We would like to inform our customers that we are operating, but under reduced capacity. We still are able to plan design and quote via email. We also can accommodate visits by appointment only to our showrooms. Please phone or email ahead and we can confirm times and dates. As we have reduced staff levels it may not always be possible to answer the phone but we will do our very best to get back to you as soon as possible.
In the world of interior design, there is a plethora of various trends, styles, colours and materials to choose from. With so much freedom in creating your ideal interior, however, choosing what best suits your tastes and requirements is often the most difficult part of the entire process.
To help make your interior design decisions a little easier, we at Boro Bathrooms want to keep you inspired with the latest interior design options and trends. One of our biggest trends at the moment has been extra-large tiles.
Extra large tiles have increased in popularity as a design option. Here, we will take a look at why these tiles have become so popular and how they can elevate your interior design.
What Are Extra Large Tiles?
Extra large tiles, referred to as large format tiles or super size porcelain here at Boro Bathrooms, are simply tiles that are cut much larger than the average tile size. They are most commonly used in the design of floors and walls for kitchens, bathrooms and hallways. Our super size porcelain tiles are just 6mm thick and can be cut to a range of sizes, perfect to suit any specific requirements.
These tiles are the perfect option for those who wish to create the illusion of space with design. We install these tiles the same way as our other extensive ranges, creating a beautiful finish to your interior.
The Different Looks Achieved with Extra Large Tiles
One of the great benefits of super size porcelain tiles is their ability to suit any style within numerous interior rooms. Whether you want to style your bathroom, kitchen or hallway, you’ll find that these tiles are incredibly versatile. Create a luxurious focal point to your rooms and wow your guests with this elegant style.
They can also have a huge impact on any room, transforming a relatively small space into a more spacious area. This is the reason these tiles have become so popular within the interior design industry, and why they are now such a huge trend.
The Benefits They Bring to Your Interior
One of the most obvious benefits is relevant to their size. Since super size porcelain tiles are significantly larger, fewer are required to complete an interior space within your home. This not only saves installation time; it also means minimal maintenance, as they are easier to keep clean.
Super size porcelain tiles are thinner and lighter than other conventional tiles and are incredibly hardwearing. These high-quality tiles are fire resistant, water resistant and are suitable for extreme temperatures, meaning they are the perfect addition to any room within your interior. These durable characteristics ensure that you can enjoy the beauty of these tiles for years to come.
The tiles come in a range of material and styles, giving you a number of different options to choose from.
Online bathroom specialist Victorian Plumbing have partnered with TV’s favourite – and possibly most flamboyant – interior designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen to scour the nation for suites that are a crime to modern bathroom design.
London Loves Business discusses 5 great ideas to help you redesign and renovate your old and dull bathroom, taking recent trends into account.
In response to guests checking in to hotels complaining that their bathroom is too small and not designed well, Roca has launched a beautiful new furniture range to help hotels maximise space. The Maxi collection is available in a number of compact sizes to answer the need for stylish and contemporary furniture for small bathrooms.
From pitch black and inky blues to slate grey and cool concrete, the dark side rules when it comes to blissful bathing.
A beautiful bathroom adds a feeling of luxury to the home but there are a variety of mistakes people often make when decorating them. Discover what they are so that you don’t make them.
Take style cues from these stunning bedrooms, ensuring you and your partner can have all the personal space you need.
If you’re the kind of person who finds putting on a face of makeup a strangely soothing experience, or who loves taking some time to practice self-care with pampering and face masks, then your bathroom is probably filled to the brim with skincare and cosmetic products that are haphazardly stored in whatever available space you have. Discover ways to optimise your bathroom’s space with all your products in arm’s reach.
Like a weary mother laying down the law, London’s Ecuadorian embassy has slapped WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with a nine-page memo of house rules to follow if he wants to see the internet again under their roof.
Bathroom tiles are a simple but effective way of updating a bathroom without completely renovating the whole room. With so many different tile colours and styles to choose from, we’ve picked seven of the best bathroom tiles that have recently hit the market in the UK.
Looking for modern bathroom lighting ideas? With everything from traditional chandeliers, Gothic orbs, lanterns and candle-like sconces to on-trend fluted glass wall lights, industrial style pendants and Art Deco inspired lighting, these stylish spaces are laden with great bathroom lighting inspiration.
A leading brand in bathroom furnishings, Kohler brings innovative designs to life. With a design philosophy that is rooted in minimalism, the collections exemplify sophistication, and the brands clean cut designs evoke a sense of largeness in your spaces. The products are created to transform your mundane white and chrome bath space into an epitome of style.
When redecorating our homes, many of us dream about extending our small bathrooms so that we can create that ‘luxury-hotel’ feel, complete with a bath, shower, multiple sinks and perhaps even a stylish chaise to lounge on after a relaxing bath. Though the reality is dependent on your budget, you can still make your small bathroom appear larger with the following design ideas.
Make It White.
It’s likely your bathroom already features white fixtures such as the toilet, sink and bath, so using white for other surfaces such as the walls and floor helps to create a continuous look. White is also a great light reflector, bouncing light around the room, therefore making it appear airy, brighter and bigger.
Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall.
If you’re not a fan of a completely white bathroom, then a wall to wall mirror is another way to go. Along with enhancing your small bathroom’s beauty due to the multiple designs available, and hiding imperfections such as small cracks and holes, they are also considerably easier to clean and maintain than a painted or tiled wall. This statement piece creates the illusion of space by reflecting the room within.
Make A Statement.
What about wallpaper we hear you ask. Wallpaper with bold patterns and conversational designs are always a great idea, as they catch the eye, increasing our space perception. If you opt for wallpaper, ensure it’s made specifically for bathrooms, ensuring it’ll survive both damp, warm conditions.
Take Back Your Space.
If there’s not space for a bulky cabinet for all of your essentials such as medicines, makeup, razers, toothbrushes and toothpaste, then a stylish wooden, metal or glass shelf above the sink keeps these items in a handy place while utilising wall space effectively. For shampoos, shower gels, soaps and sponges, wall alcoves by the bath are a great alternative to shower caddies and add real value to the small bathroom.
If you’re really stuck for space, install your towel rack to the back of your bathroom door to keep your walls and radiator free.
These ideas may sound simple, but they really do the trick. We recommend you check out our stunning range of white ceramic, porcelain and patterned tiles, as well as HiB’s bathroom mirrors, especially their chic illuminated options. For further inspiration, visit us at one of our showrooms in Bury or Rochdale or call us today to discuss your options. We’re only too happy to help.
Creating a Victorian Bathroom Suite on a Budget
Decorating your home is no easy feat, let alone when your money is tight. When on a budget, it can be tempting to neglect the bathroom. Dreams of a beautiful Victorian style bathroom can seem totally unreachable if your budget is slightly lower. So many people eventually abandoning these hopes, choosing instead to focus on other rooms in their house. Fear not though, you too can have the Victorian bathroom of your dreams!
Well, we’re here to tell you that a Victorian bathroom can absolutely be created if you’re on a budget. Ignore those who tell you it’s too expensive, bathrooms deserve your time, effort and attention when styling your home, and a traditionally designed bathroom is the perfect way to turn your bathroom into a standout room.
The Wonders Of A Victorian Bathroom
Victorian bathrooms are timeless, stylish and can turn an otherwise boring room into something truly special. Proving more popular than ever, traditional bathrooms says luxury and regal, yet remain understated and fashionable. They’ll never go out of style, and strike the perfect juxtaposition between old and modern; while the furnishings may be vintage and traditional, the comfort and functionality is on par with any modern alternatives.
Choose A Focal Point, Make A Statement
If your heart screams ‘yes’ but your wallet has decided ‘no’, that doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the towel altogether (pun intended). It’s still totally possible to achieve your dream, vintage-styled Victorian bathroom on a budget. All you need is a few key pieces and a little pinch of magic – and by magic, we mean a blog post just like this one.
We’ll say it again for the people at the back, just because it’s vintage, doesn’t mean it must be expensive! Choosing one or two period focal points and surrounding them with some more affordable bits and pieces will do wonders for making a budget bathroom look banging.
The key here is delegating your pennies accordingly. Cheaper sanitaryware can be purchased to go alongside some timeless, more expensive or designer pieces. As opposed to the ‘all or nothing’ approach, creating a Victorian bathroom suite on a budget simply requires a bit of pre-planning and creativity.
Read on to discover our favourite Victorian bathroom pieces. We’ll also give our top tips for styling your room for as little a cost as possible.
Styling a room based on a colour scheme is a low-cost way to create atmosphere and ensure your finished room is something to be proud of.
Whichever room you’re designing, the importance of a colour scheme simply cannot be overestimated. It’s especially important if you’re designing with a set era in mind.
The good news is, you’re spoilt for choice. With so many colours, if paired with the right pieces, can be worked into a traditional bathroom. If you want to be truly authentic, go for a combination of black and white. White features with a splash of black (for example black taps on a white sink) look bang on trend in a traditional bathroom, creating a designer and expensive feel for a relatively low cost!
Other colours that look great when paired with more timeless pieces are the more neutral colours. We can’t quite imagine the Victorians bathing in a hot pink tub (not that we want to imagine that anyway). White, black or pastel grey on the other hand? What a stylish, understated and elegant treat for the eyes! With many of our products coming in different finishes, you can easily work a colour scheme into your room.
So, colour scheme is an essential component of creating your Victorian bathroom on a budget. Next, we’ll take a look at some of our favourite pieces to jazz up your bathroom and, that’s right, make it look more expensive than it actually is.
Picture a Victorian bathroom and often what springs to mind is a beautiful, freestanding bath surrounded by period accessories. We’ve got good news for you! This is entirely possible even on a tighter budget.
This Burlington Windsor Roll Top Bath is the perfect Victorian bathroom purchase, helping to transform your bathroom into something fit for Queen Victoria herself, no matter how much you spend on the rest of the room. This bath is traditional, durable and comes in two different sizes, ideal for those of you with slightly less space. Choose from the more traditional Claw or Classic feet. Or for those of you feeling extra daring, go for the Arc feet, providing a modern take on timeless style.
Thrifty Vanity Units
The right vanity unit can add even more understated style to a traditional bathroom, and this Roper Rhodes Hampton Cloakroom Vanity Unit is top of our list. Not just a pretty face, this vanity unit has plenty of storage and easy to use magnetic doors.
However, our favourite part is how easy it is to adapt this vanity unit to suit the colours and style of your room. Choose from vanilla, mocha, slate grey, pewter and chalk white. Each colour is neutral enough to look at home in a traditional bathroom – there are no bad choices – yet they still add a little extra splash of colour. The chunky ceramic basin looks perfect on this classic Victorian vanity unit, and the pre-drilled tap hole means you can really make it your own with your choice of small basin mixer tap.
This Catherine Traditional High Level toilet is more than just a toilet. It’s a statement. The design is classic Edwardian, but the comfort modern as ever. Not only does this toilet look the bees-knees in a Victorian styled bathroom. Costing £220 it works as a beautiful, yet budget, focal point.
Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise! Choosing the right accessories to compliment your more expensive pieces is an essential part of creating your Victorian bathroom suite on a budget.
We love upcycling products to create a more vintage and homely feel. While Victorian classics like a freestanding bath set the tone of the room perfectly, some upcycled, vintage accessories will complete the look and ensure the compliments come flooding in.
Taking an old mirror for example, and jazzing it up into a period piece is a great way to get creative while keeping your bathroom timeless and in keeping with Victorian design. If you can’t wait to get started, we love this Roper Rhodes Hampton Mirror, which comes in at just £84.47 and adds a little extra something to your bathroom. Pairing beautifully with the vanity unit we mentioned earlier, this wooden mirror comes in 5 finishes – vanilla, mocha, slate grey, pewter and chalk white.
Other accessories to help inspire and delight include this Arcade Oval Base Light which, with its frosted glass cup-shaped shade, adds a touch of elegance and warmth to a traditionally designed bathroom for very little cost. Another slightly more expensive option is the frosted tube glass shade, which produces a warm, soft glow; perfect to place next to your bathroom mirror.
Patterned tiles are all the rage right now. They look beautiful and provide an eye-catching feature in whichever way they are used. Perfect for your Victorian bathroom, patterned tiles look great either on the floor or as a standout wall feature. We love monochrome tiles almost as much as the Victorians did!
Bathroom tiles can be an extremely cost-effective way to make a statement. No one wants the headache that ensues from being bombarded with too many patterns at once. So, in this case, less is certainly more.
Try not to overdo the patterns and colours. Instead, opt for a feature wall, or a cluster of tiles behind your vanity unit. If you decorate the floor with tiles, be sure to keep the walls neutral and vice versa. Restraining yourself will help save the pennies and your bathroom will look all the better for it!
We hope this post has demonstrated that creating a Victorian bathroom suite is entirely possible. Even when you have a slightly lower budget.
The whole room needn’t be filled with expensive pieces – traditional furnishings are bold enough that you only need one or two to set the tone of the room.
Keeping the colour scheme in mind, getting a little creative and investing in just a couple of timeless pieces will allow you to create a beautifully traditional bathroom without breaking the bank.
A wet room effortlessly provides both luxury and functionality to a residential property, be it a private dwelling or a hotel complex. However, excellence usually comes at a price a price, in the case, inadequate effort spent on the design and functionality of the wet room during planning stages, can result in a nightmare final product.
Here we look at the three most common occurrences that require remedial attention, and which present a barrier between the success and failure of a wet room installation. We don’t mention the obvious one – leaks – due to the design and build quality of our wet room systems and the installation support we provide, virtually rule out this risk.
1. Poor Design And Layout
The layout is critical to the success of a wet room and to the happiness and satisfaction of the user. When it has been properly considered and correctly designed, the user barely notices it. But when the reverse is true, towel rails, and other sanitary ware have the possibility of getting get soaked by the shower; this then draws attention to the functionality of the wet room original design. This reflects badly on the architect/designer, product specifier and client’s original input.
A key factor in a trouble free wet room layout is the location and reach of the shower head. Installing barriers to guide and contain the flow need not detract from the aesthetics of the space. Glass screens or doors can be installed to minimalize this problem, and come in varying heights and ranges to achieve the desired look. They form an effective control over where excess water reaches, whilst still maintaining the desirable impressions that the light and open space has on the wet room.
2. Drainage Capacity – Wet Room Flooding
Getting the correct capacity of the drainage system means that water is drained away efficiently. Get this wrong and users find water puddling around their feet. A wet room requires a relatively high flow rate of water and therefore the drainage must be designed to match the volume being produced.
The ideal design scenario sees the wet room at the same side of the house as the soil stack with a short pipe run required. If this is not the case, then the pipework must run between the joists and must have sufficient fall along its entire length. While a pumped drain can present a solution, it is best if standard drainage can be incorporated from the outset.
3. Incorrect Floor Slopes
An incorrect floor slope presents a number of complications; insufficient draining of water, creating slippery surfaces, and incorrect direction of water flow. The recommended gradient of wet room floor should be 1.5% to 2% in the direction of the drain location. That gradient is sufficiently minor so as not to be detectable to users. This gradient sufficiently drains water out of the wet room area, and is discrete enough not to cause discomfort to the user.
Floor preparation is a critical element of successful wet room design. When you recommend Wet Room Kits from Wet Room Materials, you immediately cover off a very common area of risk.
Top Bathroom Design Trends of 2018
Another year and another set of bathroom design trends guaranteed to wow visitors to your home. From fashionable fixtures to 2018’s most contemporary colours, we’ve got all the inside knowledge when it comes to the top bathroom design trends of 2018.
Right, let’s get started! Ensure your bathroom is the talk of the town with our top bathroom design trends of 2018.
Metallic Brassware + Accents
Decorating your bathroom with metallic finish features is the perfect way to ensure you stay bang on trend in 2018. But you don’t have to go all out with rose gold everything to fly the boutique flag this year. Small metallic accents can add a real luxurious feel to an otherwise understated bathroom.
It’s important not to go too overboard with different metal finishes though. Consider complementary gold basin and bath taps as a lavish feature for the room, or perhaps antique brass bathroom taps to give it a classic style and feel.
Cloakroom Furniture + Vanity Units
Alas, we are not all blessed with the luxury of a spacious bathroom but with compact furniture rising in popularity at the rate it is, a lack of space is no excuse for not having a beautiful bathroom!
Cloakroom vanity units are high up on our list of bathroom design trends to watch out for, and the more compact the better! Not only do cloakroom vanity suites look pretty darn great, they are also reliable space savers and can turn a busy bathroom into a clutter-free haven to relax in.
Digital Showers + Smart Toilets
If the most-high tech item you have in your bathroom is an automatic air freshener, then you may feel a little sceptical when it comes to the sheer number of remote-control goodies you can now install in your bathroom. From remote control toilets to digital showers to electric toilet seats, we can see why you might be dubious. We can assure you however, investing in some high-tech bathroom fixtures is totally worth it, not only for comfort but also for the practicality and ease of use.
If you want to get connected shower-style, check out Crosswater Digital at one of our showrooms. It includes a digital thermistor to check the temperature of the water 10 times every second, colour changing displays to show the desired temperature and a self-cleaning mode. A separate remote control will turn the shower on from up to 10 metres away. Plus, it’s got all the wonderful features of your usual shower including suitability for high or low pressure, and a 5-year manufacturer guarantee. What’s not to love?
Smart toilets. the kind you’ve seen in Japan that seemingly have a cleaning spray for every part of your body, are becoming increasingly popular in the UK too. These self-cleaning WCs are packed full of the latest toilet technology to make the entire experience as pleasant and fragrant as possible. They might not have taken off for the mainstream here just yet due to the relatively expensive costs, but they are certain to become the household norm within the next few years.
A countertop basin is one of our favourite ways to add a little class to any bathroom interior in 2018. Unique, elegant and minimalist, countertop basins can be styled up in any way you want – be it classy and contemporary or beautifully boutique.
One of the best things about countertop basins is that they can be integrated into any bathroom, no matter how much space you have available. Pair an oval countertop basin with a modern vanity unit for a sleek, contemporary feel, or embrace the elements with a stone countertop basin and a whole load of indoor plants. Whichever way you style it, we’re sure you won’t be short of bathroom compliments in 2018.
Freestanding Tubs for Two
In our hard-work, high-stress culture, it’s safe to say that quality time with our loved one is no longer top of the agenda. In 2018, that looks set to change. Tubs for two are helping couples kill two birds with one stone – bathing and spending time together!
Alright, so it doesn’t sound particularly romantic when we put it like that, but if you’re craving that quality time (or just a really big bath) then perhaps a tub for two should be on your shopping list.
We all know and love the freestanding bath. It’s an instant way to update your bathroom, and add either a vintage or modern touch depending on the design you go for. Our large freestanding baths not only make a fierce fashion statement when it comes to bathroom design, they also provide a comfortable place for you to relax and escape the stresses of everyday life – presence of loved one optional!
Moroccan, Patterned + Geometric Tiles
Moroccan or beautifully patterned tiles always look wonderful in bathrooms. When paired with the right fixtures or an eye-catching indoor plant, you can turn your bathroom into a boutique haven that wouldn’t look out of place in Casablanca itself.
Patterned tiles really work in any bathroom. Smaller spaces can be given that boutique feel with a cluster of tiles without making the room look any smaller. Or if you have a larger space you can afford to be a bit more exuberant. Perhaps a selection of Victorian floor tiles paired up with some grey fish scale tiles against the bathroom wall…
Whichever way you decide to decorate, patterned tiles is a bathroom trend we hope never goes away.
Frameless Showers + Walk-In Enclosures
Frameless or walk-in shower enclosures have seen a huge rise in popularity in recent years, mostly thanks to their unique ability to make your bathroom and shower appear a lot bigger and a lot more contemporary than it actually is! They also add a minimalist and elegant feel to any bathroom, a fashion we don’t see going anywhere any time soon!
Walk-in shower enclosures look fantastic when paired with a trendy glass panel and we think we’ve got just the thing. Our Roman shower screens are stylish, easy to maintain and looks perfectly at home in a modern, 2018 bathroom.
For something equally trendy, check out industrial framed showers. Our Roman Matt black frame adds a sophisticated and sleek feel to your bathroom and looks fantastic when paired with other black and white fixtures. For extra style points, watch this space for our metallic frames launching very soon to give your bathroom that ever-sophisticated antique pop of colour.
Dark + Sumptuous Tones
Our final bathroom design trend to watch out of in 2018 is the use of dark and sumptuous tones.
While light and neutral is still very much in fashion, if you’ve got a little more space to work with then using darker tones could be the touch of glamour your bathroom interior is crying out for. While kitting out your entire bathroom in black may be slightly too much of a good thing, just a small cluster of darker grey bathroom tiles or some moody paint goes a long way towards adding a touch of class, as well as little bit of drama, to your bathroom.
We love the combination of dark tiles with white ceramics and furniture. If you don’t want to go all out, a feature wall will jazz up any bathroom and is bound to turn heads. Proceed with caution if you don’t have a huge amount of space in your bathroom, just a few matt black accessories here and there will go a long way!
But that’s not all. Whilst previous years’ have seen us trawling through magazines trying to find our dream bathroom interior, 2018 is the year for realising your dream bathroom using 3D design. Simply measure your bathroom dimensions, pick out some of your favourite pieces and we will send you a 3D design of your dream space – tailored to fit the size, shape and feel you’re going for. Check out our free consultation and start building your perfect bathroom!
Designing your new bathroom can be a challenge. There’s a dazzling array of choice that makes deciding exactly what you want a real headache. It’s easy to get bogged down with information overload and confusing industry jargon.
It doesn’t have to be that way. The internet is a great tool to do initial research and work out exactly what you want in your bathroom. We have lots of great bathroom articles right here on our blog, although there are many other great bathroom websites with information, buying guides, tips and advice. Take a look at Pinterest and Houzz, image sharing websites full of great bathroom photography to inspire you.
Drawing on our 40-plus years of retail experience, we’ve put together a list of 10 of the most common bathroom design mistakes.
Don’t forget to include an access panel when installing a concealed cistern!
1. Cutting Corners with the Installation
First thing’s first, even without any installation mistakes, the bathroom can be a dangerous place. When there’s an ever-present mix of electricity, water, slippery surfaces and glass fittings it really is no wonder that a large proportion of accidents in the home occur in the bathroom.
A badly installed electricity outlet, poorly mounted mirror or any other bathroom mistake can quickly become a risk to the safety of both yourself and your family, not to mention incredibly costly when things need to be fixed.
Unless you are a DIY guru, always seek professional assistance from an experienced and accomplished fitter that can help you create your dream design. It might cost you a bit more initially, but we have a long list of horror stories where a ‘cheap’ installation has ended up costing a small fortune to put right.
Choosing the cheapest installation quote is almost certain to end up costing you more in the long run. You get what you pay for, so don’t spend time and money buying a beautiful bathroom and settle for sub-standard installation. Get recommendations, ask for testimonials from previous customers or use sites such as Checkatrade or Rated People to find a good installer.
2. Size Matters
When you’re planning your bathroom design, ensure that you know exactly what space you have to work with. Cramming in a big vanity unit or an 1800mm bath and leaving barely any floor space will make your room look smaller than it really is.
If space is a premium, it might be best to opt for space saving sanitaryware that keeps your bathroom stylish without the compromise of comfort or space. On the other hand, if you’ve got an expansive blank canvas to work with – go mad, have fun and get creative. Purchasing a new bathroom is an opportunity that comes about once in a blue moon so you owe it to yourself to make the most of the experience.
3. Stinting on Storage
You can never have too much storage in your bathroom. Stacking bottles of shampoo on top of each other may seem like an entertaining prospect but playing shower gel Jenga every time you hop in the tub can quickly lose its appeal.
When you’re planning out your design, think about piece of storage that you’re going to need from where you might put your hair dryer, towels, toilet rolls and shampoo bottles to where you’re going to hang your bathrobe. There are bucket loads of inexpensive storage solutions out there to suit every possible bathroom design from shelving and wall hooks to bathroom cabinets.
4. Not thinking long-term
As the old saying goes, ‘If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’. Designing your bathroom is no exception to this long lived rule, given that the average bathroom lifespan is around 10 years. Let’s be honest, no one can predict the future but there are some simple steps you can take to ensure that your bathroom can be made as future proof as humanly possible.
You may not be considering expanding your family at this moment in time but who knows where you could be in 5 years’ time. Ensuring that your bathroom is child safe and family friendly doesn’t have to mean that you have to sacrifice fantastic design. Look into implementing future proof and functional pieces such as double vanity units that are a timeless design and would accommodate an expanding family.
5. Poor Air Flow and Ventilation
Two of the worst, and most preventable, problems in a bathroom are mould and bad smells. We can probably argue that the latter cannot be helped, but there are steps that can be taken to ensure that personal aromas and damp can be minimised effectively.
First and foremost, if you have a window or indeed multiple windows then make a habit of opening them. Bathroom ventilation is crucial for the longterm wellbeing of your bathroom (and your health). Nothing can be better for your bathroom than a blast of the fresh outdoors. If you’re unlucky enough to have a bathroom space not graced by the addition of a window, then fear not – there are alternatives available to you.
Installing a ceiling fan or extraction unit is an easy method of creating good air flow. Good air flow in your bathroom can help limit the build-up of mould and rust as well as making your bathroom feel airy and fresh.
6. Getting Carried Away with Design
If you’re sitting here reading this and thinking ‘how could you possibly go design mad?’, then allow me to explain. There are those of us who look upon an empty bathroom space and think of ways to create a stylish, contemporary and yet sensible bathroom.
On the other side of the madness coin, there are those of us who will gaze upon an empty bathroom as a blank canvas to construct their Dali-esque surrealist vision whilst erratically twiddling their pointy moustaches. If you can relate to the previous sentence, then this next section is likely to be directed towards you.
Typically, what is stylish and trendy in the world of bathroom design has a lifespan of 5 or so years before it gets tossed into the forgotten pile of neon leg warmers, perms and Betamax.
Because of this, it’s best to rein things back in a bit and future-proof your design. Stick with neutral colours, classic styles and the finest quality materials. Adding a personal wacky touch can be achieved with any accessory that can be quickly removed with a screwdriver or hammer when you inevitably reach the ‘What was I thinking?’ stage.
7. Small Budget for a Big Project
When you’re planning out your bathroom design, always expect to be over budget because, more often than not, you’re going to be.
Problems can occur in the most unexpected of places – think about any possible issues with mould, dry rot, old plumbing, electrical wiring and water pressure.
A typical buffer for mistakes and unforeseen additions should be around 15-20% of the overall budget. If your design is somewhat elaborate or risky, you should look into increasing your budget by up to 50% to ensure that there are no last minute shocks when the bills start to roll in.
8. Inadequate Lighting
The right lighting in your bathroom can make all the difference. If your bathroom has a large window space that faces into the sun then lighting shouldn’t be deemed as that much of an issue. If you have no windows or are unfortunate enough to have a window in direct view of your neighbours, then you might want to install some adequate lighting in your bathroom.
Wrong or inadequate lighting in your bathroom can turn the room that we all love so much into a space of misery. That lipstick smudge that you failed to spot before leaving the house is going to be quickly picked up by your peers when you get out into the daylight. But on a less vain note, poor lighting conditions can even be dangerous when you mistake your toothpaste for hair removal cream because you couldn’t make out the packaging correctly. Whoops.
Installing efficient mirrors, as well as ceiling and wall lighting, and even extras such as LED lighting in the bath panel or in can not only provide a functional and safe environment, but also lift the mood within the bathroom.
9. Choosing the Wrong Materials
Choosing the right materials for your bathroom is paramount to creating a design that’s going to survive over the long term. Opt for high quality sanitaryware. Look for ABS stone-resin shower trays, heavy duty or steel enamel baths and bathroom furniture that costs more than £99. The extra expense early on in the bathroom renovation process will, more often than not, save you money in the long term, and will look the part for longer too.
In terms of fitting materials, the main thing to remember is that a bathroom environment can be compared to that of a South American rainforest. It can get hot, cold, steamy and wet all in the space of a few minutes. This varying change can have negative effects on the building materials that you choose when contemplating your bathroom design. Choose products that are specifically designed for the bathroom and can withstand the humidity and variance in temperature, not just the first or cheapest thing you happen to stumble upon when traversing the endless corridors of Ikea.
10. Ignoring the environment
Advances in technology have allows for some fantastic methods of making your bathroom more environmentally friendly and more often than not, can also save you a lot of cost in the long run. A lot of new taps can come with water saving cartridges that default to water saving positions, restricting the flow of water that comes through the tap. This can, typically, save anywhere between 30% and 70% more water than using a conventional tap.
Another example of eco-friendly bathroom technologies would be dual-flush toilets. Dual flush toilets allow for a quick or long flush, dependant on the button you choose to press. Compared to a single flush toilet, dual flush toilets can cut your bathroom water usage by up to 20% in the average home.
The best way of avoiding expensive mistakes is to have a chat with our bathroom experts and get a good installer. We have experts on hand with many years of experience designing bathrooms and managing installations. Don’t underestimate the value of someone who does this all day every day.
Plan well if you want your shower to be a luxury experience — there’s certainly a lot to think about, from the type of shower to the shower tray, shower head and type of enclosure.
With a wide array of showers in every style to choose from, you won’t be hard-pressed to find one you like the look of. However, there are so many other things to consider before you can even think about aesthetics — what plumbing system you have, whether you want a walk-in or over-bath shower, and checking your water pressure is up to the job, all have to come first.
What Types of Shower are There?
- Electric showers heat water on demand, taking it from the mains cold water supply and passing it over a heating element inside the shower unit. On the plus side, you will not run out of hot water with an electric shower and they heat water as needed so there is no wastage or storage which affects overall energy efficiency.
- They are generally a little more bulky than mixer showers and require a high-capacity electrical supply to be run directly from the fuse box on its own dedicated circuit.
- The higher kilowatt rating you choose, the better the flow will be.
- Their other advantage is that they tend to be less expensive than mixers and are also economical on the water usage side.
- Many of the more expensive models feature integral pumps, which can improve the flow rate and are also now available in a range of new designs.
- Electric showers remain a popular option for second bathrooms that are generally only used at off-peak times.
Mixer showers use hot and cold water supplies, mixing the water in the unit as it leaves the shower head. These are suited to homes with a combo-boiler or large hot-water cylinder as they rely on readily available hot water. A pump can be added in cases of low water pressure.
Thermostatic showers prevent the risk of scalding (or freezing) when someone turns on a tap elsewhere, or flushes a loo. You set your temperature and the mixer automatically maintains this be feeding in the right amounts of hot or cold water. An electric shower can do this too, but a thermostatic shower gives peace-of-mind where children or the elderly are involved.
Eco versions can be specified for both electric and mixer showers. They limit the water flow to an efficient (but usable) level offering 50 per cent reduction in water usage compared to conventional mixers.
Digital showers can be controlled by a panel located anywhere within a 10-metre radius of the shower. The panel then communicates with the power unit, located either in the loft or airing cupboard, to adjust the flow and temperature of the water. Water at a preferred temperature is then delivered through the ceiling or wall to the showerhead, and there is no unsightly plumbing visible. They can come as electric or mixer variations and be operated by remote control.
Which Water System Do You Have?
While we may all want a huge shower head that drenches us in water of just the right temperature in an instant, in reality many of us end up disappointed, with a trickle rather than a deluge and with wild temperature fluctuations. This does not have to be the case, and avoiding it is simply down to choosing the right shower for your hot water system.
Older homes tend to feature gravity systems. These have a hot and cold feed, with a cold water tank – commonly referred to as a header tank – usually located in the attic, and a hot water cylinder, often found in the airing cupboard.
The contents of the cylinder can be heated by either an external heat source such as a boiler, or an internal heat source such as an immersion heater. The pressure of a shower connected to this system depends on the distance from the bottom of the tank in the attic to the shower head — known as the ‘head of water’. The greater the distance, the higher the water pressure, and it is recommended that this distance should be between 3-4m for adequate pressure. The good news for those with this type of system is that they can be fitted with booster pumps in order to increase the shower’s performance.
Mains Pressure Systems
Also known as ‘pressurised’, ‘unvented’ or ‘sealed’ hot water systems. Rather than a cold water header tank providing gravity pressure at 1bar, the pressure in the mains water supply in the road is used to pressurise the hot and cold supplies. A minimum pressure of 1.5bar is necessary, but ideally 3bar. A pressure-limiting valve is usually used to keep the pressure from rising above 3bar.
The hot water supply can either be heated directly on demand by a combination (combi) boiler, or via a thermal store. Alternatively, hot water can be heated in a cylinder, by a secondary coil on the central heating system. The cylinder has to be specially designed to store hot water under pressure, such as the Megaflo, by Heatrae Sadia. A pressurised system with an unvented cylinder will provide a powerful shower, without the need for a pump, and balanced hot and cold water pressure can eliminate the need for thermostatic mixer valves.
Combination (Combi) Boiler Systems
Pressurised cold water is heated on demand, and so in theory should never run out. If you want a powerful shower, the key is to make sure that the combi boiler is powerful enough to supply a hot water flow rate of at least 12-15 litres a minute. The larger the shower head, or number of nozzles, the greater the pressure required. With a combi it is best to choose a thermostatic shower mixer valve, to even out any temperature fluctuations that can otherwise occur.
Choosing a Shower Head
There are five main types of shower head: handheld, handheld on a slider rail, fixed (mounted on the wall), ceiling mounted, and finally those that are combined with a series of body jets.
Temperature and pressure is most commonly controlled by a thermostatic tap, which will detect changes in water pressure and temperature and respond accordingly. Some models now allow you to preset the temperature so that when you turn the shower on it is exactly as you want it to be — remote-controlled digital showers, such as those from Aqualisa, are a good example.
Handheld showers are really useful, if only for a second shower head – some are available as pull-out fittings that ping back into their holding in the side of the bath – as they are handy when rinsing off messy children, cleaning the bath etc. They can also be fitted to a slider rail, which means their height can be adjusted easily.
Most shower heads are now available with multiple spray options. Huge shower heads (sometimes called ‘rain showers’), often ceiling-mounted, have also become popular, designed to totally drench the showerer in seconds. Multiple-jet showers are another big trend, comprising not just one shower head, but a host of side jets and sprays.
Buy a Quality Shower Tray
Unless you are opting for an over-bath shower, you will need a shower tray or base, where water can drain away. Some are designed for use with enclosures, others are designed to lie flush with the floor for walk-in units. Ceramic trays are regarded as the best option, being strong and stable. However, enamelled steel and acrylic are also options, as are those made from stone and even water-resistant hardwoods.
When installing a tray, remember that you will need to be able to access the waste for maintenance.
Consider a Walk-in Shower
It is often seen as better to have a separate enclosure as opposed to an over-bath shower. However, do not squeeze an enclosure into a tight space as this will just result in a claustrophobic shower. Although there is no set minimum size for an enclosure, it is not advised to go smaller than 900mm² — smaller can feel, well, really small.
Enclosures are made up of panels, a door and a shower tray, and complete kits can be bought to be fitted on a DIY basis. Alternatively, make use of a recessed area, adding just a door and tray.
Walk-in showers differ from enclosures in the sense that they are more of a showering area as opposed to an enclosed unit. They usually feature just one glass panel separating them from the bathroom, with no door. Walls and floors must be fully waterproofed, as with wetrooms.
All-in-One Systems and Cabins
Offering far more in the way of features than an ordinary shower enclosure, shower cabins are all-in-one units, incorporating enclosure, tray, shower and body jets, not to mention the extra options that most now offer, including LED mood lighting, seating, steam, fragrance and music — some even double as sunbeds.
Shower panels, or columns, are another trend, featuring controls, shower head, body jets and various other features in one wall-mounted unit. They use a lot of water, but they will make your bathroom feel like a spa. Prices start at around £5,000.
Need to Know…
Avoiding chills and burns: A shower that suddenly runs cold or hot is downright annoying — and dangerous. Temperature variations occur when the pressure between hot and cold water is not balanced. So, if someone flushes a toilet, the cold water flow is reduced and the shower will turn too hot. If the hot tap is used, the shower will run cold. A shower with a built-in thermostat will overcome the problem. They sense variations and then compensate. Models that cut out before water reaches too high a temperature are also available.
Showers over the bath: Despite often being seen as second best to enclosures, over-bath showers make more sense for many bathrooms, especially those not large enough to take a separate enclosure, or in households with young children. Forget mould-riddled shower curtains and opt instead for a sleek frameless glass shower screen.
Shower baths are now also widely available, with a curved section at one end for a more spacious showering area. Choose a flat-bottomed bath to provide maximum showering space and to avoiding slipping over when climbing in and out.
Water-saving Showers: It used to be a given that a shower used less water than a bath — not so these days with power showers and enormous shower heads being the norm.
Water-saving shower heads come in several forms. Some are aerating, mixing water with air to reduce the amount of water used. Others reduce the flow rate – hopefully whilst maintaining the power – or include a flow restrictor to the hose. Some are only suitable for use with mains systems. Many water-saving shower heads can be fitted to your existing shower unit, although they are not often recommended for use with electric showers, as some are already often low flow.