If you intend to stay in your home for a while, then the bathroom you choose should exactly reflect your desires and needs. However, if you might move on, then a neutral or classic – especially white – bathroom suite will usually be the most appealing and saleable in the long run.
Working out a budget
As well as buying the bathroom suite itself, you’ll need to account for fixtures, wall tiles, flooring, lighting and accessories such as plugs, soap trays, bath mats, towels and shower curtains or doors. Plus don’t forget about plumbing and electrical installation costs.
The taps on your bath and sink might be small details but can make a real difference to the look of your bathroom. Many standard bathroom suites come with taps included. If you need to buy taps you can expect to pay anything from £10 to several hundred pounds. Mixer taps – the ones that mix hot and cold water – are generally more expensive, starting at around £150 each.
Showers save time, money and are more eco-friendly than baths so it’s worth installing one if you have space. They can work off both conventional water tanks and combi boilers, or you could opt for an electric shower, which heats the mains cold water supply via an electric element as and when you use the shower. If you don’t have good water pressure, you may find that the shower is a bit weak. You can overcome this with a shower pump.
Labour adds up
The most expensive part of your bathroom bill is usually the cost of installation labour. Get several quotes before you commit to one. Big bathroom suppliers such as B&Q can install bathrooms for you, for a charge. Using an installation service means they will also remove and dispose of your old bathroom too. Tiling, flooring and plumbing are in addition to the installation of your bathroom. If you are organising the work yourself, then you may need to get the right tradesman for each job.
Make a plan
Get some graph paper and draw up a floor plan of your bathroom. Mark the location of doors and windows and special features such as alcoves. Add measurements of room length, width, height of ceiling, and height and width of doors and windows. Use this to help you design your new bathroom.
If you don’t have a window, then you may need to get an extractor fan fitted to ensure that condensation or damp doesn’t build up after baths and showers. Also think about the electrics. You don’t want to lie in a bath with a blinding light above you, but make sure the option you choose is safe. You might also want to include a shaving socket, which can also be useful for electric toothbrushes.
Bathroom floor options include natural stone tiles, slate, ceramic tiles, cork tiles, vinyl or laminate flooring, solid or engineered wood floorboards or painted floors. Choose the one that suits you and your family’s needs – you don’t want a potentially slippery tile floor if you have small children, for example. Or you may want to treat yourself to heated flooring for a touch of luxury.
For the walls popular options include ceramic, natural stone, slate, glass and mosaic tiles. You can also buy water resistant paints that are suitable for bathrooms.
If you are fitting a new bathroom you may be doing new building work and updating contents such as bathroom cabinets, lights and towels. If you think this may affect the amount of contents cover you have on your existing Churchill home insurance policy, please call us. Remember that you may not be covered for any damage caused by DIY work so for any difficult jobs, it is worth hiring a skilled tradesman.