How to Change Your Bathroom to get More Space

How to Change Your Bathroom to get More Space

Reading Time: 9 mins

Most of us in England, especially in old cities like Cambridge, do get this concern: how to get more space in the bathroom?

Ideally without moving the walls or adapting other rooms to pick up the role of a bathroom instead. In such case, practically speaking, the only solution is to rearrange your bathroom.

For example you might want to consider to get rid off the bathtub and install the shower instead.

I know it’s not the same and there’s nothing quite like a hot bath after a long week. But if you really need to have more space there is not much of a choice. 

What the Options are?

Ultimately, you can try to rearrange it in order to maximise the space. If you are lucky it’s one of those houses that have bathtub and shower in the same room. God knows why, but you can get rid off the latter.

In that place you can install a toilet seat. Another option is to remove the toilet seat and install the shower in that place. If you happen to have it in separate room as well.

As you can see there are quite many options depending on what are the circumstances.

Can you turn a toilet drain into a shower drain? Yes, since the toilet drain has bigger diameter and can be easily adapted. The other way around it might be necessary to exchange the pipe to a wider one.

That also means plumbing work gets much more complex. In the below article I have put together the most important information.

Can you turn a #toilet drain into a #shower drain? Yes, since the toilet drain has bigger diameter and can be easily adapted. The other way around it might be necessary to exchange the pipe to a wider one. #DIY

Is it Illegal to do Your Own Plumbing in UK?

This probably the most important question, since it can efficiently hold off all do-it-yourself intentions. The good news are in UK you can do any sort of plumbing without being certified plumber.

Aside of installing a boiler, but that’s a little bit different category.

Nonetheless, you need to comply with current Building Regulations. In most cases you need to inform your Local Authority Building Control, but if in doubt you can learn more here.

In the examples provided above you wouldn’t need to hire a certified plumber. However, this might make the most sense. Since it is a quite bit of hassle to exchange the pipes and allow installation of toilet in the place of shower.

Another thing you might want to consider and check is the insurance.

The good news are in UK you can do any sort of #plumbing without being certified plumber, but if you plan to do it entirely on your own I would advise to check with your #insurance company if they would have any sort of #DIY coverage.

Check Your Insurance Coverage

This is not entirely clear how would they approach damage caused by leaks due to DIY plumbing. The regulations, hence very often the insurance contracts as well, state that the work should be carried out by a ‘competent person’.

However, neither is clear about how the ‘competent person’ is defined. As a result it is very easy to prove, in case of leaks and damages, that the person performing the work was not competent.

Otherwise the job would have been done properly.

If you plan to do it entirely on your own I would advise to check with your insurance company if they would have any sort of DIY coverage. In case of professional plumbers or general builders in most cases they do have an insurance to cover potential situations like that.

Turn a Toilet Drain Into a Shower Drain

How to Connect a Shower Drain to an Existing Drain

The easiest possible scenario is when you just have to connect a shower drain to an existing one. First thing you always do is to turn off the water lines in the area you are about to do the job.

In case of replacement of shower tray or bathtub you just need to remove the old drain “grill”, clean the pipes and secure them from potential objects falling inside.

The next step would involve installation of new drain with use of solvent cement or any other joint compound. At least in theory, because very often it can be quite time consuming.

In the below video you can see how to get it done in case of problems with replacement.

As mentioned above this is the easiest case from all presented in this article. In the examples of potential improvements and changes we have been discussing at the beginning, solutions are slightly more complex and, to certain extent, even sophisticated.

I am covering the switch from shower to toilet and from toilet to shower in depth in the next paragraph you can find below. Unfortunately, as you can imagine these are not exactly the same.

Rearranging Your Bathroom

At the beginning of this article we have came up with few ideas on how to get more room in your existing bathroom without major changes like moving walls and such.

The best results can be achieved by rearranging the bathroom.

A clear winner is to remove the bathtub and install shower instead. Since it is more or less a replacement and does not involve too many changes we can assume it has been covered in previous paragraph.

In some cases you can also gain quite a lot of space only by changing the position of a toilet or a shower. Or both. And these two situations are far more interesting and not so straightforward as it might seem.

If you want to learn how to tile your own bathroom definitely check out the post below!

Can You Turn a Toilet Drain Into a Shower Drain?

This is probably one of the most common swaps you can observe in the bathrooms. Maybe aside of removing the toilet completely, but if you would like to put a shower instead the answer is exactly the same.

Such modification is fairly easy to implement.

The reason is toilet drain has bigger diameter than shower drain, so you do not have to worry that the pipe might get clogged.

The only thing you have to do is to make a modification that will allow you to connect more narrow diameter of shower drain to wider diameter of former toilet pipe. After you removed the toilet seat you have to gain access to piping system beneath the floor.

Once you’ve done that now you have to install the reducer. Please bear in mind it might be necessary to cut the pipe a little bit to fit the reducer with shower pipe.

Turn a Shower Drain Into a Toilet Drain

Can You Turn a Shower Drain Into a Toilet Drain?

As you could suspect from the previous paragraph and the introduction to this article turning a shower drain into a toilet drain is much more complex.

In this case scenario it is not enough to use a reducer, since the pipes might get clogged and this is the last thing you need. Unfortunately if you would like to make such swap the only bulletproof solution is to install new waste pipe.

As we really cannot judge how advanced DIYer you are we would advise you to seek professional assistance in this case. Unless you have done it with success several times before then I could say you are good to go, but on 100% your responsibility.

It would take a space of a full article to explain top to bottom how to install new waste pipes.

We believe beginner DIYer should not do it on their own, so we will not elaborate on this topic further. However, if installation of new waste pipe is an absolute no go you might find this one right here a perfect solution.

Macerator pumps allow you to grind solid waste and pump it through more narrow pipes. It can be especially useful if you plan to make a toilet in the basement.

Doing it Right

Whatever the option you will decide to implement, please be extra careful and make sure to connect everything as it should be. There is a government website about connecting the pipes right that can be found here.

It makes perfectly clear what type of waste should go where, so please make sure to follow the instructions. If in doubt you can also reach out to them or to us via diy@poldabuilders.com and we will be more than happy to assist you.

They also do offer a check if your house is correctly connected.

Can You Drain Into a Vent Pipe?

Before we go into details on this one let’s establish once and for all that the main purpose of a vent pipe is to vent. Without a dedicated pipe water may drain slowly and likely make gurgling noises.

What’s even worse it may result in siphon effect, sewer smell and even spewing out methane gas and cause health risks. Theoretically you just have to make sure there is enough slope and the pipe’s diameter is big enough to handle drain water and sewer gases.

Hence, technically speaking connecting your drain to a vent pipe is possible.

Especially if it’s just a shower or a sink. It is so called wet vent. In spite of that I would suggest to do it properly and install another pipe to do its job.

Technically speaking connecting your drain to a #ventPipe is possible, especially if it’s just a shower or a sink. It is so called #wetVent. In spite of that I would suggest to do it properly and install another pipe to do its job #DIYplumbing

That being said you might wonder if you need to vent all of the bath equipment. The short answer to that is you don’t have to, but it is advisable due to the reasons explained above. Although the traps may do their job in such cases as well.

If your sink, bath or shower is not vented, but is properly secured with traps and pipes do have a right diameter do not bother to create a dedicated pipe.

This however might be a great thing to do if you are planning any plumbing works in your bathroom. Or when you can clearly say it doesn’t behave right.

One of the very cool and easy ideas on how to vent a toilet sink or shower is to use air admittance valve. You can see it here and in most cases it does an amazing job.

Safety note

Polda Builders do not hold any responsibility for misjudgment of what is sufficient for specific plumbing jobs. The above solutions are proven to work, but in this shape are purely informative and greatly dependent on how it’s being implemented.

Please take every possible effort in order to work safely and without unnecessary risks.

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