With summer just around the corner, you may be thinking that some areas of your home could do with a fresh new look. The bathroom is an area that often gets pushed to one side but with a few handy hints and tips you could be on your way to achieving your very own summer spa.
One of the main reasons people are hesitant to start working on their bathroom is because they’re unsure of where to start. We asked Buying Guide Specialist at Soak.com, Louise Brown, for some handy hints and tips when setting out on a bathroom revamp.
One of the first things you’ll want to consider when redesigning a bathroom is the type of space you’re working with. If it’s a small bathroom or cloakroom, you’ll want to look at what space saving designs are available to maximise your area. There are now some really ingenious options available that will help you create a practical bathroom without sacrificing on style. Ideas such as a closed back or wall hung toilet will mean your cistern isn’t taking up valuable space. Wall-mounted basins are another clever design feature that will help you save on floor space such as the 600mm Denver Gloss White Countertop Unit & Alicia Basin - Wall Hung
Alternatively, if you have more room to play with, you may want to think about a more luxurious shower enclosure such as the Designer EasyClean Walk Through Panel,
or even a freestanding bath, such as The Caitlyn Freestanding Bath.
A good idea is to draft a floor map of your bathroom and consider where each piece will be located. If you’re sticking with your current layout then this should be relatively easy but if you’re considering a complete redesign, bear in mind that costs may escalate if you’re relocating pipework.
You should always find out the measurements of any products before you buy them too. Luckily, all of soak.com’s products provide you with an in-depth breakdown of dimensions and weight so you know what you’re working with.
Another idea is to hire a bathroom designer. As the saying goes, ‘planning makes perfect’ and hiring a good bathroom designer is a sure-fire way to get the most for your money. Not only will your designer know all the tricks of the trade when it comes to maximising space but they will also detect any possible design disasters before you start working. Designers will also have a more thorough knowledge of products on the market, providing you with more design options to choose from.
Water Pressure and Water Systems
Before you decide to invest in a new shower or toilet, always check what water pressure is available in your home and what type of water system you have. If you get this step wrong, you could end up buying the shower of your dreams only to find that it isn’t compatible with your property.
To check if you have low water pressure at home, you’ll need a one litre measuring jug and a timer. Before you do this you should make sure that any appliances in the home that use water are turned off.
Step 1 - Place the measuring jug underneath your tap, shower or pipe.
Step 2 - Turn on your cold water tap and time how long it takes for your measuring jug to reach 1 litre.
Step 3 - If it takes longer than seven seconds for your measuring jug to fill up, it’s likely you may have low water pressure in your home.
If you do have low-water pressure in your home, don’t worry, there are other ways to achieve an invigorating shower experience. Shower boosters are a great way of increasing the flow-rate of your shower. Another option is installing an electric shower, such as the
Triton AS2000XT Thermostatic Power Shower that has a built-in pump.
Knowing what type of water system you have will also effect what type of shower you can install. As a general rule, you’ll find there are three main systems in the average UK home:
1. Cold water tank in the loft
If you have a cold water tank in your loft as well as a hot water tank – usually found in an airing cupboard – you probably have a low pressure water system. This is called a gravity-fed system and tends to be more common in older properties. You can always add a shower pump to increase the pressure and I would suggest the Salamander CT 50 Xtra - 1.5 Bar Twin Shower Pump.
2. Combi Boiler
If your home has a combination boiler, or combi, it is more likely that you have a high pressure vented water system. Combi boilers are usually located on an outside wall in the kitchen. They take cold water directly from the mains supply and heat it on demand. Combi boilers are not only more energy efficient but save space by eliminating the need for a tank or cylinder. At soak.com, you can choose from a wide range of exposed and concealed showers such as the 200mm Square Head Thermostatic Exposed Shower Kit and the Handheld & Thermostatic Mixer Shower Kit – Slimline
200mm Square Head Thermostatic Exposed Shower Kit
Handheld & Thermostatic Mixer Shower Kit – Slimline
3. High Pressure System
If you have a hot water tank but no cold water tank, your system is being fed straight from the mains and is therefore likely to be a high pressure, unvented water system. The water is stored in a hot water tank that will be heated by a central heating boiler or electric immersion heater attached to the tank. If you’re looking for a shower that provides a spa experience and is great for high pressure, then the Waterfall & Rainfall Wall Mounted Shower Head, 4 Body Jets & Thermostatic Mixer Shower Kit is perfect.
Contemporary vs Traditional
Once you know how big your space is and what system you have, you can start with the fun part - choosing how you want your bathroom to look! You may have a general idea in your mind but it’s a good idea to decide in advance whether the theme of your bathroom will be contemporary or traditional.
With contemporary styling you will find that bathroom pieces such as toilets will be more angular in shape, with hidden flushes and pipework that fit into a more minimalist styling. This is to fit in with modern bathroom fixtures such as squared sink basins and sharper angled baths. If contemporary is what you‘re looking for then The Square Head Thermostatic Exposed Shower Kit & Handheld is a real winner and is sure to impress.
Traditional bathrooms have more of an emphasis on curved lines, toilets feature a more rounded bowl and there is more emphasis on the shape of the cistern. You may have seen some styles replicating early toilet systems with a high cistern and pull-down lever. Traditional styles are often chosen for their timeless appeal as they are less likely to look dated in years to come. If you’re after more of a vintage themed bathroom, a traditional style could be the choice for you. Our Finest Head Thermostatic Traditional Exposed Shower Kit & Handheld provides a stunning and classic feel and boasts a timeless circular design.
With a good understanding of the space you’re working with, the type of water system you have and finally, what type of bathroom you want, you’ll have some solid foundations in place to get you on your way to achieving that dream bathroom you’ve always wanted.