Bathroom Designs, Ideas & Inspiration
Posted on 8th March 2021 at 11:44
Bathroom Renovation - Everything you need to know about designing your perfect bathroom
If your shower is not controlling the temperature, the shower screen is leaking and for a long time your bathroom has been in need of a renovation, the question is where do you start. Most bathroom designs will come from a starting point of budget or design. It's a practical space abused several times a day from moisture, heat and general wear and tear so lets go through how you develop a design and inspire you a little.
Assess your bathroom needs
Depending on if you are a shower or bath person the design needs to be based around your list of requirements. Unless your budget is open, compromise will need to be made either in use of the space or finishes, it's very important to write your list out from the most to least important requirements. If your involving a bathroom designer like us we would guide you through a design process with the added value of experience.
Choosing the Bathroom products and technology have come a long way in the past few years, consideration on the amount of water we use, how to tackle hard water and even recycling when the time comes for replacement. There are so many bathroom fittings manufacturers finding an item on show in a showroom is difficult due to the lack of showrooms against the volume of manufacturers. Bathroom designers/installer showrooms will have their favourites like we do, this could be due to their margins, easy installation or the after care if there was ever a problem.
Selecting quality bathroom manufacturers
So this now sounds really complicated but we can break this down. You need to find manufacturers who offer strong warranties which will be practical after a bathroom has been installed. You also want to be sure that the manufacturer will carry replacement parts for those products for a number of years e.g replacement toilet seats!.
Be realistic with your budget
Consider in the cost of your fittings what time scale they may last for. From experience cheap does not deliver a long term solution and can sometimes cost you more in the long run, even look at the good brands and consider their cheaper end rather than just something that looked nice and was on a deal with no branding…..it probably can’t receive replacement parts in the future.
Plan a Bathroom Layout
The space available for your bathroom will dictate what's possible in the layout without major re-engineering of the plumbing but the following gives you an idea of how to design that space to a style. The underpinnings of spending well on the fittings, having a sensible budget and making compromise will be the same in all styles but some basics in the process of designing will be a great help.
Do your research, spend some time searching for images of what you like. Inspiration can be taken from anything.
Consider how you use the space and write your wish list of what you need in your design..
If you can use a piece of graph paper or a free online bathroom design package to map out what you would like where in alignment to plumbing. (That's if you have not employed a bathroom designer)
Visit showrooms and get an idea of what you like, check manufactures warranties….don’t jump onto the first thing you see.
In concluding which manufacturers you use look at brochures, check the detail like water pressure on taps, warranties, reviews online.
Here are our design ideas & top tips for bathroom renovation
Design ideas for Traditional Bathrooms
It's common place that the bathroom suits the house so a traditional bathroom is very suitable in a traditional house. The iconic fittings to include would be a large telephone styled tap on the end of the bath, separate hot and cold taps on a grand basin with pedestal, and lastly a classic freestanding bath. Traditional can mean older styling but as period property can be at a premium the bathroom industry steps up with beautiful high level cisterns dressed with long chrome flush pipes onto pretty toilet pans with a wooden seat….traditional just became stylish again.
If your looking for storage a shaker style in-frame style vanity unit or tall storage unit standing on the floor could work with additional glass shelves on hand made brackets. Lighting for these spaces can also be quite spectacular with wall mounted fittings either side of the basin vanity mirror or maybe a central chandelier. There are a couple of companies out there who can provide at a premium some simple hand made pieces like classic pull switches, door handles, light fittings which have the character of the old but with the technology of today.
I love the use of wood in bathrooms so a traditional plank wooden floor in any material brings warmth to the room. Today you have the option of real wood, tiles which look like wood and vinyl for a floor, each of these have their pros and cons but all suitable to create the right feel in a room especially when tiles all round could make the space feel too cold.
Tiling a traditional bathroom can again be iconic by considering a period in time. For a grand bathroom this could be the use of natural stone like Travertine, Slate or Marble or a more retro feel with Metro tiles. Metro tiles come in a range of colours and can be from that subway shark geometric look through to manufacturers who are hand making every tile so there is a difference in colour and depth of colour. Add to this a crackle glaze the tile can look older and work with a traditional property.
Like any style consider the look as a whole, don’t add too many different elements, consider how the volume of tiling may make the room feel. The more going on in the a room the smaller a space can feel so research into seeing images of what others have done, is a huge help.
Design ideas for Luxury Bathrooms
You don’t consider the word luxury without knowing the budget is not the leading factor. This is where your wish list has to be answered and a great starting place is looking at high end hotel bathrooms. Don’t think everything in this space needs to be the most expensive, you need a few items which say luxury. This can be from the size of the shower, the quality and styling of the taps, the look of the tiling. For me it's thinking about building the dream, most luxury bathroom we install have the following:
Large basin unit if not his and hers basins.
Large mirror or illuminated mirror covering the full width of the basin (s)
Large walk in shower with a combination shower offering you a drench head and hand shower.
Wall hung toilet pans with hidden cisterns with a push button wall plate.
Modern free standing bath
Lighting for every day use and lighting effects for bathing which could be coloured LED’s……in the floor, mounted in a plinth!
The luxury bathroom is more about the experience when using the room, this will always come with a bigger budget but delivery of the installation has to be as good as the products. I would always consider higher end products for fittings like taps and showers within such a bathroom and make savings on products that won’t take as much abuse.
Tiling can be anything really from using simplicity as big tiles on both the walls and floor to feature walls using a more intricate design or feature strips of colour.
There are luxury items available which take your bathroom to another level, classed at times as boys toys by many wives these are normally optional extras for men who take interest. Tile under floor heating with thermostatic controls which now work via an App on your phone, illuminating mirrors with colour changing back lighting and inbuilt speakers, digital showers with external on/off buttons allowing your shower to warm before you step in.
Lastly the devil is in the detail, if the larger fittings are sharp so should the little things like tile edging, thresholds, plugs. Spend well on these and the whole experience of a luxury bathroom can be delivered.
Design ideas for Contemporary Bathrooms
Contemporary bathrooms do cross over with luxury, but the difference is purely budget. Contemporary can be delivered on many levels but we are really talking about geometrical shapes, sharp lines, simplicity. A range of products on the market can deliver this with the use of large wall and floor tiles, not using too many different materials is advised within a space.
Working from the ceiling down I would include LED spots, configured either for lighting the room or a second switch controlling a single light over the shower which can be used for the shower or as a dimmer night light.
Tiling, keep it simple, the more grout lines the more complicated the space is, consider how much tiling is really required as each square meter is costing you close on £90 for material an labour cost. You can just tile the areas that are needed and paint the walls with a hard wearing emulsion.
Feature taps can dress a simple basin or basin with storage unit, wall hung or floor mounted depending on storage requirements.
Large towel rails are preferable to do both jobs of heating a room and drying towels, consider how many towels need to be hung and calculate the volume of heat required for the bathroom.
The over riding rules are keep it simple, keep it sharp and use the right products that deliver this.
Design ideas for Wet Rooms
"Wet room” is probably the most common words said when I ask what a client is looking for, but there is a lot to consider. The idea behind a wet room is that you have an open space with a floor which carries throughout. The walls will probably be tiled floor to ceiling and the over feel for the space will be open. We are too often hypnotised by the idea of how this can be rather than how this can work so you have to start with a suitable space.
Unfortunately, here in the UK we mainly live in home built of bricks and timber floors which through the seasons move through expansion and contraction. To counteract this wet rooms require tanking where the whole room is made water tight so any moisture breaking through the tile/grouting end up going through a plug hole and not through your kitchen ceiling. Not all property is suitable for this wet room set up so I would also ways advise this is carried out by a specialist who offer the correct warranty.
Wet rooms can come at a cost as they are normally minimalist, box sections and pipework can be moved or hidden to give you your flat smooth walls which is more ideal. Wall hung toilet pans and hidden cisterns work better to keep the floor clear for low maintenance and protecting the materials they are built in.
To play it safe you can still create the same feel without the expense of a proper wet room. Shower trays can now come in options other than white to match in with tiling though I would say a large white walk in shower tray can work better when installed with a proper walk in shower system. Some manufacturers supply the shower tray and shower glass with shower controls all as one package, this provides everything you need in one go and under one warranty.
Consider overall how the wet room will work practically, simple things like will the toilet roll paper get wet, will water that splashes damage other components within the room.
Ideas for Eco-Friendly Bathrooms
Over the past ten years steps have been taken within the industry to address being more Eco-Friendly with the way we use water, electricity I think this will only progress further but we all have a responsibility to consider products and finishes which are sustainable.
I remember when I started most power showers required huge amounts of water but manufacturers reduced the volume through showers and even mix water with air to give the impression of those early drenching power showers. It's in everyone's interest from the volume of water you use through to the amount of hot water you are paying to heat. Many digital showers can come with a timed shut off and varied sprays on shower heads again help on consumption.
LED lighting has taken over from the halogen which we use to be installing with longer life fitting being safer due to lower fire risks.
Extraction fans can now come with a humidity stat which will clear the moisture from the room and then shut off. Take it a step further you can purchase heat recover fans balancing the heat within your home.
Radiators now use thermostatic controls meaning it will heat the room and shut down when necessary and the materials they are made of heat up quicker with a greater exterior volume heating more of the air. Changing any like for like radiator in your home which has been there some some time should give you a greater heat output and save on how long the boiler is running.
It's then down to considering the products that dress the room. A prime example of that is flooring, several years ago a huge range of products came onto the market with their basis being Bamboo. Being such a sustainable product due to its volume and speed of growth it became very popular but you still need to look at its process and chemical used within that process. I am not sure manufacturers really tell the whole story so research here is key but with the use of the internet you are able to work out those who are and aren't’t being honest.
Lastly I would like to see better use in bathrooms of the water we waste especially in the summer months when waste water and watering your garden could be using the same water….or maybe that's down to the individual. Being more sustainable or Eco Friendly is influenced by the many, so making little changes now could provide a big difference for our children.
Bathrooms are very unique in our market place and that's because not one product does fit all. We design & supply a fantastic range of bathrooms, walk in shower rooms & wet rooms
Tagged as: Bathroom designers
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