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(PJ?) What to do with my completely dreadful downstairs loo?

(7 Posts)
TremoloGreen Tue 10-May-16 09:31:08

I've inherited this rather interesting plumbing arrangement and wondering what to do... between my chronic tea-drinking habit and keeping 3YO DD company, I'm spending rather more time than I would like in here and it's getting me down!

THere's a concrete floor and the loo and basin drain into a stub stack in the corner. The loo has a 90 bend for a right exit soil pipe. The opposite corner has the incoming water main and stopcock. The tap pipes also come up through the floor. The other stubs you can see are where a radiator was removed.

I'd like to try and box most of it in and was thinking of doing something like this but wondering how feasible that is. The room is VERY narrow (about 85cm wide) so I don't want it to feel any more claustrophobic than it already does. Is it possible to have a back to wall pan and concealed cistern with the 90 degree connector? Also what would I do with my tap pipes in this arrangement? I want to avoid moving the plumbing as far as possible to keep costs down.

I would need to retain access for the stopcock. I have seen something called surestop that provides remote button access, but don't know if I have enough pipe to install one. I don't need to tile it all in and would probably prefer tongue and groove panelling.

PigletJohn Tue 10-May-16 10:19:03

I would probably start with a close-coupled WC which will reduce the amount of piping and look better. Get one with a handle not a button, I prefer a Flapper to a syphon as it gives a more forceful flow which is better with modern low-volume WCs, adjusting the overflow pipe and the water level for maximum depth.

If you feel impelled to box-in pipework, go for simple panels on either side that can be lifted out by undoing no more than two brass or stainless screws. They can rest on battens fixed to the wall and the screws only needed to prevent them falling off. Boxed-in pipes and tiled-over plumbing are a source of many tears.

If you tile the floor and half way up the walls with a mottled pale colour, it might look a bit less cramped. Do the tiling after removing the old sanitaryware, so access is unobstructed. Don't use white grout. It will also be easier to clean and paint pipework.

If you put a shelf or cabinet over the WC or the basin, one day a glass jar or bottle will fall out and crack or smash it. But you could put towel rings or rails on the WC wall if you want. You can have a large mirror over the basin.

It might be possible to fit a 300mm high radiator on the basin wall. The basin waste pipe is exceptionally untidy and I can't believe the house was built that way. If you get the chance to go into any similar neighbours' homes, see how theirs is done. Lift the old flooring and see if there is an old waste pipe under it.

TremoloGreen Tue 10-May-16 11:56:53

Amazing! Thank you so much!

If you feel impelled to box-in pipework
Sorry, but I really do! I promise not to tile grin This is good advice and sounds like something I can do myself if I won't get in the plumber's way.

The close coupled WC will still need the inlet though won't it? Can you still get them with side inlets? Or is it not a big job to rearrange this? The loo is on an external wall where the main comes in, but I have just paid for it to be earth bonded where it stands confused Sorry, really don't understand electrics or plumbing.

The basin waste pipe is exceptionally untidy and I can't believe the house was built that way.
It really was hmm This part of the house is a modern extension to the old house (built in 88) so none of the neighbours have the same layout. The floor is concrete and there's nothing else there. I can't believe they built it like this either as I don't see what it achieves but I think all the plumbing for the extension was poorly designed... don't get me started on the fact that everything drains into an inspection hatch under the floor of the study!!

LoveFromUs Tue 10-May-16 12:01:32

You may not want to hear this, but I would get rid of it.

TremoloGreen Tue 10-May-16 12:11:30

Ok, I think I've just worked out where the inlet is on a modern close coupled wc, so you can ignore that silly question blush

PigletJohn Tue 10-May-16 12:15:32

You can get cisterns with side or with bottom inlets. Side inlets show the pipe, but do not leak when the rubber washer perishes after some years, which IMO is more important. You might be able to get an old-stock or second-hand cistern with a greater water capacity, which gives a better flush.

It is very easy for a plumber to rearrange the shape and run of pipes. Some DIYers are not able to bend pipes.

PigletJohn Tue 10-May-16 12:19:26

The Main Bond in green and yellow cable will be to the metal supply pipe close to the point where it enters the building. It will probably not need to be moved, but the clamp can be undone and repositioned if necessary.

It is not necessary to bind to any of the other waterpipes, except (sometimes) where they enter a bathroom.

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