Your New Bathroom (Including En-Suites): Top Design Tips

Renovating your bathroom can be an exciting project. You get to think of how to make that space aesthetically pleasing and relaxing, while also being practical for you and your family. If you’re thinking about or looking to renovate or put in an en-suite, there’s an exciting luxury to work towards. However, there are some things you might not know. That’s why today we’re sharing some advice on making your bathroom renovation the best project it can be:

Planning Your Dream Bathroom

When planning out your new bathroom renovation, as with any room, you need to take into consideration what you like about it currently and what are the main things you wish to change. Are you happy with where your key hardware pieces, such as your toilet, sink and shower or bath are? If not, you may need to think about why and hire a professional plumber to see how realistic it would be to move those things that they can be useable.

Additionally, consider who will be using the bathroom the most and what it will be used for. Do you have family members who may need accessibility features such as handrails installed? Where would those features go, if so?

For this to be a project to get excited about, take the time to think about how you want this room to look. Think of the colours you want to use, and the pieces you want to furnish it with, from the toothbrush holder to the towel racks or shelves. You can look at websites such as Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration. However, if you want to look a little deeper, you could try reading books or magazines focused on the subject. Additionally, if you have a membership card with your local library, you should be able to sign up to the app Libby, which offers free online resources that could be helpful.

Budgeting for Your Project

A bathroom is typically the second most expensive room to furnish and decorate, with kitchens usually coming in first place. This means that you need to need to sit down and work out what you really want from your new bathroom renovation. Write down what you need to get for it, if you need to hire a professional to help install or redecorate anything and start with a good idea of how much you are willing to spend.

Additionally, you should record what you are willing to spend the most money on and prioritise your budget around that. Once you have this information, look online to see how much these things generally cost and work out where you may need to compromise your budget, so that you can see what you can realistically afford.

Plumbing Essentials

Water is obviously one the main essential aspects of your bathroom function: toilet, sink, shower, and bath. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that you get a good plumber to inspect your bathroom and see that everything is running efficiently. Additionally, if you want to replace any of these elements, a plumber can help ensure that the new piece is installed properly, so that it runs efficiently without impacting the rest of the bathroom.

Even if you have some plumbing experience and can fit a lot of these pieces yourself with the right equipment, it is recommended that you use a professional, qualified plumber afterwards to inspect everything is working efficiently, there are no minor hidden leaks, and the drainage is working efficiently. You don’t want to accidentally neglect something that could become a bigger problem later, when you could get it sorted out sooner.

It is also advisable to consult with a plumber if you can considering moving elements of your bathroom around and especially if you are adding a new bathroom or ensuite where maybe there wasn’t one previously.

Tiles: Walls and Flooring

Due to their strong water-resistance, tiles are the most popular choice for bathroom walls. They aren’t affected by condensation and it’s trickier for mould to grow on them, although they still need to be washed as part of your bathroom cleaning routine. There are thousands of colours, patterns, styles, textures and shapes you can find. You can get simple square or rectangular tiles that slot nicely together in place, or you find tiles that are more unusual to create striking patterns against your bathroom walls.

It’s not just your walls you need to think about though, as you plan your bathroom renovation. Tiles are also a popular choice for bathroom flooring. Aim to choose flooring that matches your wall tiles, so you can tie everything together in an aesthetically pleasing way. If you are against the idea of having tiled floors, you may also consider laminate or vinyl for your bathroom, which are both available in tile-look effects, as well as stronger materials such as stone, marble or granite.

Underfloor Heating

One thing you can consider when planning your flooring is installing underfloor heating. You can choose between either having the electric or hydronic kinds installed. Electric unfloor heating works with electric cables underneath the flooring to heat them up. This is the faster option for heating, with the benefit of being able to select your temperature and it’s easy to install. Hydronic heating works by having tubes under the tiles with boiling water inside to heat the floors. Installing underfloor heating is a great way to heat up your entire bathroom, not just the floor. Both of these options are safe to have within your home, and will not heat your floor to the point that you can’t stand on it. It may make the process of getting out of a nice hot shower or bath a bit easier.

Bath, Shower or Both?

Bathtubs and showers both have their perks, but you may have considered getting rid of one in order to have the other. Baths use more water, and it can be more time consuming to have a bath rather than a shower. Additionally, showers have proven to be more effective at getting you clean than baths are and are also more environmentally friendly on water use. However, getting any pets or children clean is more easily achieved in a bath, and are easier to unwind in if you need to.

Research has shown that buyers would prefer to have a shower bath in their home: a shower head attached to the wall, above a bathtub. This is a simple, popular choice that gives you the benefits of both. If you do make a significant change to your property by installing a new bath or shower as part of your bathroom renovation, it would be a good idea to consider getting a property valuation when the project is completed. Your surveyor should be able to tell you if the value of your property has increased and offer their opinion on how your new bathroom has made an impact on its worth.

En-Suite

En-suites are a luxury in any home but can also offer practical solutions in a busy family home. An en-suite is your own place to relax, get ready in the mornings, and much more. Renovating one is not dissimilar to renovating a normal bathroom. However, building your own en-suite is quite a different project.

Although you must own your property to carry out such a project, you may still need planning permission before you can go ahead with creating your new en-suite.

Wet Rooms

The term “wet room” is one that is becoming increasingly more common. A wet room is different to having a traditional shower, in that there is no tub or tray that you close yourself in to run the water down on. Instead, the shower is up against an open wall or hang from the ceiling, and the water runs down straight and goes through a drain right in the middle of the tiled floor.

This can be an excellent way to create space in a bathroom where it may otherwise be limited. Due to everything being open, it also makes the space easier to clean which be very helpful. Additionally, it can be a great option for someone living with a physical disability, who may find it difficult to get in or out of a shower or bath independently and maybe require access with a wheelchair or use of a shower chair.

However, there are some downsides to having a wet room that you should consider before you go ahead with planning one. The first flaw is implied within the name – the entire room will become wet with each use of the shower head. Without correctly angled floor drawing water towards the central drain, the entire floor will flood if you do not take good care of your drainage system. It’s also worth knowing that wet rooms still aren’t as popular as showers or baths, so having one (if it’s the only bathroom in the house) may make your property harder to sell in the future. When planning your bathroom renovation, make sure that the changes you make will make a positive impact in the long term and that you aren’t only making changes that you simply want in the present mo

Steam Showers

The internet is full of articles sharing the benefits of installing a steam shower. Primarily, they help improve circulation, help you to relax and can clear airways, which is ideal for those struggling with allergies or sinus problems. These usually contain benches to sit on while using them and many come with additional options such as adding in sound systems and mood lighting, which add to the relaxing effect. They are also quite compact, taking up not much more space than an average stand-alone shower.

However, while it’s lovely to have a spa experience such as this within the easy access of your own home, it may be worth considering how practical it would be and the additional cost. Although steam showers are adaptable and can also be used as normal showers, if you have a large family, you may find your water bill increasing over time as people play around with shower settings and choose to spend longer in there as they enjoy their steamy spa-like experience. If this doesn’t deter you however, it could be a worthwhile investment for everyone in the home to enjoy, and potentially appealing for any future buyers.

Whirlpool Baths

Also known as a jacuzzi bath, these bathtubs offer another type of spa experience within your home. While steam showers offer a sauna effect, the bubbling water effects in this kind of tub can act as a jacuzzi. Not only is this a pleasant, relaxing feature to have, but the targeted jets of water can hit certain parts of your body where you may need to relieve pain or tension. People who suffer with arthritis or blood circulation issues will particularly feel the benefits after soaking in a bath like this. An upside to installing a whirlpool bath is that there are various size options. You could fit one that is the size of a normal bath, but you can get bigger corner ones as well.

How Many Sinks?

Most commonly, bathrooms only have one sink. However, it is becoming more common to have a double sink installed. This can be useful for several reasons. Some people may want to get ready for the day or prepare to go to bed at the same time as their partner. By having separate sinks, particularly with holders for their own toothbrushes, soaps and other toiletries attached, it allows people their own space within a shared area, so that people aren’t getting in each others way. Additionally, if you have two or more children, it can be a good way to get them to get ready for bed at the same time by using the family bathroom to brush their teeth.

A double sink is easier to install than you may think. Rather than getting two new separate sinks, a double sink with still share the same drainage system, so they will connect easily through a joint pipe, if installed properly. You can get adaptable pipes that will join from both sinks and connect them so the water runs out of them as if they were just one. However, double sinks are generally part of a unit. This is great, because a lot of units have cupboards within them that allow people to put their toiletries away underneath their specific sink, but when you look at these, make sure you have the space for them and that they will work well alongside everything else in your bathroom.

Airing Cupboards and Other Storage Spaces

Airing cupboards are important. They keep our boilers hidden away safely, but depending on their layout, they can also serve as great storage areas, providing that they have additional shelving as many do. These can be great spaces to put things away tidily, but what if you need more storage than that?

There are plenty of storage amenities that can fit nicely into your bathroom without making it feel crowded. Toilet roll holders, towel racks, and base units that can fit underneath your sink are all popular options. Additionally, vanity units that you can hang on your wall with mirrored doors are a helpful way to put both a mirror and a practical storage space in your area. Additionally, in your research of getting a new toilet, sink or bath installed, you may find that some of these (sinks particularly) can come with their own storage areas attached, which may influence your decision in buying a certain model set.

Children’s Bathroom Design

While we’ve been looking at things that can make the bathroom a dream area for you, there might be some things you should consider if you want to make it a happy place for others in your family.

The bathroom can be a daunting place for young children. Depending on age, they may need help with washing themselves, brushing their teeth and using the toilet. You can buy a range of things to help furnish the room for the smaller members of your family, such as a stepping stool to help them reach the sink, a smaller removable toilet seat (or smaller seat option as part of the main seat) and a slip-proof mat with a good grip for when they get out of the bath or shower. You can also include items that can make the bathroom feel like more of a fun place. For example, bath toys, themed towels with their favourite characters on them or a range of other items.

Conclusion

A bathroom is a vital room in any household, and hopefully with these tips, you can renovate yours into the perfect one for your family.

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