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When planning a new bathroom, the first step is to draw out a plan showing the layout of bath, sink, toilet and shower, while at the same time noting the position of windows and doors. Once you have drawn out your plan, work out how much you want to spend, making a list of priorities, then talk to a bathroom specialist who can help design and plan all the various bathroom options. Once you are comfortable with your new design, you can start choosing all the products you want and shop around to find the best prices. If you don't have much room to play with, there are plenty of space-saving products on offer plus you can use corner sinks or toilets. Once your new bathroom is complete, make sure you gain the relevant building regulations approval, which will involve checking drainage, any electrics, ventilation and glass.
A new or resurfaced bath will give your bathroom a fresh new look as the bath is the main focal point of any bathroom. The size and shape of the bathroom will dictate to a large degree what sort of bath you buy and you can take your pick from a wide range of options including freestanding baths, circular tubs and classic rectangular baths with traditional bath panels. Traditional rectangular baths are ideal if combining a bath and shower as they have a flat rim for shower screens. But modern showerbaths with rounded end also allow you to have the best of both worlds but with a shorter tub. The standard bath depth is 372mm, but you can also buy in 420mm, 450mm and even 500mm sizes.
Most of us prefer to have both a shower and a bath. In smaller bathrooms you can install an over-bath shower with a clear glass screen, in larger bathrooms you can have a modern wetroom-style shower with a choice of draining directly into the floor or into a large, low level shower tray. Whichever type you choose, always go for the biggest shower tray you can and choose a good-quality shower tray made from resin, ceramic, marble, slate and even teak. Investing in good quality is worth it as shower trays tend to be the weak point in terms of durability in any bathroom. If you're going to install a wetroom, you would be advised to enlist the help of a specialist bathroom designer, as the drainage and waterproofing of the room have to be perfect.
Tiles are always a good choice for flooring and wall covering in bathrooms, being hard wearing, waterproof and versatile. You can choose from natural stone tiles such as limestone, marble and slate, or go for man-made varieties including porcelain and ceramic. Each type has it's own pros and cons, for example limestone tiles look terrific, but they stain easily, marble tiles are very tough but are cold and slippery when wet, slate is waterproof and cheap to buy, whereas porcelain tiles are virtually indestructible. Large tiles make the bathroom look more spacious and you can use the same tiles on the walls and floors to creates a seamless effect in a wet room.
There are of course many ways to find local bathroom designers, but please don’t do business with anyone who does not provide a written quote with a clear breakdown of the work to be carried out plus all the associated costs. Also remember that the cheapest quote is not always the best and the most expensive quote does not necessarily mean that you will get the best job. Once you have found a good designer, expect to be asked for a deposit of around 20% to 50%, with the balance to be paid on completion. One of the best ways to source a bathroom designer and installer is by personal recommendation from friends and family, if this is not an option, the next best thing is to use the Myjobquote.co.uk service which helps UK home owners connect with local and reliable trades people near you. The service is free to use and there are 30 main trades with numerous sub categories where you can describe your job and provide a budget for the work, then simply enter your contact details and you will soon receive a number of quotes and estimates for your job. If your designer is also going to supply and install your new bathroom, expect to pay in the region of £4,500 in total for the complete job including fees.
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