Have to kit out 3 bathrooms and don't know where to start.(10 Posts)
When we re did our kitchen, I knew pretty much exactly the quality and style I wanted. I have to do the bathrooms now and have no idea where to start.
I looked at Bathstore stuff at one of their stores and liked the look of it but have read reviews saying the quality is questionable.
I've seen some more expensive stuff at a store that had various different brands but nothing really grabbed me.
Anyone have any suggestions about where I can look? Any brands or stores that will have places I can go and see and touch and feel?! I don't just want pictures on the Internet...
Mid budget, so don't want to spend a fortune, but don't want the cheapest and I do not want to have to replace everything in 6 years.
Do you have your bathroom fitter lined up? I found the best thing was to find the fitter first and then he recommended what would work best in our space, showed me examples of work he had done before so we could discuss what we liked / didn't like and then he recommend a tile shop and independent bathroom shop where we could talk in more detail. We ended up with going with the same in both bathrooms to make it easier.
ThanksToots - we are doing a massive project on the whole house, and our builder will also fit our bathrooms. I think at the moment he is more concerned with trying to get the roof on, so he doesn't want to talk about bathrooms! But I know the day will come where he says, right, what are you having, and I have no clue! I need to line everything up so there is no delay when he is ready to fit the bathrooms.
Independent bathroom retailers.
For quality / durability look at porcelain (not acrylic) for sinks, enamel (not plastic) for baths and metal (nor coated plastic) for taps etc. Shop around as they need not be that expensive. Ask for bulk discounts.
Oh, and check lead times. Most of our stuff came within a week, except the things that were already in stock. Don't get anything delivered sooner than necessary: reduces risk of damage.
First of all you need to look at the right stuff for your boiler type and your water pressure.
Go to a Plumb Centre, or a similar plumbing and bathroom merchants. They will be much better than places like b&Q and Wickes, or Bathstore.
PC will have a huge range of stuff from basic to very very high end. The choice can be bewildering and it's easy to get bogged down so I'd say from what you've said about budget look at Ideal Standard for sanitary ware, it's very good quality without being flashy/gimmicky or stupidly expensive. The staff in there will sit down and go through the planning with you if you give them accurate measurements and they are not pushy salespeople, they just want to help you order the right stuff.
Steel enamel baths are the best quality but really expensive for a good one (the cheap ones are thin and the enamel chip easily) and they make the water go cold quickly. Don't get a really flimsy thin plastic bath either, they are awful, spend out on a better quality one. Spend most on the bath that will get the heaviest usage, and least on the occasional one. Likewise bath panels, cheap flimsy plastic ones look awful and crack/come off easily.
Are you going to have shower cubicles? If you are having shower trays I'd go for the very solid composite material ones rather than plastic. I think if you can get a bathroom fitter to put up a partition panel and and build a recess with a lip/step and tile the whole thing out like you get in hotels/changing rooms it will be cheaper and less trouble in the long run than buying expensive glass cubicles/doors and trays, but i think some fitters are reluctant to do this as there is a greater risk of leakage.
Avoid Triton showers like the plague, look at Mira, Aqualisa, Grohe. Most plumbers would choose those themselves. Also some digital showers are a bit to clever for their own good and there is a lot to go wrong on them. Better to stick to good quality but simple
If you live somewhere with really good water pressure you can get away with a gravity shower or a good quality shower mixer kit over a bath. If the water pressure is not great you are better off with an electric shower or a pumped power shower. But you really need to get advice on what you can and can't have from a plumber first, as I said, depending on your boiler type etc.
Taps, be really careful. Cheap taps will be a pain in the neck and fall apart really quickly and you'll have to take half the bathroom apart to replace them. Bristan are good.
Tiles you can really save money on. Again the choice is bewildering but it's not difficult to tile fairly cheaply and I have found B&Q to have the best range of sensibly priced tiles.
Go for underfloor heating in the bathroom that gets used the most. Have heated towel rails but make sure you get ones that are big enough - it's annoying to not have enough space to hang/dry towels.
Also if you are using your current builder he or his sub contracting plumber will probably already have an account as PC or a similar good merchants. You can either ask them to order it all for you (there will be a cost for this) or you can order it yourself and pay the merchant direct.
Also be aware that some things like fitted furniture made to order are on really long wait times so it's a good idea to start planning as early as possible or you could end up having compromise on what you want because the builder is wanting to get stuff done and the stuff you want to order isn't available for six weeks.
We're just doing 3 bathrooms too. Two installed, one to go.
Second an independent plumber's merchant. Ours was recommended by the builder and is very good. We've been given the builder's discount plus a bulk discount. They also deliver and will pick up anything we want to return that day. They designed the bathrooms too for free. Our builder was very wary of using anyone inline due to previous problems with delayed delivery/returns
The other thing - and hopefully this won't happen to you - is that we had a leak from the loo from our loft extension toilet last night. Plumber came round at 8:30pm and diagnosed a problem with the loo. Isolated it and was back at 8:00am this morning hauling it out. By 8:45, the builder and the owner of the plumber's merchant (summoned by builder) was here - with a new loo. Quickly realised it was a manufacturing fault and plumber's merchant has agreed to make good the damage which most requires a bit if repainting in the room below. All done and dusted by 9:00am
I know if had ordered from the Internet, I would have just been able to get hold of them on the phone by 9 if I was lucky.
yes that's a very good point, if you get everything from one place and use one person to do the work (or people they have subbed) then if anything is delayed or faulty it's down to the supervising workman to sort out, whereas if you've ordered odds and sods from all over the place it can get very complicated when something goes wrong.
Wow thanks so much! Brilliant advice and help. I have never heard of plumb centre but there is a branch about 25 miles from me, so definitely worth a visit.
I think it's a good point about getting all your stuff from one place to avoid a total mess if something goes wrong.
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