6 steps to your dream bathroom
- Credit: Alamy/PA
Tired of the unsatisfactory state of your bathroom?
Whether the issues are big or small, if your bathroom is driving you to distraction and you’ve decided to overhaul the space, there are a few things you need to consider before you start.
We asked interiors experts for their best bathroom renovation advice…
1. Layout is crucial
“To start, I’d make a list of all the things that you love about your bathroom and all the things that drive you slightly potty,” says Steph Briggs, interior designer and co-founder of La Di Da Interiors, then decide if you can make better use of the space with a different layout. “Most pieces are relatively easy for a plumber to reposition, with the exception of the toilet, which is a little trickier due to the soil pipe.”
Brenna Ryan, bathroom and interior design expert from Victorian Plumbing, says: “Be sure to record accurate measurements before purchasing anything – there’s nothing more annoying than fixtures that don’t fit. To give the illusion of more space, go for hanging vanity units and take advantage of wall studs and storage cabinets to save floor space.”
2. Stick to your budget
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“It’s really easy to get carried away with a bathroom renovation,” says Steph, which is why you must agree on a budget and stick to it. “If you can’t afford to do it all at once, or the budget required is bigger than you currently have, see where you can cut corners for an interim solution,” for example, having a cheaper vinyl floor and purchasing tiling at a later date.
3. Invest in key fittings
Both of our experts agree that some fittings are more important than others.
“Taps are expensive, but are to bathrooms what jewellery is to an outfit,” Steph says. “Buy the best you can afford – a good quality, good looking tap will make a less expensive white suite look and feel more luxe.”
Brenna says sturdy flooring is essential: ‘’Well-sealed and hard-wearing floors are key to ensuring the longevity of your bathroom renovation. Opt for water-resistant and durable flooring. Ceramic, marble and stone are a great choice.’’
4. Don’t overcomplicate the decor
“With bathroom decor, simplicity is best,” says Brenna, who recommends using sites like Pinterest to gather inspiration. “Choose a colour palette and accessorise with different tones and patterns from that palette, to create an impactful yet harmonious space.”
5. Use lighting to create atmosphere
Lighting may be one of the last aspects you consider, but it can make a big difference, Brenna says: “Consider recessed light fixtures throughout your ceiling to brighten up the space, and include one or two in your shower. A dimmer switch is also a great investment, so you can adjust the mood in your bathroom.”
6. Choose reliable tradespeople
Thorough research is important when deciding on tradespeople to carry out the renovation.
“Plumbers – like other trades – will have their own areas of speciality; do they do bathroom refits regularly?” asks Brenna. “Can they show a portfolio of work they’ve completed before? Can you speak to the homeowners and get references?”
In terms of fixtures and fittings, she recommends: “Set clear boundaries of who is responsible for sourcing what – how much do you want to be involved? Would you rather outsource the whole project or manage it?”
And finally, don’t underestimate how long the renovation may take. Ryan adds: “Most homeowners are shocked when I say how long we need to wait for the right trades to be available – three to six months is not uncommon, but it depends on where you live. I would be wary of any tradesperson that can be available immediately!”