Often neglected, the bathroom is one of the most important rooms in the house, where every day starts and ends. It’s a “me” zone where you can escape those day-to-day worries and just relax away from the world. It may be where you wash, shave and do your natural business, but if you get the look and feel right it can be transformed into your very own personal spa.
On the other hand, you may just want a functional bathroom. That’s absolutely fine. There are plenty of products out there that offer great value and practical solutions. Whatever you choose, the first thing you need to do is consider everything you want out of your bathroom and then perform detailed planning to ensure you get it right.
Making sure it’s right is crucial. Fitting a new bathroom can be a seriously expensive and disruptive business if you get it wrong. But it can also be a stress-free, fun and creative project in which you have a life-changing result if you get it right.
If you’re redoing your own bathroom, make sure its future proofed. Will it still be suitable for you in five or ten years’ time? If you’re thinking of moving house soon, are you maximising your investment by providing a bathroom that seriously bumps up your properties value?
This article will give you some key points to think about, as well as providing tips on how get the planning, timing and budgeting right.
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To get it right you’ve got to take into account a few considerations first:
- How can I fit everything that I want into the space that I have?
- What style do I want from my bathroom? Traditional or contemporary?
Traditional bathrooms feature classic styles that never go out of fashion.
Could you join a separate bathroom and toilet together to create one spacious room?
Would it be worth looking at getting a wetroom installed?
Could you move the door to incorporate a section of hallway, or an adjoining room to create a larger bathroom?
To retain a separate toilet, could you install a new one elsewhere, for example under the stairs?
Is there a room adjoining a bedroom that could be turned into an ensuite bathroom? Or could part of a bedroom be altered to create an ensuite bathroom or shower room?
What could you fit comfortably in your bathroom? Should you sacrifice the bath for a shower?
Should you have a “his and hers” washbasin unit?
What decorative finishes – tiles, glass, marble, wood and so on – do you want?
Could decorative bead boarding be an option in your bathroom?
Have you thought about…?
Plumbing: This could be an opportunity for you to give your plumbing a complete overhaul. After all, you’re about to invest in a brand new bathroom, so you don’t want to have to rip it up because of a concealed leak. Plus, good plumbing is great way of adding value to your property.
Colour: Carefully consider what effect your choice of colour will have on the long-term future of your bathroom suite. For example, white is easy to clean and never goes out of fashion. In the 1970s many thought olive and pink were stylish, but that really hasn’t lasted.
Fittings: When choosing fittings and attachments, consider maintenance. Chrome is low maintenance and polishes up beautifully. It’s also a perfect match for a white suite.
Tiles: Ceramic tiles completely covering all walls and floor might make the bathroom appear cold and also create condensation problems. The right tiles in the right place can look stunning and prevent leaks.
Ventilation: Is your bathroom properly ventilated? Do you need an extractor fan? If you neglect this, you could easily have damp problems in your bathroom.
Storage: It’s tempting to get “bogged down” in baths, toilets and showers without considering great bathroom storage solutions such as vanity, mirror and basin units.
Lighting: The type of lighting you use can make a huge difference to the feeling of space. Whether it’s LED mood lighting, candle holders or intelligent use of mirrors, it’s always important to think about.
Accessorising: Finishing touches can elevate your bathroom by giving it a personalised feel. The right bin, shelving or soap dispenser can make a surprising amount of difference.
Clever use of mirrors and lighting can give a whole different feel to your bathroom.
Timing is a key issue when you’re doing your bathroom because if you don’t get it right you could well and truly be caught short:
Be sure that you have everything you need to begin your project before you start ripping your old suite out. Consider the following: tools, appliances, bathroom, tiles etc.
Consider planning your project so you replace like for like, e.g. replace toilet first.
If you have children in your house, is there anywhere else they could be while you undertake the work?
Skilled tradespeople are usually an essential component in ensuring that your bathroom project works out smoothly and timely.
If you feel the whole project may be too much for you, consider breaking it down into more manageable chunks, use skilled tradesmen to advise, check, or carry out any work you feel uncertain about undertaking yourself. You can save a considerable amount of money by doing a lot of the preparation work yourself even if you call in an expert. You can cap off the water supply, strip out the old bathroom suite, remove any tiles and demolish any partition walls beforehand.
Work out what you want to spend and try and stick to it. Obviously, like any building project you need to be prepared for unexpected costs, so it’s always best to include in the final budget 20-25% set aside for contingency. There’s no point splashing out on expensive products, when you can get great prices online for products that are often very similar, if not exactly the same. Also, keep an eye out for sales. You can get some unbelievable discounts online, way below the prices that you’d find in High Street shops.
Making the plan
Once you’ve decided on the style of your bathroom, you can draw up your plan, taking all the points mentioned above into consideration. Make a rough drawing of on paper then measure your space accurately and mark it on the plan. Take the longest dimensions across the room, including every alcove and return, note the way the door opens, and mark where the window is – how high up from the floor and the distance on either side. Mark exactly where the radiator and water supply pipes are.
After you have these details noted down, it’s all about finding the perfect products for your bathroom. If you’re after achieving a consistent style, you should consider a bathroom suite - checking that it fits the dimensions of your room. Attention to detail is critical in creating the perfect bathroom. You should consider what heating solutions and accessories you would like to complete the look.
After you’ve selected your products, as mentioned above, you should then get a specialist tradesperson in to give you a quote. Although it may be tempting to carry out DIY on your bathroom, it isn’t necessarily the best option and if you don’t have the knowledge, it could all go horribly wrong.
However you decide to do it, you’re about to undertake a fun and creative journey that leads to the bathroom you’ve been dreaming of. So enjoy it and good luck!