Bathroom basics: shower installation

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If your bathroom feels dated or in need of an upgrade, spruce it up with new tapware and accessories. Methven’s licensed plumber, Pino Tarquinio, gives his top tips for a simple DIY shower installation.

Preparation

Before deciding on your new fittings, Pino says it’s important to consider who will use the shower, and to measure the height of your current shower water outlet from the ground up.

“A typical Australian home has a shower outlet height of about 1800-1900mm,” says Pino. “This will help you choose the new shower type and prevent any issues with it being too high or low once installed.”

Tool kit

To install a new shower or other bathroom fittings yourself, it’s ideal to have some prior handyman experience. Depending on the type of shower you choose you will need:

  • Power drill with a masonry drill bit or diamond-tip drill bit (if you need to drill new holes in tiles)
  • Adjustable spanner
  • Screwdriver
  • Water spray bottle
  • Bathroom silicone/sealant
  • Teflon tape

Safety first

Pino recommends setting down a drop-sheet or floor covering before the installation to prevent any potential damage to the floor; it also act as slip protection.

“When using a power tool, it’s always a good idea to have some level of eye protection just to be safe.

“Also double check that the taps connected to the shower are turned fully off before beginning the installation.”

Installation

“My number one rule is to read the instructions,” Pino says. If you decide to retro-fit a new rail shower in the place of an existing rail shower, he says “it’s as easy as securing the adjustable wall mounting brackets into your existing installation holes, no need to drill new holes. Just be sure to measure the distance between the mounting points first”.

“After removing the old shower, it’s best to reseal around the water outlet using a bathroom silicone. This will make sure the hole is watertight before fixing the new shower into place.”
After removing an old shower and sealing around the outlet, Pino also recommends resealing the raw pipework that comes out of the wall before fitting the new shower in its place.

“To do this, use a good amount of Teflon tape and, in a clockwise direction, wrap the tape around the pipe 8-10 times. When screwing the shower on, never rotate it backwards, if you do you must reapply the tape again so you don’t compromise the water-tight seal.”

If you’re drilling new holes into the wall, make sure to spray the drill bit where it’s contacting the tile with the water bottle to keep the drill bit from overheating.

Don’t apply too much pressure on the drill as you could crack the tiles and take care as there are pipes in the wall cavities. A good tip is to use tape to mark your drill bit at about 20-25mm so you know when to stop.

For a complete bathroom upgrade, Pino suggests following the same advice to install matching fittings, such as towel rails and accessories, for a seamless high-end finish.

However, if looking to update tapware fittings, these products are more involved and it’s recommended that you seek a licensed plumber to carry out the installation of tapware.


Jones & Jones wall mount Blackbutt timber vanity, from $980, Highgrove Bathrooms. Photo: Alicia from My Burleigh Reno.

Top bathroom trends

From colourful curations to metallics and terrazzo, old favourites in bathroom design re-emerge to dominate in 2019, according to Wesley Sinclair from Highgrove Bathrooms.

Mesmerising metallics: Compatible with most colour schemes, brushed brass and copper finishes embody modern elegance, giving your bathroom a classic yet luxurious look. The burnished tones and earthy, industrial sheen bring much-needed warmth to what can often be a cold space.

Pastel rainbow: Pale greens, baby blues, lemon yellows, apricot oranges and especially millennial pink are trending hues that will continue to be crowd favourites this year. Allow your chosen palette to come to life in the cabinetry, as well as smaller fixtures such as robe hooks or basins.

The return of terrazzo: Consisting of chips of marble, quartz, granite and glass, this playful and opulent tiling will be seen more on floors, walls and vanity tops.

A material crush: Raw and industrial concrete set against warm timber offers a strikingly contemporary look. Mixing these materials creates a new age feel with a nostalgic foundation.

Doses of bold wallpaper: Wallpaper makes a comeback in 2019. It’s a cost-effective and hassle-free way to breathe new life into an outdated space. While wallpaper in your bathroom may seem a little risky, with the right splash-proof material you can have the look you want without the hassle of relining every six months.

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