Kitchens and bathrooms

Bungalow kitchens and bathrooms are likely to have been renovated to incorporate modern fixtures and appliances.


Original details

In early bungalows, a cast iron coal range was a common means of cooking (and also provided heat and hot water). The range was built into a brick enclosure with a brick chimney on an exterior wall of the kitchen.

Early gas cookers were also starting to make an appearance in regions where reticulated gas was available, and some bungalows had electric ranges.

Kitchens typically had built-in cupboards and sometimes a food safe. Some had a servery through to an adjoining dining room. 

Sometimes, the kitchen had an eating alcove, and in some bungalows this replaced the dining room altogether.

The scullery was incorporated into the kitchen, which meant that most kitchens had a cast iron or aluminium sink in a bench of terrazzo or linoleum.

For more details on kitchen joinery, see other joinery.

Common modifications

Bungalow kitchens are unlikely to be original. If a kitchen is still largely in the original condition, it is unlikely to be able to accommodate modern appliances such as a fridge, dishwasher, microwave or the other appliances available.

In some bungalows, the kitchen has been remodelled and the original TG&V match lining removed. Sometimes, walls have been knocked out between kitchens and dining rooms.

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Original details

Bathrooms typically included a built-in bath and a wall-hung hand basin. A gas califont was often installed beside or above the bath to provide hot water.

A flush toilet was usually contained in a separate room that was typically located off the rear porch or the laundry (which also usually opened off the back porch). Flushing was by means of a high-level cistern (known as a high suite combination), fitted above head height and operated by pulling on a chain attached to a lever on the cistern. 

In a few cases, a flushometer-style toilet flush valve was installed. This system has no water storage tank but requires the user to either depress a lever or press a button, which in turn opens a flush valve allowing mains-pressure water to flow directly into the toilet bowl. There is no delay in the recharge time. A flushometer-style toilet can be identified by the distinctive chrome pipe-work and absence of a cistern.

Common modifications

Bathrooms are also unlikely to be in original condition. Alterations to bathrooms are likely to have included the installation of a new hand basin or vanity, a toilet installed in the bathroom, the installation of a shower cubicle in addition to or replacing the bath, or a shower over the bath.

A shower was often installed over the bath because there was usually insufficient space for a separate shower to be installed. If a separate shower was installed, it was likely to consist of a stainless steel tray with threshold step, plastic laminated wallboard linings, and a shower curtain.

Any significant bathroom modifications are likely to have included new wall and ceiling linings.

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The laundry generally opened off the back porch, and had a built-in, fuel-fired copper boiler used for clothes washing.

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Bungalows were built close to the street with little space for a front yard, so most bungalow extensions have been at the rear. In such cases, it is likely that the extension has removed the original back porch and laundry, and possibly altered other service areas such as the kitchen.

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Plumbing and drainage

Common problems include low hot water pressure, leaking drains, and corrosion of original pipes. Read more.

Electricity and gas

Some bungalows will need to be rewired as part of renovation. Read more.