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Bathrooms

You can never have enough storage

Those who opt for the minimalist look often have a problem finding adequate storage space, especially in the bathroom where dozens of toiletries quickly accumulate.  The bathroom often seems to be the room with the fewest storage options; often there is only a cabinet above the sink.  Thankfully, there are many solutions for storage due to the wide range of furniture available.  Whether you need to tidy away a collection of bottles and medicines, or prefer to keep towels on hand instead of in the airing cupboard, today’s bathroom storage units are attractive and work well.Whatever your storage needs you will find the answer in the large range of bathroom cabinets provided by UK Bathrooms.  Storage products range from a cabinet under the sink to a whole wall of cupboards.  Free-standing cabinets can be moved around easily, or you might prefer fitted units for a more streamlined look.  Storage units are constructed from a range of materials, from melamine and MDF to real wood.  They are specially treated to protect them from moisture and you can choose plain white or colours which complement your colour scheme.

Bathroom plumbing - saving the waterworks

The most important part of any bathroom, shower room or toilet is, perhaps, the plumbing. If the layout of the room is to change this would mean changing the plumbing. If a toilet needs to move this would also involve moving the soil pipe, which, in turn, can have an impact on other rooms below the bathroom.Planning a new bathroom is about designing a space that meets your needs. Aspects to consider include storage, towel rails, mirrors, lighting, shower screen or curtain and flooring. Baths, toilets and sinks vary in size, and some can be quite compact, freeing up space in the room. It is worth comparing the size of bathroom suites before choosing a style. To keep a bathroom update economical and straightforward it is also worth considering leaving fixtures in their original positions to save additional plumbing. Bathroom suites include matching items; however, this can refer more to a matching sink and toilet, whilst a choice of bath can be more generic. Bathrooms, of course, do not always have to include a bath. Shower rooms or walk-in shower options offer lots of versatility, and give much scope for stunning tiling.Before choosing a shower it is important to know what type works best with which boiler system. If you have a combi boiler this is not compatible with a power shower.  Other options include a shower linked to the tap, thermostatic shower or electric shower. The latter will need a power supply, so a qualified electrician is needed to complete the job. Unless the shower hose comes directly from an existing tap, or you are replacing an existing shower, additional piping will needed. Deciding what works in terms of plumbing is a great way to start planning a room that is both practical and beautiful and which works for your family.

Choosing a new shower

When choosing a new shower and shower door, you might not realise that there is so much choice. It is not just the appearance of showers that varies, there are many different types and making sure that you choose the right one can enhance the enjoyment of your shower. One popular choice is a mixer shower; this product comprises mixer taps, which mix hot and cold water before it reaches the showerhead. Mixer showers are not a good choice for systems with low pressure, as the water will come out of the shower at the same pressure as it runs around the system, meaning that the stream of water is not very powerful. It is important therefore to check the pressure of your system before you choose this type of shower. Mixer showers can be very reasonable in price and there are a wide variety of styles available. Some mixer showers are thermostatically controlled, which means they sense changes in temperature before the water flows out of the showerhead. This avoids having the water running cold or very hot when other taps are being used. Thermostatic mixer showers are normally a little more expensive than standard mixers, however they can be an excellent choice for family bathrooms and are still very reasonably priced. If you have low water pressure, a power shower can be a good choice. A power shower is basically a mixer shower with a pump, which increases the flow rate of the water to provide a more powerful and pleasant shower.Electric showers are also a popular choice. Normally they are connected to the cold water supply in your home and the shower heats up the water as it passes through the unit. Electric showers are subject to regulations, due to the need for an electrical supply, so it is important to also consult an electrician before purchasing one.

Unblocking the Toilet

Although one of the more unpleasant jobs in a DIY enthusiast’s repertoire, unblocking a toilet is probably one of the most important. Not many of us can survive long without access to the lavatory and a faulty toilet can soon leave you with pools of water all over your bathroom floor. Luckily, fixing a blocked loo is not the emergency that it might at first appear and can easily be fixed in just a few minutes.Tools for UnblockingThere are several useful tools if you have a blocked toilet. The first is a plunger, which is usually enough to shift whatever is blocking the pipe, allowing the water to flow away as it should. Stay hygienic and wear rubber gloves, and have old cloths handy for cleaning up any spillages. If the obstruction proves too stubborn for a plunger, you can always buy a plumber’s tool called an auger, a flexible metal rod that can be pushed round the U-bend to dislodge whatever is stuck there. In the unlikely event that neither of these methods work you could try a chemical solution, but read the instructions carefully and ventilate the area well.

Three Simple Plumbing Dilemmas

Dilemma OneLeaking taps can disturb your peace, especially if you are trying to rest, but they also create health problems.  Excess damp can cause lime scale and mould in areas of your bathroom suite around the edges of the bath or sink, as well as along window bases.  A dripping tap may waste up to 5,000 litres of water per year, so simply by the timely replacement of a washer, or by tightening up the tap’s gland nut, you can ensure a good night’s sleep, and maintain a healthy environment in your bathroom.Dilemma TwoAnother thief in the night that can rob you of your hard-earned rest is a noisy radiator.  Juddering and thumping can emanate from your radiators, because they have filled up with trapped air.  This can also stop heat rising into the radiator, and it may be lukewarm at the top, even when it is hot at the base.  The simple solution is to ‘bleed’ your radiators, with a special bleeding key, which inserts into the side of the radiator, at the top.  By a quick turn of the key, you can release trapped air and instantly regain heat, energy and precious silence.Dilemma ThreeIn the winter, when it is freezing outside, it can be devastating when your water is also cold inside.  If pipes freeze up, it can seriously interfere with the efficiency of your heating system.  Insulate your pipes to be sure you stay warm and cosy and have a constant supply of hot water.

Tools for Tiling

Tiling is ubiquitous in homes, on the walls or floor, or both. Over time, tiles can become cracked or damaged and every DIY enthusiast will be required to repair, replace, or install tiles at some time during their lifetime.To start, homeowners should use plumb-line and a spirit level to locate the mid-point of the wall and mark the horizon with a pencil. They should make and use a tiling gauge - a straight piece of wood cut to size - to check the tile count to the corner. An adhesive spreader should be used to apply the correct amount of adhesive to the wall or floor. However, when tiling near obstacles, homeowners will need to cut tiles to shape. A chinagraph pencil is the best marker for tiles. Marker pens can get into the glaze and pencil marks can easily be wiped off.The cutting of tiles to the correct shape and size is a difficult job and an excess of tiles is always required to cover breakages. Homeowners should use a tile saw to cut tiles into complex shapes. Tile corers with hardened tips are good for creating simple, unidirectional snaps while a platform tile cutter is ideal for use when working with thick, hard tiles. Finer adjustments can be made with a tile nibbler or a tile file. For a neat finish, homeowners may wish to use little plastic X-shaped tile spacers to achieve neat, regular spacing, and a sponge for final grout application and cleaning up upon completion.

Fitting an electric shower

An electric shower can make an ideal alternative if your bathroom layout is such that it will be difficult to install a conventional one. An electric shower contains powerful units to heat water as it passes through the device, and apart from this operative difference, it can be used with other bathroom accessories just like a normal shower.As a functioning part of the bathroom suite, an electric shower will need to be connected directly to the rising main using a supply pipe of 15mm diameter. It will also have to be supplied with its own 30A electrical circuit that has an on-off switch mounted in the ceiling. This type of shower can of course be fitted directly into an enclosure because its casing will be waterproof.There is a temperature stabiliser fitted into this type of shower that ensures that if there is a fluctuation in the mains pressure the temperature of the water coming out of the shower will remain constant. If the pressure drops below a certain level, there is a sensor in the shower unit that will cut off the powerful heating elements and prevent scalding water from coming out of the showerhead.Switch off the water and electricity supplies before starting on this and then remove the shower unit’s cover. After screwing the shower unit into position on the wall of the shower cubicle, connect a feed pipe from the rising main to the shower inlet, and be sure to fit a stop valve to the supply pipe so that it can be isolated whenever necessary. Then connect a flexible shower hose with the water outlet.On the electrical side, link a six sq mm two-core, earth cable to the unit’s terminals, and lead the other end to a 30A cord switch. Then, replace the unit cover, reinstate the water and electric supplies and check that it works.

Bathroom delights

With an uncertain housing market and the credit crunch, an increasing number of people are refurbishing their homes rather than just selling them and moving on.  Do It Yourself (DIY) is growing in popularity and one of the major areas of reconstruction is the bathroom.There are many UK DIY TV programmes that reveal that one of the first rooms inspected by house buyers is the bathroom and, with a little bit of tender loving care, imagination and flair, most homeowners will be able to upgrade the functional family bathroom into an area of style and sophistication.If someone is unsure about the mechanics of plumbing it is a good idea to consult a local reliable plumber. However, a cosmetic upgrade, including bathroom suite and accessories, can be carried out, and at a far lower cost than having a bathroom redesigned by a professional interior designer.A quick search in a local trade directory will list the number of shops that cater for bathroom refurbishment.  It is always important to compare prices of baths, sinks and taps since prices can vary considerably.

Bathroom cabinets – a great way to change the look of your bathroom

One of the most important pieces of furniture in a bathroom, apart from the bath and lavatory, is the cabinet.  This vital item has often been overlooked and seen as purely a functional object but, over the past decade, the bathroom cabinet has come of age.When remodelling a bathroom it is important to take an overview and establish what type of room needs to be created and how to achieve the finished look with a minimum of cost and inconvenience.  A quick Google search will soon highlight the range of bathroom cabinets currently on sale.  From slick stainless steel to a more traditional wooden and glass cabinet the DIY shops can offer products to suit all tastes and requirements.  Installation can be relatively easy and one does not need to have sophisticated carpentry skills in order to mount a cupboard to a wall.  Some cabinets do come with additional lighting or motion sensor lighting; others have very sophisticated mirror lighting.  It is important to note that any appliances that involve electricity do need to be fitted by a qualified electrician to ensure safety. Security is vital with a bathroom cabinet as these objects often serve as the family medicine cabinet.  Always check that the doors fit well and that the cabinet is fixed in a place that is safe from curious children.As well as the traditional wooden cabinet that is fixed to the wall, many DIY shops also offer freestanding cabinets that can be used for additional storage.  As long as these floor-standing cabinets fit in with the rest of the bathroom design, they can be incorporated as an essential part of the room’s functionality.

Updating your Bathroom with Bathroom Accessories

There are many ways to improve the look of your bathroom, and none is easier than to invest in quality Ideal Standard bathroom accessories.  From simple and functional pieces like bath mats, both inside the bath for slip-free safety and outside for snuggling into with wet feet fresh from bathing, to more design orientated, functional pieces like shower curtains.  Accessorizing your bathroom is an enjoyable job that makes use of your personal preferences in décor, as well as harnessing practical considerations. Should you pick a bathroom bin that matches your bath panel or the bathroom cabinet?  You will need somewhere unobtrusive yet attractive to dispose of cotton wool and tissues.  Do you need a shaving mirror?  If so, a vintage-style chrome surround can add a flash of style to your bathroom.  Would you prefer a bright splash of colour on your mirror frames?  Light pulls can add pretty touches to your bathroom space, blending in with other pieces, such as a bathroom suite with a matching wood finish, or they could have a novelty look to introduce some bath time fun, especially if you have children.From toilet brushes to toilet roll holders, bathroom seats to grab rails, safety and functionality may take primary consideration in your choice of accessories, however with a large range of styles and materials available, these smaller bathroom fittings can really add to the whole look of your bathroom.At its best, your bathroom is a retreat, a place to relax in the bath, to play together with your children as they bathe, to get ready for going out, either for leisure or to rush to work in the mornings.  A well-appointed bathroom, well stocked with appealing and functional accessories can mean the difference between feeling stressed each day and feeling calm and relaxed in your bathroom.

Contemporary Bathroom Suites

A beautiful bathroom suite can mean the difference between a functional space, with little thought for aesthetic décor, or a designer bathroom that is a pleasure to walk into and relax in.  In the mornings, a well-appointed suite can help you quickly get ready without feeling stressed, and you do not necessarily have to spend a fortune to get a good look.Bathroom suites consist of a toilet, a tub, a shower unit, and a sink.  Within those limits, however, anything is possible, as the potential plethora of bathroom design details are endless.  Bathroom furniture can be luxurious or relatively basic.  Once considered too plain, the contemporary look of white bathroom suites is now very desirable, and it has become much more chic than coloured suites.  Avocado or pale green may formerly have been commonly used for bathroom suites, but the seventies are far behind us now and a simple and classier look is preferred in the elegant 21st century, must-have bathroom.Part of the skill of bathroom design is in fitting an appropriately sized and appointed bathroom suite into anything from a tiny cloakroom space to a large and spacious area.  You may wish to make a huge statement with your luxurious bathroom fittings, but if they overpower a smaller space, you need to reconsider what will best fit in to create the best look for your bathroom.With all of the luxurious as well as durable materials available nowadays to create your perfect bathroom, you can fit the bathroom furniture of your dreams.  You can also select from many exciting bathroom accessories, which can turn a mediocre room into a luxury retreat, a place to revive in the evening or to freshen up each morning all ready to face a new day.

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