Ten Key Points to Consider when Choosing a Bathroom

Statement bath

Bath takes centre stage with magnificent window back drop


Before you even walk into a bathroom showroom, and walk out laden with brochures, feeling overwhelmed and confused about the choices available to you, consider these ten key points.

  1. Bath or Shower?

    Bath with a separate shower, or do you only have space for a shower bath? Do you want a statement, perhaps free standing bath or one that is purely functional bath? Do you want to replace your bath with a walk in shower? The shower valve will depend on what hot water system you have. It’s best to consult your plumber or bathroom supplier, you will advise you.

Bath Material

– Do you have a preference towards a Caronite, steel, acrylic, cast iron or other material for your bath?  Cast iron is heavy, expensive and virtually everlasting. Caronite is durable, excellent wearing capabilities, mid range in price, good quality and very popular. Steel is less expensive than Caronite, is hard wearing but can feel cold. Acrylic baths are cheap, light but are prone to movement. A Jacuzzi bath tends to be great to begin with, but tend to clog with limescale if fitted without a water softener.  

2. Basins -Do you have room for or want twin basins?  A pedestal, wall hung or set in a vanity unit?

3. Storage – Consider storage needs for bottles, make-up, loo rolls and cleaning products. A vanity unit with drawers fitted with separate compartments could be considered.

Clever storage

Clever storage squeezed into small space

4. FittingsThis can be a mine field. what style do you want? Sleek and modern, classic, contemporary or period? Do you want mixer taps, bath fillers (bath fills with what looks like an overflow ) plus diverter hand set, or standard telephone taps Do you prefer bath shower mixers or thermostatic shower mixers?Do you want chrome, gold, white or very decorative fittings? Do you want round or square shaped taps?

5. Toilets – Would you like a back to wall toilet ? ( has no visible cistern,  placed in a unit). A close coupled toilet ( a visible cistern), or a higher level comfort pan ? A soft close seat which prevents the slamming down of the seat?

Vintage Style Bathroom

Vintage style with close couple pan and cistern. image from House Beautiful

6. Lighting – Consider a range of task lighting for make – up and shaving. Consider a wall hung vanity cabinet with a back lit mirror, de-mister pad and shaver socket, with lights hung each side of  the cabinet to avoid shadows from being cast onto your face. Recessed LED lights in ‘cubby holes’ ( built in recesses used for shampoo, conditioner and body wash products which avoids the need for chrome fittings) and under units or shelves add ambience whilst enjoying a long soak.

Back lit cabinet with de- mister pads and shaver socket

Cabinet with lighting and de mister pads and shaver socket

7. Flooring – Do you want tiles, with or without under floor heating, vinyl, wood or another type of flooring?

8.Heating – Do you want a statement radiator or heated towel rails? Do you want the heated towel rail to be dual fuel? ( Duel fuel means having a separate electric switch fitted which can be used to warm and dry towels when the main heating isn’t switched on in the summer).

Heated towel rail

Heated towel rail

9. Decoration – What do you want on your walls? Do you want it fully tiled or just in the wet areas? Do you want different tiles in different areas? How do you want the tiles laid – landscape, portrait, brick style or herring bone?

10. Budget – What is your budget? You usually get what you pay for in terms of quality in the product. Buy the best you can afford if you want it to last.

The Plumber May Not Be To Blame!

Deluge Shower Head image from Bathstore

Deluge Shower Head


Don’t you feel disappointed, if at the start  of the day, to wake yourself up, as well as to cleanse, an invigorating shower; or perhaps at the end of the day when you step into a shower to wash, but also wash away the stresses and strains of the day, and all you get is a feeble trickle of water! What a total let down!

If your shower used to work well, but has recently gone from great to a pathetic spray, try cleaning out the shower head holes with a sharp tool like a pin or skewer. Shower heads need cleaning like the rest of the shower, and holes in the shower nozzle often, quite quickly (especially if you live in a hard water area without a water softener) clog up with limescale.You might consider buying a shower head with a speed clean option, which is designed to reduce the limescale build up and makes for easier cleaning.

Limescale build-up Image Google search

Limescale Build Up

It’s also disappointing if you’ve gone to the expense of installing a brand new shower, especially with a rain water deluge head too, and all you get is little more than a trickle; not the deluge or power you had been promised in the brochure. The plumber may not be to blame (everyone likes to blame the plumber!). It’s advised that before purchasing a super duper all singing and dancing new shower system you discuss your water system with either a plumber or the sales people in a bathroom showroom. They will advise you if your water system or supply has sufficient power to supply your desired choice of shower, and will advise you of alternatives or ways to achieve your dream shower.

Ask your local plumber to check out your hot and cold water supply to see what is suitable for your needs. In most cases they will not charge for a call out. But if a charge is inevitable, quite often this will be waived if you agree to have them fit what is required. It’s worth discussing this with the said plumber prior to a site visit.

A larger shower head, does not necessarily mean it will deliver a more powerful showering experience. A larger head with a larger spray coverage area require a greater volume of water. Because of the large surface area, the water will have reduced pressure, so may result is a less powerful flow. A small shower head can give a more powerful flow, but with a reduce coverage area. Some shower heads have multi spay functions , from a powerful jet, to massaging spray or water saving option.