Bathroom supplier recommendations etc.......

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DSM10000

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As per the title: We need to replace a bathroom suite in one of our rental properties as well as some other changes

It is a mid-terrace Victorian house (1880) with a bathroom that was moved upstairs at some point when an extension was added, we think around 1940.

The extension (at the rear of the property that includes the kitchen below) is not well insulated and we will look at addressing this via exterior rendered cladding if possible (it is in a Conservation area) or internal insulation board. Any experiences of this welcomed.

We will also be replacing the bath, shower (currently 9.0Kw electric fed from a 6mm cable about 9 m long), sink and lavatory. Now madam would like a higher flow shower and integrated sink / lavatory unit (Cloakroom style?) but I am open on this as I have not found any that seem designed for full bathrooms.

I am also very keen to put in electric underfloor heating (the room is approx 2.7m x 2.4m)as the single towel radiator (1200mm) struggles to keep the room warm in cold weather and insulation alone may not be enough.

So any recommendations for bathroom suppliers, insulation type, underfloor heating suppliers etc and, can a Combi boiler be used with a boost pump for a shower?

Thanks in advance.
 
Insulation - if viable, simply install stud walls on any exterior wall and kingspan in between the studwork then behind the moisture board; it’ll make a massive difference.

Underfloor heating - if your boiler is powerful enough, run it from that because electric underfloor heating is terrible for efficiency compared to a wet system. Normally costs more upfront but it’s a better long term option.

Bathroom suppliers are ten a penny; I know plenty locally but I could only recommend a national one that I’ve know personal experience of.
 
Good advice above, also you cannot pump a combi boiler, but a combi should give you good enough pressure for a decent shower.
 
can a Combi boiler be used with a boost pump for a shower?
No, you shouldn't add a pump anywhere on a combi system. The pump would draw water from the combi faster than it can heat it. Most boost pumps cannot handle mains pressures.
 
Thank you all for the information so far.

I fully understand and appreciate Lee you comments on a wet Vs dry underfloor heating system and we did have a wet system put in to the extension on the house for the new dining room, sitting room , kitchen diner area etc but I see this as additional rather than primary heating once the room is better insulated so an electrical system is probably the choice plus if it fails it cannot cause major damage with water leaks ;)

Our usual builder is not available for a couple of months as he is re-building his own house in France and I do not want to disturb him so it is very helpful to have access to advice and experience from here!
 
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I fully understand and appreciate Lee you comments on a wet Vs dry underfloor heating system and we did have a wet system put in to the extension on the house for the new dining room, sitting room , kitchen diner area etc but I see this as additional rather than primary heating once the room is better insulated so an electrical system is probably the choice plus if it fails it cannot cause major damage with water leaks ;)

Plus it’s a rental, so you’re not paying the energy bills :D
 
Do you have a builder that you have used before and been satisfied with?

I ask this because it's nearly always been better for me to use one guy who I trust rather than some of the so called specialists.

I recently had a kitchen done including knocking down a wall and extensive electrics and plumbing and found it great to just deal with Alan rather than some shiny suited kitchen salesman.
 
Do you have a builder that you have used before and been satisfied with?

I ask this because it's nearly always been better for me to use one guy who I trust rather than some of the so called specialists.

I recently had a kitchen done including knocking down a wall and extensive electrics and plumbing and found it great to just deal with Alan rather than some shiny suited kitchen salesman.

Indeed and I totally agree with you but as I mentioned in the opening post he is away for the next couple of months. It may well be better to wait until he is free again as his work and knowledge are exptional.
 
I think a lot of cheap bathroom stuff comes from China these days. I'd avoid that and buy quality British taps or showers from the likes of Bristan or Crosswater. They will flow better on an LP system and you will be able to buy spares when needed. For the ceramics and chrome fittings RAK is good quality, they are made in the middle east.
 
You could swap the bathroom radiator for a bigger one. I'm assuming it's a towel rail on the combi system. It's easy enough to swap if you're careful about sourcing one that makes the job easy i.e. get one that is the same pipe centres for the inlet and outlet. I helped my mate change one a few weeks ago over a long Saturday morning.
Assuming you will need to replace bracket positions, I use Ronseal high performance wood filler to fill the old holes. It's mechanically very tough, but slightly flexible. Being 2-part with hardener, goes off in less than an hour and sands and can be painted well.
Paint the wall with a 6 inch mini foam roller after fitting brackets but before fitting the radiator for best finish. Emulsion dries very quickly and it will be a lot better than trying to paint it afterwards.

If insulating the walls in older houses, the biggest potential problem is moisture behind the insulation. The biggest factor is if warm moist air can get from the room side (and a bathroom will be the worst) to the cold side of the insulation, at which point the water will be condensed out of the air. As mentioned, you should have a robust moisture barrier on the warm side of the insulation. This should really be some sort of appropriate moisture plastic sheeting, double taped at the joints. Also consider that anything drilled and mounted on the new plasterboard stud wall might puncture the vapour barrier.

I have a 1930s house, and during refurb I thought and researched a lot about internal wall insulation, but I decided the risks of trapped condensation and outlay for materials outweighed any benefit of cost saving as a result of reduced power requirements.

I also read a paper recently (although I can't currently find it) that I think was written by Loughborough & Nottingham Universities in collaboration with EDF. A 'study' house was built on an EDF site to replicate a typical 1930s dwelling "hard to heat hard to treat". Energy measurements/losses were taken. A truck load of all the energy saving installs were thrown at the house and it revealed....
That hardly any of the predicted energy savings were made.
After crawling all over the house, it was discovered it was predominantly down to through-flow of air. I think the figures were 15 cubic metres an hour before, and 14.5 cubic metres an hour after the upgrades. All of the energy saving measures 'should' have had draft proofing adequately dealt with, but the reality is that on-site contractors are unable to spend the time (economically speaking) nor necessarily have the access to properly draft proof.
The effort required to properly draft proof is not going to happen in the real world was the conclusion.

As I'm DIYing my way round my house, I'm taking the time to draft proof. I go round with a smoking insect repellant stick looking for drafts as I rennovate rooms. I found one I'd missed just this week where there is a tiny 1cm square gap next to a door frame, and when you get down on the floor with your face next to it with this cold weather, it is noticable at floor level but not when walking around.
These are the things that are cheap in terms of materials, but do make a noticable difference to warmth retention in the home.
 
After crawling all over the house, it was discovered it was predominantly down to through-flow of air. I think the figures were 15 cubic metres an hour before, and 14.5 cubic metres an hour after the upgrades. All of the energy saving measures 'should' have had draft proofing adequately dealt with, but the reality is that on-site contractors are unable to spend the time (economically speaking) nor necessarily have the access to properly draft proof.
The effort required to properly draft proof is not going to happen in the real world was the conclusion.

My house is much newer but I believe suffers from a similar problem. The construction is brick - cavity - 2"of polystyrene bonded to blockwork in the cavity then Dry lined plaster board. I'm convinced that drafts from the cavity get through gaps in block work and behind the plaster board which then makes a nonsense of the theoretical or lab calculated insulation values.
 
Good point. Is there a minimum pressure value you can suggest that might make it unviable ?
Not just about pressure but flow rate also.
In our previous house the 99 year old previous owner had been talked into a new combi boiler. When we moved in we found that it took 20 - 25 minutes to fill the old narrow cast iron bath.
I checked pressure (can't remember the reading but not brilliant) and the flow rate. The cold flow rate at the kitchen sink was around 10 litres per minute. The combi boiler output was under 8 to 9 litres a minute.
The water main feed to the house was 15mm copper and it was old grade thick walled copper so probably had an internal diameter of 13mm ish.
I dug in a new 25mm supply and had the water board fit a new larger bore meter.
As the boiler was virtually new I disconnected the hot water side and installed an unvented cylinder on the radiator circuit with motorised valves separately controlling the cylinder & radiators. To further boost pressure & flow rates I installed a large accumulator.
No shower or bath filling problems after that.
 

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