Get showered with tips for your new bathroom
October 15, 2021
When it comes to the resale value of your home, your bathroom is right up there with your kitchen. Back in the days the bathroom was often an afterthought but it has certainly earned new status.
Given how precious downtime has become and the role a bathroom plays, renovations are no longer purely driven by practical needs but more so designed with pampering and relaxation in mind.
Whether you’re planning to refurbish your existing bathroom or en-suite, or would like to add a new one, installation is a substantial undertaking and can be deceptively tricky as it requires not just an array of fittings but also expert technical skills.
Careful planning and choosing the right company to manage your bathroom project can prevent costly mistakes and changes down the line. We’ve put together a little guide to help you plan a bathroom that makes a splash for all the right reasons.
What does your bathroom need?
Ask yourself who’ll be using the bathroom as that’ll drive its overall design. Is it to be an en-suite shower room for two or perhaps a family bathroom with a bath and plenty of storage for the kids’ toys?
Perhaps you’re considering a spa-style sanctuary in which case you might want to look at double basins, a spacious bath with separate shower, and plenty of storage cupboards, whereas a guest bathroom may just require a shower suite.
It’s also important to visualize what sort of space you’re hoping to achieve and how you’d like to use it as your choices will affect really important details such as fixtures, fittings and the colour scheme itself.
Less means more space
The average size of a UK bathroom is about the same as a king size bed which makes fitting a statement walk-in shower, bath and double sinks a challenge. Even if you’re lucky enough to have more space to plan with, we’d still recommend not to cram in too many fittings as it may make your bathroom feel smaller. Japanese-style square tubs and wet-room style showers could be great options to make the most of your space.
New vs old layout
There’s no point in changing the layout of your bathroom if the existing one works well for you. It’s much cheaper too, as moving waste and water pipes can be expensive. A small refurbishment including replacing fittings, tiles and flooring together with a new coat of paint on the walls might be a quick way to refresh your bathroom.
However, if your bathroom layout isn’t quite right, there are a number of clever ways to make small but effective changes such as fitting sliding doors or rehanging them to gain extra space.
Your bathroom should ideally be future proof and take possible changes into consideration. Say for example, you’re planning to grow your family or put your house on the market, then a bath may be a great addition due to its broader appeal.
Classic? Contemporary? Period style? Ideally you’ve got a rough idea about the kind of look you’re trying to achieve for your bathroom. Try to narrow down what boxes your new bathroom should tick by creating a visual checklist. Chatting to friends about their bathroom project experiences and browsing Instagram accounts or websites of boutique hotels could be great source of design inspiration, too.
You may have a clear picture of your new look bathroom in your head but putting together a little mood board could really help express and bring to life your exciting vision more clearly to the specialists involved.
As with any trend, sometimes less is more and it’s not so much about what’s in vogue. What you really like will stand the test of time.
The four key bathroom trends for 2022 range from natural and marine to industrial and exotic, exploring unique and contemporary furniture and accessory ranges.
Geographic ceramics tiles are very much in fashion but bear in mind that they may not work for the size or shape of your bathroom. Anything too decorative could look too busy in a small bathroom but make a large bathroom appear warmer and more interesting.
A very popular and impactful choice right now are floor-to-wall tiles as well as feature walls and floors. Quality surfaces in a bathroom are expected these days, so it’ll pay off choosing durable quality materials over something cheap and cheerful that may look worn quickly.
Other current bathroom trends include designer bath tubs, asymmetrical furniture, the use of wood and clever technology and working with little touches of black. Good old-fashioned wallpaper is also making a return to the bathrooms in 2022.
All bathrooms, particularly en-suites, should be well ventilated. Condensation can easily damage wood or furniture and mold poses a common problem when moisture is allowed to linger. Building Regulations require that every bathroom is either ventilated by a window or an extractor fan. If your bathroom only has a toilet, you’re fine to use a window alone as your source of ventilation. In new-build bathrooms with a shower and bath, you’ll need to install an extractor fan because new-builds tend to be more airtight which can cause natural ventilation to be more restricted.
Storage with purpose
Smart storage is key, especially when space comes at a premium. Wall-hung vanities and mirrored cabinets offer a discreet way to store what would otherwise be on display.
Set the mood with lighting
Bathroom lighting ideas want to be considered carefully and with health and safety in mind. Different levels of lighting mean you can adjust the lighting level and opt for the lowest whilst you’re sleeping, which makes trips to the loo during the night safer and easier. Introducing motion sensors takes the light switches to a whole new level as you no longer need to fumble around in the dark trying to find that switch. Wall lights also create atmosphere and floor lighting around your bath could make it even more of a feature.
Test & trial
Just because that sink or freestanding bath looks really pretty, it doesn’t mean it’ll work for you because the work involved in cleaning up water splashed may far outweigh the aesthetics. It’s always important to make sure you think about the practicalities of your bathroom appliances before making your choices to save cleaning work down the line.
Plan your bathroom budget
Yes, a bathroom doesn’t come cheap but it’s possible to create your desired feel without excessive investment. Prioritise your fittings and consider buying say one standout piece like a lovely freestanding bath, rather than every component being high-end and expensive.
Depending on your vision, there might be some practical elements that’ll add to your costs. A spa type bathroom with a rainfall shower for example may mean you’ll need to invest in a larger water tank and if you’re keen to prevent the build-up of annoying limescale, a water softener is definitely in order.
Find trusted tradespeople
Google Reviews and Houzz are great independent review resources when you’re looking for trusted tradesmen for your project. Friends and family might also be able to share their recommendations. You should always look to employ the right people, given you’re letting them into your home and entrust them with your project. Also, don’t fall for the ‘price myth’ as the best price might not always result in the desired outcome.
Weather the work
During the project, how long you’re without a bathroom depends on the scale of the work. You’re looking at a few days if you just want to spruce it up, whereas a complete refurbishment, which may entail moving fittings or relocating plumbing, will take significantly longer.
You may want to consider moving out for a bit if you only have one bathroom and if maxing out the facilities of your local gym is not an option. No matter whether you stay with family or in accommodation nearby, don’t leave your home before preparing it for the inevitable mess.
Every company works differently, however here at Cube we make sure to cover floors with protective sheets but there’s no harm in trying to keep the dust at bay yourself by sealing off doors to any bedrooms with masking tape. It’s also advisable to brief your builder on cutting tiles and plasterboard outside.
Wash your troubles away…
Don’t be daunted by your new bathroom project, get it under way!
Engage with experienced specialists who can tell you everything about the latest materials, technology and recommend solutions for awkward or compact spaces whilst minimising costly mistakes.
As part of larger projects Cube has designed, managed and built hundreds of bathrooms and would be delighted to create a bathroom that you’ll enjoy for many years to come.
Get in touch