How To Plan A Bathroom Renovation?

If your bathroom is old and outdated, renovation may be the best way to turn it into a functional, durable, and stylish throne room fit for a Lannister. Simply by following the advice below, you can ensure your bathroom renovation will be a total success.

Step 1: Plan ahead

Your bathroom reno will involve a big chunk of money and time, so before you dive right in, it’s a good idea to make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. Once you’re adequately equipped with information, you can start planning everything out by setting a proper schedule.

This will ensure things are done right the first time and in the right order too. This is also handy to know if you live in a single bathroom household so you can plan somewhere you and the family can all “go” during the renovation.

Step 2: Get some design ideas

This is when you can start thinking about the intricate details of your dream bathroom and get a little creative. Go through lifestyle websites, read house magazines, and watch those reno shows on TV to get new ideas for your bathroom reno. 

With so many cool and new design ideas for bathroom renovations, it’s a good idea to create a mood board with materials, designs, bathtubs, tiles, colour swatches, and magazine pictures.

Step 3: Create a functional layout

Start by measuring up all of the dimensions of your existing bathroom, including the location of the existing fixtures. You should also draw the floorplan from above with toilet, basin, shower, and bath clearly marked, as well as each wall individually showing doors and windows. 

Don’t forget to include where all of the plumbing is located. If you’re unsure, you can always ask any plumber who has come to your house in the past to fix your blocked toilet or broken pipe. This will ensure you understand any limitations so your new layout maximises all available space.

Step 4: Avoid open shelving

There are a few reasons a bathroom with open shelving is a bad idea, especially if it’s only small. For starters, it’s very difficult to make open shelves look organised. 

It’s also impossible to keep bacteria out of open shelving, especially when they’re used for the storage of clean towels or toothbrushes. Design all of your bathroom storage to include cabinet doors and drawers, as well as drawer dividers and baskets to help keep things organised.

Step 5: Plan for easy maintenance

When choosing floor and wall coverings, remember how annoying it is to keep white tiles and grout lines looking clean and pristine. The best way to avoid creating a bathroom that always needs cleaning and keeping maintenance to a minimum is by staying away from light coloured tiles and excess grout lines. 

When choosing your bathroom’s design style, using large size tiles will also help, especially around the shower area.

Step 5: Consider bathroom space

Sure, plenty of people love having a bathtub. But just as many people much prefer showers and barely even look at the tub unless it needs to be cleaned. 

Bathtubs can be nice to offer guests, and great if you’re actually going to use it often enough, but will it really be worth it if you don’t use them? 

If you decide it’s simply taking up too much valuable space which could be better used in other ways, try designing your bathroom without it and consider the money you could save.

Step 6: Leave it to the pros

While some homeowners are pretty handy with a little DIY, a full bathroom reno is best left to the professionals. You can save money by doing a little demo work or some painting if you really want to. 

But trying to cut corners with a bathroom reno might otherwise end up costing you much more than letting tradies do it all properly the first time. This is particularly the case for skilled jobs like tiling the floor, laying bricks, and electrical or plumbing works that legally must be completed by licenced and qualified trades.

Step 7: Don’t be boring

Not everyone gets the chance to renovate a bathroom however they like, so get creative with it. Let loose and throw in some unique design ideas that are as individual as you are. 

You have the chance to create an updated, elegant, or stylishly functional bathroom, so make as many changes as you can afford to make. Change the tile styles, repaint the walls, and include some of the latest smart home functions if you like. 

If you want your bathroom renovations to be as amazing in reality as it is in your head, remember to plan ahead, listen to the experts, and design equally for style and functionality. And, if you need a hand with the plumbing for your bathroom renovation, then get in touch with Tap This Plumbing today!


How To Fix A Leaky Tap By Yourself?

When you have a dripping tap in your home, it isn’t just irritating, it’s a massive waste of water. Plus, the leak might get worse and cause all kinds of damage to your home.

Thankfully, fixing a leaky tap is usually a pretty easy job that you should be able to do yourself, so below is a step-by-step guide to help you. The first thing you need to know before you start is what type of taps you have so that you get the correct replacement part.

There are generally two main types of taps — traditional taps with a handle or knob, which are turned on by spinning it multiple times, or mixer lever taps, with a single handle, which is used by lifting and rotating it a quarter or half a turn. 

Most taps have either ceramic or rubber parts — to determine this, if the tap turns ¼ or ½, it likely has a ceramic washer; if it turns more than ½ it is likely to have a rubber washer.

What causes leaky taps?

The first thing you need to do before you fix your leaking tap is to determine the problem. The most common cause of taps leaking is the rubber washer or ring in traditional taps or the ceramic cartridge sealant ring in mixer taps that have worn out or broken and need to be replaced. 

If the tap drips after you’ve turned it off, that means the washer needs replacing. If the water flows between the body of the tap and the spindle, or from underneath the cover plate, it’s likely you need a new ring. In either of these cases, you should be able to fix it yourself.

Tools and parts needed

  • Adjustable spanner.
  • Flathead or Phillips Head screwdriver.
  • Small Allen key.
  • Assorted washers and O-rings or a replacement cartridge.

Before you start

Before you can start fixing your leaky tap, you need to turn off the water supply. Most Australian homes have water meters located above the ground and this will usually be located somewhere along your water supply pipes, either outside or maybe even under the kitchen sink. 

After the water supply is off, find the lowest height tap in and around your house, put a bucket underneath, and turn it on until no more water comes out. Don’t forget to turn it off again. Then do the same with the tap you are fixing to release any water that is left in the top of the pipes and put a plug in the sink.

Step 1: Find and remove the handle retaining screw

First, make sure you plug your sink — a simple step, but one that is often overlooked. Why do you need to plug it? So you don’t lose anything down the drain!

Then, you obviously need to take the tap apart to repair it, so you’ll need to remove the nut or screw that holds it together. The nut on traditional taps is underneath the decorative hot or cold cap on the top of the handles, which needs to be removed by hand or with an adjustable spanner. Start by removing this hot or cold button.

Mixer lever taps on the other hand have a small Allen or screw hidden underneath the lever, often beneath the hot /cold indicator which needs to be removed using a small flathead screwdriver or an Allen key.

Step 2: Take the tap apart

Once the cap or screw has been taken out, the next thing you’ll need to do is take the handle off. If there is a metal shroud surrounding the neck of the tap which protects the valve, you’ll need to lift that up to take it off too. 

If you should see a hexagonal nut that needs to be undone using an adjustable spanner. Make sure you hold the spout while you are undoing the nut so that the tap doesn’t twist around.

Step 3: Replace the faulty parts and reassemble

For traditional taps, lift the stem out and replace the faulty washer and O-ring underneath. For mixer lever taps, you’ll simply replace the faulty cartridge. Follow these instructions in reverse to put everything back together, making sure it’s clean, turn on the water main and test the taps. If the leak is fixed, congratulations!

However, if the leak isn’t fixed then it’s most likely due to a more major issue, like a corroded valve seat or some other plumbing issue that’s not a DIY one. If that’s the case, simply call a licensed plumber to come and fix the problem for you.

Why you need to fix a leaky tap asap

A leaky tap might not seem like such a big deal, but it can easily lead to major problems:

  • Health: Leaking water is one of the most common causes of household mould and mildew — which in turn, can create a number of health hazards. Mould, in particular, can lead to respiratory problems and allergies.
  • Water wastage: A leaking tap that drips twice a minute can waste up to 260 litres of water on average per year. If your taps drip significantly, they can waste anywhere up to 20,000 litres of water per annum
  • Structural damage: Water build-up that’s left untreated can lead to structural damage around your property, impacting the foundations, walls and floors of your home.
  • Expensive Repairs: Not only does a leaky tap lead to water wastage, which you’re paying for, but if your leaks do lead to damage or mould, you’ll end up paying a substantial amount to have it fixed.

It’s important to note that in Australia, it’s illegal for homeowners to work on any system that is connected to the main water supply or your home’s sewer system so if you’re unsure, check with your local plumber, or give City Council a call to confirm you can complete the task at hand. If you have any concerns about fixing your own taps then simply get in touch with Tap This Plumbing today to assist.


A Landlord’s Guide To Plumbing Maintenance

Plumbing maintenance is a legal responsibility for rental property owners to keep their property in a good working condition for their tenants. While your tenants do have a significant role to play as well, ultimately it falls to you to look after and fix issues with things like plumbing.

Why should I keep on top of plumbing maintenance?

For one thing, carrying out proper plumbing maintenance helps to ensure that a rental home’s utilities always run as they should. This will help to prevent tenants from calling you up with regular grievances and save you money on repairs, too.

It’s also important to note that issues with plumbing can cause damage to a property, which could make it unsafe. As a landlord, you are responsible for ensuring that any property you rent out is in line with national health and safety laws.

How do I keep on top of plumbing maintenance?

Staying on top of plumbing maintenance means checking regularly to make sure everything works as it should. If you don’t want water bills to run high or damp to affect the walls of your property, then there are several essential jobs you will need to do. These include:

  • Testing the water pressure
  • Clearing slow drains
  • Checking for sink and garbage disposal leaks
  • Inspecting visible pipes
  • Examining toilet tanks

It’s also important to have the right plumbing products to complete high-quality maintenance checks. Do this before your tenants move into the property to avoid any major problems during their lease, such as burst pipes and flooding.

Is the landlord responsible for all plumbing maintenance?

While it is important to do routine checks, you the landlord won’t be responsible for all plumbing maintenance in your rental property. In fact, any issues that occur as a result of a tenant’s own actions do not need to be sorted by you. This might include a toilet that has been blocked with non-flushable items or hair that has built up in a drain.

Any other issues that you think your tenant should be responsible for will have to be set out in the tenancy agreement. If they’re not, then fixing them will fall to you.

When that happens, tenants should inform the landlord of the problems as soon as they arise. The sooner the problem is reported, the sooner it can be acted upon. And, when it comes to plumbing issues, acting fast is important. 

How to maintain plumbing in a rental property?

Maintaining the plumbing of a property isn’t a one-time thing. As mentioned above, you are advised to carry out maintenance checks before the start of any new lease, so as to ensure that everything is in good condition prior to the tenancy.

However, if your plumbing is known to be problematic for whatever reason, you might want to think about doing regular plumbing maintenance during a tenancy, too. Whether you’ve found that pipes tend to get blocked with leaves after autumn or your sprinkler systems malfunction during the summer, it’s always a good idea to pre-empt any issues and schedule additional maintenance time.  

If you come across issues that need to be fixed, it is advised that you contact a plumber, unless you have adequate plumbing know-how and experience. After all, you want any repairs to last as long as possible, which a trained plumber will know how to do.  

How to avoid plumbing issues in your rental property?

To avoid major plumbing issues in your rental property and save yourself time, it’s important that you carry out your duty as a landlord by ensuring maintenance checks are done thoroughly and regularly. However, it’s not all down to you.

Once the tenant moves into the property, they take on shared responsibility for maintaining the home and its utilities. So, if you want to be sure that your tenants hold up their end of the bargain, you can outline their responsibilities in the tenancy agreement. Let them know that you expect them to deal with any damages that they cause, and advise them to clear drains and filters regularly.

Other things you can do to properly maintain a rental property’s plumbing include investing in high-quality plumbing products and insurance. If you need a hand with plumbing for your rental property, then get in touch with Tap This Plumbing today!


A Guide To Open Plan Living In Your Home

In the world of home design, the open plan concept is king. A design trend that has not lost any of its popularity in recent years, homeowners seem to love the idea of open plan living for just about any room in the house, but primarily the communal living spaces.

When implemented correctly, an open plan redesign enhances the enjoyment of the building itself and your lifestyle within it. But the fun that might come with knocking down walls to achieve that coveted open plan is definitely something to consider deeply before committing to the renovation, especially if you are planning on revamping the house you’ve already been living in.

Open plan in existing houses

So, you have been thinking about that lovely open plan concept for a while now, and the house you are living in just doesn’t have space and open communication you have been dreaming about. Luckily, you don’t have to put those open-plan concepts and Pinterest boards away! The first step is to determine what you want from an open-plan house.

Do you want your communal spaces to connect better and have each room flow easier into the next? What about natural light, and the views from windows? Can you open up a part of your house to let in more sunshine, altering the atmosphere and potentially saving on electric bills? 

Or perhaps you’ve always wanted a dining area that connects smoothly to your garden—all these considerations and more are the first places to start. Try to narrow down what you want from this open plan concept.

What do you need to know about open plan houses?

While any house can typically be renovated to change the way it is set up, some types of homes are easier to open up than others. You can always hire a builder or architect to work on your plans, and they will be able to tell you definitively what is possible in your specific space. But here are some types of homes that can be more suited to open concept renovations:

  • Barn or industrial space conversions typically lend themselves well to being opened up, given their original intention to be a large open space already.
  • Victorian semis or terraces can be amenable to open concept renovations, especially if their interior is a more simple and stark design. The fewer walls the better!
  • Add-ons or extensions onto your home to create that open feel is also a great way to achieve an open plan without disturbing the bones of your house too much.

How to know if open living is right for you?

Open plan housing tends to be a brighter, more friendly-feeling space. Communication is not hindered by labyrinths of walls and corners, and any occupants of the area can usually see and converse easily across relatively large spaces. 

Open plans also give a very modern feel to the abode, rather than a more antiquated separation of each room into its own individual sector. Largely an aesthetic choice over industrial, open plan concepts can lead to sunnier, more enjoyable spaces for the entire family to take advantage of.

Open plan living areas for all

Because open-plan concepts tend to be for the communal area of the house, the kitchen, dining room, and living room are an essential part of any renovation project. Open plan design ideas make your kitchen, living, and dining rooms into the heart of the home, where people gather and relax. Open floor plans are so popular because they allow for individual activities and social togetherness to coexist!

What next?

If you are committed to the idea of turning your house into an open plan, that is just the beginning. To get you started, here are some great resources for your open design:

  • Information on removing internal walls is crucial to a renovation.
  • Kitchen remodel ideas are a great source to begin narrowing down your ideal kitchen.
  • How to easily install a new kitchen sink drain.
  • Design secrets for creating your successful open-plan design.

Your next steps should be to contact contractors, plumbing companies, and gas/electrical fitters for any further information they can give you. It may look like an extensive task, but the end result will be something you and your family can enjoy for years to come. If you need help with plumbing, then get in touch with Tap This Plumbing today!


Interior Design Tips For A New Kitchen This Year

Starting a new year means a lot of different things for different people. Whether that’s starting a new job, starting a new relationship, moving to a new town, whatever the case may be, there has never been a better year to begin something new. 

For others, that ‘new’ thing may be a brand new kitchen! If that is you, congratulations, you’ve come to the right place for kitchen renovation ideas. Here are five of the best kitchen renovation ideas for the new year for those that are interested in becoming an interior designer or as a mechanism that “adds value” to your property or rental. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Replace your plumbing 

If you’ve recently moved into an old house, chances are that you’re looking to do some kitchen renovations. Or, perhaps you’ve bought a brand new house and are left with a blank canvas upon which to paint your kitchen vision. Either way, this presents a unique opportunity to re-do or begin a new fully-plumbed kitchen, utilizing the latest technology and tossing convention aside for ecologically-friendly, new ways of doing things. 

Say you’re fixing a leaky tap in the old kitchen and decide to just tear the whole thing out, baby out with the bathwater and all that. Then you’ll need to hire a specialist green plumber to help you figure out how to ‘greenify’ your existing plumbing, or install a whole new environmentally-friendly setup. 

One of the best things you can do right away is to install low-flow faucets in your kitchen. This will reduce your water consumption anywhere from 30-50% per year. 

2. Update the lighting 

Another way to save money in the kitchen is by updating your lighting. Say you’re operating with old, inefficient bulbs, or don’t have much natural light. Well, if you have the budget for it, put in another window or several (if you’re starting from scratch), let natural light be your friend in the kitchen. Nobody likes a dark and dingy kitchen space. 

Alternatively, if additional windows aren’t an option, consider motion-detection lights, or change your incandescent light bulbs for something like a compact fluorescent light, which is far more environmentally friendly. 

3. New cabinets 

Perhaps nobody told you, but the stock cabinets that came with your kitchen space look terrible. They’re in need of an upgrade and 2021 is the year to do that. Whether you’re looking for a wood finish or something a bit more dark and moody (perhaps good if you’ve got plenty of light or windows to let light in), replacing your kitchen cabinetry will get your new kitchen off to a great start. 

4. Sinks, sinks, and more sinks 

While there is such a thing as too many sinks, it really is fashionable and perhaps even necessary nowadays to have more than one sink. Something to go along with your new low-flow faucet setup should be multiple sinks. 

Perhaps one for storing dishes and one for washing them, including a drying rack of some sort. If you want to give back to the earth, even more, consider installing a garburator or a garbage disposal unit to grind up your organic ingredients and create compost for the garden. 

5. Bring back the wallpaper 

Yes, that’s so 1970s. But hey, the 70s were cool! One other decorative option rather than your traditional painted walls would be to reconstitute the old trend of home wallpapers by putting some of it in your kitchen. If your kitchen’s theme is bright white, consider adding something that compliments it nicely such as a light blue or even bright blue wallpaper. 

Wallpaper might seem like something straight out of the 1970s, but nevertheless, putting it back into your kitchen is a far cheaper option than painting the whole thing white, which is yet another trend.


Why Choosing Quality Plumbing Products Is Essential For Repairs

It’s all too easy to take things like running water and a flushing toilet for granted. When something goes wrong, however, minor plumbing issues can quickly become more than an annoyance, and you’ll need to call a licensed plumber for help. 

Regardless of whether you’re a plumber or a property owner, and undertaking repairs or upgrades, one of the things to prioritise in any plumbing job is using quality products. Resorting to cheaper, inferior parts and products might save you a bit of money upfront, but there are many reasons to use higher quality parts and components. 

Here are a few of the many reasons for investing in higher quality products for your plumbing system.

Common plumbing repairs

The water systems in your houses or business premises operate without your active attention for much of the time, but when something goes wrong, it can be disruptive and even become damaging to the property. 

Some of the most common plumbing repairs on the schedule include minor leaks from gas and water lines, running or blocked toilets, clogged drains, dripping faucets, burst pipes, damaged valves, and changes in water pressure.

Why quality products are essential?

Plumbers are also often called upon for emergencies to replace damaged, worn bathroom fixtures and taps. Other, bigger plumbing jobs can include replacing hot water systems, shower bases, bathtubs, and sinks. Using quality plumbing products can assist with:

Preventing water damage 

Plumbing systems deliver vital utility. If they are poorly maintained, it can do a lot of damage to the property through incidents like water leaks and flooding. Using quality plumbing and drainage products can minimise the risk of these unwanted events, as higher quality parts and components tend to last longer and are less prone to mechanical failure. 

Improve hygiene and good health 

With quality products, your plumbing system is better placed to handle clean water and wastewater properly at every stage. From entry to disposal, your system can ensure the best hygiene as well as public health and safety outcomes.

Reduce costs

Quality plumbing products are more durable and tend to be built to higher manufacturing standards. Over the longer term, this can save consumers on repair and maintenance costs, simply by avoiding inferior products that are quick to fail. It can also save plumbers on obligatory call-outs and lost customers when products fail within warranty or guaranteed performance periods. 

Easier installation

Inferior plumbing products might be harder and more time consuming to install. This wastes time for both consumers and plumbing professionals and can result in higher labour costs.

Longevity and performance 

The higher the quality of the product, the more efficiently it’s likely to function for a longer period of time, which leads to happier, more satisfied customers. 

General damage prevention 

Using higher quality parts could make your plumbing system more efficient and less prone to damage overall. For example, a poor quality water valve can damage a hot water tank, which means you’ll need more repairs.

Liability 

Property owners and others in charge of sites could be liable for water damage and other issues — including accidents — arising from this damage. For example, water damage could increase the risk of electrocution for your site visitors. Similarly, plumbers could be liable in some way if they don’t use certified, quality products, and this causes loss or damage. 

Warranty

High-quality parts could come with better warranty terms and conditions, which in turn can save both plumbers and consumers more time and money on repairs and maintenance.

Sourcing parts

Using inferior products could make it harder to service and repair plumbing components in the future. For example, if you install a poor-quality toilet and need to replace the tank or another component in the future, you might find it hard to source the replacement parts because the brand has gone out of business. You might need to do a complete system replacement instead of just replacing the damaged part. 

How to check the quality of plumbing products?

In Australia, a WaterMark Certificate is a good way to check whether a drainage or plumbing product is safe, durable, and quality. The scheme is regulated by the Australian government through the Australian Building Codes Board. It includes rigorous testing, certification, and annual auditing processes. 

The schedule of products is extensive, with everything from sanitary pumps to plumbing valves. The scheme is mandatory for certain products, however not all plumbing and drainage products that are required to have WaterMark certification do have it. So where possible, consumers and plumbers should insist on using only products with the certification.

Quality plumbing products are key

Choosing inexpensive, uncertified plumbing products can be tempting if you’re trying to save money, but it could end up costing you more eventually. For both plumbers and consumers, the risks include more repair, maintenance, and replacement costs. 

The higher quality the product, the more time you’ll save on delays, repairs, and repeat work. Customers will be more satisfied with your service, and you could be more likely to win repeat business.

So for consumers, looking out for the WaterMark Certificate is a simple way to find quality plumbing products. In addition, property owners can speak to their plumber for recommendations on the best products for their plumbing job.


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