Bathrooms are one of the most underrated rooms in the house. We often overlook it when redecorating and it is usually left until last during home improvement projects. However, we spend a significant proportion of our time in the bathroom. In fact, the average person spends approximately 12 minutes showering and drying, 3 minutes shaving, 15 minutes in the toilet, five minutes brushing teeth and 7 minutes cleaning the bathroom each day. That’s at least 42 minutes of your day in the bathroom; and if you add in the odd languorous bath, a daily moisturise (4 minutes), make-up (15 minutes) or hair styling (men: 3 minutes, women: 15 minutes), your daily bathroom time could reach around two hours.
Your bathroom is your sanctuary; it might be the only room in the house with a lock, and it might be the only place that you can get some peace (ask any parent of young children!). So, why would you make it your last priority? We think it should be your first priority, because by prioritising your bathroom, you are prioritising yourself. What’s more, your bathroom speaks volumes about you and a decent bathroom can help in future house sales. So, you’re not just investing in yourself, you are investing in your future, too.
Are you convinced? Once you decide that you want the bathroom that you deserve, there are three key decisions that you need to make:
Your Bathroom Budget
Your budget is your first important decision as every decision from this point will refer to whether you can afford it. You don’t want to over stretch yourself, but equally you don’t want to skimp if you don’t need to. Sit down and have a proper think about what you can afford. Once you have a rough figure, take ten percent away: this is your contingency and if you are lucky not to need it during your bathroom renovation, you can use it for lovely finishing touches such as bathroom plants, fluffy towels and accessories.
Your Bathroom Priorities
This is where it helps to think about your needs as well as potential future owners’ needs. You might not be a bath fan, but if you live in a family-sized house with a family-sized bathroom, not having a bath can be a big turn-off for potential buyers. If you are planning on moving within the next five years, it is definitely a good idea to consider the impact on sales potential. You might also want to focus on keeping the design more mainstream, so that it will appeal to more people. It’s easy to change the colour of painted walls, but if you can see the house going on the market in the near future, it is probably worth eschewing the hot pink bathroom tiles for something a little bit more neutral.
If you’re not planning on going anywhere for the foreseeable future, considering what other people will and won’t like isn’t such a big priority. Take your time to think about what you do and don’t like in a bathroom. Talk about it, write a list. Maybe even have a look through some of our on-trend, inspirational Pinterest boards to get the ball rolling. Think about other bathrooms and consider what you loved and hated. Before you know it you’ll be a first-class bathroom critic!
Choosing a Bathroom Fitter
Once you have established your rough budget and what you do and don’t want, you can start looking for bathroom fitters. It’s always a good idea to get at least two (preferably three) quotes. If someone you know can recommend a local bathroom fitter, that is a great place to start, otherwise try to find rated and reviewed bathroom fitters in your area.
An experienced bathroom fitter will probably be able to make suggestions based on your initial ideas and budget; they will have seen hundreds, if not thousands of bathrooms in their time and can tell you what does and doesn’t work. During your consultations with bathroom fitters, you may need to revise your original plans. A bathroom fitter may suggest laminate flooring instead of tiles for a wet room to provide access to the drains, or they may advise you that you can’t have an electric shower on that circuit.
It is not always a good idea to go for the cheapest quote; trust your instincts and go with the bathroom fitter that you feel understands your vision best, and who you trust. Remember, if you choose the cheapest bathroom fitter, you may and up with unexpected additional costs in the long term.
Whatever your budget, taste or needs, your bathroom is a place where you can make a statement. Make it your happy place: a place of indulgence and relaxation, where you can prepare yourself for the day ahead. By taking your time to decide your budget, your priorities and finding the right bathroom fitter, you are more likely to be able to create a bathroom with real wow factor.