Case Studies

Underground toilet repair and restoration

8th May 2019
Repair to underground toilet

Sunter Limited, a North East construction firm, called in the expertise of Plastic Surgeon, having been tasked by Sunderland City Council with repairing a 100-year-old public toilet that had been in disuse for over 20 years. Both male and female toilets required complete repair and refurbishment, internally and externally, before the toilets could be considered fit for public use.

Key information

  • Client name –  Sunter Limited, on behalf of Sunderland City Council
  • Repair type – Intricate repairs and refurbishment to thousands of glazed bricks as well as sinks, urinals and toilets.


The walls of the underground toilets were covering thousands of antique glazed bricks which were badly damaged and covered in a significant layer of salt efflorescence. The glazed bricks throughout the complex had old drill holes, chips and substantial wear-and-tear caused by years of use. In addition, toilets, basins and urinals also needed significant repair.

Plastic Surgeon used their specialist skills to painstakingly remove a thick layer of salt efflorescence that had accumulated over the years. Then they rebuilt the damaged areas before respraying and replicating the high gloss finish of every antique glazed brick.

The team’s skills were also used to repair and respray several sinks, toilets and cisterns, which in places were significantly chipped and cracked. Finally, a urinal that was badly broken was carefully rebuilt and finished to bring it back to it’s original condition.

Given the level of disrepair, the project required substantial time and resource – which saw between two and three of Plastic Surgeon’s finishers carry out the job out over a three to four-week period.

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