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showerbaths and bathroom design for small bathroom

(38 Posts)
MardyPig Sat 17-Jul-10 22:34:18

Hello everyone

Current renovation of our house going on, and the main bathroom is pretty small so we are looking at a shower bath but trying to work out where to fit it in.

Our project manager/designer person has suggested a P-shaped shower bath but we have three young sons who have baths, not showers. I'm concerned about having access to that end of the bath when the boys are in the bath, and that the screen will get in the way of the bathroom door.

So firstly I'm asking, do any of you have shower baths, especially with younger kids, and how do you find them?

Secondly any insight into our actual layout would be helpful.

For those who like details the bathroom is 183 cm wide and 225 long. The door is on the left hand side of one short wall, the window is on the opposite short wall. We currently have a normal-sized bath on the right hand side, with a shower on a vertical rail, and a folding screen so we can fold it out of the way when the boys have a bath. It works quite well like this. The toilet is under the window (opposite the door) with a towel rail on the left hand wall next to the toilet, and a basin on the left hand wall a bit further down. This leaves hardly have any room for storage or for getting boys in and out of the bath - especially if there's more than one adult in the room!

Dp has suggested a bath across the width of the room, (below the window and opposite the door) but our designer has said that there are loads of problems with showers or baths under windows as unless you really take measures to waterproof that area you can end up with damp in the walls. I like dp's suggestion and we are both wondering if we make the window a bit smaller (so it's further from the shower area) whether we could still make this option work. It would also mean the shower screen opens onto a wall not across the doorway.

But I also think maybe it would be better to get a normal straight bath and folding shower screen just like we have at the moment (only newer)!

I feel I need enlightenment with this as I'm really not sure about what is best. confused

kittycat68 Sat 17-Jul-10 23:18:24

hi i renovate properites and have done so for 20 years so have a bit of experience here. i personaaly think the p shaped bath is not a good idea( me thinks that deisgner is making a cut here on this) go with a straight bath it will give you alot more space which you will need when having children ( also a mum or three kids) i cant see what the problem is having it under the window as long as its all tiled and a good quailitywaterproof tile adhesive and grout and sealant is used. would also recommend it under the window as it will give you a bit more space and layout would look better. Remember this is your home and you make the decisions that are best suited to your needs be firm with your designer on what you want not what they want to put in or after a few months you wont be happy with it.

MardyPig Sat 17-Jul-10 23:48:17

Hi kittycat thanks for your reply which is very helpful. I'm still not sure about the screen - is it only on shower baths that you can get two screens to make a kind of enclosure? And if we had a normal straight bath under the window but only a concertina type screen, wouldn't we end up getting water on the window frame all the time?

Our designer isn't getting any kind of cut on the P bath; I think that it's just the kind that she likes, but I do think she doesn't fully appreciate the requirements of our family.

MardyPig Sat 17-Jul-10 23:53:38

Another question - why do the prices of bathroom suites vary so hugely and what should we look out for?

It seems to me that you can get two different suites costing £600 or £1500 with pretty much the same spec and same brand too, only differing in terms of looks. Is there anything I'm missing?

herethereandeverywhere Sat 17-Jul-10 23:58:15

We have a P shaped shower bath and love it! It's the only bathroom in the house, DH and I shower everyday but we have a 9mo daughter who gets bathed every night. Being able to shower without cracking your elbows on the wall/shower screen is, IMHO, more important than space in the room. And the bulgy bit takes up a relatively small amount of space.

We have our across the width of the room, under the window. It was fitted 4 years ago and never any problems with damp - it is all tiled (never heard of that being a problem either). Our shower screen opens in or out so I push it inwards to go against the wall "into" the bath when I bath DD so can lean over the whole length of the bath. Having the bath under the window definitely maximises the space in the room.

There are some pig-ugly designs of shower baths out there though so choose carefully. We went for a really plain one with a plain curved glass screen (no handles/frosting/funny shapes).

Changing the layout of the bathroom can be more costly and time consuming if plumbing needs to be moved. Could that be a reason your designer is putting you off the under-the-window idea?

MardyPig Sun 18-Jul-10 00:17:41

Thank you so much, herethereandeverywhere! Someone else up at a late hour willing to talk about bathrooms smile.

It may well be that the designer and builder are loath to change the current layout - but as kittycat68 pointed out it is our house and it will make a big difference having things the way we like them. In the grand scheme of things the bathroom is not going to be the most work and we are paying the builders after all, so I think we will go for the bath under the window.

It sounds good to have a screen which pivots either way. It's hard to tell online what the screen will do! If you don't mind me asking, where did you get your suite (and screen) from?

Monty100 Sun 18-Jul-10 00:22:52

It'll be because he doesn't want to move the plumbing.

As above, it's your house, have what you need and want.

Good luck.


kittycat68 Sun 18-Jul-10 00:28:15

if you have a woodern framed window this would need to be revarnished or painted regulary but if its upvc it will be fine. pricing on baths and suites really depends on your taste the first descion you need to make is whether you want a metal/ porcaline bath which is more strudy but cold to the touch or a acrilic bath, personally i would always put in a metal type. there are many different screens so do shop around for different ones that would be best for you. the plumbing could be altered but its not going to cost that much as its already there just needs to possibly be moved to a differnet position it only costs if its not there in the first place. you can get a basic bath room suite for as little as £250 but deals in sales are always available saw one there other day for £70 for bath toilet and sink! i would go for a cheaper suite and the splash out on the tiling and taps check out ebay for the taps you can get great prices! i bought a £150 tap for £10 last week!

greenlotus Sun 18-Jul-10 00:43:43

I have been mulling over the same thing, I'm thinking of using a steel shower bath like a Kaldewei, I like the idea of having a flat non-slip area for showers. TBH I was thinking of having a good old fashioned shower curtain to avoid the screen getting in the way. Because how do you avoid it fouling on the shower fittings when you fold it in? Sorry if that's style suicide.

MardyPig Sun 18-Jul-10 00:43:56

thanks again. Wow: £70 is a real bargain, bet it wasn't a steel bath at that price though.

MardyPig Sun 18-Jul-10 00:46:29

and we are replacing our old windows with upvc in any case.

kittycat68 Sun 18-Jul-10 00:53:06

yes it was it was in b and q but there was only the one in the clearence which obviously wasnt there long! but you do need the time to shop around. go check out some bath show rooms like the bathstore to get ideas of what you like BEFORE you buy that way you you are less likely to make any mistakes on what you want/like. check out screwfix as well! you dont want to make any costly mistakes, ebay always good got a shower door new for only 99p i really does pay to shop around if you have the of luck. x

MardyPig Sun 18-Jul-10 01:08:43

sorry greenlotus x posted then didn't come back for a bit. Mumsnet consensus seems to be that shower curtains are not approved of and I am afraid I agree. Would rather have a smart shower screen.

Kittycat the suite our designer likes is in screwfix but has a long delivery time. Have a bathstore nearby so have had a look at that already. But read some bad stories about them online so won't be ordering from them.

Mbear Sun 18-Jul-10 01:20:03

We did our bathroom up a couple of years ago and so did some friends, please, please do not buy a cheap bath. They are nearly all some kind of plastic these days, but the cheaper ones can flex, esp full of water with 3 boys diving around in there! In a sort of 'phew' kind of way, our friends who did get the cheap bath have also had to re grout loads of times as the bath flexing pulls it away from the wall. (I don't mean to sound quite as happy and bitchy about this as this is coming across!)

If you use the bath a lot, please spend wisely.

kittycat68 Sun 18-Jul-10 01:20:58

you wouldnt need to order from bathstore just thought it may give you some ideas hands on so to speaak sometimes when im not sure on a design or idea i go look in some showrooms actually see the item hands on as when you look on the internt you can always see the quality or you sometimes see something you really love if you find somethign you like then ask them for the produt number and search it on the internet for the best price!

Heartsease Sun 18-Jul-10 08:52:17

Watching with interest as we too are renovating the bathroom and considering a P shaped bath (our bathroom is even smaller -- 180 by 190, scarily awful pic on profile). The Bathstore only do one P shaped bath, and I found it quite bulky looking.The side seemed very thick and bulbous and the whole thing seemed to take up more space than necessary. Currently considering the Ideal Standard Alto but haven't been able to see it in a showroom yet.

We also saw lovely steel baths by Bette which I would much prefer -- they do one called BetteSet which has a wider end for showering but is still a straight bath. They do lots of sizes. It felt really capacious with a straight screen, without taking up more space. Here: Bette bath.

herethereandeverywhere Sun 18-Jul-10 10:15:44

Hi there, I love a bit of home design/decoration! It's never to early or late in the day for that!

I think pushing your decision to go for the bath under the window is the right one!

We got ours from Bathstore but as I said it was a few years ago (actually 5 years thinking about it!) and they definitely had a range of P baths for us to choose from. We went to the store and spoke to a salesperson. They have(or had!) access to lots of ranges which may not be on the shop floor or even on the website but they can still order them for you. That's how I got my screen with no handle - I told them the one in the shop was ugly so they found one that was neater!

I'd call the websites and speak to someone about how the shower screen pivots and ask any more questions you have before committing to an order. Seeing them in real life will also give a feel for whether they are made from cheap flexy plastic so I'd recommend getting to a showroom if you can. Our bath is acrylic but we've never had any problems with it.

mumofsatan Sun 18-Jul-10 10:17:39

Also watching with interest. Heartsease if it makes you feel any better, think our bathroom is even smaller. Will find measurements later (its my mums place that we are refurbishing) I would love to put a bath in as I've read so many times that prospective purchasers prefer a bath than just a shower but really don't see how we can squeeze one in.

We had our own en-suite bathroom done a few years ago. It had a corner shower, quite a wide sink unit and a wc and hadn't been used for years as the shower started leaking into the light fittings below and ex DH's answer was to stop using.
We found a fab builder who redesigned and managed to fit a lovely corner bath in with a smaller sink unit and it is fabulous. Most used room in the house.

said Sun 18-Jul-10 13:04:06

Thanks for this thread. Also need to fit a tiny bathroom and I really don't like those P shaped baths. Aesthetically don't do it for me. But that Bette bath that Heartsease linked to looks nice. Our new bathroom is pretty much the same size as well.

Heartsease Sun 18-Jul-10 14:07:47

Said the Bette was lovely in real life, we both went "Oo!" which is quite something after looking at a vast number of white baths. There is something very stylish about it. The guy in the bathroom showroom said that what was what he had bought for himself too. I am not keen on the look of the P either, but my DP says he feels cramped showering in a bath and I concede to the fact that he is a much bigger person than me.

Mumofsatan I have seen lots of short baths in my travels, I'm sure even if your bathroom is smaller than mine you can find something. There are quite a few 1500mm long baths -- would that fit?

Our trouble is that there is really not other layout that will fit so we're trying to find a good narrow sink and loo.

said Sun 18-Jul-10 14:58:12

Heartsease - where did you see the Bette bath in the flesh? Which shops stock them? I know I could look myself but...

Pannacotta Sun 18-Jul-10 17:40:30

Boundary bathrooms stocks Bette baths but they are on-line.
OP would a shower screen like this help?

noddyholder Sun 18-Jul-10 19:26:09

I agree with kittycat i renovate and redesign esp bathrooms and p bath a big no!

AnnoyingOrange Sun 18-Jul-10 19:32:38

I love my P bath - keeps ds1 out of my en suite shower

Heartsease Sun 18-Jul-10 20:18:27

Said I only saw one of them, and it was in East Anglia. Any good to you?

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