FAQs for a bathroom renovation

We've put together some handy bathroom renovation FAQs so that you are well informed when the time comes to making decisions around your renovation.

A white finishes bathroom
ARTICLE Carol Watson IMAGES Scott Espie

Do I need development consent to renovate my bathroom?

When making the changes to plumbing, drainage or electrics, then you may require consent or at the very least an inspection by the relevant authority. A direct replacement of old and worn out fixtures will not need consent. All structural changes need consent. Laws vary for each state; so ensure you check with your renovation builder.

Do I need to waterproof the entire bathroom floor or just the shower recess?

Waterproofing is needed where there’s a water outlet i.e. the shower recess, bath, taps and drains. You need to waterproof your shower recess to a height of at least 1800mm. How far you extend the waterproofing on the floor depends on whether you are using a pre-moulded base, if the shower recess is enclosed and what your floor is made of.
A renovate bathroom

Can I tile over existing tiles?

Yes, you can. You need to consider the condition of the existing tiles, the additional weight of the new tile and ensure you use the right adhesive. The existing tiles and grouting must be thoroughly cleaned, otherwise the adhesive will not bond. Remove the glaze off the existing tiles with a sander or grinder for better adhesion.

What type of paint should I use in my bathroom?

Use a low-sheen paint (also known as eggshell or satin) on the ceilings and a semi-gloss on the walls. These are washable and moisture resistant and will prevent the build-up of mould and mildew.

Will resurfacing my tiles, bath and sink produce a professional and long-lasting result?

Bathroom resurfacing is a quick and easy way to achieve a bathroom that looks brand new. Ensure you use a reputable company with experienced and qualified tradespeople. The final result is dependent on thorough preparation work i.e. removal of chips and scratches and the replacement of old grout.
Bathroom with freestanding bath

How do I decide between a freestanding bath or drop-in bath?

Freestanding baths add that wow factor to your bathroom. The bath itself can be more expensive and there may be extra plumbing needed to conceal the pipework. Freestanding baths often take up more space and if the bath is made of stone, your bathroom floor needs to be strong enough to handle the extra weight.
A drop-in or hob-mounted bath sits in a frame usually against a wall or as an island. It must be level to ensure it drains properly and be secure enough to support the weight of the water, plus a person.
There are many styles of baths on the market, so when making your choice, test for comfort by sitting in it to ensure the size and depth are right for you.

What is the benefit of using a mixer tap instead of a separate hot and cold water tap?

A mixer tap combines the hot and cold water before it reaches the spout and allows you to adjust the water temperature as it flows, rather than adjusting it when it’s already in the basin.

How can I heat my bathroom?

Heat pumps are popular. They usually come with a built-in extractor fan and as long as your ceiling is a standard height, you will feel the maximum warmth from the lamps. A more luxurious option is radiant floor heating. Electrically-heated coils or tubing are installed under your bathroom flooring and provide heat from the ground up. A plug-in heated towel rail is another relatively inexpensive option.
Renovated sink basin and counter top with mixer tap

Is an extractor fan necessary or can I just open a window to get rid of the steam?

An extractor fan removes steam, moisture and odours quickly and most importantly, prevents the growth of mould. Make sure you vent the air to the outside of the house and not into the attic where the moisture will damage the woodwork.

Are there any safety rules I need to consider when deciding where to place electrical switches and outlets in the bathroom?

Yes, there are rules and regulations in Australia that govern how switches and outlets can be placed in relation to water outlets. You must use a licensed electrician to carry out the work in accordance with the Australian/New Zealand Wiring Rules (AS/NZS 3000:2007). Talk to your renovation builder about assisting you with these guidelines.

Will an instantaneous or continuous flow hot water system meet the needs of my family?

These systems heat the water as and when required. It can take a few seconds before the hot water starts to flow and they tend to deliver water at a reduced pressure when compared to some storage systems. The size of the heater is measured by flow rate in litres per minute and is dependent on the number of hot water outlets the heater has to serve, rather than the number of people in the household. As a general rule, a home with two bathrooms will need a flow rate of 22-24 litres per minute.
Bathroom renovation with water efficient toilet and shower

How much water would our household save by installing a water-efficient toilet?

Using a water efficient dual flush toilet reduces an average households water usage by around 30,000 to 40,000 litres per annum.

How do I know I’m buying a water efficient bathroom product?

Australia uses the WELS (Water Efficiency Labels and Standards) star-rating system to indicate a products’ water efficiency and all WELS-rated products will carry the star-rating label. The maximum rating for taps is 6-stars, for showerheads 3-stars and for toilets 4-stars. The more stars a product has, the greater the water efficiency.

Have a look at our Refresh case study: 100-year old villa transformation.

Get in touch with Refresh to discuss your home renovation project

If you would like to discuss bathroom ideas and options for your home renovation project, please use the enquiry form on this page to provide us with your contact details. We will get in touch with you at a time that suits you to discuss your project. If you would like to provide us with more information about your project, we have a more comprehensive enquiry form on our "Get in touch" page too.
*All information is believed to be true at time of publishing and is subject to change.

No items found.

Read Next

All Refresh Renovations franchises are independently owned and operated.

Get in Touch

Get in touch if you are interested in a quote or consultation

If your enquiry is not related to renovating your home, you may wish to use one of our other enquiry forms to ensure your message reaches the right team:

(Don’t worry - if you change your mind you can unsubscribe anytime)

Please Wait ...


Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Reno now,
pay later.

Talk to us about finance options

Talk to a renovation consultant today

If you would like to find out how Refresh Renovations can support you with a high quality, efficient home renovation, get in touch today. Your local Refresh Renovations consultant will be happy to meet with you for a free, no obligations consultation.

Get in touch