Home renovation

10 do’s and don’ts for a new bathroom

Home renovation: There’s a reason why white sanitary ware has remained popular for so long: it looks clean and goes with everything. Photo: Getty

Should you rush a bath in a small bathroom or try brand name sanitary ware? What should you splurge and skimp on?

We asked the experts for their tips on getting the most out of a bathroom renovation.

Avoid dark colors

There’s a reason why white sanitary ware has rest popular for so long – it looks clean and goes with everything.

“Stick to white,” says interior designer Simone Suss. “If you decide to go black and you live in a hard water area, you’ll see white water marks everywhere!”

If you want to add color, do it on your walls, but don’t go too bold.

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“While dark colors can look dramatic and create impact, they can limit bathroom practicality,” says designer Charlie Avara.

“By their nature, dark colors absorb light, which makes everyday activities such as using the mirror more difficult.”

Minimal bathroom with black and white 3d rendering.  There is a white wooden floor.  Furnished with black sanitary ware and furniture.

“If you decide to go black and you live in a hard water area, you’ll see white water marks everywhere!” says expert Simone Suss.

Don’t follow the trends

TikTok, Pinterest and Instagram are inundated with quirky and quirky bathrooms, but while they may get you likes, they have no resistance and will divide if you sell.

“Don’t get trapped in the Pinterest hole of trends,” says interior designer Jojo Bradley.

“Mosaic tiles are beautiful, but the practicality of keeping all the grout clean isn’t so appealing. Busy little checks can be fun, but again, it might just be a trend you’re getting tired of, so try to make choices that last.

Think about storage

Our experts all agreed that storage is important in bathroom design.

“Simple things like an extra alcove in the shower to place shampoo and soap keep bathrooms clean and tidy,” says designer Lucy Breton.

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“Planning for integrated storage is always important; A toilet roll pushed behind a cistern never looks very good.

Storage is especially useful in a family bathroom when you want to “hide the multicolored plethora of bath toys,” says Bradley. “A raised vanity can [also] hide a child’s step to reach the pool below.

Shelf and organizer with bathroom essentials.  Stylish accessory

Our experts all agreed that storage is important in bathroom design. Photo: Getty

Don’t forget the lighting

It’s easy to leave the electricity at the end of a bathroom fitting, but it needs to be considered at the start.

“Think about where you need electricity before planning your fixtures and fittings. Planning your bathroom design should start with electrical and plumbing considerations,” says interior designer Sanel Konyar.

“Consider the positioning of spotlights and choose lighting that can be matched to your mood; for example, a relaxing evening bath would not include a spotlight, but trying to shave or apply makeup in a poorly lit bathroom is also bad news.

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It’s not just where you place the lights in the bathroom that matters, but how you place them.

“Bathroom lights on either side of a mirror immediately make a bathroom look luxurious; illuminating a side mirror is always more forgiving than overhead lighting that darkens the face in the wrong places,” says designer Charlotte Haigh.

You should “always remember to buy IP44 fixtures in a bathroom,” recommends Haigh.

Modern design bathroom

It’s easy to leave the electricity at the end of a bathroom fitting, but it needs to be considered at the start. Photo: Getty

Prioritize heating and ventilation

You have to imagine what your bathroom will look like at 6 a.m. at different times of the year and consider how it is heated and ventilated.

“A heated towel rail will make winter mornings a little more bearable,” says Breton.

Alternatively, if budget is not an issue, install underfloor heating to get nice warm tiles every morning.

Ventilation will be paramount during the summer months, especially if your bathroom doesn’t have a window.

“Install extractor fans that are automatically linked to the main lighting circuit, this will prevent humidity in the bathroom,” suggests Avara.

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In fact, many of our experts have suggested that a good exhaust fan is something to splurge on when installing a new bathroom.

Don’t think you have to take a bath

Bathrooms without tubs used to be seen as deficient, but changes in modern life and the greener credentials of a shower mean this is no longer the case, especially for smaller bathrooms.

“Trying to cram in too many fixtures and fittings can make the room feel cramped and hectic. Instead, I try to encourage guests to opt for a large shower at the Italian, because it will give them a feeling of space and a feeling of luxury,” says Avara.

That said, if you’re lucky enough to have the space, freestanding tubs sell a bathroom and are worth a splurge.

Elegant bathroom interior design with marble panels.  Bathtub, towels and other personal bathroom accessories.  Modern glamorous interior concept.  Roof window.  Model.

if you’re lucky enough to have the space, freestanding tubs sell a bathroom and are worth a splurge. Photo: Getty

Invest in the essentials

You can update a bathroom on a budget, but there are certain items where spending a little more will have a long-term benefit.

“Always a prize for good quality bathroom fixtures and faucets,” says Bradley. “Small parts that can be overlooked, such as built-in shower faucets, need to be quality, as these are often the parts that can fail first.”

Haigh, meanwhile, thinks you should “spend on things that are used regularly and are a pain to change, like toilet cisterns and flushes.”

Don’t leave the flooring after the fact

There have been many mistakes when it comes to bathroom flooring trends over the years; the carpets mold and the floors rot.

“Tile can be a great choice, until you need to break out those expensive tiles to access pipes for vital plumbing and maintenance work,” says flooring expert Michael Barnes.

He suggests SPC Vinyl if you want something practical and affordable. “SPC vinyl flooring is both durable and waterproof and is available in wood-style planks or square tiles designed to mimic stone.”

Whichever flooring you choose, it “must have some grip, be easy to clean and maintain, and be suitable for use in the bathroom”, according to Konyar.

Choice of tiles.  Female hands hold samples of tiles of different colors.  Woman in store chooses bathroom tiles.

Whichever flooring you choose, it “must have some grip, be easy to clean and maintain, and be suitable for use in the bathroom,” experts say. Photo: Getty

Know that it’s okay to skimp on these things

If you’re on a budget, there are plenty of ways to save money.

Saving on tiling can be a good choice – only tiling where it’s likely to get wet and painting the rest of the room with a waterproof bathroom paint designed to be wiped off.

“If you love marble tiles, don’t feel like you have to splurge on the real thing, you can get equally beautiful porcelain-effect tiles for a much cheaper price,” says Bradley.

Likewise, while clever storage solutions enhance a bathroom, they come at a price.

“If your budget doesn’t allow for built-in storage, store rolled towels in woven wicker baskets and bathroom products in freestanding units, provide easy access, while keeping the bathroom clutter-free” , explains Avara.

Do you really need a new bathroom?

Before starting a bathroom remodeling project, it’s worth considering whether it really needs to be done or if you just fancy a bit of a change.

“Rather than redesigning the entire bathroom, you can update the look by changing the color of the grout or replacing the faucets and showerheads,” says Suss.

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If the bathroom is big enough, could you add some interesting furniture? “Don’t be afraid to use eBay for vintage pieces that will make a simple bathroom that much more interesting, pair it with a nice fabric on a blind,” says Haigh.

“Bathrooms don’t have to be soulless — just like the rest of your home, they should reflect your personality,” Konyar says.

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