Showers & Bathrooms


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Planning Your Bathroom Makeover

In our opinion, the average bathroom is rather on the small side considering how much time we all spend in them. So making the most of the space available is key when planning a new look for your bathroom.  For instance, a separate shower stall may seem like a good idea, but if it’s going to take up valuable floor space, it might mean you end up with no room to “swing a cat”, let alone dry yourself and get dressed.  Perhaps installing a shower above the bath might be a more sensible solution. 

Putting in a new bathroom is an expensive task, so careful planning is essential to make sure it’s money well spent.  Think long term, as you certainly don’t want the cost and hassle of remodeling again in a couple of years.  For example, you may be perfectly happy having a daily bath, but when your kids become teens, they are sure to demand the convenience of a shower, so take these things into account.

Remember those awful avocado bathroom suites that were all the rage in the 1970s?  Well, when choosing your new suite, it’s advisable to go for a more timeless look that won’t become dated – white is the most common color of modern bathroom suites for a reason! 

And do you really want tiles on all the walls?  It may sound like an easy option, but there’s a lot of work involved (and professional fees if you don’t do it yourself) and tiles can make a bathroom appear cold and sometimes attract condensation.  Consider whether it would be better to tile just the walls that need protection from water spray, such as round the bath tub and behind the sink.  The remaining sections of wall can then be painted.  Painted walls give you the freedom to add a touch of color to your bathroom décor and are relatively cheap and easy to redecorate if you fancy a change in a few years.

With faucets, shower attachments and other fittings, go for a style and finish that fits in with the style of your home.  Chrome is a popular choice as it’s easy to clean and keeps its shiny looks.  Both contemporary and traditional fittings are available in chrome.  Gold and brass plated are other perennial favorites, particularly in period homes.

Understandably, you want your bathroom to be as welcoming as possible and there’s nothing worse than a cold bathroom.  If space is limited, you could kill two birds with one stone and install a heated towel rail – that way you get the benefits of a radiator as well as a convenient place to hang your towels.

Another prime consideration in your bathroom design is to make sure you’ve got plenty of storage space for all those toiletries, cosmetics, hair accessories and so on.  Cluttered vanity tops and surfaces are unappealing and can ruin the appearance of any bathroom.  A combination of easily accessible cabinets and shelves is a useful addition.

Consider whether your current lighting is adequate – would installing a lighted mirror be a good idea, in addition to your existing ceiling light?  Even, shadow-free lighting that’s not too bright, is essential when grooming or shaving and can make life so much easier.

If your bathroom has a mold problem, caused by condensation forming on cold walls or around the window, installing a ventilation fan could be well worth it – the last thing you want is for your recently decorated walls to be spoiled by mold and mildew a few months down the line.

Once you’ve decided on the changes you want to make to your bathroom, set your budget and allow about a 20% margin for overspend, as inevitably in any bathroom remodeling project there will be unforeseen costs.  You could save significant amounts of money by doing some of the work yourself, such as stripping wallpaper, removing old tiles, preparing walls etc.  It always pays to shop around and compare prices on suites as there’s a huge variety out there and prices vary enormously.