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October 02, 2014, 12:05 PM

Tracy and the multicoloured mishmash of gorgeousness from Mongers

By Thornton Kay

"It's like trying on a pair of shoes" [still from Grand Designs

 
 
Kevin Tracy and Steve [still Grand Designs
  

Norfolk, UK - Film set decorator Tracy Fox found Mongers in a SalvoNEWS story and set off looking for an old bathroom suite in last night's Grand Designs.

"I just came across them on a kinda website and it said they'd just salvaged all this mad sanitaryware which I absolutely love," she said.

At Mongers, Kevin McCloud was circumspect. "I've come to expect the unexpected from Steve and Tracy, but I don't think I've ever seen anybody actually choose an avocado toilet, ever." The loo pan was a kind of mottled apple green, not 1970s avocado in the sanno sense.

Eyeing a pink cast iron neo-classic bath Tracy asked Sam Coster, "Is it ok to get in?"

Sam replied, "Yes, of course. It's like trying on a pair of shoes." So she bought the pink bath, green loo pan with a primrose yellow cistern, and a big old powder blue pedestal basin which Sam later told SalvoNEWS was from an art deco mansion built by the Mackintosh sweet magnate, no longer wanted by the geriatrics in an old people's home.

"For the family bathroom we've got a multicoloured mishmash of gorgeousness. We are taking a bit of a chance, but the whole thing's a bit of a chance," said Tracy.

McCloud's commentary continued: "After a year of waiting to get going on their house and fifteen months of construction, surely now is the time to leave chance behind." Much later, in the completed house, he said, "I want to see - inspect - the colour scheme of the bathroom And over in the right hand wing is the reclaimed multicoloured bathroom Gee, hey, great combo of colours - and the grey wall what's that about?"

Tracy, "Just about the colours - throwing the colours out a bit more - we didn't intend at first to go for a multicoloured suite - but we fell in love with the sink." Apparently she had wanted an entire primrose suite but could not find a complete one.

McCloud rhetorically, "None of these fittings presumably fit modern plumbing?"

Tracy,"No no, obviously it's been hell. Our plumber couldn't believe it!"

Sam told us that everything Mongers supplied was restored, had standard tap threads and new wastes - it did not need any adapting. However, the waste of a neo-classic bath has to be fitted partially below floor level, and the builders had installed the waste above the bathroom floor, which was concrete. So a pedestal had to be constructed for the bath to accommodate the trap. Also the Shanks chrome bath mixer taps needed to be built into a cavity which had also not been allowed for, so more excavating needed doing.

Sam thinks that these installation problems may have been the 'hell' which Tracy referred to - but not the fittings themselves.

There was another problem, which was discussed on film by McCloud, Fox and Coster, but which was not included in the TV show: Tracy wanted to gain a Code for Sustainable Homes rating of 5, and was on track to achieve this, but only if she had installed a brand new bathroom, made with water efficiency in mind - small cistern, spray taps and so on. So another part of the 'hell' of fitting the old suite was the need to install extra insulation to compensate for the less water efficient antique sanitary ware. Apparently, but not in the TV show, Kevin McCloud made the point, to camera, that it was ironic that reusing an old bathroom suite was not considered sustainable, while making new fixtures in China and shipping them to the UK, was.

Sam Coster would like to send the following message to prospective reclaimed bathroom reusers (and he has more cast iron neo-classic pink baths if anyone is interested): "Don't be frightened, it's not as difficult as you think."

- - - -
Mongers is a Salvo Code supporter

UK Code for Sustainable Homes ditched last week

1940s unused sanitary ware and brassware discovered in Sheffield

Mongers

Grand Designs: Episode link (29 days left)

Story Type:  News

ID: 85361

        
 
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