Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain

HDB BTO Toilet Acrylic and Lighting

We bought our toilet ceiling lights from Taobao, a minimalism square of white light, at a fraction of Singapore’s price. The design was nice but we should have bought the warm white instead of cool white. We loved the warm lighting in our previous rented place, a romantic and hotel ambience.

We didn’t even realise we got the wrong hue of light after installation. It only came to our attention after we saw a group-buy on our BTO’s Facebook group. The group-buy is to replace the toilet ceiling’s nest-like cover with acrylic panel and install LED T5 light. And that was our second chance to have ambient lighting in the toilets.

TADAH! Totally change the ambience of the toilet.

BTO Toilet Acrylic


Options for Lighting in Toilet 


Other homeowners changed the nest-like covers to acrylic for less superficial reasons like us. According to my neighbour, the covering up with acrylic is for easier maintenance and to prevent cockroach or lizard from crawling in the hidden corners.

There are three ways you can make this change:

  1. Contractor
  2. Find your own vendor/sub-contractor to outsource the work
  3. Do it yourself (DIY)

Contractor’s quote is the most expensive, followed by the sub-contractor’s. DIY is naturally the cheapest option. For the first two options, you pay to save yourself the hassle. But the last option is not as hard as it seems. And that was what we chose. But before we bring you on our DIY journey, here’s a price reference for sub-contractors.

This was the group-buy price as of June 2017 (I don’t know which vendor they used):

  • Supply and Installation for Two Bathrooms (from S$300)
    • Acrylic Panels: S$160 (U.P. S$190)
    • Acrylic Panels (Others): Coloured at S$280; Double sided of glossy and frosted at S$230.
    • T5 LED Light: S$140 (Additional)
  • Supply and Installation for One Bathroom
    • Acrylic Panels and T5 LED Light: S$160

Process of DIY: BTO Toilet Acrylic Panel


Vendor: Dama Trading

We were tempted to join the group-buy until another neighbour suggested we check out his wholesale contact – Dama Trading (“Dama”). They sell both LED lights and acrylic sheet, among other things.

We were contemplating if we should use Dama because hubby had to measure on his own, and he wasn’t too confident. But the price by Dama is too good a deal to pass by. It’s S$116.57 for the acrylic panels and T5 LED light sets for two bathrooms. More on the price breakdown at the end.

The DIY Process

First, measure the nest-like cover at the ceiling, that is the panels of holes that “cover” the toilet pipes.

Secondly, email or phone Dama with the measurements so they can provide you with a quote.

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  • + 65 6743 6100
  • sales@dama.com.sg

Photo: Dama’s Office (2nd floor)

Thirdly, visit their office at Blk 3029A Ubi Road 3 # 01-98/99 Singapore 408661.

  • Mondays – Fridays: 8:30am to 8:00pm
  • Saturdays: 8:30am to 3:00pm
  • Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays

We went to the office on second floor, and someone greeted us at the door to direct us to the right counters. They had sofa for waiting customers to sit and also served coffee and tea. At the counter, we gave the measurements again. The staff calculated the size of the acrylic sheet needed. Note that they will cut your required pieces from a bigger piece, and you pay for the price of the bigger piece.

Payment was on the spot. With the invoice, we headed down to the workshop at the first floor and passed it to one of the workers. Thereafter, we waited about 15-20 minutes for him to cut the acrylic sheets for us. It’s hard to take the public transportation with these acrylic panels, and thus it’s best to arrange your own vehicle.

Oh before you leave, remember to get the T5 LED lights from the office. You can get it from the guys seated at the tables above the steps. Right side of you as you enter the office.

Photo: Dama’s Workspace (1st floor)

Lastly, install the lights and acrylic sheets in the bathrooms. We paid our contractor S$60 to do the electrical wiring – “Electrical works to extend lighting point from access panel, included labour to install LED strip light.”

We wanted to install LED strip instead of T5 initially. In any case, our contractor helped us to install the T5 lights and acrylic sheets, but according to hubby, the light and sheets installation is relatively easy.


Dama’s Price Breakdown 


We needed 6 acrylic pieces in total for our two bathrooms: L-shape box in our master bedroom toilet, and straight box in our common toilet.

Invoiced Amount

Total for Acrylic = S$73.88

  • Cutting charges: S$2.00
  • PL-422 Barley Acrylic sheet: S$42.68
    • Size : 1220 mm x 1830 mm x 3 mm thick
    • Cut into 4 pieces, 2 each: 585 mm x 1110 mm; and 325 mm x 790 mm
  • PL-422 Barley Acrylic sheet x 2pcs = S$14 x 2 = S$26.00
    • Size : 500 mm x 820 mm x 3 mm thick

Total for T5 LED = S$42.69

  • T5-15W LED Light (L:900mm) = S$10 x 3 = S$30
  • T5-20W LED Light (L:1200mm) = S$12

Total = S$116.57 (before GST and discount)

(as of Jun 2017, prices might have changed since then)

Other Fees

Subject to 7 % GST, but there are discounts for different tiers of purchase amount. We got a sales discount of 5% but it has since been revised to 3%. Revised terms on a single invoice:

  • C.O.D: Purchase above S$300 = 7% discount
  • Cash & Carry:
    • Purchase below S$500 = 3% discount
    • Purchase above S$500 = 7% discount
There’s an even cheaper option but we had to cut the acrylic ourselves, which was way out of our league. So we didn’t get it. If you want, you can get S$6/piece (4ft x 2ft) from Choo Chiang Electrical (Blk 3 Toa Payoh Industrial Park #01-1381). 

Review


After more than a year of installation, I’m happy to say that there is no problem with the acrylic sheet. However, one of the T5 LED light bulbs was fused after using it for slightly less than a year. Since the T5 LED tubes from Dama are also from China, we probably could have gotten cheaper bulbs from TaoBao. However we got them from Dama for convenience’s sake. So purchase spare light bulbs just in case!

Otherwise, we are pleased with the warm lighting. Every night, we switched this on instead of the white ceiling light for our relaxing shower before bed. 🙂



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