Published on Monday, 7th August 2017
Contemporary or classic, curves or straight lines? When you’re thinking about a new bathroom, there are a few things to consider – and not just the colour of your tiles…
As well as years of experience in fitting fabulous bathrooms, we also offer a design service, where we can talk you through ideas, options and layouts, with no obligation and a free estimate. To whet your appetite, here are some top tips from our team of master builders to get you started.
First, ask yourself who your new bathroom is really for and what you’re going to use it for the most. Sounds silly, but it’s true. Will your new bathroom be the main family bathroom, or a couple’s bathroom? Is it for luxury and relaxing, or for a fast getaway in the morning? Or is it all of the above?
Often, people choose a new bathroom simply on a design they’ve seen, or a long-held desire for a roll-top bath. But if you have two kids and they like to splash, a roll-top might not be the best choice. Take a look at how you use your current bathroom and write down all the little things that you love and hate about it. For example: Are the kids always in the bath when you need a shower? Do you have to lean across the loo to reach the towels? Get cold feet on those tiles?
Sink, shower, toilet. It should be simple, but the choices are endless. So where to start? The Bath vs shower debate, of course. The simplest solution is to choose the standard bath and over-bath shower. Times have changed and baths have a multitude of options for the shower guard, plus there are P- and B-shaped baths, with an incorporated shower end. Ideal if you want the best of both worlds.
If you have a little more space, or you can change the layout (we can advise on this), a separate shower unit can be a life-changing win for families of any size and age. Little ones can bath, while older ones shower. For those struggling with mobility, a separate step-in shower is a far safer option than trying to clamber over the bath-edge to use the shower, too. A double sink unit will also be a win, reducing bathroom fights for the sink during domestic rush-hour.
We all love the idea of a simple look, but what about the towels and toothpaste? Where will you hide all your stuff? This is vital in planning your new bathroom. If you have kids, you’ll have stuff. And toys. So many toys. If you have teenagers at home you’re going to need a towel rack, because once they’ve finally mastered the art of the shower, they’re going to demand a new towel every 24 seconds.
So, whether it’s under-sink units, over-sink units, or even recesses built into the wall – take the time to see what inspires you in the world of storage. From free-standing, to fixed and floating.
Heating in the bathroom makes the difference between wanting to go straight back to bed or having a brilliant start to your day (except in summer, when you need easy-to-open windows and a good extractor fan!). A clever option is a heated towel rail, which acts as a drier and radiator in one. If you’re flush for space (bathroom pun) then make a feature of a radiator, with a mirrored effect, or go for an old-school vintage style. Think about your space and whether underfloor heating would be better (see below).
Similarly, lighting is important. If you opt for spotlights, make sure you have enough. There are few things worse than washing your face in the shadow of the towel rail (or your own head!). A clever idea is lighting built into over-sink units, or hidden behind bathroom furniture. Bathroom lights need to be IP and fire-rated too if they are near the shower, bath or sink.
If, like us, you hate a cold bathroom floor in the morning, then underfloor heating is for you. Whether it’s tiles, laminate or wood, underfloor heating is easy to install and costs very little to run. It will also make mornings just that little bit more bearable.
With floors and walls, think about contrasting patterns or colours, or even take the same floor tiles straight up to the walls for some space-enhancing chic. A plain white brick tile will give a timeless look, but if you’re not a fan of cleaning, then perhaps go for something with a fleck or pattern. Or go bold. We love a large tile for creating an impact on a feature wall.
The simplest of bathroom suites can look truly incredible when paired with a ‘wow factor’ fitting. (It’s also a top tip to rejuvenate a suite, if you want to save money and put funds into a new shower arrangement). With both baths and showers, hiding fittings in the wall will make it look super-sleek, or you can have them exposed for a more traditional feel. If you’re looking to get many, many years out of your new bathroom, then perhaps go for a simple tap style that won’t date. On the other hand, go big or go home with some tap bling like that shown below. Fancy!
We know, we said there were five top tips… But if you love a gadget then a high-tech bathroom could be your idea of heaven. Wire in some ceiling speakers, add in a recessed TV, or a full remote-control shower setting. What about LED showers – colour-coded for temperature and time (red for when you’ve been in for too long again, tsk!)? From thermostatic controls, to automatic blinds, you can go as hi-tech as you want. There’s even a light up loo seat for night time visits. The kids will be pleased 🙂
As you can tell, we love a bathroom refurb here at AJG. We also love designing them and fitting them. Whatever stage you are at, get in touch and we’ll be able to help you with advice on layout, materials and suppliers. We can do as little or as much as you like. Get in touch and start making that bathroom dream a reality.
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