Renovating a bathroom is often a fairly extensive job as it involved not only redecorating and retiling but also removing and modifying existing pipes, sinks, cisterns and bathtubs to fit the new space.
This has sometimes meant that to save time, renovators have been somewhat creative in designing dream bathing solutions, and this has led to many stories of secret bathrooms being found by enterprising DIY enthusiasts.
These can take many different forms, from entire bathrooms hidden behind wall panels, pipes and showers found after extensive renovation, or bathrooms that have been deliberately and carefully hidden to avoid detection.
Here are some of the more unusual stories of hidden bathrooms and bathroom features.
Much like how one can determine the age of a tree by looking at the number of rings in its cross-section, one can apparently work out the age of a house by finding how many bathroom features are hidden behind wall panels.
The TikTok channel The Otto House is a lifestyle blog about a young family who are renovating their home whilst also juggling the responsibilities of taking care of a whole family in the process.
Amidst their DIY tips, life hacks and painting tips, there is a series asking about the number of secret walls in their upstairs bathroom, after having some concerns about the tiles moving around her shower which was leaking.
After removing the first layer of tiles, plasterboard and chipboard, she found another layer of tile and a completely new shower, and behind that was a mirror and another set of tiling.
Later excavations found an entire set of peach tiles and a set of capped copper pipes which may have been radiator valves in a previous life.
Hannah, the host of The Otto House, noted two positives. One was that whilst the existence of black mould was bad, at least there was nothing totally gruesome or horrific. The second was that it turned out she had a much larger bathroom than she thought she had.
She has since consulted a builder to see if a decorative feature made of concrete can be removed to create even more space.
Whilst discovering secret bathroom features is quite shocking, it was part of a building practice that was popular several decades ago known as overboarding.
When house prices were far lower than they are today, it was more cost-effective to do a quick overboarding job to fit a new shower than remove the older tile and features which could take a considerable length of time.
A Whole New Room
Whilst overboarding is often used to reshape an existing room, it is much rarer even back in the day for an entire hidden room to have been boarded up, but this is what the TikTok user Miabug found when renovating her new home in Oklahoma with her partner.
Apparently, the pair had been told when they bought the home that it had a leaking drain pan that had been boarded up, but when doing preliminary work for their renovations, they found a fully tiled hidden walk-in shower, and more hidden space as they looked further into the home.
Because in Oklahoma you only get the floor plan if you buy it and they were planning to renovate regardless, they were rather surprised by the major find.