Fully renovated with New Tiles, Wiring, Plumbing, Taps, Sink, Shower, Toilet and Door.
The bathroom and toilet are in the same room, unlike in many other apartments, which should be a consideration when buying and renting an apartment.
Apart from replacing the old, damaged, pipes I also had new cut-off taps installed.
The plumber was good enough to install extra hot and cold connections for the future.
The new shower helps to cut down on water rates whilst being a pleasure to use.
With the new sink I wanted a sink that had extra sidings to help with "water splash". You know, when you splash your face and the water wants to go everywhere but in the sink!
The new dark blue bathroom wall and floor tiles go nicely with the light blue wall tiles.
The dark blue tiles come from the floor and up the walls until they meet with the white wall tiles. No border tiles needed.
Below are some of the before and after shots of our newly renovated bathroom, in our apartment in Szeged, showcasing how much work and fine detail was put into its renovation.
When I was viewing the apartment it was in derelict condition. The bathroom smelt disgusting, its wall and floor tiles were grungy, and the toilet was.....don't even ask! To make matters worse I later found out that the bathroom tiles were concreted to the walls and floor instead of being tile pasted and the main air/ventilation pipe behind the toilet was damaged. Although most of these problems were just cosmetic and fixable, with the bath, sink and toilet being too old for use already it did mean a complete renovation of the bathroom.
The old wall and floor tiles took me two days to painstakingly chisel off. They were really stubborn and did not want to come off clean, in one go. Even when I finished removing them you could still see rough, leftover, concrete chippings that needed sanding down later. It is good I was doing all this work myself, otherwise it would of cost me around 37,500 HUF (£100) for the tile removal and an extra 15,000 HUF (£40) for the sanding down.
The old wall tiles were very greasy and dirty, and a nightmare to remove.
Although I initially decided on the new tiles being a combination of dark blue and light blue, it was Tünde who came up with the design of a dark blue floor with dark blue walls separated with a whitish blue top. The new tiles are much larger and thicker, with better quality, than the old tiles; making the bathroom feel more homely.
Tünde has to take credit for the tile design even though I initially picked the colours
The blue tiles were from Bathroom Tiles WebsiteZalakeramia. The light blue, 8mm thick, walls tiles (Light Blue TilesZBK 615) measured 25mm (w) x 40mm (h) and were 2690 HUF (£7.17) per square meter. I ordered 5 boxes to cover 7.5 square meters. Enough for accidentally broken and spare tiles.
The dark blue, 8mm thick, walls tiles (Light Blue TilesZBK 616) also measured 25mm (w) x 40mm (h) and were also 2690 HUF (£7.17) per square meter. I ordered 6 boxes to cover 9 square meters. Again, this was enough for accidentally broken and spare tiles.
The dark blue, 8mm thick, floor tiles (Light Blue TilesZZP 126) measured 30mm (w) x 30mm (h) and were also 2690 HUF (£7.17) per square meter. I ordered 4 boxes to cover 5.4 square meters; enough for accidentally broken and spare tiles.
The total cost for all tiles was 58,911 HUF (£157.09). The grout was 7,000 HUF (£18.66) and the other materials, including tile paste and pipework materials, were 28,000 HUF (£74.66) making the sub-total without sink, shower and toilet 93,911 HUF (£250.42). The tile labor was free, but if I had to pay for it I would of paid around 44,000 HUF (£117.33) making the sub-total 137,911 HUF (£367.76).
Besides sanding down the walls and floor in preparation for the tiler, the tiler also made concrete channels (cut-out grooves in the walls) so the shower and sink pipes could be hidden.
At this point small plumbing jobs at the back of the toilet and in the kitchen still needed doing (jobs relating to the sink pipes and washing machine pipes) before the bathroom sink, toilet and shower could be fitted.
The old pipes, tap fittings, bath, sink and toilet had to be replaced due to old age and the fact you would never have wanted to use them. You definitely would not have wanted to sit on the old toilet, let alone flush it. The grunge and smell was that bad.
The neighbours made me laugh - The girl knocked on the door, showing me a piece of paper with the translated words "I think your toilet needs some water". A few seconds later the boy comes to the door with a big bucket of water. I said "There is no need for water. The toilet is not used and cannot be cleaned". Obviously they did not understand, until I lifted the toilet seat!!
I was going to have a 'bath and shower combination' installed just in case I decided to rent out the apartment in the future, but after calculating available space and the cost of water usage I decided a standalone shower would be more economical even if it limited potential tenants/tourists to a shower only. Price-wise there was not much difference between buying a 'bath and shower combination' versus a standalone shower.
When thinking about having a bath installed, think of the extra water usage/bills first!
With the new sink I wanted a sink that had extra sidings to help with "water splash". You know, when you splash your face and the water goes everywhere but inside the sink! And because I was doing a complete renovation I thought I would replace all the old cut-off taps as most of them had almost ceased up, making it virtually impossible to switch off their water supply.
With this renovation all the pipework was hidden, including the toilet flush.
One thing you will not fail to notice with a Hungarian renovation is that you have to say EXACTLY what you want. Meaning, in the UK you just say "I want a new toilet fitted" whereby the plumber comes to your premises with a toilet, flush and fittings. Simple! In Hungary you have to specifically tell the plumber "I want a new toilet fitted"....."Are you going to order the toilet, flush and fittings for me or do you want me to order them?". With this renovation I mistakenly asked for a new toilet and only got a new toilet bowl! I then had to buy the flush and materials separately.
I had a similar scenario with the bathroom door. I thought I ordered the wooden door with handles and lock, but when I went to the showroom weeks later to check up on the order I was asked to pick the handles. I did not think anything wrong until I was told the handle would be another 12,333 HUF (£32.88).
This was because I did not choose a handle previously and therefore was not asked to put a deposit towards it, even though I specifically asked for a quote at the time for "the completed door". Hence why I say, in hindsight, that you must be very clear in what it is you want to order, get a quote for and/or put a deposit down for when renovating.
There was not too much wiring to do in the bathroom apart from the spotlights and an extractor fan that comes on at the flick of a switch. The old air ventilation pipe behind the toilet was a different story though.
Four spotlights light up the bathroom (they look much better in real life)
As work was being carried out on the electrics the electrician discovered the air ventilation pipe had become loose, out of its fitting, with no sealant and brackets holding it together; probably due to the sealant drying out over the years. Although I only had to pay a small price for the new air vent pipe, it did mean extra unwanted work for the plumber who was doing all the labor for free. And even though the price of the air vent pipe was small, that price still needed adding to the over all cost of the renovation.
Two new meters had to be installed regardless if I wanted them or not simply because the previous occupiers did not pay their bills, forcing the relevant energy companies to remove their meters. In a way I was lucky because it meant I got new meters installed, even though I had to pay for them to be fitted; which took weeks. The energy companies have so much "Red Tape".....
The bathroom with new air pipe and meters installed - Right meter was moved
As you can see from the photo above; both meters have a reading of 00000 on their main numbers because they really are brand new meters. The new grey air pipe has new brackets too, unlike the old green air pipe. The pipework on the right side was also removed and replaced with newer, more modern, pipework; something the plumber had to get special permission for.
Remember - Personal/private plumbers cannot tamper with energy company pipes in terms of radiator connections and the removal of plombs (the blue/white magnetic tags that are placed around pipes/meters) without special permission from the relevant energy companies. Put simply, the energy companies will think you (not the plumber) have fiddled with the meter readings. So never ever let a personal/private plumber (or any workman) tell you any different.
With the bedroom and lounge doors I wanted them to lock, with a latch knob from the inside and a key from the outside, just in case I rent out or have some guests over who feel the need to lock their room for whatever reason(s). With the bathroom lock I went for the standard inside latch knob and standard outside slit (screwdriver open) lock. I also chose to have a mocha wood style to blend in with the beige hallway walls. The orange-tan lounge and light blue bedroom also blend well with the mocha.
The bathroom door can be latch-locked inside, but not key-locked from the outside.
When planning your renovation you should consider having locks on the doors, especially if you are thinking of renting out more than one room to multiple people, as installing locks later can be more expensive. Locks also add security of course and piece of mind and privacy to individual tenants with their own room.
I had my doors custom-made by a company, as opposed to visiting the D.I.Y shop and calling out a locksmith and carpenter, so that my specifications were met. The price between custom-made and locksmith/carpenter is more or less the same (between 66,370 Ft and 70,000 Ft). The beauty of custom-made is that the locks, hinges etc are assembled and checked before leaving the factory. In my case the doors came from Budapest.
I think the overall cost of the bathroom, compared to what it would of cost in the UK, was very affordable; especially when you consider that I got the labor for free whereby at certain times I had three workers on a particular job. And there was not really too much I could of saved on in terms of buying the materials. Note: The grand total below is estimated because the fake ceiling costs, for example, were for the whole apartment.
|Product(s) / Service(s)||HUF Price||GBP Price||Notes|
|Fake Ceiling / Plaster Work||130,000 Ft||£346.66||FREE LABOR - Plasterer Did Work For Free|
|Walls And Floor Sanded Down||15,000 Ft||£40||FREE LABOR - I Did The Work Myself|
|Tiles Purchased||58,911 Ft||£157.09|
|Grout Purchased||7,000 Ft||£18.66|
|Other Materials Purchased||28,000 Ft||£74.66|
|Tiles Pasted||44,000 Ft||£117.33||FREE LABOR - Tiler Did Work For Free|
|New Shower Purchased And Fitted||81,900 Ft||£218.40||FREE LABOR - Plumber Did Work For Free|
|New Sink/Taps Purchased And Fitted||77,990 Ft||£207.97||FREE LABOR - Plumber Did Work For Free|
|New Toilet Purchased And Fitted||30,500 Ft||£81.33||FREE LABOR - Plumber Did Work For Free|
|Bathroom/Kitchen Labor||175,125 Ft||£467||FREE LABOR - Plumber Did Work For Free|
|New Air Pipe Purchased And Fitted||20,000 Ft||£53.33||FREE LABOR - Plumber Did Work For Free|
|New Door Purchased And Fitted||66,370 Ft||£176.98|
|Rubbish Disposal - Skip||35,250 Ft||£94||Includes removal of old bath, sink and toilet|
|GRAND TOTAL||770,046 Ft||£2,053||Rough Estimate|
NOTE WELL - The reason why I got free labor from the electrician, cupboard maker, plumber, tiler and plasterer was because they were in some way related to my friend, Tünde, or friends of those relations. Furthermore, the labor prices shown on this web page are rough quotations of what a standard client might of paid. In other words, I asked the plumber etc what they would of normally charged a client so that you have a rough idea of labor costs in Szeged. If you want to get a quote from them and/or hire them please e-mail me for their contact details.