Bathroom redesign – simple, surely? You need a sink, a lavatory, a shower or bath and Bob's your uncle. We certainly agree that those are the essential elements of a bathroom. There is, however, more to a bathroom remodel than that…
As ever, you need a clear idea of your budget before you start. Changing the layout of a bathroom will usually be quite expensive, as moving pipes can be costly, so if you want to do this you need to be sure about any changes and clear about why you want to make them – for example because you want more room or storage space. There may be a less expensive and disruptive way to achieve the same ends. If your reason for wanting a redesign is to refresh the look of the bathroom, you might be able to achieve that by repainting the walls or laying new flooring or tiles; a different door might help you have more space.
If you do decide to change the layout, measure your bathroom accurately, including the position of doors, windows and pipes, and bring the measurements to your first meeting with your architect.
Have a contingency budget of between an extra 15 and 20 per cent. Sometimes bathroom work uncovers a maintenance issue, such as water damage, that needs to be fixed.
Lighting is often one of the most overlooked aspects of bathroom redesigns, despite being fairly crucial. As well as lighting for the whole room, think about whether you also want lighting to illuminate something in particular, for example a light over a mirror. Think about how you can get as much natural light as possible too.
Lights you can switch on at just a low level are a great idea, so you can use them at night without disturbing anyone else – or waking yourself up too much when you want to go back to sleep!
There are all sorts of materials to think about: flooring, fittings, cabinets, backsplashes, tiles, and counter tops, down to accessories like towel rails and hooks. And various aspects to consider when you’re choosing them, including appearance, price, safety and upkeep.
Most sinks and lavatories are made from glazed ceramic, which is hardwearing, easy to clean, has a smooth, shiny appearance and is easy to shape during manufacturing. Resin is an alternative to consider because of its definition – it can be used to produce really crisp lines and defined shapes, which is great if you want a square or rectangular sink. It’s also tough, quite low-cost, and slightly more lightweight than ceramic.
Unless you have more than one bathroom, you’ll need to think about what you’re going to use instead during the work. If you’re doing the work yourself, start at the top of the room. Don't install a new floor and then do work on your ceiling!
South east London architects Bluelime Home Design has 13 years' experience in designing and redesigning rooms, extensions and entire homes across London and Kent. We now have offices in Dartford, Bromley, Erith, Bexley and Croydon – call us on 01322 517632 to chat about the architectural services we offer or to arrange a free architect consultation.