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  • Creating a Beautiful Bathroom on Big & Little Budgets

    swish bathroom

    It’s no secret that a bathroom renovation is an expensive prospect, and what you can achieve often depends on the budget you have available. Although more options are open for those with a larger budget, knowing what to do with the budget you have available is important before you start your bathroom renovation, so you can get a realistic view of what your final bathroom will look like. Here are a few ideas for what you might do with your bathroom on a big or a little budget, and where you might like to focus your budget.

    The Bath

    Imperial Bath Cast Iron

    In a large bathroom, a freestanding bath is the simplest sign of luxury, showing off the amount of space you have, and also showcasing the design of the bath by putting it in the centre of your bathroom. As such, a freestanding bath is an ideal choice for larger budgets, as the more you can spend on your bath, the more impressive it can be. However, no matter how large your budget, a freestanding bath certainly won’t work in a small bathroom.

    To save money on your bathroom, it’s often a good idea to forgo having a bath at all, simply investing in a shower enclosure instead. However, if you do want to have the occasional long soak in the bath, there are plenty of great options that still feel great, even if they don’t look as opulent. An acrylic bath really is a high quality choice these days, and you can make a lot of difference by changing the panelling, such as a wood veneer to add to the aesthetic.

    The Shower

    Glass Shower

    While the bath is often the sign of luxury in a bathroom, there are plenty of high budget options for showers and shower enclosures for those who want the best, most practical showering experience. Shower enclosures can come in some exceptionally large sizes, or for a very large budget you can convert your entire bathroom into a wet room. Of course, how expensive this is will depend on the size of the room in question. Other high budget options include extra jets, especially on a column shower, and high powered showers for a more refreshing rush of water.

    Of course, showers are also a great low budget option to use instead of a bath. Converting a small bathroom into a wet room is not actually too expensive, and you can save on shower panels by doing so. You can also opt for a smaller shower enclosure, or an over bath shower if you plan on having a bath, allowing you to save money on your shower that you can spend on the bath instead. The cost of a good shower is not too high, it’s only optional extras that start cutting into the budget, and these aren’t necessary for an everyday shower.

    The Heating

    Under Window Readiator

    The high budget heating option is always going to be underfloor heating, which feels amazing. Underfloor heating offers your bathroom a clean, even level of heat, and of course avoids the problem of cold bathroom floors in winter months. Underfloor heating is expensive, and only becomes more so the larger your bathroom is. However, if you want to make a statement, a designer radiator may be the way to go instead, and high end radiators have plenty of their own advantages as well as adding a different style to your bathroom.

    Radiators are the traditional option for lower budget bathrooms, though once again small bathrooms can still be reasonably inexpensive to upgrade with underfloor heating, and the running costs of underfloor heating are generally lower. Another option for smaller bathrooms in particular are heated towel rails, which offer just as much heat as many radiators, and have the extra luxury of heating your towels, without much added cost.

    Fixtures & Accessories

    Accessories for Bathroom

    The difference between various fixtures and accessories often comes down more to style than to price. Deciding the style of your taps, handles, light fittings and other bathroom fixtures has a greater impact than how much you spend on them, although since these can have such a great impact on your bathroom, it may be worth splashing out a little extra money on high quality taps. These will see the most use, and so the extra money can go a long way towards feeling the luxury.

    Optional Extras

    Optional extras are mostly dependant on budget, with higher budgets being able to afford more. That doesn’t mean there aren’t a few low budget options that can make a big impact on your bathroom however. Adding a piece of artwork or nice photograph adds a nice aesthetic element, as does adding a small book shelf with a few books. Larger budgets might invest in a professionally painted wall mural or mosaic, of course, if you really want to make a big impact.

    Hopefully this has highlighted some of the key things you can do to your bathroom on both a large and small budget, where you might want to focus your budget, and how having a low budget doesn’t necessarily lock you out of a bathroom you can enjoy.

    For more help budgeting your bathroom, and finding top quality bathroom products at reasonable prices, call UK Bathroom Store on 01524 841087 and we’ll be more than happy to help you out.

  • 4 High Impact Bathroom Upgrades for a Low Cost

    The bathroom is one of the most private rooms in the house, and it should also be the most comfortable. It’s no surprise that people spend so much time and money on their bathroom before any other part of their home. However, if you’re not happy with your bathroom, and you’re not entirely sure why, you might not need a full makeover. Sometimes just a small change can make a big impact on your bathroom without having a big impact on your wallet.

    Here are a few low cost, high impact ideas to upgrade your bathroom:

    Bathroom Cabinet or Vanity Unit

    Roper Rhodes Cabinet

    If you don’t already have one, this is probably the first thing you should think about upgrading your bathroom with. A wall hung cabinet or vanity unit will allow you to hide away a lot of the clutter that takes up space in your bathroom and can make it look messy, no matter how tidy you try to keep it. It also adds an extra design element that you can customise to help you shape the way your bathroom is perceived. Whether you choose mirrored doors or traditional wood veneer can say a lot about your bathroom and your style.

    If you do already have a bathroom cabinet, that doesn’t mean you can’t still upgrade to something more fitting. Perhaps you don’t like the finish yours has, or you want to add mirrors or lights to it. Whatever you’re unhappy with, this small change makes a huge impact on your bathroom.

    LED Mirror

    HiB Vogue LED Mirror

    Every bathroom needs a mirror to help you freshen up in the morning, but what you do with this mirror can change the way you feel about your bathroom. One of the simplest mirror upgrades is to start using an LED-lit bathroom mirror, which not only looks fantastic, but adds extra light to your bathroom in a whole range of ways. The LED lighting helps make your bathroom brighter, and also helps you get a brighter look when you’re using the mirror itself, a much needed upgrade to your happiness.

    LED mirrors are not as expensive as you might think, and we have a great range in stock. Take a look at our LED bathroom mirrors and choose the one that fits your bathroom the best for a low cost, high impact bathroom upgrade.

    New Taps & Fittings

    Heritage Chrome Taps

    The big changes, like a new shower, a new bath and a new sink seem like they’d make the biggest difference, but what a lot of people fail to realise is that really it’s the little things that have the biggest effect on how your bathroom furniture is perceived. Why replace your whole bath when you could get the same effect just by choosing new taps, and there are plenty of taps to choose from. With all the different modern designs, there’s no need to replace bathroom furniture when you can just make a little change like this.

    In a similar way, changing light fittings, door and cabinet handles and shower heads can make a huge difference to your bathroom, without changing the furniture itself. Consider replacing the accessories and extras on your bathroom furniture before you replace the whole thing.

    Art & Books

    Make your bathroom more high brow by adding a few books or art pieces around the place. Even in a small washroom, a bookshelf on the back wall adds an extra element of style to the room, and of course offers you some bathroom reading if you need it. Similarly, an art print or framed photo is a great way to add extra personality to your bathroom, especially if you have a budding photographer or artist in the house to make it truly your own.

    These are just a few of the changes you can make to your bathroom right now without breaking the bank. Of course, if you need more ideas, or help with any of these, then please do call us on 01524 841087 and we’ll happily help you out.

  • Bathroom Designs in Other Countries

    It’s easy to think of the UK style of bathroom as being the only one around, but, as with anything, there’s actually a lot of variation. The modern version of the British bathroom really started to come into fashion in the late 19th century, the Victorian era, and while it’s inspired bathrooms around the world, there are still many differences that you might not be used to.

    Bathroom Old

    Squatting toilets

    Squatting toilets are a common sight in many countries around the world. The idea of a raised toilet with a toilet seat is largely a Western design, and even in many places in Europe you’ll still see toilets that look more like a hole in the floor than what most Brits would consider ‘proper’.

    There are a few key reasons that this is so common, and really it’s us who’ve got toilet design all wrong. It all comes back to nature, and how civilisation has grown up around it. It’s easy to miss if you’ve never thought of a time before toilets exist (and maybe it’s just us who do that!) but we haven’t always had pristine porcelain seats for our posteriors. Before the invention of our modern toilets, it was natural to squat. Many countries simply built their toilets around the idea that what’s natural is best.

    There’s actually a lot to be said about what’s natural being best, too. Without going into all the dirty details (though you can read more about it here and here) squatting is suggested to require less straining, feel more satisfactory and potentially has health benefits as well.

    It’s not for everyone, but the benefits of a squatting toilet could be yours if you choose to make an interesting change to your bathroom design.

    Bidets and Buckets

    Bidets are growing in popularity in the UK, but they still aren’t seeing common or widespread use, and especially not as much as they are in other parts of Europe. Bidets are a legal requirement for Italian bathrooms, for example, and are found in 97% of homes. Other Latin countries, such as Spain, Portugal and South American countries are also common places to find bidets, and they also see widespread use in the Middle East.

    If you haven’t seen a bidet before, they are not unlike sinks, but generally placed at the same height as a toilet, and are used for washing the nether areas. There are plenty of times that this can come in handy, but the most common use is after using the toilet. Bidets can be used to replace toilet paper, or to add an extra level of cleanliness that paper alone can’t achieve. Many also consider them to be more environmentally friendly than toilet paper.

    In countries where access to running water is rarer, or where bidets just haven’t caught on, you might find that you’re provided with a bucket of water instead. The idea behind this is the same, using the water to clean yourself once you’re done with the toilet. Some countries will also provide a hose pipe for easier cleaning.

    We don’t recommend a bucket or hosepipe in your bathroom if you can fit in a bidet. We have plenty of bidets to choose from.

    Hand Showers

    Everyone knows that showers are more environmentally friendly than baths (unless you take a particularly long time in the shower), but having a source of water constantly pouring down the drain is still not ideal. Once again, areas of the world with less access to running water find more efficient ways to clean themselves, such as the ‘navy’ shower. So called because military and navy personnel are often required to conserve water, this involves turning the shower on just long enough to get wet, turning it off while soaping, then turning it back on again to rinse.

    The Japanese have a different variant of this, based on their own traditions.

    In Japan, people clean themselves while sitting down. Traditionally, a bucket of warm water is placed beside a stool, with a ladle to be used for getting yourself wet. You can then take all the time in the world to soap up and lather from a comfortable sitting position, before using the water again to rinse off. A more modern take on this form of bathing uses a hand shower.

    A hand shower serves the same purpose as the bucket and ladle, but is more reliably warm and has a bit more pressure to it. Just use the shower head to wet yourself, soap up and then use the shower head again to rinse. This uses 10% of the water that a normal shower uses, and you also get to relax by sitting down throughout.

    If you like the sound of a hand held shower, but don’t want to completely give up on the traditional style, then take a look at our diverter showers which offer you the best of both worlds.

    Separate Rooms

    It’s not really uncommon to see the toilet in a separate room in many British households, but it’s often an overlooked idea when people are creating new bathrooms for their homes. Most people would consider that having a toilet in a separate room to the shower was for convenience, but there are other practical reasons for it as well.

    Going back to Japan, it would be considered unthinkable to bathe in the same room that you go to the toilet in, and modern science backs this up. Flushing your toilet causes many of the germs that are in there to be cast chaotically up into the air, where they are free to settle over the rest of the bathroom. When your toilet is in its own room this isn’t too much of an issue, but when it shares space with your shower, bath, toothbrush and other hygiene supplies it’s definitely a problem.

    The history of putting toilets in the same room as the rest of the bathroom is an odd one. Originally, they would be kept in a separate room, a ‘water closet’, but plumbing to just one room was much easier than plumbing to multiple ones, and so everything moved into a central bathroom location. As time went by, it seems that many Brits forgot about the hygienic implications of this, and so it’s considered natural to have everything in one room.

    It’s not only more convenient to have your toilet separate from the rest of the bathroom, but also more hygienic. If you have space, it’s worth considering separating the pieces, for a cleaner bathroom experience.

    To help make your bathroom just right for you UK Bathroom Store offers internet prices with showroom backup. Give us a call on 01524 841 087 and let us help you make your bathroom perfect!

  • Examples of Unique Bathrooms & What Makes Them Special

    1. Subtle But Contrasting Colours

    Subtlecontrast

    The beauty of this bathroom is in its colour scheme. Overall, the grey gives it a subdued effect, compared to the pristine white of many bathrooms, but still benefits from the contrasting black on the glass frames and the sink. This allows the bathroom to be a little dirty on occasion, and not too shocking on first glance, without losing the minimalist effect that many modern bathrooms aim for.

    2. Pure Square Design

    Puresquaredesign

    This bathroom is the epitome of perfect angular design. The square tiles and soft cornered, shallow rectangles are a great way of emphasising the shape of the room, without wasting any space. Extra space is added thanks to the mirror on the bath tub and lack of pedestal on the sink.

    3. Lonely Standalone Bath Tub

    Lonelystandalonebath

    Not something you're likely to see in a "best small bathroom design" category, this hexagonal shower 'cubicle' and standalone bath are centre stage to an otherwise empty room. The effect is one of decadent minimalism that has the space available to specifically not use. The emptiness is emphasised by the light-coloured floor and ceiling compared to the black walls and bathtub - in other words, the space not being used is highlighted and contrasted against the solid, present elements.

    4. Small Bathroom Design

    Smallbathroom

    This bathroom speaks for itself, as far as use of space is concerned. We've all lived in houses which don't allow room for a proper bathroom, but by opening up the shower and tiling the floor this bathroom is able to create some extra space, both visually and physically. The use of space is made even more efficient by using a back to wall toilet, ceiling mounted shower head and under-sink shelving. It doesn't get much better than this.

    5. Homogenous Tiling Pattern

    Homogenoustilingpattern

    This bathroom is brought together by tiling the floor, walls and even bath panels in the same style. This enhances the use of space by both reducing the number of competing elements, and by using a larger tile size. The large tile size is a classic way to make a space look larger, and with less objects interfering in the picture - such as a separate bath panel or cistern, the eye is allowed to wander and invent its own space.

    6. Hidden Storage Space

    Hiddenstoragespace

    This is a really clever way of adding more storage space to your bathroom without being obvious about it, which is even better if you don't like showing off your toiletries. Hiding a drawer behind a panel, and using a robe hook or towel ring as the handle, will allow you to keep all of your bathroom items hidden away without using up any extra space.

    7. Outdoor Bathroom Space

    Outdoorbathroomspace

    It's not for everyone, but some people like to make use of large, hidden gardens by having an outdoor shower. This concept takes it just a little further by moving the entire bathroom outside. High walls that, hopefully, only look out on the garden mean that this bathroom gets plenty of natural light and fresh air. Probably a better idea for warmer countries than the UK though!

    8. Super Simple Contrast

    Supersimplecontrast

    Unlike the first bathroom, which used more subtle shades, this bathroom is designed to stand out. The effect is one that is incredibly sharp, backed up by the hexagonal tiles, with no meeting in the middle for black or white.

    9. Inset Bath

    Insetbath

    Sometimes, creating more space isn't about how you use the space, but about how it looks like you use the space. Imagine this room if the bath were on the floor, rather than in it, and you can immediately see how much space it seems to save. The best part is that it actually takes up just as much space as a normal bath would!

    10. Clean and Simple

    Cleanandsimple

    This bathroom is smooth and simple. The marble finish means that it isn't too plain, but nor is it too busy, avoiding the contrast effect that other bathrooms frequently show off. The marble is designed to not look like tiles, so that the finish looks continuous. The hidden cistern for the toilet, just like the hidden pipes and lack of pedestal for the basin, finish off the smooth effect.

    11. Eco Friendly

    Ecofriendly

    Although it's not actually pictured, this basin empties water into the shower area, which itself empties into a greywater system for use in the garden. There's much more to this bathroom, which you can read about in the Natural Home Bath of the Year article, but we definitely thought that the sink draining to shower area was an excellent touch.

  • 7 Hidden Costs of Remodelling Your Bathroom

    So, you've finally decided that it's time to remodel your bathroom, and you want to make sure you've got enough to do it. You've found the items you want, and set aside the money for those, and it seems all in all a lot cheaper than people have been telling you. Why is that?

    Well, it's quite possible that you've forgotten to factor in some of the 'hidden' costs of remodelling a bathroom. It's not that these costs are secret, it's just that it's easy for you to forget to factor them into the costs of renovating, when in actual fact this is where most of the cost comes from:

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  • Types of Walk In Showers

    Walk in showers are all the rage these days, gaining popularity due to their ease of access and being a perfect addition to the modern style of a minimalist bathroom aesthetic. Depending on the size and shape of your bathroom, there are plenty of different options for you to choose from.

    Two-Sided

    In a large and spacious bathroom, a two-sided walk in shower enclosure might be your preferred option, allowing you to easily designate a shower area without having to use a full enclosure. The two-sided style of enclosure usually uses two panels to create a corner, with one stopping water from splashing out at the side, and one to stop it splashing out of the back. The entrance to this shower is the gap in the corner where the two panels don't meet, where water is least likely to escape the enclosure.

    This is perhaps the style of walk in shower most similar to 'traditional' showers, being still largely an enclosure, but if you make use of clear, frameless panels, you will still be able to create an effect of spaciousness in your bathroom.

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  • How and Why to Use Bath Panel Tiling

    Bath tiling is a somewhat rare way to add an extra wow factor to your bathroom, and when done right can look extraordinarily good. We particularly recommend tiled bath panels as a small bathroom idea, as the way that they make the bath fit in creates extra visual space, but a larger bathroom with a minimalist aesthetic may also like the style of bath panel tiling.

    Before we get into the how of bath panel tiling, however, let's first address the what and why:

    What is Bath Panel Tiling?

    Bath panel tiling is simply the process of adding tiles to the side of your bath, usually in the same style that you have tiled the floor or walls. The process involves using specialist tile backing board which won't warp, and requires a bit more effort than using standard bath panels, but you may consider it well worth the extra effort.

    So Why Tile Your Bath?

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  • Shower Mixers: What Are They, Why Use Them & How to Connect Them

    Shower mixers are a great way of getting the shower you want, every time. Sounds good so far, right?

    In seriousness, a shower mixer is a fairly simple mechanism that allows you to control the temperature of your shower by taking both the hot and cold water flows and mixing them together before outputting them from the shower head. This means that you get to select the temperature that your water comes out of the shower. This may sound like something your shower can already do (and perhaps it is) but there are a few key differences between options such as electric showers, and a few key add-ons that can help you make the most of your shower mixer.

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  • What is an Overflow Bath Filler?

    Can't find a good design for your bath tap? Struggling for space, or aiming for a minimalist feel without minimising function? Or are you just clamouring for something a little different, to make your bathroom feel a bit more special? In any and all of these cases, you should be considering a bath overflow filler. But what exactly is one?

    All-in-One Bath/Shower Solution

    In essence, an overflow bath filler is just a different way to put water into your bath. Located where you would normally find the waste overflow hole, the overflow filler is capable of filling your bath as well as taking excess water away by being hooked up to both the water pipe and the waste pipe. Seems simple, right? So why is it that you don't see these more often?

    The truth is, we're not entirely sure either. When most people are looking for baths, they expect to be attaching taps, so even though waste fillers have been around for quite some time, they just haven't been widely adopted yet. With improvements to the design, so that even gravity-fed water systems can now use them, and the modern desire for sleek, minimalist designs, however, they are currently seeing a rise in popularity and demand.

    How Do They Work?

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  • How to Fit a Wet Room Floor: Shower Trays and Waterproofing

    As the trends in bathroom design headed towards minimalist, it was only natural that more techniques were developed in an attempt to cut as much excess out of the bathroom as possible. Large and impressive bath tubs were shrunk down to space-saving corner baths. Shower pipes were hidden away behind walls. Eventually baths were removed entirely in favour of shower enclosures, which were shrunk down themselves until they were nothing more than clear, glass panels separating the shower from the rest of the bathroom. Minimalism in shower and bathing design reached its furthest extent in the form of the wet room, where an entire room could be transformed to be shower-friendly, thus removing the need for many of the traditional separation techniques.

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