In the past, bathrooms were used purely for function. These days people view their bathrooms as a sanctuary to unwind after a long day at work or a fun room to enjoy music and get ready for an evening out.
This guide will help you design your perfect bathroom, avoid mistakes others make and take the stress away of a bathroom refurbishment. Jeffery and Wilkes are London’s leading house renovation specialists.
Where should you begin? Always start with the design stage.
In the design stage of your bathroom, consider the following
• Before you get carried away ordering your new furniture, work out your realistic budget. Exactly how much are you able to spend on the bathroom?
• Next, decide what is important for you and the people that will use the bathroom? E.g. If you have a larger space to work with and a healthy budget a walk-in rainforest shower, jacuzzi bath and jack and Jill sinks and even a hoe sauna could be added to your new bathroom. However, If you have limited space and are on a budget, work out what you would use the most then you can decide if a wet room would be more advantageous than a bathroom or vice versa.
• Measure your bathroom to see what space there is to work with. Also bear in mind the current bathroom layout. Does it work? If it does then the layout can remain the same. If it doesn’t, or you definitely want a change, calculate the additional cost as pipes etc may need to be moved for the new layout which can bump up the cost.
• Storage – when considering the layout, factor in the storage you might like or need. There is nothing worse than a bathroom full of clutter so hide items away in stylish storage units.
• A bathroom supplier will normally have a designer who can lay this out for you and help with the design.
• Retrieve quotes from at least three bathroom installers to make sure you are getting a good price.
• Choose a style – search online for bathroom interior designs, look on Pinterest for inspiration and then choose style you would like. Then stick with that theme throughout the design.
• Bathroom lighting – there are many options available for lighting. Some examples are
– dimmer lights you can adjust when you want to wind down and soak in the bath,
– lights with motion sensors so you don’t have to go fumbling for the light switch in the middle of the night
– different circuits so you can use the lights for various tasks like having a bright light around the mirror so you can spot every blemish.
• If you are reaching your retirement years, then you may want to consider the access and features that you may need in the future.
• Flooring – if it fits within your budget, natural stone is the best option for flooring (marble/granite/limestone etc) . It creates a luxury looking bathroom with the highest quality and will last for a very long time. However, these options do come with a very high price tag.
Vinyl Tiles are popular and work well with underfloor heating.
Engineered wood is an option as it is better than solid wood with all the moisture that comes in a bathroom. However in general wood is not the best option for the room in the house that has the most moisture.
Vinyl flooring can be a budget option, however with the simple eye test it can look noticeably cheaper. Vinyl flooring can be problematic if not laid correctly and doesn’t have the longevity of the other options.
We do not advise carpet in a bathroom as the carpet holds moisture and it can be very unhygienic.
• Underfloor heating – On a cold winters morning there is nothing better than walking into your bathroom and stepping on a warm bathroom floor before you wash. If you have the budget it’s definitely worth considering adding to your new bathroom.
Who should you hire to carry out your bathroom refurbishment?
There are several different trades and skills required to carry out a full bathroom refurbishment.
• If you are an enthusiastic DIY person then you can renovate the bathroom yourself. Just bear in mind the time it may take you to complete and the complications and difficulties that could be involved if you have not done this before. Most important of all, do not attempt to do any gas or electric works if you are not qualified. The outcome could be fatal.
• You could hire in the different trades and manage the project yourself. The typical trades you would need to hire and manage are as follows : –
– a labourer to rip out the old bathroom
– a plumber to fit the new bathroom
– gas safe engineer (some plumbers are gas safe but check beforehand)
– electrician for electric shower, lights, underfloor heating, extractor fan and shaver point.
– a tiler to tile where required
– a plasterer to plaster the walls
– carpenter to hang the doors, skirting boards and for any built-in storage
– a decorator to paint the bathroom.
You will need to be clear on timelines, so you can coordinate all the workers. The problem with hiring separate trades is you can enter a blame game situation when something goes wrong as each tradesman blames the previous one.
• Hire a bathroom specialist that can handle the full project from design to completion. This might cost you a bit more at first glance but this will save you hassle and stress and you know what you will spend before you start. Often when you carry out the project yourself or hire several different tradesmen when problems arise, they can be costly to fix.
Jeffery & Wilkes are experts in bathrooms and can take the stress away and deal with your project from conception to completion.
How long does a bathroom refurbishment take?
Each project will vary but on average a bathroom renovation takes 2-3 weeks
Will I be able to use my bathroom during the renovation?
If you have more than one bathroom then it’s probably best you make you make do with the second bathroom for the duration of the build. However, if you only have one bathroom then this is where things can get a bit tricky.
There will be stages in the project where you will not be able to use the bathroom as normal. You might not be able to use your shower for a number of days so having a relative or friend close by where you can use their shower will really help. Or if you are a member of a gym shower there instead. There is going to be lots of dust so be prepared and make sure the contractor has put down lots of dust mats so as not to not damage anywhere else in the house. Bear in mind that your toothbrushes and toiletries will need to stored outside of the bathroom.
If you work from home and only have one toilet then consider working at a different location, perhaps family/friends or a cafe for the duration of the renovation.
Make sure you ask your contractor to hook you back up where possible before they leave at the end of the working day. Sometimes they may pull things apart and you could be left without a flushing toilet for the full evening. Be sure to clarify this at the beginning and through the duration of the project.
A new bathroom is well worth the time and expense, you can create the perfect space to unwind, relax and freshen up. Whilst the process can cause some upheaval, it will be worth it in the long run and if you follow the advice in this guide and plan properly you will avoid many problems along the way and the whole process will run much smoother
If you would like to be inspired with some ideas for your bathroom, read our article on Inspiring Bathroom Ideas in our blog section.