Bathroom Design and Installation tips

Hi I am a bathroom “expert” and have run a company for 20 years specialising in the design, supply and installation of bathrooms in Edinburgh and the Lothians area.

Throughout this period the company has been a member of the Federation of Master Builders organisation.

We are often asked to provide decent quality, hard wearing and attractively finished bathrooms for “buy to let” clients, young families and first time home buyers on a limited budget. If you follow our top ten tips below, there is no reason why you cannot achieve similar results for budgets of less than 3000 pounds.

Our Top Ten Tips for an Economy Bathroom Design and Installation project

1) Don’t be overly ambitious with your bathroom design:- The new bath/shower/wc/basin should be positioned almost exactly where the old units were positioned:- remember that professional labour costs account for at least 70% of an economy bathroom re-fit and running new drainage and water supply pipe-work is time consuming and involves extra material costs

2) Before you spend any money on tiles and fittings, hire an all-trades professional fitting team:- There are no savings to be made in flooding out your downstairs neighbour through botched DIY or through cash in hand and “fly by night” cowboys:- If your carefully selected and vetted professional outfit does have an unlikely but potentially expensive accident, then the company insurance ( check this out before hiring them) will cover the costs involved:- Pre selection will also allow you to involve the experts in the design and vital material/fittings selection process

3) Negotiate a fixed price with your contractor:- On a labour only basis, and at this time ( outwith the London area) it is possible to hire a good all trades contractor skilled in plumbing, builder work, woodwork, plastering, tiling, decorating and electrical work as necessary for about 1600-2300 pounds per standard bathroom inclusive of all works as necessary:- Make sure that your contract is in writing and is signed and agreed by both parties. There is Kitchen fitters ascot for a fancy or legally drafted contract:- An exchange of clearly and simply expressed handwritten letters or Emails will constitute a binding agreement in any small claims court if required. Careful selection of your contractor should ensure that legal proceedings are a very unlikely outcome of any project, but a properly constituted contract is a necessary and sensible insurance for any business transaction.

4) Shop around for your own sanitary fittings:- There are some fantastic deals to be had out there:- For example, and at the time of writing, B&Q has an excellent offer on a full “Sandringham” suite by Armitage Shanks Ltd (inclusive of bath, basin/pedestal/wc and taps) All for less than 200 pounds ( usual list price over 600 pounds):- If you see a “named brand” shower in a big store don’t buy it but check out comparative deals on line for a better deal.

5) If you have a “combi” boiler in your house you will find that a thermostatic valve shower or “power shower” as it is sometimes known, is probably the cheapest and definitely (performance wise) the best option:- remember to consult with your contractor as to which type to get:- These showers can have an exposed or concealed valve depending on what kind of walls you have:- When selecting an electrical shower, remember that the new more powerful showers available today ( rated up to and beyond 11KW ) will need a larger cable and mains circuit breaker installed by a qualified electrician:- Using a similarly rated shower to the existing shower can save you hundreds of pounds in rewiring costs.

6) The most commonly used tiles by far are ceramic ( as opposed to porcelain, slate or natural stone) they are also usually the cheapest to lay as they do not require specialist adhesives, cutting or drilling. Some natural stone products also require periodic sealing to maintain their condition. It is vital that you consult with your contractor before purchasing tiles or adhesives. The size of tiles can be a potential problem:- Large tiles do not generally work very well, appearance wise, in a small area and the size of tiles is always a major issue for walls and floors that are less than perfect (Tiles do not bend ):- Whilst smaller tiles can often cope with less than perfect surfaces, larger tiles can not:- A good tiler will always do the best he can, but remember that absolutely 100% perfect tiling is achievable only in laboratory conditions by robots!