The Biggest Obstacle for Women Renovators

The podcast for women who want to create income and a life they love through renovating

Join serial renovator Bernadette Janson as she explores the ins and outs of renovating for profit!

Bernadette has over 30 years of experience in the renovating for profit business. She’s a registered nurse, a renovator, a mum, and a teacher.

11 – Day 4: 14 Days To A New Bathroom

On today’s episode,

Bernadette will be talking about bathtubs on Day 4 of the series 14 Days To A New Bathroom. She will be expanding on the various components in a bathroom to give you some tips and insights into the things you need to think about when purchasing and installing these items in your bathroom.

This episode is a part of a 14-Day mini-series on Bathroom Renovations.

Listen to Day 4: 14 Days To A New Bathroom

Bernadette covers,

  • Determining whether a bathtub will be necessary for your bathroom
  • Why it is important to consider the type of property and residents before adding a bathtub to your bathroom reno
  • The differences of the 3 types of bathtubs – freestanding, inset and steel
  • How the type and strength for your bathroom floor will determine the appropriate type and bathtub weight
  • Choosing the correct spout that will work with your water outlet
  • How to make sure you have enough space and landing spots in your bathroom


Hello, it’s Bernadette Janson and I want to welcome you back to She Renovates the podcast for women who want to create an income and a life they love through renovating.

So we’re up to episode 4 in the 14 Days To A New Bathroom series and today we’re going to be talking about bathtubs. So for the next few series I’m going to be expanding on the various components in a bathroom to give you some tips and some insights into the things you need to think about when purchasing and installing these items in your bathroom. So of course when you’re thinking about the bathtub the first thing you need to think about is whether you actually need one or not.

So these days the bathroom doesn’t necessarily need a bathtub. So we need to check whether it’s required in your bathroom. Because it does take up a significant amount of space, so if you can eliminate it, it will certainly free up more space for the bathroom. And that will enable you to create more beautiful and functional rooms. As I mentioned in an earlier episode the first port of call would be to go and have a look at the house survey and just check the information that’s there, on what the general public wants in terms of a bath and their usage.

But I would say as a rule of thumb that family homes generally need baths in at least one bathroom. This is because that in terms of bathing children, a bath is still quite commonly used. Although I know a lot of young children do now share the shower, but for the traditionalists that really like to bath their children, then a bath is a deal breaker. So I’d say anything with 3 or more bedrooms you would want to make sure that you had a bath in the property.

But then for the properties that have 1 or 2 bedrooms, you probably need to consider your market. I think all certainly have taken the baths out of houses and apartments with 2 bedrooms and 1 bedroom are not because that it wouldn’t be used, but more because the baths really compromise the space. And in order to get a wow bathroom that was going to sell the property we needed to take the bath out so that’s what we did.

If the property had more than 2 bedrooms, I probably would have reconsidered that. And of course if you are space compromised and you want to retain the bath, I guess your options are to either put the shower over the bath or two. If you’ve got a little bit more space you can create a wet room where the shower and the bath are actually both contained inside the shower screen.

But once you’ve decided.. Oh sorry, another point I was going to make is that there’s a tendency to think that older people want to have a bath and I have to say once we reach a certain age there is a tendency to worry about slipping and falling. And so my experience has been that older people tend to prefer to shower for that reason. So of course you need to know who you’re pitching your property to be able to make an informed decision about that.

Now once you’ve decided whether the bath stays or goes, the next thing to do is to decide freestanding or inset. And I have to say freestanding is definitely the ultimate design statement. It’s the wow factor in a bathroom provided you have sufficient room to allow it to work its magic. If you have a beautiful freestanding bath in a really confined space it’s not really going to achieve the outcome. So considering your space available is a good idea, but once again they are not great for kids. So if it’s in a family bathroom, you might want to reconsider whether you go for the freestanding bath and maybe go for something that is built in.

At one stage I ran a survey on Facebook just to get a sense of how you know what the thinking was the weather people preferred freestanding or built in and I have to say the results were 50/50 which really surprised me. Because I actually love freestanding balance and I thought everyone else would, too. But surprise, surprise! They don’t. And some of us think about the practicalities. So a freestanding bath would be more expensive to buy, but it’ll be cheaper to install if you’re putting an inset bath in it. It needs to be built in. Which means that it needs to be framed up either with a timber frame or bricked up. And the area around the bath needs to be waterproof, so there’s a reasonable amount of expense in that.

However, in saying that a freestanding bath needs to be situated on a tiled and waterproof floor. But I’m guessing you would have done that anyhow, so it’s probably not an additional cost in terms of the types of all the material that the bath is made from. You’ve got three main materials. There’s acrylic, there is stone and there is a steel or metal bath. So the acrylic is very cost effective and I actually really like them. They’re quite warm, however, they can scratch, so you need to be mindful of that. But they’re very light whereas a stone BAAF, and by stone I mean even natural stone or stone composite will set you back quite a lot of money and a natural stone bath, most of the stone baths you see you’ll be looking at will be composite stone. It’s unusual to have a natural stone bath because they are incredibly expensive and also incredibly heavy.

And the last type of bath is a steel bath which certainly have a lot more longevity than an acrylic bath. They tend not to scratch, they can chip, but that’s really in extreme circumstances and they’re really great for retaining the heat.

Now something I didn’t mention when we’re talking about freestanding baths. Some people are concerned about whether you can get around them to clean them and the majority, certainly with acrylic freestanding baths. They are quite light, so you can move them around, there just like a piece of furniture. So if you look down underneath, it will have some legs underneath the skirt of the bath and you can just move it out of the way, clean behind it and move it back.

However, if you’re going for a stone buff, that things are not going anywhere, so often a natural stone bath can weigh up to half a time. So most of the stone baths you see are a composite stone which is a mixture of crushed up stone and resin. Really very nice look and quite durable. When you are looking at what bath you’re going to buy please make sure you get into the bath and test it for comfort.

And the other thing is that some of the acrylic baths are quite light, so you know with the egg shape they can be quite sort of unstable until they’ve got water in them. So just test that out, once they get the water in them, you’ll find they don’t go anywhere because it adds to the weight.

Which brings me to the subject of weight. You need to know the weight of the bath to determine that your bathroom floor is strong enough to take it. So think if you’re putting a half a ton of baths on your bathroom floor, you might want to put some extra reinforcement in it. And get that engineered so it really stands up to arm the dead weight.

Okay. So the other things to consider are the spout. Whether you’re going to have one coming out of the wall and the tapware so you can have an outlet and mix a tap that’s fixed to the wall. And you want to make sure that outlet is long enough that it delivers water directly into the bath. You can have your outlet in the ceiling and have it fill the bath from the ceiling. You can have an outlet that is floor standing with or without the mixer tap, sometimes you can have a floor standing outlet and have the mixer tap on the wall.

But just check that whatever you buy works with the bath you’ve bought so that the outlet’s long enough. If it’s going to be wall mounted, that will reach into the bath. If it’s a standing outlet that It’s tall enough to reach over and into the bath. And the last thing to consider with a bath is whether you’ve got enough landing spots around the bath. So you can imagine that if you’ve got a freestanding bath there’s no way to put something down, so if you’re lying back luxuriating in your bath with your glass of wine and your candle, where is it going to sit? So you might want to make sure that you’ve got a wall niche along the side of the bath, so there’s somewhere to put your things while you are meditating in the bath.

Okay. So that’s all I’ve got for you today. I hope you’ve got some value out of our little episode on baths and I’ll look forward to seeing you tomorrow when we talk about basins. And before I go, can I ask you a favor so that we can spread the love. Could I ask you to go over to iTunes and leave a review.

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    Amazing Free Content!LeaLea707 via Apple Podcasts · Australia · 05/22/22
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    “Hands down best renovation podcast there is. There’s no scams or tricks here and Bernadette provides honest and practical advice that you can actually apply to your life. There’s also great insights into the property industry (not just renovating) and Bernadette’s simple approach gives you tools to mitigate risk and fuels confidence to start your own projects.”
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