Sometimes There Is A Better Approach To Knocking A Toilet & Bathroom ‘Through’…..


In many houses in the UK, there is often a separate toilet & bathroom at the top of the stairs on the 1st floor – this layout is particularly common in semi-detached properties.


Separate bathroom

Many times the two rooms are kept separate, with the toilet in one room and the basin and shower or bath in the other room.

This has its benefits in that one family member can use the bath and leave the toilet free for others, however, it is not ideal in that people who have just used the loo, then need to visit the bathroom to wash their hands.

Knocking the two rooms into one large family bathroom avoids this predicament but means that when someone’s in the shower, no one can use the loo without privacy issues!

Knocking through plan

Please see here & here for examples of this approach.

There is a 3rd way that is sometimes possible.

It lets you keep the two rooms separate but involves adding facilities to each room to make the spaces function independently, though there has to be sufficient space.

You add a hand basin to the small toilet so that it is a self-contained ‘cloakroom’ where people can wash their hands after using the facilities.

You also add a toilet to the main bathroom so that it becomes a 2nd toilet that serves as the family bathroom with a basin and a bath (and also a separate shower if the space allows it as with this example below)

Planning The Work – Making The Best Use Of 2 Separate Rooms

bathroom plan

This particular plan was possible as:

1. The cloakroom was just wide enough to fit in a small basin – 81cm to be exact.

2. The cloakroom was long enough (163cm) to allow the door to swing in and miss the basin without it being mounted too close to the toilet, thereby obstructing the user.

3. The bathroom was big enough (2.5m x 2.5m) to fit in all the necessary suite items in appropriate locations according to the existing (and new) drainage.

Process: Cloakroom

separate toilet before

The plan required us to swap the toilet for a new one and add a new basin to the left-hand wall.

adding a basin to the toilet

The wall cladding chosen allowed us to run new concealed pipework to (and from) the wall-hung basin.

toilet with new basin added

The suite chosen was a traditional one with a closely coupled toilet with a solid wooden seat combined with a small basin with exposed chrome waste.

neat pipework under basin

All pipework was kept neat & practical.

Pipes were painted in the same colour as the wooden cladding and isolating valves were added for future maintenance of the taps.

Process: Bathroom

tray before

shower before

The old shower tray & shower valve were removed.

bathroom before (no toilet)

bathroom before

The existing bath and basin were also removed to make way for the new suite items.

new plumbing outside

The new layout depended on the fitting of a new drainage pipe at the back of the house to take waste water away from the toilet, basin, bath & shower.

new plumbing for toilet & cloakroom basin

Here you can see all new drainage pipework for the main bathroom toilet & the cloakroom basin.

bathroom stripped, cladded & skimmed

The bathroom was stripped, cladded & skimmed before the new suite was installed.

new shower area

Here you can see the new shower area starting to take shape…

traditional freestanding bath

A freestanding bath was fitted with an exposed chrome waste.

freestanding bath & basin

A traditional basin & pedestal was also fitted with separate hot & cold taps.

traditional bath filler & shower head attachment

This was filled using a traditional ‘telephone’ style bath filler & shower head.

traditional toilet & towel radiator

A traditional toilet was fitted with a high-level cistern and all chrome fittings as well as a floor mounted towel radiator.

PS for another traditional bathroom installation please see here.

traditional toilet with high level cistern

In this picture, you can also get a good view of the click-together vinyl flooring – an excellent choice for bathrooms and very hard-wearing.

All wall/floor junctions are sealed with silicone sealant for a neat finish, and the room is decorated.

shower enclosure

The large shower enclosure was fitted flush to the floor.

traditional shower valve

The thermostatic shower was then fitted which featured a large fixed head and a small hand shower on a hose.

What We Do

We install quality bathrooms from start to finish, with all the bits in between taken care of.

We provide advice and guidance during a free site survey, and we have a blog with lots of articles that cover frequently asked questions and show you examples of our recent work.

We install bathrooms from start to finish, supplying all the necessary trades and project managing the whole process, so you don’t have to! We supplied this bathroom suite from our local supplier and in this instance a couple of bits needed swopping – no problem! (unlike when you buy off the internet)

We work to detailed, itemised estimates with fixed costs, so you can budget properly without fear of unexpected skyrocketing prices.

Our focus is on doing a proper job for a fair price in a reasonable time – see here for more info or contact me for a quote.

Thanks for reading!


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Download our free information pack below

Everything you need to know about knocking through a bathroom & separate WC, written by an industry insider, to help you become a fully informed homeowner.