Bathroom Decor Solutions
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Published by TOP4 Team
Bathrooms are one of the most expensive rooms in your home, second only to the kitchen. If you consider the cost of plumbing, tiling, tapware, baths and basins, you can easily see the dollars are adding up. But it’s one of the most used rooms in the house, so we want it to be beautiful. It’s one of the most used rooms in the house, so we want it to be both functional and beautiful. It’s so easy to overspend in showrooms or tile stores, as well as make simple design blunders, so here are some tips to consider when renovating your bathroom.
When designing the bathroom layout, it must always be functions over form! Meaning its function is more important that the look. There are building codes and guidelines, which your plumber will be aware of, but it’s essentially common sense as well. So when planning the layout, consider these points.
• Make sure you can open the shower door without banging it against the vanity. Sounds simple but we see it happen on a constant basis.
• Make sure your bath is big and deep enough to enjoy – it’s not worth the use of space if you can’t really use it.
• Make sure you allow space for towel rails near the shower for ease of use.
• Make sure you can access the loo easily and that you can reach the toilet paper – we’ve been in bathrooms that have this problem!
• Make sure the vanity you select has enough storage. Girls need more than boys, with hair dryers and the rest of their make-up, etc, so make sure you allow for all their stuff.
Toilets can range greatly in pricing depending on the quality and look you’re after, but here are the basics.
Budget - a simple link suite is where the cistern is mounted to the wall and is separated from the pan with a PVC apron. You can buy one for under $150.
Mid-range - a close-coupled suite is where the cistern sits directly on top of the pan, which creates a cleaner look. A wall-faced suite sits flat against the wall, hiding the water connections and giving a modern, easy-to-clean finish. Look at spending about $135 to $500.
Premium – if you want a high-end look then go for a concealed or in-wall toilet where the cistern is built into the wall cavity so only the buttons show. You can have floating off the floor, too. Spend about $600 to $1000.
When you do have time for a good soak, you want to enjoy it. Therefore, the size and style of your bath is an important decision. Make sure you head to a showroom to try before you buy.
Budget – inset baths sit into a tiled hob – this is a more traditional-looking bath. If you’re installing this type, make sure you sit inside it before buying it to see if it’s long and wide enough. You can buy these for as little as $120.
Mid-range – for a more designer look, many inset baths have been moulded in slick, modern shapes. These can cost from $330 to $700.
Premium – if you have the room, go for a freestanding bathtub. They come in a variety of styles and materials from acrylic or resin to stone and metal. You’ll pay up to $800 – or more.
I spend a lot of time with my clients selecting the right tapware. I consider them to be the jewellery of the outfit and they can make or break a bathroom design. Traditional taps come in a set, being one for hot, one for cold and a spout. I prefer to use mixers, which are functional, easy to clean and provide a modern look.
Whatever style you go for, I suggest buying quality, especially for a wall mounted mixer taps, as replacing them may include removing tiles, which can be costly. Make sure you touch and feel the taps before buying to make sure they are as nice to use as they are to look at. Here’s what you’ll be paying:
BUDGET: $40 to $150
MID-RANGE: $150 to $300
PREMIUM: $300 to $700
There are four basic basin designs.
Wall-hung basins are perfect for small spaces with tight access. There is usually no storage underneath.
Semi-recessed basins are part recessed into the vanity so that the bowl sits forward. These are often used to allow more space in tight floorplan.
Above-counter basins sit above the vanity top. Some sit high and others have a slim profile, depending on the desired look you’re going for.
Undermount basins sit under the benchtop. This creates an uncluttered look that’s great for modern spaces, but remember your tapware will have to be bench or wall mounted.
BUDGET: $75 to $150
MID-RANGE: $150 to $400
PREMIUM: $400 and up
Go for a style that sits well with the architecture and design of your home. Simple ceramic tiles are always safe bets and by far the least expensive. Graphic or colourful tiles may make a statement, but they are costly, both to buy and to change later – they will date quicker than more simple schemes. Feature mosaics can look striking but are costed per sheet, not per square meter, so just a rear wall for a shower may end up costing $2000 or more. Natural stone tiles need to be sealed to protect them from staining. You’ll need to reseal over time, too.
Tiles cost from approx $30 to $500 a square metre, plus you have to add in the cose of labour and preparation.
BIG IMPACT UPDATES
If you want to give your bathroom a new look or you need to make your older bathroom look more modern, there are a few cost-effective things you can do. Consider installing new tapware, replacing the showerscreen or toilet seat and updating the vanity. All of these, or even just one of them, will spruce up your bathroom without going for a whole renovation.
One last point: remember to consult the professionals, do your research and collect all the images and information you can. All of that well-spent “homework” time will make sure you end up with an amazing bathroom that you will love for years to come.