The Hamilton Way
Guide to Bathroom Fitting – The Hamilton Way
Strip out / demolition work
- All sanitaryware, brassware and tiles, etc to be removed and disposed of.
- All existing stud walls will be taken back to the joists - we remove any existing plasterboard / lath & plaster walls. To guarantee our work we need to know exactly what we'll be tiling onto so we need to know the joists & walls have been installed properly. If anywhere needs strengthening, then we can do this while it's all open.
- We don't like leaving anything up to chance.
- Wooden floors will also be taken right back to joists. That way we can easily install all the plumbing & electrics; and strengthen / level joists, and strengthen between the joists too, where needed. It also lowers the floors a bit, hopefully minimizing the need for a step up into the bathroom.
- Put simply, during this phase we take that bathroom right back to its bare bones, so we can renew everything and give you a brand new bathroom, that will last for decades to come.
First fix plumbing
- During this phase we renew ALL the plumbing in the bathroom.
- All the hot / cold / heating pipes will be renewed with soldered copper pipe. Any plastic / push fit fittings will be removed. We will connect onto the existing pipes coming into the bathroom, but anything actually in the bathroom will be renewed. As mentioned above, we don't like leaving anything to chance. If we renew it all, and test it, we can stand behind it with confidence. All hot and cold pipework will be isolated using full bore isolation valves, along with soldered caps before testing.
- All the waste pipework will be renewed with new plastic solvent weld pipe & fittings. In properties that share one main stack, this isn't always possible, but wherever it is possible, we will renew all the waste pipework. Rodding eyes will be fitted at this stage, and any venting issues (a common problem in London), will be addressed now too.
First fix electrics
- All our electrics is carried out by a qualified electrician.
- All electrics will be RCD protected and we provide a certificate on every job we do.
- We renew as much of the electrics in the bathrooms as possible, if not all of it (obviously this is job dependant).
- We will strengthen between all floor joists, using timber noggins (glued & screwed).
- Insulation is then fitted in between all the floor joists (50mm Rockwool Acoustic Insulation).
- Then 18mm WBP plywood will be glued & screwed to the joists, and the noggins, using 3" screws (Minimum). We use screws everywhere, no nails, ever.
- Ditra matting will then be laid down over the top of the 18mm plywood. Ditra matting provides an outstanding surface to tile on to. It is also waterproof, further adding to the water tightness of the bathroom, as well as having shock-absorbing properties to prevent the floor tiles from cracking.
- Any joins in the Ditra matting will be waterproofed with Mapei waterproofing jointing tape, and the edge of the room, where the Ditra matt meets the walls, will all be sealed off with Mapei jointing tape too, creating a completely water tight floor to tile onto.
- Concrete floors will be hoovered and mopped, before laying Ditra matt).
- Wall joists will be strengthened where necessary, and levelled (needs to be discussed with customer first, as some old Victorian homes are not exactly level, and levelling them all perfectly can sometimes be an issue).
- Insulation is fitted in between all the floor joists (50mm Rockwool Acoustic Insulation).
- All walls that we will be tiling on to, will be re-boarded using 'Jackoboard' waterproof backing board for tiles (10mm min). Joints / corners of Jackoboard will be taped and joined with Mapei waterproofing tape.
- All walls to be plastered will be re-boarded with moisture resistant plasterboard, prior to skimming.
- Any boxing is to be made using a timber frame and Jackoboard too.
Preparing ceiling (plastering / suspending)
- Ceilings usually don't need replacing, this all depends on whether we're installing downlighters etc.
- If we do need to remove the ceiling though, we will remove it completely (especially if it's old lath & plaster), and re-board it using moisture resistant plasterboard, and then skimming it.
- If the ceiling is being suspended, a frame will be built using timber joists, not metal. Boarded with moisture resistant plasterboard. And then skimmed after the electrician has 'first-fixed' his spot lights etc.
- Ceilings will need to be assessed on a per job basis.
- Floors to be tiled using a proper notched trowel, no dotting & dabbing of tiles...ever.
- We us Mapei tile adhesive only – Keraquick (Floors) / Keraflex (Walls).
- Again, all tiling needs to be done using a proper notched trowel, no dotting and dabbing is allowed. (If walls have been re-done properly, then there should be no need to dot and dab tiles).
- Ensure all shower areas and around baths etc have been properly waterproofed before tiling
- Mapei tile adhesive is to be used - Keraflex (is usually best for walls).
- Tile edges need to be MITRED on all corners / around windows / recessed shelves / boxing etc. We will avoid using cheap-looking tile trim at all costs!
Second fix plumbing + testing
- If we have drawings then these need to be followed. If we don't, we will need to check heights / positions with customer.
Second fix electrics + testing
- Double check drawings / plans / with the customer about heights and positions of things.
Painting and decorating
- Woodwork needs to be rubbed down properly; any holes etc filled with wood filler and rubbed down again; and then a minimum of 2 coats of Dulux Eggshell applied (Or similar wood paint supplied by customer).
- A mist coat (50/50 mix of water & emulsion), needs to be applied to all newly plastered walls / ceilings, so that the paint can soak into the plaster properly and form a bond.
- Following that walls and ceiling will be painted with 2 coats of Dulux 'Mouldtec' Bathroom paint or paint supplied by customer, as long as it is designed specifically for bathrooms.
- Access hatches must be fitted everywhere that pipes etc might need to be accessed at some point in the future, i.e. under baths, behind concealed cisterns etc.
- Water shut-off valves need to be accessible too.
This is a document / working manual that we go through with any new bathroom fitters that come on board, and this is how we expect all our bathrooms to be done.
We review this document every 3 months and make changes / upgrades where necessary.