The bathroom should be one of the most inviting rooms in your home that you need storage for. Try to make it a combination of warmth and luxury with the practical plus points of easy-to-clean fittings and splashproof wall and floor coverings.
Relaxing in a hot bath, or enjoying an invigorating shower are both wonderful ways to unwind after a difficult day, but a chilly, badly decorated bathroom is no place to linger. Often a coat of paint, some thick, foam-backed carpet, fluffy towels and the addition of a heated towel rail can make the difference between discomfort and be welcoming warmth. If the suite is old and in poor condition or the plumbing is antique and space badly planned, more radical improvements are needed.
Look through manufacturers’ brochures to find a style you like. Although many of the rooms shown are larger than the average family bathroom storage, there are plenty of good ideas on how fittings can be arranged. Some bathroom storage manufacturers offer a free fitting kit.
Specialists If you can, it is worth visiting some specialist bathroom shops where you will find baths, basins and fittings in many different shapes and colours. Specialists are a good source of nonstandard size baths, such as continental set-up models. You’ll also see unusual finishes, such as fake marble and metallic effects. Some specialists sell showers, including the latest ‘environmental enclosures’, complete with soft rain effect and piped music. All specialists have a range of taps, tiles, towels, flooring and accessories, so it is possible to do all your bathroom shopping under one roof. Colour choice When looking at brochures, remember that colour printing can be deceptive. Most sanitaryware manufacturers supply colour samples which can be matched up with wall coverings, flooring and tiles. Take the colour sample with you when you shop and ask if you can compare colours in natural light shop neon changes tones.
If, you are unsure how changes might affect plumbing and whether or not restrictions would make your plans possible, ask a plumber for a survey.
Lack of ventilation causes condensation in bathrooms, An extractor fan fitted to the window disposes of steam without bringing in cold air. If the bathroom does not have a window, it must be fitted with a ducted fan which switches on when the light is turned on. A ducted fan wafts steam out through ducting which travels between walls to the outside air.
STARTING FROM SCRATCH
Installing a brand new bathroom is an opportunity to get everything right. A new suite, flooring, lighting, heating and decoration give you the chance to plan a room to suit both your tastes and your lifestyle. Use the checklist below to decide what you would like in your new bathroom before you make a plan and choose the fittings.
Make a plan
Measure the room in metric as sanitaryware is sold in metric sizes and draw the shape of the room onto squared paper, allowing one big square per 25cm. As well as the length, width and height of the room, mark the following on the plan.
- The position of the door and the direction in which it opens.
- Size and position of windows.
- The position of the hot and cold water supplies.
- Hot water cylinder and airing cupboard.
- Radiator or heated towel rail.
- Cold water tank.
- Electrical fittings.
- Anything you want to keep.
Re-planning your bathroom need not mean buying new fittings. If the existing suite is in good condition but badly placed, it may be worth moving it around. Alternatively, if you hate the colour, think about having the bath and fittings re-surfaced. There are several specialist companies who offer this service. The work is done on site, there is a good choice of colours and the cost is about a quarter of the price of a new bathroom suite.
If your suite needs replacement, look through bathroom manufacturers’ brochures and make a shortlist of suites which appeal to your tastes. If the house is modern in style, concentrate on the new soft, clean pastels. If you live in a period home, look at the Victorian style and decorated suites. Before you make the final plan, it is worthwhile thinking about the plumbing, space around fittings and the best way to position them.
Plumbing The WC needs to be linked to the main stack (the big pipe which goes down the outside of your house). Moving this is very difficult, so try to keep the WC in the same place.
It is cost-effective to have the WC, bidet, basin and bath in a line so that there is one straight run of water pipes. The pipes can be hidden away behind a partition (called a plumbing duct). It may be possible to position the duct across the room so it makes a low dividing wall between the two.