When Choosing a Bath ...

You need to consider carefully the sort of style, shape and material you want - the size and shape of the room will dictate which bath you buy. Those who have a bigger floor area could consider the luxury of a tub-for-two!

But what shape?

At the moment, both simple rectangular baths and freestanding tubs are as popular as each other.

The best shape if you intend to have a shower above the bath is a traditional rectangular one, this is because shower screens need a flat rim to sit on. For those with a young family, double-ended tubs with waste, taps and overflow in the middle are great. A corner bath is also a good choice for families. A showerbath is one that has a rounded end and will allow you to have the versatility of a bath and a shower if space is an issue. A shortage of space might also mean that you will want to consider a shorter but deeper bath – the standard depth is 372mm but some baths are now going up to 450mm in depth. Baths with a tapered end are also a good choice for space and ecological reasons.

An elegant bath tub can be the focal point of your bathroom. It should sit at least 10cm away from the wall but it doesn't need to sit in the centre of the room. Bath tubs come in both traditional and contemporary designs - you can choose from either ornate claw-footed roll tops or sleek modern pieces - and they no longer cost the earth! Putting that extra time into choosing a new bath can transform your bathroom into a place where you will want to go to soothe away the stress of the day or just to dream and relax.

And what material?

Baths now come in all sorts of materials with cast iron, steel and acrylic being the most popular.

  • Cast iron is strong, heavy and durable. If you wish to paint the outside of your bath to match your colour scheme then many of them come ready primed so that you can paint them with the colour of your choice.
  • Steel is the most durable and should come with a long guarantee – even as long as 30 years. It is easy to care for and is usually scratch resistant.
  • Acrylic keeps in the heat and is not heavy – it is usually the cheapest option. You do need to bear in mind that it can discolour easily and you must always choose your cleaning products carefully.
How to Maximise a Mini Bathroom

If you have a limited amount of space it needn't mean that you can't have a luxurious spa feel to your bathroom. With the right storage, sanitaryware and decor any bathroom can be made into a beautiful, relaxing space.

Hide all that clutter and cleaning products in a floor-to-ceiling corner cupboard or a freestanding cabinet. Bulkier items such as towels can be stored in below–sink drawers. You may also be able to store some items on a hanger on the back of the bathroom door. The walls at either end and behind the bath are often over-looked as an option for putting shelving for storage space – you must keep them neat though and make the display a real feature.

Squeezing too much in will make the room look crowded, so you could opt for a slightly smaller bath or basin. If you do want to change the layout of your bathroom you will need to get a qualified plumber to tell you whether or not your plans will work.

Keep your colour scheme simple to make the bathroom look less cluttered. Bold colours can make a room look smaller so you will need to add mirrors to give an effect of more space. If there is not much natural light in your bathroom then positioning the mirror at an angle near the window will reflect as much light as possible.

Large wall tiles on one of the bigger walls will enhance the feeling of space.

A Perfect Family Bathroom

A family bathroom that caters for everyone's needs doesn't need to lack style. Obviously, lots of storage is a must. Wipe-clean surfaces that are completely waterproof will come in useful too! Practicality and good-looks can be combined.

Storage needn't draw attention to itself – it could be low-level and hidden beneath the sink.

Two basins are not only practical but highly fashionable, it also means that there's more storage space beneath them.

A big bath is great for a growing family and to give it that ‘spa' look place the taps on the wall at its centre – this can also prevent that ‘I don't want the plug end' argument!

Heated towel rails mean that soggy towels don't stay that way for long – mind you don't have it too hot if you have a very young family though.

Tiles are the best choice for walls because the more areas covered by a waterproof surface the better!

Finish off your bathroom with practical accessories and an enormous mirror to enhance the space and add light.

Getting the Smallest Room In Your House Right

Did you know that second to the kitchen, the bathroom is the room that helps to sell your house? There are ways that you can renew your bathroom without blowing your budget and with the right advice you can achieve the perfect look.

You must always think about the future when planning your bathroom but you also need it to work for you now. Don't get rid of your bath and replace it with a wet room or shower because this will deter buyers. You can always install a power shower over the bath instead.

If you do have a big bathroom then make sure you make the most of it. Create as much storage as possible, have an eye-catching bath so that it can become the focal point of the room. You could also consider fitting double sinks because not only are they fashionable but they are practical and could tempt buyers too.

There's lots of ways to make your bathroom seem bigger – bright lighting, huge mirrors and reflective flooring. The way you treat the window is also important – you'll need to make sure that the way you cover it still lets in the most amount of light possible.

Always get a proper, professional job done on your bathroom by qualified plumbers, electricians and tilers. Don't let your expenditure exceed your home's value. Always remember that a bad job will be expensive to put right.

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