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We're having our bathrooms done and I just know I'm going to screw it up. Please help me not to!

(27 Posts)
Notquitesureagain Wed 12-Nov-14 18:55:09

Two small bathrooms, no natural light in either. One will be a wet room with loo and sink, the other will have a bath with loo and sink.

We're in London so loads of limescale and I've been advised against slate because it shows up. But I find the beige tiles I've been recommended a bit depressing so was wondering about light grey slate like this:

Or will that still show up limescale fast?

Pretty please give me some tips on choosing tiles, bathroom suite etc that's not going to look scruffy quickly or date fast but equally that doesn't look really corporate. Any tips? Any things to definitely not do or definitely do?

Would love some h

Notquitesureagain Wed 12-Nov-14 18:55:38

Some help... was what I was trying to say before I accidentally posted early.

Thanks in advance MNetters

Notquitesureagain Wed 12-Nov-14 18:57:45

Was thinking of putting one of these in:

But will that be overpowering in a small bathroom and look tired really quickly?

And was also going to cover half of one wall with an embedded mirror to try and create the illusion of a bit of space. What do you reckon?

Notquitesureagain Wed 12-Nov-14 18:59:20

This one for example:

Would that go with light grey slate? And look ok on the wall of a small bathroom?

OK, I'll stop posting now and wait for some responses

minipie Wed 12-Nov-14 19:28:54

We have a dark green slate floor in our downstairs loo, also London, and no limescale marks so far (been in about 3 years). It's lovely. I wouldn't use it all over though as it's very dark (though see my wet room comments below).

If you go for slate, I would absolutely definitely go for a honed (smooth) finish rather than those hand split ones you linked to. Anything with a rough surface will attract dirt and mould and gunk and be a complete b*gger to clean.

If you have no natural light, I'd probably go for light tiles but with markings in them so as to hide day to day dirt/scuffs. Beige is a bit depressing though. Pale grey or even white with marks is good. We have just put these tiles on our bathroom floor, in the whiter version - they are white with lots of grey markings and look a little bit like distressed painted floorboards (but only a little bit iyswim). I love them.

Or you could go very dark and dramatic, especially in the wet room, and use clever LED lighting to create a sort of underground spa effect.

Bathroom suite - as simple lines as possible. Definitely use wall hung loo to free up floor space and make for easy cleaning. The Villeroy and Boch Subway 2.0 compact loo is great for small spaces - very small but still comfy and a very neat shape.

You need some built in storage of some sort. I'd personally avoid those under sink vanity drawers that are everywhere at the moment as they are all veneer and once the veneeer chips will look awful. If you are building new stud walls, your builder can build tall thin shallow cabinets between the studs which are just deep enough for a shampoo bottle/make up etc. Similarly, build a niche/alcove into your shower wall for shampoo bottles.

minipie Wed 12-Nov-14 19:31:50

Cross posted with your other posts!

I would avoid those surface view murals tbh as I think they will date badly... but if you find one you absolutely love and won't get sick of then go for it! I don't think they'd go too well with light grey slate, I would think of them in a more traditional bathroom probably?

Mirror on one wall is a good idea as long as it isn't somewhere that will be constantly splashed. Also you might want to think about behind mirror heating so it doesn't steam up.

Notquitesureagain Wed 12-Nov-14 23:20:00

Minipie - thank you that is v helpful indeed. Particularly your point re smooth tiles. Up against a bit of a deadline on this and mad busy at work so struggling to find the time to make informed decisions!

minipie Thu 13-Nov-14 10:07:22

Tiles I think you really need to see in the flesh. If you're in London I'd suggest a trip to Fulham if you can - loads of tile shops close to each other - I recommend Capitol Designer Studio on Fulham Road, Tiles and Beyond on Munster Road, European Heritage Tiles on Dawes Road. Also Criterion Tiles on Wandsworth Bridge Road and Surface Tiles on Queenstown Road. They can all advise on what goes with what, will be easy to clean, will work in a small or dark space etc.

One thing I would definitely say is go for larger tiles - at least 30x60 - larger tiles make the space seem bigger.

For bathroom shops, the Bathroom Discount Centre in Fulham is definitely worth a look and has good prices. Also the Alternative Bathroom Company on Wandsworth Bridge Road and West One bathrooms on Queenstown Road. If you're short of time, I'd be inclined to pick one of these shops, sit down with their staff for an hour and get them to suggest options to you - they all stock much the same stuff. And you don't have to buy from them, you can use their ideas and order elsewhere if you find stuff cheaper...

Apatite1 Thu 13-Nov-14 11:33:57

I'm stealing your bathroom recommendations Minipie! I live in Fulham and I've not been to half these places. Will check them out many thanks. I've been to BDC though, and priced up a v expensive bathroom which we probably can't afford. As you do grin

minipie Thu 13-Nov-14 11:57:23

grin I'm afraid I'm one of those people who can't make a decision until I've seen every single option... drives DH mad.

There are actually quite a few other shops that I visited but haven't listed here blush the ones above are the ones I thought had the best ranges.

Apatite1 Thu 13-Nov-14 12:25:35

More than enough to go on. The choice is rather overwhelming! I have fallen in love with some lefroy brooks taps and I can't find a cheaper alternative grrrr.....

GeorgieB89 Thu 13-Nov-14 13:49:57

Following on from minipie, there's also Porcelanosa by Wandsworth Bridge who often have sales - if you call around their various branches you can sometimes haggle a better price. CP Hart also do a price match - various branches but I used Fulham High Street. If you're north London, there's Aston Matthews for bathroom fittings. Actually, if you tell us your region, you may get better info on showrooms in your area, as it sounds like you don't have time to travel across London. FWIW, my tips are: Underfloor heating; plain tiles, defo yes to big fitted mirrors, double the amount of lights you think you'll need and beware the wet room - IME, if you have a large shower head, drainage can be an issue (but maybe I was just unlucky - twice).

PestoStormissimos Thu 13-Nov-14 13:53:16

Just a thought, if you install a water softener at the same time, then you won't have to worry about the calcium deposits & can have exactly what you want smile

minipie Thu 13-Nov-14 14:39:23

There's a "bathrooms lessons learned" thread on here from a year or so ago, which has lots of good tips.

YY to underfloor heating - the electric stuff isn't that expensive to lay, and can be set to just take the chill off the floor (rather than used as main source of heat which would be more expensive).

Link to the lefroy brooks taps?

Apatite1 Thu 13-Nov-14 15:46:43

It's yer classic look. Don't say I didn't warn you.

minipie Thu 13-Nov-14 16:51:50

Ah traditional style ... not my thing luckily smile or at least not for bathrooms.

Notquitesureagain Sun 16-Nov-14 23:39:49

apologies - stopped checking this thread because I thought it had gone quiet. Some v useful tips, thank you - much appreciated.

Apatite1 I love those taps but they are super pricey, have also just discovered 'grohe' taps, which look pretty promising.

Didn't manage to get to a bathroom shop, we are in north london. There's a bathstore nearby but I'm a bit fed up with their stuff.

We've got tiles and loo sorted. Going to have a simple shower screen arrangement. But I still need to find a good sink and storage unit, and a bath. And then all the taps etc.

What do people think about square/rectangular sinks - will they date v quickly? And what about counter top basins - same for them?

Notquitesureagain Sun 16-Nov-14 23:41:26

And bath tips, any bath tips much appreciated - again just want a shape/style/material that is not going to date quickly, or look cheap. But it's a small windowless bathroom so there aren't too many options

minipie Mon 17-Nov-14 11:46:36

I don't think square/rectangular sinks will date (hope not as I've just put one in!)

Counter top basins... hmmm. I gather they are a pain to keep clean (as you get gunk collecting around the edges) and some people say they are a bit dated now. The more modern equivalent seems to be a basin which takes up the full width of the cabinet top, ie the cabinet is the same size as the basin. If you choose a basin with a wide surround then there is still plenty of space to put toothbrush, bottles etc, it all sits on the wide ceramic basin edge rather than on the cabinet top. I prefer this as it's easier to clean and more durable long term.

As I say above, I wouldn't choose a ready made veneered undersink cabinet (very popular at the moment) - as once the veneer chips you've had it. Get the builder to make a cabinet the same size as the basin, and paint it.

Don't know north london options but from a quick google there's a place called Bathroom Heaven in Kings Cross which looks good (all the usual good brands). Then there are some massive places in Brent Cross/north circular area. Bathstore has very limited options, it's great for people who don't want too much choice grin but no good if you want a big range.

Bath: I recommend Bette - they are great quality and nice simple designs. Enamelled steel rather than plastic so they won't scratch or mark as easily as some of the plastic ones can. Bette Ocean is good for showering in as it has one straight end and plenty of space.

minipie Mon 17-Nov-14 11:47:50

Taps: Grohe and hansgrohe both very good brands. Crosswater also good.

British brands may be slightly better when it comes to choosing a shower because they are designed for our low mains pressure rather than high continental water pressure.

Notquitesureagain Mon 17-Nov-14 14:22:43

wow minipie you are a real fount of knowledge in this arena - thanks so much! I love the Bette baths and basins

Bonsoir Mon 17-Nov-14 14:24:22

I think beige and slate tiles are both really dated and boring!

Cement tiles (with patterns) are the way to go!

Notquitesureagain Mon 17-Nov-14 14:53:02

too late bonsoir, we've gone for v light grey slate. Then again, I think our bathrooms really are too tiny and dark to carry off a patterned tile. Thanks for the feedback though - tis always welcome. Any thoughts on basins? That's proving the particularly problematic thing. It can't be deeper than 43cm, which doesn't leave many appealing options

minipie Mon 17-Nov-14 14:58:56

We've just put in one of this range from Alape, which is only 40.5cm deep.

Catalano are worth a look too, though their website's a bit of a pain to work with.

Notquitesureagain Mon 17-Nov-14 15:18:08

Oh yes those are lovely. I really think you should consider doing freelance bathroom consulting as a sideline! Prices quite hard to come by on that site though… I've found a few on other sites but it looks like you have to set up an account to get prices direct from them.

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