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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?


fossil97 Thu 20-Sep-12 21:23:32

We have a big heated towel rail (600 wide x 1500 high), I worked out this is how big it needed to be to be the equivalent of a radiator. Asked the plumber to make sure the wall brackets were right at the edges so that the towels can hang over. It has an electric element as well as being on the heating circuit although I'd like this to have a timer put on <never satisfied>

Bog standard vinyl flooring

We have gone for a shower curtain across the bath, I may regret it but didn't want to be struggling past a glass partition to wash the children's hair. One like this although got it cheaper through plumber's merchant.

No room for any cupboards so have got an Ikea vanity unit/basin combination. Definitely an extractor, humidity controlled probably a good idea.

Wall mounted mixer tap = monumental PITA, should have just gone for one hot and one cold.

fossil97 Thu 20-Sep-12 21:25:32

Sloping ceiling - think about headroom and also mirrors! In our ensuite, the basin is against the low wall, we checked carefully that DH has headroom to brush his teeth but there is nowhere to put a mirror high enough for him - think I'll have to put one on the side wall instead.

aylsham Thu 20-Sep-12 23:33:40

We've just put in an outasight shower screen which 'disappears' straight after shower (over bath and in middle of bath wall, along with centr taps). Really pleased with it - bathroom looks double the size when it's folded away.

AllPastYears Fri 21-Sep-12 08:32:49

Incidentally, on the solid flooring/pipe access issue - when I was a child my dad insisted on carpet in our bathroom so it could be lifted to get under the floor when needed. That carpet has never been lifted - and it's now been there 40 years! grin

Bramblesinafield Fri 21-Sep-12 08:39:34

If you just have a heated towel rail you will need underfloor heating. Particularly if the floor is tiled. Bitter experience. Brrrrrrrr.

3rdnparty Fri 21-Sep-12 08:41:33

out of sight shower screen sounds good - have tiny bathroom too could you link? thanks

minipie Fri 21-Sep-12 11:37:46

Thanks all. Great ideas here. Very interested in the outasight shower screen and also the idea of a towel rail linked to the hot water tank. We have a megaflo rather than a traditional hot water tank, will that still work?

Storage, I like the drawers idea, a lot easier than all cupboards. we will probably get some built in under the slopiest part of the roof. Generous ledge round the bath is a good idea too.

Extractor fan, I think we would have it come on automatically but be able to be switched off separately (eg in the middle of the night). It will be kids bathroom and they won't be able to open the window or remember to switch on the fan each time so I think it does need to be automatic to some extent.

chilly I have seen rubber things that go over bath taps (usually frog or dolphin shaped) to stop kids knocking themselves, not an elegant solution but might help with your central taps issue?

I will definitely consider vinyl or amtico or rubber instead of tiles given child friendliness. Am I better off with squares or with a single piece cut to fit?

Please keep the ideas coming !

MousyMouse Fri 21-Sep-12 13:09:44

we want to 'do' our bathroom next year.
I want
- toilet in the bathroom (currently separate without sink)
- radiator
- extractor fan (even though we have a window)
- fan heater (for a quick boost of warmth)
- tiles throughout (even under the bath)
- a washing line over the bathtub

PigletJohn Fri 21-Sep-12 13:23:21

a separate loo can be extremely useful.

theenchantedhood Fri 21-Sep-12 15:59:36

Ooh MousyMouse I really don't recommend the washing line over the bath.. A few years ago I flipped a towel that was over one just getting out of bath and 2 of the (enormous) tiles fell in one went straight through my Achilles tendon ;) Bitter, bitter experience ;)

Watching with interest as shower door fell into out bath today and it has a hole in it now sad Toilets been dying for months so looks like everything will need doing..

Question - where to go for the suite? Online or get a co to do it or someone local clueless

PigletJohn Fri 21-Sep-12 16:24:30

I have a feeling that your washing line was attached to the tiles, hood.

Should have been screwed into the brickwork ir stud.

Arithmeticulous Fri 21-Sep-12 16:43:13

Heated towel rail that is off the floor (so that you could put storage under it if required)

Electric underfloor heating mat under the flooring

Roca Khroma toilet - turns your toilet into an armchair (sort of) so you can sit and drink wine watch the kids in the bath

Laundry chute grin

Lots of storage and lights.

Murtette Fri 21-Sep-12 16:45:23

Where do you keep your medicines? A high up, lockable cupboard would be useful. You could also keep some bleach/toilet cleaner in there to save taking it upstairs each time you clean to loo {lazy emoticon}.

If you're having a wide ledge, only have it on the wall side of the bath as otherwise you have to step over it to get in & out of the bath which is hard for short legs & when you're pregnant with subsequent DCs & trying to bath existing DCs.

I think a tap in the middle on the wall side is a good idea as then neither DC (if you're planning two) ends up at the tap end.

Our loo is next to the bath which I like as I can sit there & watch DC now that they're old enough to be in the bath by themselves but am still close enough if one of them decides to do something mad.

Towel rail attached to hot water is GENIUS. I love having warm towels all year around. Definitely have an extractor as otherwise you have to have the window open in the winter which can be miserable!

PigletJohn Fri 21-Sep-12 16:48:24

extractor fans should not be noisy, BTW. If yours is, make sure it is fixed to the wall firmly to prevent rattling. Otherwise the motor bearings are probably worn out and you should buy a new one (unless you are handy enough to dismantle, clean and lube)

MidnightinMoscow Fri 21-Sep-12 17:26:43

We are almost finished doing our new en-suite in a loft conversion.

Things that have worked well :

A low radiator on a section of wall that is not going to be used, taking up as little room as possible.

Grey grout for floor tiles - looks better and easier to maintain.

As big a mirror as possible above the sink.

Separate cupboard for storage, meaning we could have a large flat sink mirror rather than a cupboard.

minipie Fri 21-Sep-12 17:48:04

Good point about taps in the middle being good for bathing 2 DC at once. Also good point about sitting on the loo as a chair - that will happen a lot when bathing DCs I imagine so will look out for a comfy lidded one!

Or, we could have one of those taps which is actually an overflow and tap combined - basically a round steel thing which sits where an overflow would usually sit on the side of the bath but water also comes out of it. Sounds like that may be the best option?

Won't fit a bucket underneath but if we also have a separate hand shower attachment we could use that for any bucket filling.

Can we do the towel rail attached to h w tank thing if we have a megaflo?

Good point to think about laundry bin and cleaning products.

More ideas welcome...!

FishfingersAreOK Fri 21-Sep-12 18:00:55

You can get middle of the bath taps which swivel out of the way - I am getting some a bit like these (cannot find proper link at the moment)

betterwhenthesunshines Fri 21-Sep-12 18:13:24

We have a Megaflow and the towel rail is plumbed so that it comes on the hot water circuit. That way it's always warm when you're likely to be having a bath/shower.

Some plumbers aren't sure about this as usually towel rails are on the central heating circuit and have some inhibitor stuff added to the water <?>. But this is the way my parents had it so it's the way we've done it too. Been here 8 years now and now problem with towel rail rusting from the inside so far (and parents were intheir house for 2o years with no problem.

The waste / filler thing so you don't have to have a tap is called an Exofil. It's great - we just have a wall mixer valve and no taps sticking in the middle of the bath.

We also have a WC built into an alcove. The cistern is built into a 'false wall' at about waist height with a removable block of oak. That acts as a rather nice shelf for a freestanding clock - very useful! and books. Above that we have a narrow depth cupboard about 20cm deep so the front is flush with the rest of that wall. It fits ALL medicines, spare shampoo, holiday wash bags, suncreams etc. And has a spotlight above and below.

PigletJohn Fri 21-Sep-12 18:33:09

the water that circulates through the boiler and the radiators (mixed with corrosion inhibitor) is the same water that circulates through the heat exchasner coil in the cylinder or Megaflow. It does not mix with the tap water, so this is a perfectly fine thing to do. A plumber with more than six months experience should be familiar with the method.

There are a very few, very old, cylinders, where the water can mix, and inhibitor cannot be used.

jollydiane Fri 21-Sep-12 23:34:42

i like the look of this. Any idea how it could be done? I particularly like the shelf and sink design. Come on piglet don't let me down wink

amck5700 Fri 21-Sep-12 23:56:02

Modern baths particularly shower baths tend to have quite steep sides and take and age to fill.

we have recently redone our main bathroom, en-suite and downstairs loo - got all the fittings from next bathrooms and can't fault the quality, delivery and returns process.

This is the bath we got and the shower panel folds in half to make it easier to deal with kids in the bath and clean.

ThreePly Sat 22-Sep-12 00:24:18

I'd say have your extractor on a separate switch. We did, because I can't bear the thing whirring away when you're just brushing your teeth.

Having 2 basins is really useful (then again, I have lots of DCs).

Drawer units under basins don't provide much space and things wobble over when you pull the drawer out.

Yy to shower screen not curtain. We got a bifold one so it could fold back on itself easily.

Electric underfloor heating + towel rail + radiator makes it lovely and toasty!

Look out for ex-display items on eBay -- we got some good deals that way.

PigletJohn Sat 22-Sep-12 00:40:02


that is a variety of partially-inset basin

I consider it better than a vanity basin as splashes and toothpaste dribble are less likely to go on the worktop. The front of the unit is not actually cut away as you might have thought.

when you look at the basin upside down you see it is not solid as it looks, the front rim is cut away to fit over the unit. You will understand if you look at some.

the cistern tiled into the wall will be a nuisance when it goes wrong.

Isabeller Sat 22-Sep-12 00:47:54

v interesting thread, hope it's ok for me to ask a question. I'm redoing a basement bathroom (solid floor) because of plumbing problems. Underfloor heating would help make best use of the tiny space, can this be connected to the same pipework as the radiators or does it mean a whole new system?

PigletJohn Sat 22-Sep-12 00:59:29

it can, but it runs at a lower temperature so it needs its own thermostat and blending valve. The place that sells the special pipe will probably offer kits with the extras that you need.

On a solid floor it is laid before the final concrete screed is poured. If your basement is old the floor may need to come up for dpm and insulation anyway. It will need a lot of ventilation because basements tend to be damp. it may even need drainage tiles and a pump to remove the wall seepage.

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