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After the kitchen threads... Your top ideas for a new bathroom?

(69 Posts)
minipie Thu 20-Sep-12 18:18:32

We need to redo a bathroom sometime in the nearish future and I'm trying to gather ideas.

Any do/do nots to share?

How to make it child friendly? (don't have DCs yet but will do shortly!) for example, a hand shower for hair washing... Anything else?

Where to look for pictures for inspiration?

Best places to look for nice tiles?

Extractor fan...?

Tips on layout? It's a small ish bathroom with a sloping ceiling which makes things a bit harder. We will need to have a bath with a shower over.

Best flooring... Usually I'd use tiles but is there a more child friendly option?

Is underfloor heating worth it? Electric or wet... ? Do I need a radiator/towel rail as well?

Anything else?


Ragwort Thu 20-Sep-12 18:24:14

Can I join in as I am also planning a new shower room and finding it all very stressful. Nothing useful to add yet grin - but I am determined to have a towel rail, so useful and nice to look at.
One thing that has been suggested is a shower with two heads - one fixed at adult height and a lower one for hosing down children (or feet) - not sure if I have explained that very well.

minipie Thu 20-Sep-12 18:26:52

I know what you mean Rag - I don't think we'll be able to have a separate shower sadly but guess the equivalent for a bath is to have a fixed overhead shower and then another one on a hose (maybe inset into the rim of the bath) to hose down DCs. Helps with cleaning too I imagine.

PigletJohn Thu 20-Sep-12 18:31:52

you will need a radiator. Towel rails don't give out much heat, and are usually covered in towels.

Be sure to get an effective Centrifugal extractor fan, that comes on automatically with the light switch and runs on with a timer. If it is inside the bathroom, it should not be directly above a bath or shower as the electrical regulations are then much more stringent, but if you can have one in the loft, with a duct through the ceilling and another through the loft wall or soffit, it can be much more powerful and less noisy.

tiles or laminate flooring will be very tiresome when the floor has to come up for repairs to plumbing or wiring.

Bamboo flooring is supposed to stand up to water, which most other materials, except vinyl or tiles, can't.

If the old floor is chipboard, rip it up and put down 18mm WBP ply. Chipboard is at its best on a bonfire.

minipie Thu 20-Sep-12 18:45:13

Thanks Piglet. I don't know what the current floor is, will have to take up the covering (I think it's rubber) to find out. Is WBP ply the same as marine ply?

Impressed that bamboo stands up to water... I didn't know that. I wonder why it's not used for kitchen floors more, is it quite soft perhaps? <tangent>

Hmm will be tricky to work out where to put the fan... the bath almost certainly has to go against the only external wall, so I would have put the fan there, but then the fan will be above the bath. The room is in the eaves so there's only a little bit of loft above it, but guess we could put the fan at that end of the room. If it reduces noise it's worth it. Thanks.

If we put in wet underfloor heating I presume we wouldn't need a radiator? But is wet underfloor heating even possible in an upstairs room (i.e. on top of joists rather than fully solid floor)?

PigletJohn Thu 20-Sep-12 19:00:52

Marine ply is a higher quality, and usually has at least one clear hardwood face suitable for varnishing, so is more expensive, but, yes, similar.

Bamboo flooring looks a bit odd and fibrous to some people, including me.

you can run the pipes for wet underfloor heating betwen the joists, in trays, with insulation underneath.

A loft fan only needs a vent in the ceiling, the fan does not have to be directly above the vent.

this ducted one extracts up to 220cu.m. per hour

wheeras the usual cheap rubbish only extracts 85

Doilooklikeatourist Thu 20-Sep-12 19:06:04

If you can fit them in , have 2 hand basins .
Shower in bath is fine , have a screen though not a shower curtain .
I like a heated towel rail .
No clue about flooring , except don't have carpet !
We had a lovely ensuite in our old house , have a horrid one now .
No window , and a noisy inefficient expelair fan .

minipie Thu 20-Sep-12 19:06:15

thank you!

out of curiousity, how do you know so much? Are you a builder or are you actually Sarah Beeny which is my secret theory

minipie Thu 20-Sep-12 19:07:20

^ addressed to Piglet

Doi we have 2 windows! but no space for 2 basins in this one. It's going to be a kids bathroom mainly in the medium to longer term.

PigletJohn Thu 20-Sep-12 19:14:12

yes, I am not Sarah Beeny

Ragwort Thu 20-Sep-12 19:18:39

I have two basins in our ensuite - I think it is ridiculous as the room is so small that no way could two people comfortably use each basin - I am having them ripped out grin.

Is an extractor strictly necessary? Our house is only 6 years old but doesn't have extractors - I just open the window grin.

I want built in units but the only ones I have seen are very dull and boring, anyone seen any good designs?

Will a heated towel rail be alright on its own in a very small en-suite - no one else is allowed to use it except me grin - so just one towel !

minipie Thu 20-Sep-12 19:23:03

Built in units - I would get a carpenter to make some tbh, that way they will be exactly the right size and shape for your bathroom and you can also incorporate any boxing in of pipework needed.

Ragwort Thu 20-Sep-12 19:27:29

That's a good idea - now I have to find a carpenter grin.

NorbertDentressangle Thu 20-Sep-12 19:30:30

My tips based on what I like about our bathroom:

-towel rail and a radiator
-An extractor fan that is controlled by humidity as well as by the light switch (that way it will come on when needed even if the light isn't being used)
-Storage (for towels, toiletries, loo rolls etc)
-Flooring -my pet hate in bathrooms is a cold, tiled floor (and carpet of course but that goes without saying!) . We have reclaimed wooden parquet which has been in for about 9 years and still looks great. I also like the rubber textured one (Dalsouple?)

minipie Thu 20-Sep-12 19:38:49

What sort of storage do you have Norbert?

SamsGoldilocks Thu 20-Sep-12 19:40:42

what's this obsession with two handbasins. To me it just equals more housework cleaning the damn things.

LeeCoakley Thu 20-Sep-12 19:43:11

Have extractor fan independent of light switch. Very annoying for it to come on if you are just going in there to fit a new bog roll.

LeeCoakley Thu 20-Sep-12 19:44:29

And look very carefully at heated towel rails. They look good with no towels on but our gaps are so small we just end up draping the towels over the top.

itsgoneabitchilly Thu 20-Sep-12 19:46:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PigletJohn Thu 20-Sep-12 20:08:17

some people have a psychological aversion to ventilation and will not open windows or switch on fans.

The automatic extractor overcomes their vile tendencies and keeps the bathroom fairly free of condensation, damp, mould etc PARP

SwedishEdith Thu 20-Sep-12 20:10:49

If you have a towel rail, make sure you can turn it on when rest of heating off <bitter>

Agree at pointlessness of two sinks. I don't want to chat whilst I'm getting washed. Just get up at slightly staggered times.

Never understood the point of those fixed overhead shower head things unless you enjoy washing your hair every day - assume they're a bloke thing.

Taps for the bath - try to avoid the ones that have gap in the middle underneath - you can never really clean it.

PigletJohn Thu 20-Sep-12 20:13:33

if you have a hot-water cylinder, any plumber with more than 6 months experience can easily plumb the towel rail and/or radiator to come on while the cylinder is being heated. This is typically during and after your bath.

Be sure you fit a thermostatic radiator valve, otherwise it will helpfully warm the bathroom even in midsummer.

NorbertDentressangle Thu 20-Sep-12 20:24:24

minipie -for storage we have a built-in floor to ceiling cupboard, about the size of a small-ish wardrobe where we store towels, bedding, loo rolls, cleaning stuff etc. It also has a small radiator in the bottom of it so its like an airing cupboard.

We also have a set of drawers for toiletries. The top of it is great for the electric toothbrushes, kids toothpastes etc as bathrooms tend to have a lack of flat surfaces to put things on I find

AllPastYears Thu 20-Sep-12 20:38:19

Big heated towel rail would be good. Ours is only really big enough for 1 big and 1 small towel, I'd like more in there. It would be nice to have more control over when it's used - ours is a fancy radiator really, and in the summer we have the heating on twice a day for the towel rail but with all the other rads off. Mind you, I would like timed control for every room in the house. <<control freak>>

We have amtico flooring which is nice, easy to clean, and not cold. It's been down about 13 years and we've never needed to take it up for access to anything.

jollydiane Thu 20-Sep-12 21:00:12

Here are my tips:

Have a radiator but link it into the hot water tank thingy so that in summer although the heating is off you still have nice warm towels.

Make sure your shower screen in your bath extends enough and make sure every part of it can be cleaned (bitter experience)

If you have small children put the lock high up so they cannot experiment with the lock and lock themselves in (another bitter experience)

I love vinyl it can look lush and if you get board, bin it without guilt. It can be steam mopped so no chemicals needed.

Consider the shape of your tap. Will you be able to get a bucket under your fancy tap if you need to wash your floor (unless you have a steam mop) - can you see where I going with this...?

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