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Bathroom Lessons Learned

Its been a little over 6 months now since we finished our bathroom and study refurbishment, so I thought I would share with you what worked, and what I’d do differently next time. We have one (windowless) downstairs WC to design when we eventually undertake the side return in Phase 5, and another small shower room for the loft in phase 6, so I thought it would be a good idea to record my thoughts now for future reference.

What worked:

  • The frameless full width skylight above the shower and bathtub was worth every penny and I’d do that again in a heartbeat as I enjoy it every day
  • The wall to wall mirror cabinet really visually expanded the space and provided loads of essential storage without adding visual bulk
  • Opening up the ceiling to the rafters adds essential volume in what is actually a quite small bathroom, making it feel more generous than it really is
  • The wall mounted taps do make cleaning the sink easier (there is no gunky build up around the base)
  • The light from the dimmable wall mounted lights on either side of the mirror at face level provide perfect illumination. (So much nicer than a glaring top light).
  • We also really enjoy having dimmable lights in the bathroom for in the evening when we are tired and don’t want it to be super bright
  • I love the fact that the toilet doesn’t sit on the floor as this makes the floor so much easier to clean, and there is one less joint for dirt to build up in.
  • The white grout for the shower wall tiles has remained white (I was worried about it yellowing), so the water and mould repellant anti-bacterial grout from Mapei seems to be working!

What I’d do differently next time (or lessons learned for your bathroom refurb!):

  • The 1500mm wide bathtub is really  just too small for an adult to lie out in. We always knew it would be tight, but you just can’t stretch your legs out fully (and I’m only 5′-4″) – and that really isn’t ideal. To fit a longer tub we wouldn’t have been able to fit in the study.  As I use the study every evening, often for hours, I wouldn’t give that up for a larger tub that I’d use once a month.We mostly use the shower, so this isn’t a major issue, but just a note for anyone considering a small bath who likes to take relaxing baths regularly – this size is too small!
  • We installed a continuous strip of fairly expensive under-cabinet LED lights which, because they are an extremely bright, cool blue light, we just never turn on. The wall lights provide plenty of soft warm illumination for this small room, so we shouldn’t have  bothered.
  • I thought I’d never need to polish the taps being wall mounted, but they do still get splashed by wet hands and I find I’m constantly wiping them clean so they shine. Would I spend the extra £200 again for wall mount over basin mounted taps? Probably not in a downstairs WC which would not get as much use.
  • Getting the marble back panel installed was really stressful as it cracked during the installation (as you may remember) and I had to wait ages to get a new one, which delayed the construction period.  As stone is a natural  material, no two pieces are ever the same and I always felt that the new marble panel wasn’t quite as nice as the first one.  Because both the panel and the top shelf both cracked, I still have a vague worry that someone will stand on the toilet and the back panel will crack and cause us a replacement nightmare.  Next time I’d just avoid the whole stress and hassle and go with tiles or corian if you want to avoid grout joints.
  • Some of the grout between the floor tiles is crumbling in places, so  I’ll need to scrape it out and touch it up at some point.  I suspect a 1mm tile spacer was too ambitious for large tiles, and a thicker spacer would have allowed the grout to hold together better.

 

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2 thoughts on “Bathroom Lessons Learned

    1. Yes indeed! Heather raises a very good point. In the UK we cant have switches or sockets in the bathroom (only shavers sockets) as it is against building regulations – so that means most of us here (I learnt) dries their hair in their bedrooms. Not ideal if you and your partner wake up at different times! I missed a trick with this bathroom refurbishment as if I was really clever I would have popped an electrical outlet in the corridor near the bathroom so that I could use my hairdryer in the bathroom. Next time!

      Thanks for the reminder!

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