Author Archives: imatiler

Testing for Leaking Shower Recess

An easy way of testing for leaks in a shower recess.

1. Firstly you’ll need dry the shower recess and block the drain. The easiest way to do this is to apply a waterproof tape over the drain grate. I use duct tape. It’s cheap, sticks well and is waterproof

.Tape over floor drain
2. Make sure the dye can’t stain your carpets or floor coverings. pull back your carpet if your confident you can re-attach it and remove any mats or towels near the shower. If your shower is upstairs, be aware that dye testing for a leaking shower recess could potentially soak through to the ceiling below and stain it. (not a good result). If the ceiling below needs to be repaired anyway, then go ahead and dye test it. A stain in an area that has to be repaired won’t matter too much.
3. Get a vibrant coloured food dye. Any colour except yellow. Yellow food colouring is hard to see and finding a leak will be too hard. Red will make your bathroom look like a murder scene. If you use green or blue colouring make sure the kids stay out of it. They’ll think it’s cordial and want to get involved in the whole process! Pour about 30ml onto the floor of your shower and add water slowly to it so it mixes as you go. Be careful not to splash too much or you will spend the next 10 mins cleaning the shower walls. Now fill the shower until the water is at least 30 mm high or about an inch deep. If your shower screen is sitting on the floor and not up on a hobb, only fill until the dye covers the bottom of the shower screen. (Maybe 10 mm deep).

Adding food dye to shower floor

4. Constantly check around your shower recess for leaks while your adding water to the shower recess. When it does leak, it will be sudden. As soon as you see a leak, pull the tape from the floor waste and let the dye run out of the shower down the drain. Don’t worry, food dye is safe to the environment and won’t cause any damage.

Dye dripping through floor



If your shower does leak with the dye test your not covered under any General Australian Home Insurance Cover. You may be able to get some type of specialised cover for a leaking shower recess, but more than likely it will not cover you for failed waterproofing. Most, if not all insurance companies only cover for leaking pipes and the damage they cause. So if your shower leaks, it is only covered if it’s the pipes leaking in the walls. You have to get a plumber to fix the leak at your cost. Then your insurance will cover the repairs caused by the leak


Electrical Wiring

Form over Function.

When does the bathroom design overrule the bathroom function?

When designing your bathroom you need to have a good understanding about the function of your room. Your bathroom should work well and give you an enjoyable experience. It needs to meet your needs and be as pleasant as possible while staying within the budget. Your electrical wiring  needs to be done no matter what. Setting it out the right way doesn’t cost you any more, it just makes sense to do.


Electricity Kills

Where has the power point gone.

Before you finalise the design of your bathroom and buy fittings, get the professionals in. I still do, even after 30 years of renovating. I don’t know the electrical regulations enough to to decide what goes where. And I don’t try to remember them. I know the general do’s and don’ts. But regulations and product specifications change all the time. New fittings are always changing the way we do things. Lights are now commonly LED types and require less space and generate less heat. Exhaust fans are ducted out of the house, not just out of the bathroom and into the roof cavity.  Ask the electrician what he or she would recommend and why. But, just because they recommend it, doesn’t mean it’s right for you. If they suggest a four power outlet near the mirror, ask why. There is probably a good explanation, and one you never thought of.

In today’s modern world we have a lot of corded and cordless appliances. These need some form of power or charging system available.

For instance.

  • Rechargeable Shavers
  • Electric Toothbrushes
  • Hair clippers and trimmers
  • Plug in air fresheners
  • Night lights
  • Hair Dryers
  • Curlers and Straighteners

Almost all of your needs are met some way by electrical appliances. If you need at least one of these plugged in all the time then you’ll need at least another power point free. If your bathroom is for him and her, consider a double power point each side of the vanity. It’s a low cost mistake not having that extra power point where you need it. It also prevents foolish behaviour with electricity. Remember ‘one flash and your ash’.

Here are a few mistakes to consider. : )



Tap Selection

An easy mistake when you buy things from different shops. Try to buy the tap and basin at the same store or take your tap with you when you select the basin. Another tip is to tile the wall Before the basin gets screwed on. If not, when you installed the tiles you’ll lose the thickness of the tiles from the back of the basin. Making the basin top too narrow to fit a flickmixer.

Asbestos Identification

How to tell the difference between Asbestos Fibro and modern day Villaboard.


Asbestos Fibro Sheeting compared to modern day Villaboard. What they look like and what they break like.
DO NOT break anything that you think could be Asbestos unless it is fully wet down by soaking overnight in a bucket of water.

I am a licensed Asbestos Removalist, and have taken great care in preparing this sample. I am also wearing a PPE.

A side note:
Asbestos fibres do not enter your body through your skin.
They can enter through your eyes, ears, nose and mouth. All of these entry points lead to your stomach or lungs where the asbestos fibres do their damage.
(Yes your ears drain into your throat and your eyes drain into your sinuses)