on the wall and make sure that everyone knows what’s happening and when. It might be a good time for the whole household to join the gym and you can shower there on the way to work.


Keep all the documents from your bathroom renovation somewhere safe. If anything fails, you’ll need to prove to your insurance company that recent works were permitted, and appropriate products used. This is a good habit to keep. One day you’ll want to sell the house and the buyer will want a LIM report that shows all your changes.

The easiest way to avoid a budget blowout is to be realistic, because even if it is the smallest room in the house, bathrooms are not cheap to renovate.

A classic restoration – can you keep your old bath/sink etc and just re-tile and reline?

Designing around existing fixtures can bring costs down and you should always shop around – but if all the info above makes you think twice, there are some brilliant bathroom designers who will plan the whole project for you. Allow $16,000 – $20,000 for the average bathroom reno, including everything from tradies’ fees to tiles and fittings.

There’s some great bathroom designers speaking in the upcoming Auckland Home Show! Check out the timetable here!

So, plan well and make it a bathroom you’ll love for years to come.

Tiles Terrific!

Some form of ceramic tile has been in existence for more than 25,000 years. Tiles as we know them date from 4,700 B.C. in Egypt while glass tiles were popular in 2,500 B.C.

And now they’ve never been more popular. This versatile product is perfect for wet areas, they add colour and you can use a myriad of styles and sizes to suit any design preference. You can even get tiles printed with any image that takes your fancy.

They can be cold under foot, though, so if using floor tiles consider an underfloor heating pad beneath.

Grab your tickets online HERE and save on entry!

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