Bathroom and Ensuite refurb

How hard can it be choosing fixtures and fittings for a bathroom and ensuite refurb - Oh how wrong could I be? Like anything there's so much choice out there, plus it can be an expensive job. Having never had to start a bathroom refurb from scratch, it was learning curve. So, for anyone planning one, here are my top tips.

1) Allocate a good proportion of your budget to tiles and taps and save money on toilets, baths and basins. I used Bathstore to purchase these and waited for a sale period. The taps, although from Perrin and Rowe and CP Hart, were brought second hand on Ebay. You may have to wait to find them but it’s well worth it. Having good quality taps really does make a difference.

The marble tiles were from Mandarin stone and I have the polished finish in our family bathroom and the honed finish in our ensuite. Comparing the two, I would always opt for the honed finish, as it provides a more matt finish, plus cleaning is a lot easier as the polished ones can smear.

2) If you can, build an alcove in your shower cubicle for all of your lotions and potions. It gives a seamless finish and provides a tidy space for everything.

3) Think about installing made to measure shutters. They are extremely practical; easy to clean, open and close plus they are very good at preventing embarrassing ' flashing your neighbour' situation while showering. Been there, done that. If you live in an older house, with no double glazing they are also great at keeping drafts at bay!

4) If you can, opt for an open, walk in shower and an additional hand held shower. You will need to invest in a good extractor fan as the steam is less contained but it's great at providing an open, wet room style feel at a reduced cost . Investing in a straight screen and hand held rinser also makes cleaning very easy. It's also great for washing the dog! (well depending on size).

5) Don't forget the finishing touches. Door handles, light pulleys, linen baskets, towels, they all make a difference to the finished look. Also think about where you are going to house everything. Unfortunately I didn't have space for a sink cabinet so I oped for a mirrored one where all my potions now live, out of sight.

6) And finally, invest in a Karcher window vac. It's a fantastic alternative to daily cleaning sprays and hopefully a little more environmentally friendly. It removes excess water from your shower screen and tiles and helps leave everything sparkling clean, with no smears! Very quick and easy to use and even my husband now uses it (well after a little nagging).

My Directory:

Tiles - Mandarin stone.

Shutter - John Lewis and Partners.

Toilet and Basin - Bathstore.

Linen basket - White Company

Door knob and light pulley - Jim Lawrence.

Karcher window vac - Karcher

Have you recently given your bathroom a refresh? If so why not share your experience in the comment box below.


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