If your existing bathroom is looking tired and outdated, it is not difficult to improve on what you have. Even if you find it is too small for your family’s needs there are ways round the problem. Better use of space rearranging the fittings can make a surprising difference to the usable area, particularly if you re-hang a door that opens into the centre of the room so that it opens back against a wall. If the existing layout is really not making the best use of the available space, it is obviously well worth replacing the fittings at the same time as repositioning them. Experiment with squared paper and cut-outs of your bath, basin and so on- to find the best arrangement.
If a new layout is not viable, one answer could be to knock a bathroom and next-door toilet into one. This larger space may allow you to include two wash basins and/or a shower cubicle to help with the morning rush. Other possibilities are to take in an adjacent passageway to make a bigger bathroom or to take some space from a next-door bedroom by moving the partition wall. An extra bathroom If you have one large bedroom, it might be a better plan to sacrifice part of it to make a small en-suite bath or shower room to relieve pressure on the main bathroom.
NEW VERSUS OLD
Before you start ripping out all your old bathroom fittings and replacing them with brand new ones, look at them carefully. If they are in good condition you might only need to change the decoration – new tiling, paint and wall covering and possibly some new taps can be enough to effect a complete transformation. You may find that your old bath is of better quality than most modern ones around today. Cast iron baths, for instance, were once commonplace but are now fairly difficult to find, as well as being expensive. If the only thing wrong with the bath is worn enamel or calcium deposits, it is possible to have it re-enamelled.
When renovating older properties, many people go to great lengths to track down period bathroom taps and fittings which have been thrown out by ‘improvers’. If you live in an old house or would like to create a traditional bathroom, there are a growing number of architectural salvage companies that deal in all sorts of period fixtures and fittings. There are also many manufacturers of reproduction sanitary ware, taps and accessories.