A new bathroom is top of most buyers’ must-have lists, and a great bathroom can add 3% onto the value of your property. But even if you’re not thinking about moving, undertaking a redesign of your bathroom can allow you to add a tranquil retreat or a functional family space to the house. A total bathroom renovation can cost on average between £7000 and £10,000, and when you’re spending those sums of money it’s important to get it right. Here are some of the main things you have to think about.
Spend Time Over Planning
It’s very tempting to leap straight into choosing tiles and shower units, but taking time over the planning phase and choosing the right design will mean you have a bathroom which meets your needs both now and in the future. Single people might prefer a wet room or a shower, but this may change if you have children in the future. If you have lots of bottles and jars in your bathroom you might need to add in extra storage. If you’re always fighting with your other half over space in front of the sink, putting in a double sink might be better than sticking with just one. Spend some time thinking about the disadvantages of the bathroom you have now, and work out what you can do to address those problems. Financial considerations have to start at an early stage too – set a realistic budget for your remodelled bathroom at the outset and stick to it. This will stop you getting carried away with expensive designer tiles or bathroom suites which you can’t really afford.
Get the Layout Right
Your ideal layout of bathroom might be affected by your budget. Removing one bathroom suite and replacing it with another in exactly the same position will be cheaper than moving elements of the suite around and relocating pipes. If you do want to move the bath to the opposite wall or replace a standard bathroom with a wetroom, get advice from a plumber about the total cost before you commit yourself one way or the other as this will help you make a decision with all of the facts in front of you. A good plumber will talk you through the options for a layout and give you costs for the alternatives. You might want to get the opinion of an electrician too if you want to put in new lighting or install a new electric shower. There are many different websites which will help you visualise a layout for your new bathroom, and kitchen design showrooms will help you too.
Plan for Having the Work Done
If you are having your bathroom completely remodelled, you should expect the work to take at least a week, possibly two. If you only have one bathroom in the house, how are you going to manage during this time? Careful planning between you and your plumber might minimise the time you are without a toilet, but this might not always be possible. Moving out is one possibility, but that means it’s even more important that you have a plumber you can trust. At an early stage of comparing quotes from different builders and plumbers, speak to them about timescales and project plans to minimise disruption.
Think About Storage
A common complaint about bathrooms is that there is just not enough storage for everything, and if you are going for a very sleek and modern look in your bathroom, having things cluttering up surfaces is going to spoil the look. Look online or in bathroom showrooms for clever solutions which will look great and not take up too much space. Go for more storage than you think you’ll actually need as it’s easy to underestimate storage requirements. If your bathroom is really tiny, look for storage which is either hidden or performs a dual function, such as flip down panels on the side of the bath which allow you to access the space under the tub, or vanity units which provide drawers or cupboards under the sink.
Heating and Lighting
Thinking about heating and lighting isn’t the most interesting part of the design process and it’s often left as an afterthought. If you have a small bathroom, it makes sense to free up some of the wall space by getting rid of radiators and using underfloor heating or a heated towel rail instead. Natural light is always best in a bathroom, but if natural light is lacking, look for LED downlighters which can be used in combination with lights around a mirror or shaving lights to allow you to have the level of lighting you require. Installing lots of new lighting or underfloor heating in place of an existing radiator is going to add to your budget, so always keep one eye on the cost. It’s very important to get your lighting right as it can affect the entire design.
Flooring and Wall Coverings
Tiles are often seen as the default choice for bathroom floors and walls and they are certainly practical and easy to keep clean. There are lots of other choices to consider though, and it will depend on the look you are trying to achieve as to which ones you go for. Rubber flooring is hard-wearing and practical, bamboo flooring gives a natural, oriental appearance and lino is good value for money. Some wallpapers can be used in bathrooms as well as other rooms in the house, and paint can also be used to cover both walls and floors. Consider all of the alternatives before automatically heading to the tile section.
Rules & Regulations
You won’t need planning permission to remodel your bathroom, unless you live in a very historic property. You will need to keep on the right side of the building regulations though, which lay out rules for things like insulation, ventilation and electrical safety. A good builder and plumber will be well aware of what the regulations are for the sort of work you are planning, and will help keep you right with the correct documentation and any notifications which have to be made to the Council.
Izzy represents Diamond Interiors’ UK following. With her very keen eye for style and design, she is an absolute wealth of information and advice in the world of interiors. To read more from Izzy, visit her blog: The Home of Inspiration.