Follow this step-by-step guide to creating a scheme that looks great and is a pleasure to use
Renovating a bathroom is no small task, but getting the job done on time and on budget is all down to the planning. Read on for crucial advice on where to start and how to invest your money and resources wisely...
1) Decide on your priorities
Image: Essence titanium steel bath, L1,800xW800mm, from £7,213.36, Vessel basin, W600xD400xH103mm, £695.23, Grandera single-lever floor-mounted bath mixer, £2,029.46, XL basin mixer, £567.26, 210 head shower, £534.42, single-lever mixer valve with two-way diverter, £399.86, Grohe
Get underway by working out exactly how the space will be used and by whom, then make a list of the features to be included. Practical surfaces and easy-to-use fittings are a priority in a family bathroom, whereas luxury designs might be better suited to an en suite scheme.
2) Set a budget
Image: 300mm Square shower head and ceiling arm, £395, wall-mounted handset, £92, Windon Square temperature control valve, £191, diverter valve, £100, and stop-tap valve, £90, 1,400mm screen and ceiling posts, £535, Nuie
Work out what you can spend and cost up the entire project.There’s no point ordering high end fixtures and fittings if you can’t afford to have them installed, but it is worth investing in the best quality sanitaryware and brassware you can.
3) Know the rules and regulations
Image: Axbridge lever-handle wall-mounted basin mixer in bright nickel, £460, floor-standing bath shower mixer, £1,195, and towel rail, £110, Vado
Various works such as removing structural walls, adding windows, relocating, or adding a new bathroom and alterations to existing drainage systems will need Building Regulations approval. Speak to your local authority or use a company registered to self-certify through the Competent Persons Scheme.
4) Follow water guidance
Image: Lineare single-lever floor-mounted bath mixer in brushed hard graphite with temperature limiter and SilkMove for precise water flow and temperature control. Suitable for 1-5 bar water pressure systems, £2,907, Grohe
New builds will need to comply with Part G of the Building Regulations, which covers water efficiency. Find out more at planningportal.co.uk.
5) Minimise changes
Image: Nouveau console with Livingtec basin and vanity, H615xW820xD370mm, £2,181 approx, and round mirror, Dia900mm, £388 approx, Ex.t
If your current layout works, stick with it to avoid disruption and reduce costs. Modest tweaks, such as re-hanging the door or fitting a bi-fold will free up floorspace, as will investing in bespoke, compact and reduced-depth fittings.
6) Make a blueprint
Image: Cielo Plinio washbasin, from £2,689, Cielo Shui Comfort Livingtec bath, L1,800xW930mm, £POA, wall-mounted loo, W375xD550xH370mm, from £543.60, bidet, W375xD420xH370mm, from £429.60, CP Hart
If you want to change the layout or are starting from scratch, measure an existing space or use an architect’s plans. You need the room dimensions, the position of the windows, doors, pipework and features, such as sloping ceilings, to work out the best place for fittings – you’ll need their sizes too.
7) Use design technology
Image: Meisterstück Emerso bath, L1,800xW800mm, from £7,676.20, Emerso countertop basin, W600xD500xH40mm, from £734.40, Nexsys shower tray, L900xW900xH46mm, from £849.60, Kaldewei
Online augmented reality apps and bathroom retailer design services such as Kaldewei’s 3D planner are another way to work out the most suitable layout. The latest 4D virtual reality theatres allow you to experience a scheme prior to fitting – Virtual Worlds lists participating showrooms. Alternatively, consult a specialist bathroom company, designer or architect.
8) Gather a team to help
Image: Boutique walk-in shower with return and side panel, integrated tray and chrome fittings, L1,700xW900mm, £1,880, optional installation, £690, Matki
Ask family and friends for recommendations of competent plumbers, builders and electricians they have worked with, and choose firms accredited to associations such as the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering and the Federation of Master Builders.
.9) Protect your investment
Image: Interior architecture and design company Day True will design, supply and arrange the installation of your bathroom. Bespoke bathroom from £10,000
Whether opting for a turnkey solution or hiring independent trades, establish the level of service you expect from the start. Keep paperwork from all parties, which should detail written estimates of the cost of work, along with any guarantees.
10) Check the water pressure
Image: Integra Aquacare wall-hung loo with soft-close seat, W355xD500xH345mm, £494, wall-hung bidet, W355xD540xH350mm, £187, round basin with half pedestal, W550xD450xH850mm, £207, Minimax S bidet mixer, £160, Vitra
Seek advice from your plumber during the design stage to ensure your mains supply has adequate pressure for the new fittings you want.
11) Focus on lighting
Image: Bespoke recessed lighting with dimmable warm white linear LEDs brighten this family bathroom with custom-made Carrara marble basin, joinery and shower screen, £25,000, TR Studio
Take time to get the lighting scheme right before any work gets underway to avoid disruptive changes after the wall and floor surfaces are in place. Make sure suitable IP44- or IP65-rated fittings are used.
12) Maximise the floor area
Look for wet room-style showers, and compact or wall-mounted sanitaryware and furniture to create more open floorspace, which will help to make the room seem bigger.
13) Create a focal point
Image: Bespoke bathroom with raised bathing area, engineered timber floor and custom-built timber and Caesarstone vanity, £13,000, Berkeley Place
Use a freestanding bath, vanity unit, luxurious shower or bold tiling as a highlight of the scheme. A split-level setting can serve the same purpose, and pipework can be concealed beneath a raised floor.
14) Factor in storage
Image: XVui C-bonded two-drawer vanity with basin, H502xW600xD480mm, £2,316, tall cabinet with smoked-glass door, H2,010xW400xD360mm, £1,395.60, LED mirror,W450xH800xD40mm, £1,576.80, D.1 Electronic tap, £2,148, Duravit
Ensure you have sufficient storage – too much is better than too little. Bespoke designs make use of every available inch, while modular units can be adapted to fit the space.
15) Make it futureproof
Image: Bathroom with bespoke walk-in enclosure, additional steam shower and bench, £POA, XUL Architecture
Factor in your changing needs over time. Keep surfaces level and slip-free, especially in shower areas. Choose brassware with easy-use levers and scald-free thermostatic showers, or pick digital smart and sensor fittings for hands-free operation.