Bathrooms

One major thing to consider carefully in a new bathroom design is whether you want to install a greywater system.

Heating

T.B.C.

Flooring

Covered in the flooring design section.

Walls & Ceilings

If you are going to paint the walls in your bathroom, then you need to use a good quality bathroom / kitchen paint, which will be more moisture resistant. When painting ceilings this is especially true. Normal ceiling paints will simply crack and fall off, when subjected to the damp found in a typical bathroom.

Tiles

pebbles inset into tile
One way to add a touch of style and uniqueness to your bathroom, is to make some tile inserts yourself using natural and readily available materials. In our current bathroom we have several like this one. They were made my collecting small, colourful stones when at the beach. These were then polished in a polishing machine and stuck to a backing, to make the inserts. Grouting was then used to finish them off.

Baths

These are covered in a separate section.

Showers

These are covered in a separate section.

Sinks

T.B.C.

Shaver Point

T.B.C.

Toilets

Our experience suggests that you shouldn't buy a budget toilet. They are simply more trouble than they are worth and will not provide a powerful flush or will leak at some point. Make sure you buy one that is also comfortable to sit on!

In our experience the soft close toilet seats are also not very good.

Lighting

It is a good idea to use stainless steel light fittings in a bathroom because it is a fairly damp environment. Cheaper chrome fittings will eventually corrode.

Bathroom Cabinets & Storage

T.B.C.

Mirrors

LED demisting mirror
Whilst there is a wide choice of 'off the shelf' mirror designs available, very few feature a heating element to stop them misting up. Fortunately this is something that can easily be added, so long as a suitable power source is available. We discovered Demista heated mirror pads many years ago and have had one installed on the main mirror in our bathroom ever since.

The Gallone LED mirror pictured features a motion sensor to activate the LED lights, an independent dual voltage shaver socket and a full size demister pad for a steam free mirror.

Good ventilation is also a major factor in ensuring that mirrors don't even start to mist up.

Ventilation

Ventilation in a bathroom is essential to ensure that mould is kept at bay and even then, regular cleaning is the only way to stop it. Leaving a window open in the warmer months can significantly improve ventilation. It is advisable to fit windows that can be locked in an open position, even on upper floors.

Installing a fan over a shower is pretty much essential and these can be either wall or ceiling mounted. Our experience is that ceiling mounted extraction fans are a more efficient way to extract water vapour. Another advantage of a ceiling mounted fan is that they can be mounted remotely in a roof space, reducing the vibrations through the ceiling and the overall noise levels.

We have installed an intelligent control system in our current bathroom, that monitors humidity and only turns on the extractor fan when required.

We have used this solution in our main bathroom. It's a combined remote extraction fan and low-voltage shower light to fit into the ceiling over the show enclosure. The advantage of this approach is good extraction, good lighting and a timer unit that keeps the fan running for a few minutes after the light has been switched off.

The routing of extraction fan ducting is also important. Ideally, it should be kept as short as possible. With an overhead fan, you need to minimise the length of pipe going vertically upwards as warm moist air will condense and drip back down. It is therefore also essential that the seal at the ceiling is fully water-tight, or the ceiling itself will get damp and eventually give way. Also avoid U-bends as these can act as a reservoir and the collected water will reduce the air flow. The pipe to the exit point also needs to be inclined so that any condensation in the pipe runs away and out of the house.

Roof mounted vents are not ideal in this respect, as they need a pipe running vertically up to them. They are also more complex to fit and more difficult to make water-tight as they break the line of roof tiles and need flashing. Another down side is that wind will push cold air down them and into the bathroom when they are not in use. Vents mounted in soffits are a better solution as they point downwards. They can also have flaps attached to prevent wind coming back through the vent.

Flaps on vents can also be another issue. Generally, they are made to a price and cheaper units can get stuck open or closed, due to poor tolerances. In windy conditions they can also be quite noisy with the flaps clattering against the frame.

Towel Rails

Doesn't matter what time of year it is, you still need to dry towels. Typical installations involve replacing an existing radiator or installing one instead of a radiator in new builds, so that it is easier to hang towels on it. It is smart to add a thermostatic radiator valve when you do this to improve efficiency of the heating in your house.

A heated towel rail really needs to be independent from the central heating, so that it can be used in summer. We have though hard about how you could best control these but, the simplest and most usable solution seems to be a simply manual switch that turns it on for a defined period of time.

This will be the focus of a future project.

Bathroom Accessories

These are covered in a separate section.

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