Difference between cheap and expensive bathroom suites

(13 Posts)
penberrh Mon 24-Aug-20 12:12:41

Sorry for the donkey question - could someone tell me how I tell the difference between a bathroom suites of good/poor quality?

What us it that makes some bathroom items more expensive than others? Is it just the design?

If I bought a poor quality loo/bath/shower what are the things that might go wrong/piss me off about it?

OP’s posts: |
JoJoSM2 Mon 24-Aug-20 12:27:33

So with cheap stuff, the bath will leak heat v quickly. Loo seats are thin and flimsy.

intheningnangnong Mon 24-Aug-20 12:29:26

If the bath is thin it will bend as you stand in it.
Shower doors have plastic rather than metal handles. The runners aren’t as precision. The glass may be 6/8/10mm so heavier, more solid.

BumbleNova Mon 24-Aug-20 20:53:23

Flimsy taps, very fragile.

Surfaces that scratch/ mark easily.

We did one bathroom cheaply and other top end. The difference is night and day.

FrostyGirl66 Mon 24-Aug-20 21:08:22

I did a cheap bathroom once at the same time as my parents did their expensive bathroom. When they were finished, the difference was very easy to see.

Our taps were light weighted and the chrome started blistering after a few months. My parents taps felt solid when you lifted the handle. Their chrome is still in good condition after 6 years.

Our toilet seat was plastic, theirs were solid and didn't move when you sat on it.

Our flush button was wobbly.

There were very small patches of thin ceramic (shiny smooth bit) where you could see the rough material underneath on my toilet and sink.

The plugs were the push to seal/release type that kept getting stuck

My parents bath side panel was solid and didn't bow/move

Their bath just felt more solid when sitting in it then my bath.

Can't think of anymore, but I'm sure there was.

My advice, don't get a cheap one, you'll regret it.

LizaBennett70 Mon 24-Aug-20 21:15:06

We remodelled our family bathroom about 4 years ago, all from Bath Store. We've got a back to the wall toilet/concealed cistern and sink all modelled into cupboards, then a large bath with wood panel and shower door over. The MDF has all blown from the water leaks; the cistern has leaked, the wastes on the sink and bath have leaked so there's a perpetual smell of damp. The shower door fittings have actually rusted, and the glass is impossible to clean. It looks cheap and nasty, and when we had the house valued recently, the EA said it needed updating hmm

In comparison, our ensuite is all from Kohler and is nearly 12 years old - and looks as good as the day it was fitted.

LateKate Mon 24-Aug-20 21:42:14

I work in the industry and on the face of it the cheap suites can look good but you really do pay your money and take your choice. Cheap toilets tend to have cheaper internals which are more likely to fail and they often have flimsy seats. Just watch out for poor finishes in the ceramic on cheaper ones however that doesn't tend to be a huge problem these days as most are made to a reasonable spec.

Baths are ok as long as you go with at least 5mm and it is installed properly according to the manufacturers instructions.

Shower trays and doors are an area I would recommend spending more money on if you are looking to cut the budget do it elsewhere- 6mm glass as a minimum on the door, look out for things like chrome cover caps, magnetic seals, and rollers that you can unclip for cleaning plus make sure it is backed by a decent guarantee, you might want to look out for a variant if easy-clean/glass shield etc. Shower trays -my preference is always either stone resin with an acrylic cap or a gel coat but not an acrylic tray- they age much quicker and tend to not look as good long term.

Brassware- you don't have to go for one of the big names but don't go for the cheapest of the cheap- they will scratch and if you get an issue it will end up being cheaper to buy a new tap than source the right washer! Nice taps can really make a difference to the overall finish of a bathroom.

Furniture- the cheaper stuff may not have as good a finish- you want to check the inside of units as well as the out, make sure there is nowhere for water to get in so it doesn't blow. Good quality soft close doors, tiny buffers on the base of a floorstanding unit so the carcase isn't sitting in spilled water. Generally the cheaper furniture is visibly so and you will see the difference.

I would recommend visiting an independent retailer near to you who has good local recommendations, these people know their stuff and don't want the hassle of you having problems later on.

I hope that helps! Good luck with your project.


penberrh Mon 24-Aug-20 23:20:21

Fantastic replies - thank you so much! I will definitely give the independent retailers a visit.

OP’s posts: |
Ariela Sun 30-Aug-20 14:31:57

My last house had been poorly extended and cheaply refurbished. My brother put his hand through the bottom of the bath when he went to get out! Replaced with a secondhand Ideal one (as was selling the property) and had to get different taps too so bought some nicer quality ones and replaced the sink ones to match - it meant the whole bathroom looked so much better quality.

Olayolay Sun 30-Aug-20 16:19:50

As others have said. Quality of fittings, ceramic finishes and thickness of glass doors for shower. Baths are more solid and nothing should be acrylic. It moves and showers can easily leak. Always make sure plumbing components are high quality snd tank the floor and walls around any shower. You should get years out of a bathroom without any issues. (German makes are top class!)

WhereOnEarthDoIStart Sun 30-Aug-20 16:54:45


We had the bathroom done about 5 years back and got lucky on the things we choose. It still feels solid and looks good.

We may be moving again so it's good to know what to watch out for this time round.

DrunkenUnicorn Mon 31-Aug-20 17:35:29

Aside from Koehler, canyone please suggest brands to look at? Decent quality but not wildly priced would be ideal. Thanks!

Bsc8180 Mon 31-Aug-20 17:54:14

Loads of suggestions here from a few weeks ago.


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