A new bathroom

There are many good reasons for renovating an existing bathroom.  Existing features and plumbing may be dated and outmoded and in need of replacing, or the style of the bathroom set may be old-fashioned and in need of modernising.  Sometimes the use of a bathroom may change such as the arrival of children or when children become teenagers.  The design or function of a bathroom can be adjusted accordingly.  A new modernised bathroom may have the added advantage of adding to the value of home which incentivises many owners to renovate their old bathrooms, or indeed, install a completely new bathroom with a view to putting their house on the market.

Nowadays people have become used to having plenty of bathrooms in a home, as well as the choice of a shower or a bath.  Many people prefer having separate toilets to bathing amenities for added privacy.  Existing bathrooms can be re-designed, and minimal renovation work can separate these facilities into different rooms with reasonably little effort or cost.

Bathrooms are no longer simply functional entities within a house.  Stylish bathrooms are an integral part of every modern home, and with such a wide choice of bathroom furniture and fixtures to suit every budget, redecorating a bathroom is within every home-improvers scope.

A bathroom provides an essential function within the home and one which is used on a daily basis.  To many home owners a stylish yet functional bathroom is as important as a good kitchen or decent bedroom and when moving into a new house bathrooms are often given priority as far as renovating and redecorating is concerned.


Planning your new bathroom

When thinking through your plans for remodelling a bathroom, consider the practicalities. Whilst it is fun to launch into the selection of suites, accessories and furniture, before you travel too far down that road get the basics right.

At the early stages the advice of an experienced plumber will prove invaluable, as they are certain to produce alternative solutions and suggestions for the layout and design. They will be able to point out things to avoid and things to include, to make your new bathroom a success.

The bathroom plays a pivotal role in the smooth running of a household. A well-designed bathroom will work wonders for domestic harmony as well as adding value to your home if you should resell. After great kitchens, bathrooms with ‘wow factor’ are what buyers are looking for these days.

Remember that bathroom suites come in all shapes and sizes, and what may look fabulous in the showroom could be far too big for the space you have available. Take accurate measurements so you know exactly how much space you have, and the suite you purchase will be the perfect scale.

Make yourself aware of all that is out there. Don’t settle for a boring, predictable bathroom if you don’t have to. Research will tell you about wet rooms, luxury spa baths, multi-jet showers, twin sinks, heated, steam-free mirrors, excellent bathroom cabinets, perfect bathroom flooring and wall finishes. The remodelling of bathrooms has evolved and the scope of what is possible in the smallest room in the house has dramatically increased.


How to put up Mosaic Tiles

A mosaic tile offers quite a unique style when compared with a conventionally patterned tile, and is a way of giving the walls behind a bathroom suite a different look. 

If you wish to put up mosaic tiles as a splashback instead of covering the wall completely, you must first mark the points on the wall where the tiles are to finish.  A splashback is most easily done when it is the height of a full mosaic tile sheet.  Of course, this step is not required if the wall is to be fully covered.    

The next step is to spread tile adhesive on the wall with a spreader.  The spreader must be notched and held at a 45-degree angle as it is dragged across the adhesive.  This is to make sure the ridges in the adhesive have an equal depth.  Adhesive must be applied after every two to four sheets of tiles, especially if one person is doing the job.  This is to eliminate the possibility of the adhesive drying before the tiles are put up on the wall.   

If you are creating a splashback pattern, you should put the first sheet of mosaic tile at one end of the wall.  If the entire wall is to be covered, the best place to lay the first sheet of tile is in a bottom corner.  The tile sheet must be tight up against the edges.  A spirit level should be used to ensure the tiles are put up properly.  A small piece of wood can be used to adjust the tiles.

Grouting can be carried out after at least 24 hours.  A spreader with a rubber edge can be used to distribute the grout, which should be waterproof.  Excess grout should be cleared away as you go and after the grout has set, the lines can be neatened with a shaper.

You can get all of the supplies needed to tile your bathroom from various suppliers including UK Bathrooms.


Contemporary and Traditional Bathroom Toilets

Bathroom toilets can be designed with a contemporary feel or with a more traditional look in mind.  The angular lines of an Edwardian style bathroom suite can be echoed in a freestanding toilet.  A wall hung or back to wall toilet will probably have a more contemporary feel.  Close-coupled toilets have the cistern positioned close to the toilet bowl, though cisterns can also be low level, medium level or high level, typically with a chain attached.

A Burlington traditional toilet will probably benefit from a wooden seat and cover, though seats can be extremely up-to-date, made from tough moulded plastic or wood.  Some covers are modelled from transparent Perspex, and can be decorated with colourful designs, containing eye-catching fish or shells for example.  Contemporary toilet covers can even be fashioned to close automatically after use.  They are a perfect remedy for that age-old gender divide.  After all, will men ever learn to close the toilet lid?

Hygiene can also be employed in the design of your toilet, as some toilets come complete with an anti-bacterial toilet seat.


Keeping your bathroom at its best

As the bathroom is one of the most visited rooms in the home, there are steps that you will need to take to ensure that it is kept at its best.  Certain areas of your bathroom will often be exposed to water and will need treatment to prevent them from rotting or becoming mouldy.  A regular cleanout of your bathroom will help you to keep it looking at its best.
Steam from regular baths or Bristan showers can cause mould if your bathroom is not well ventilated.  There are a wide variety of extractor fans available that will help to remove any condensation.  Extractor fans are easy to install and are now available in a wide variety of styles, so you can easily find something that will suit and fit your bathroom perfectly.

If you have carpets or curtains installed, then there is a higher risk of them becoming damaged if they are regularly exposed to water.  Carpets easily absorb water, which will lead to them becoming mouldy.  If you can afford to, consider opting for a different type of floor such as tiles or linoleum flooring, as these will be easier to keep free of damp and mould.  You may also wish to consider replacing your curtains with blinds, as these are more suitable for bathrooms and will be easier to keep clean.

A regular cleanout of your bathroom accessories and products will also help to keep your bathroom at its best.  Any old soap, make-up, shavers or medicines should be removed as this will not only help to keep your bathroom tidy but will also create a healthier environment.  If you require extra space for your products, consider installing a small bathroom cabinet or vanity unit.  There are many designs available that will offer plenty of storage space as well as style to your bathroom.


Bathroom Furniture Has Come a Long Way

There is no longer any excuse for anybody to have a cluttered bathroom.  The variety of bathroom furniture that is currently available is enormous and no matter what your requirements may be, there will be a piece of bathroom furniture that does the job and fits the space properly.

There was a time when the laundry basket dominated many bathrooms, and filthy garments were regularly strewn across the floor.  Today there is bathroom furniture available which features an integrated laundry basket, and some pieces even have separate compartments for light and dark clothes.

Sinks in modern bathrooms are regularly incorporated into vanity units which have drawers and feature a large amount of storage space, integrated lighting, and a marble surround. 

We no longer see exposed plumbing or pipe work in the modern bathroom, either.  Today, it is hidden behind the walls or contained in cleverly designed bathroom furniture.  Furniture that is water-resistant and wipes clean now fills our bathrooms, hiding our toiletries, pipes, and toilet rolls. 

How did we ever cope in the bathroom before?


Small Bathroom Design

A large bathroom can be turned into a wonderful place for relaxation and indulgence. Designer catalogues often depict spacious bathrooms with whirlpool baths, walk-in showers and large designer sinks so it is not surprising that many feel that without a large amount of space it is impossible to create a truly beautiful bathroom. These brochures are misleading as the average British bathroom often struggles to offer even three square metres of space and this only allows for a standard bath, small sink and toilet. However, with careful planning and wise choices the homeowner can still create a bathroom to be proud of.

When designing a small bathroom, planning is crucial to make the most use of the space. Time should be taken deciding how the bathroom suite and other items are to be fitted into the available space to ensure that the layout does not mean having to compromise on style.

One of the most important decisions is whether to install a bath or a shower. For relaxation a bath is a priority, but for those who prefer an invigorating shower dispensing with the bath in favour of a larger shower or a wet room may be more attractive. However, it is important to remember that whilst on the continent it is not uncommon to find bathrooms without a bath, in the UK many people still expect to see a bath in a bathroom and not having one could create problems if the homeowner intends to sell in the near future.


Ideas for Small Bathrooms

If space is of the essence when designing or creating a new bathroom or shower room, consider clever design tricks and ideas to create the illusion of space and comfort.  Should you wish to fit a complete bathroom suite in a small room, then source a smaller than average bath and add a corner sink and wall-mounted toilet and fittings to save on floor space.  For a harmonious feel, install continuous tiles on the floor and walls to unify the room, or paint the walls in a pale colour to increase the light.  If you are lucky enough to have an attic space to convert into a bath or shower room, a skylight would be a superb addition to maximise the light.

Glass is a wonderful material to use to give the impression of more space and light, whether in the use of wall-mounted shelves, splashbacks or shower enclosures and screens.  Storage comes into its own in a small bathroom, so it is a wise idea to invest in a wall-hung bathroom cabinet or similar bathroom furniture to maximise floor space.  White or light-coloured walls and bathroom suites are always best if you want the room to seem larger, while dark-coloured walls may have the opposite effect.  If there is only room in your house for a shower, consider installing an open plan wet room shower, without superfluous bathroom furniture or bulky additions such as shower trays.  Clever use of storage, colour, and mirrors are invaluable when making a tiny bath or shower room deceptively spacious.


Re-grouting Bathroom Tiles

Over time grout gets damaged, mildews and gives your bathroom an unappealing, grubby look. Making the effort to re-grout will refresh the room’s appearance without the expense of a complete remodelling.

To remove the old grout, use a specialist grout saw (also called a grout raker) along the grooves, taking care not to scratch the tiles. The strong carbide tip will grind off the material. For the finer areas, use a Stanley knife or a chisel to dig away at the grout. Wipe away and vacuum any debris, as any loose pieces that remain will interfere with the application of the new grout.

The grout should be mixed according to the instructions on the packet. If you are only re-grouting a section of your bathroom, try to use a colour that matches the original. Dampen, but do not soak, the joints slightly with a sponge. Then, using a grout spreader, press the grout all over the edges of the tiling. Be firm so that that all the space in the joints is filled. Remove the excess grout from the tiles and wipe the surface with a sponge. Run a specialist grout shaper along the joints to ensure they are filled and to smooth the grout. If you use your fingers you are unlikely to get a uniform final result. To prevent water damage and mildew use, spray on a grout sealant after the grout has dried.


Designing Your New Bathroom

A bathroom should be a place of relaxation, but all too often the bathroom can be the smallest, coldest and most uninviting room in a home. However, any bathroom can be converted into a comfortable room.

Of course if a homeowner is building a new home or adding an extension he or she has the option of creating a beautiful bathroom to suit his or her needs and tastes. For those who are remodelling an existing bathroom, it all depends on how much space there is, the budget available and how much inconvenience a homeowner is prepared to tolerate.

Regardless of whether it is a new bathroom or an existing bathroom that is being planned there are four stages to the planning:

•    Measure up and note the positions of the existing fittings, doors and windows.
•    Work out a plan of where the new fittings should be installed.
•    Decide on the structural work that will need to be carried out, if any.
•    Decide on any changes that will need to be made to services, i.e. water, drains, electricity.

If a homeowner is making major changes to a bathroom the local authority will need to be consulted about regulations and rules that apply to bathrooms and toilets. External ventilation is required for a bathroom and any room with a toilet must be separated by a door from a room that is used for the preparation of food. If the only bathroom leads off a bedroom there must be another access door.