The teams on The Block Villa Wars stepped it up on bathroom week. Renovating a bathroom from scratch in one week is absolutely crazy, but that's The Block! Knowing how much work, and how many trades go into a bathroom design, I'm impressed. But there was a bit of controversy as early leaders, Cat and Jeremy, scored the same as Sarah and Minanne despite not finishing their bathroom.
Brooke and Mitch: 1st place | 18.5 points
Being a plumber was a definite plus for Mitch on bathroom week. It meant he was only too aware of the process and could put his tradie skills to good use. They came away with the win producing a bright white, contemporary bathroom, and it also helped that they won $10,000 of bathroom appliances the week before.
As well as the bathroom appliances, Mitch had won an extra point in the "guess the child" challenge. But a breach in the rules, where they took work off-site to finish after tools down, meant they had the point taken off them as punishment. A further challenge saw Brooke win the point back in the "guess what's in the bucket". The couple used their point to boost the judge's scores, but it turns out they didn't need it as they won by two points.
I like Brooke and Mitch's tile choices with some lovely texture in the Tessere Bianco tiles from Tile Space, in contrast to the large matt Blendstone Grey tiles on the floor and opposite walls. Brooke's styling is improving too, don't you think?
Sarah and Minanne: 2nd equal place | 16.5 points
After a truly rocky start on The Block and lots of indecision, the sisters did a great job to complete their bathroom. The Frozen Garden tiles, once again, added lovely texture, and although the Marvel Pro Noir tiles were pretty cool, I would've loved some rich colours to contrast all that black - perhaps in some beautiful towels and/or accessories.
The judges criticised the simple wooden shelves, saying they took away from the glamour of the room. It's really important to nail all those smaller details as they have such an impact on the overall feel of the room.
Cat and Jeremy: 2nd equal place | 16.5 points
Cat and Jeremy's secret weapon in bathroom week was a wall of moss tiles shipped from Scandinavia and never seen in New Zealand before. It definitely added a "wow" factor and impressed the judges. Despite the fact that living green walls have been used a lot in recent Block series, I really like the look of the wall, and admire the risk. But I would be interested to know how it lasts, and if it's easy to clean and maintain.
The matt black tapware and accessories are lovely, and the subtle Cementia Grey tiles allow the moss to be the hero. With the tight deadline, and the fact that you can't install the glass shower screens onto wet tiles, Cat and Jeremy failed to finish their shower. This is what caused a wee stir when they got the same score as the girls who had managed to finish in time. What are your thoughts on this?
Jamie and Hayden: 4th place | 13 points
It was more than just the shower screen that caused Jamie and Hayden to reveal an unfinished bathroom. Their ambitious design with a suspended ceiling, floor to ceiling tiles, and plenty of custom wood details meant they also failed to finish their tiling or install their toilet before tools down.
The suspended ceiling is a great feature, and I love the hexagonal Firenze Nero tiles and the towel rail from Mico. The slatted divider is cool, but I would've liked to have seen it carry on a bit further, and I question whether the raised bath platform was a good move. I know what they were trying to achieve here, but I feel that the bath should be moved away from the window, and the platform should be larger for practicality and looks.
Remembering all of these teams are amateur designers, I think they're doing a pretty good job. I notice that a lot of people are quick to criticise on social media, and I guess if you put yourself forward for a reality TV show you have to be prepared for that. But be kind people - constructive criticism is much better than pure nastiness.