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Bathrooms

Designing your new shower room

To add the ‘wow’ factor to your home, consider adding a shower room to an existing bedroom or simply converting a cupboard or alcove into a shower cubicle for maximum impact but minimal effort.  Choosing materials for your floor, walls and shower enclosure is crucial for the overall effect.  The design of such a room can range from opulent, with mosaic tiles for a glittering and rich finish, to sleek and pared down, with all-white tiles and bold chrome fittings.  A walk-in shower means you don’t need to waste money on contemporary shower enclosures or curtains, but can concentrate instead on glamorous accessories such as mirrors, shower heads and taps to give your room that luxury feel.  Alternatively, for an ultra-modern finish, try experimenting with clear glass panels instead of a plastic shower enclosure, but ensure that they are fully bonded with silicone to guarantee no leaks.  If you are lucky enough to have the space to encompass it within your home, an open shower could be the ultimate room for all your hygiene and wellbeing needs.  A ‘rain’ shower head enables you to experience the sensation of a fresh shower of soft rainwater at the touch of a button, thanks to its many tiny outlets that allow you to create a cloudburst effect.  Some models include settings which allow you to change the lighting or even scent of your shower for the ultimate in personal pampering.

Compression Fittings

All the equipment you need to join copper pipes with compression fittings is a pair of adjustable spanners. This type of joint is completely mechanical and can be used on existing runs after draining the system down and you needn’t worry about residual water in the pipes.First, cut the ends of the pipes square and clean them of swarf using a file. Take the fitting apart and then slip a cap nut and olive over each end of the cut pipe. If one of the olive slopes is longer than the other on its outer surface, fit this so that it faces the pipe end.Push one of the pipe ends into the comression fitting until it comes up against the internal depth stop, then push the olive along it to fit neatly into the mouth of the fitting. Next, slide up the cap nut to engage its threads with those on the fitting and tighten it up using the spanner. The next step is to compress the olive and make the joint watertight. To do this, grip the fitting with one of your spanners and the cap nut with the other and turn the nut by 1.25 turns on pipe of 15mm or 0.75 of a turn on 28mm pipe. This may sound pedantic but it’s nevertheless important because, if you tighten up the nuts too much, you risk deforming the olive and will get a leaking joint. Repeat this process to tighten up the other cap nut.

Choosing a Shower Tray

There is a wide variety of shower trays on the market and choosing the right shape, size, construction and positioning of the shower tray is an important part of the design of a bathroom or shower room. Shower trays are generally made from one of three types of material: ceramic, resin or acrylic.Ceramic or fireclay shower trays are made from the material used for Belfast sinks or urinals. The trays are heavy and of a high quality suitable for commercial use where the items are in frequent use.Resin stone shower trays are made from a stone material which is mixed with resin and then poured into moulds which are lined with a face material such as a gel coat. The resultant trays are solid and offer a good compromise between the heavier ceramic and the more lightweight acrylic.Acrylic shower trays are made from the same material used for acrylic baths. They are lightweight and usually reinforced with wood. Their chief advantage is their flexibility for product design and acrylic is warmer to the touch and can provide good water tightness.Shower trays come in several different shapes including square, rectangular and curved. The position of the plughole can also vary.Traditional flat top shower trays can leak and although silicon can be used to improve the panel seal this tends to deteriorate over time. Shower trays with up stands that can be tiled over offer a more effective seal and are ideal for fitting in upstairs bathrooms where a leak would be disastrous.

Choosing the Right Bath

The bath is one of the most important items in the bathroom. In order to transform your bathroom into the perfect place to relax and unwind, it is important that you select a bath that is right for you. Exploring the many types of baths available will enable you to seek out a bath that not only suits the rest of your bathroom décor but also one that provides the right level of comfort.When it comes to selecting a new bath for your bathroom, there are many things that you will need to take into account. You will need to find a design that fits your bathroom and this can often be a difficult task if you have little space. If you are on a budget and looking for a bath that will suit a small bathroom, then a simple one-person bath is ideal. There are many stylish baths that are designed for smaller bathrooms and you can also choose from a selection of modern shower baths, which are the perfect choice for those who do not have room for a separate shower section.Depth is also an important factor when choosing a bath. If you love having long soaks to reduce stress or aches and pains, then there are baths designed to provide you with maximum comfort. Whirlpool baths in particular are a great choice for those looking for something that offers plenty of luxury and comfort.You can improve your bath by adding other features such as bath panels. Bath panels are the perfect choice for those wishing to add style to their bathroom.

Window Blinds for the Bathroom

Sheer, fluffy curtains or cloth window treatments are often the preferred window treatment but blinds can be a more practical and attractive option for the bathroom and other humid areas of your home. Bathroom blinds come in a variety of shades and options to match the décor of your home.  The colours and styles available are limited only by your imagination. Customers have many material options for their bathroom blinds.  While real wood may be less practical for bathroom blinds, faux wood alternatives are readily available and PVC blinds are durable, easy to maintain and come in any colour.  Wood blinds offer a renewable alternative to manmade materials and are an attractive addition to any home.  Liners can also be added to bathroom blinds to ensure privacy and control the amount of light allowed to filter in.  As bathroom blinds are hung in a humid environment, consider selecting those made with water-resistant materials.  Blinds are far easier to clean and maintain than traditional window decoration.  Dust can be wiped away once a week with a soft cloth and annual washing with warm soapy water will keep your bathroom blinds looking like new.  Many materials are mould and mildew-resistant, making bathroom blinds a healthy alternative.  If mould or mildew do appear, simply wash with a solution of white vinegar or diluted chlorine bleach to remove.Bathroom blinds are a practical, stylish option that will enhance the beauty of your home.

Enhancing your Bathroom with Furniture

If you have a spacious bathroom, then you can make the most of the space by adding a variety of bathroom furniture to the room. Bathroom furniture will not only help you to achieve the style you are aiming for but also provide you with plenty of storage space. Bathroom cabinets, drawers and shelves are all items that can help to improve your bathroom.If you are on a budget, then there are a variety of affordable bathroom furniture sets to choose from. Bathroom furniture sets usually offer cabinets, mirrors and shelves, allowing you to save money by choosing them as part of package. Bathroom furniture sets are also a great choice for those wishing to easily match up their furniture. With so many themes and styles available, you are sure to find something that suits the rest of your bathroom décor perfectly.Bathroom furniture not only helps to improve the look of your bathroom but also keeps it organised. By adding cabinets and shelves to your bathroom, you can easily create extra space, which is ideal if you often find your bathroom becoming cluttered. Bathroom furniture is available in all sizes and can also be fitted to size, so you can easily find something that will fit your bathroom and enable you to achieve a stylish and organised look.By choosing bathroom furniture that is right for you, you can add a personal touch to your bathroom and transform it in the perfect place to relax and unwind.

Bathroom Renovation Inspiration

Selecting a style for your new bathroom can be intimidating and overwhelming.  There are so many options to choose from, so many colour palates, so many fixtures and finishes that it is simply too difficult to decide.  This is, especially true if you have lived with a bathroom that has been in need of updating for some time.The bathroom is aptly nicknamed the ‘restroom’ in the United States, because in many ways, this room functions as a room of rest, albeit of short duration.  One way to narrow your choices is to consider your bathroom a room of rest.  Close your eyes and imagine a restful place, what does it look like?  It may be a cottage from the countryside or a tropical beach you have visited or even the decor of a favourite boutique.  The vision that comes to your mind will help you to decide your basic colour palate.  If you feel relaxed at your local coffee shop, take a second look at their colour palate.  If you love the beach, think about ways to incorporate the colour combination into your bathroom, with a sandy beach colour, deep blue to imitate the water, crisp white to represent surf, etc.  A cottage look can be easily achieved by using shabby chic decor items and warm, feminine colours.If you do not have a specific place in mind for relaxation, it is important that you create one.  Home improvement magazines, television programmes and internet image searches will eventually point you in the right direction, just imagine yourself in a different bathroom as you window shop.

Unblocking a Waste Pipe

Waste pipes in baths, sinks and showers can become clogged over time.  It is recommended that after the initial blockage has been cleaned, you should put a small amount of chemical cleaner in the hole to protect it against future blockages.  Chemical cleaner, such as caustic soda, can be used to clear some blockages, but for others, there are a couple of other things you can try.A plunger is a great way to get rid of a blockage, but only if there is water in the waste pipe that goes all the way back up to the sink.  The plunger will push and pull the blockage by creating a vacuum around it until it dislodges.  To use a plunger, you need to fill the waste pipe with water until it backs up enough to cover the cup of the plunger completely.  Next, block the overflow with a wet cloth to ensure you get the best results.  To use the plunger, push down hard onto the plughole and pull it up sharply; continue this step until the blockage dislodges.  However, if the blockage is further down the pipe than originally thought, it is best to check the waste trap itself for any obstructions.Normally, a modern waste trap can be unscrewed to fish the blockage out by hand.  Put something under the trap to collect any water that comes out; however, you should try to get as much water out as possible beforehand to minimise spillage.

Finding Space for a Second Bathroom

The larger your family is, the more significant the need for a second bathroom becomes.  Even in small homes, flats and apartments, there is usually space to be found for a second bathroom, which, for the sake of family peace, can become a priority.One of the first things to consider when thinking of a second bathroom in your home is the existing bathroom layout.  Many bathrooms were added onto homes when indoor plumbing was first introduced and not much consideration was given to layout.  Some bathrooms are large, inefficient wastes of space that could be consolidated into two smaller bathrooms.  Alternatively the space could be provided with sufficient privacy to enable two people to use the area simultaneously, perhaps by partitioning off the loo.  The biggest reason to consider the existing space is economics, if the plumbing is already there, the cost and effort will be minimised.  While you may think your home already feels small and that a second bathroom is out of the question, consider how luxurious it would be to never have to wait to use the shower or the toilet or to never hear that inevitable banging on the door as soon as you settle into your bath.  Surely this is worth a corner from a bedroom, a portion of the living room or even a trade-off for a smaller kitchen?  While it may take some reconfiguration of your living spaces, adding a second bathroom, especially one just large enough to include a small shower tray, it is well worth the investment.

The Bathroom Floor

Anyone engaged in constructing a new bathroom suite or remodelling an old one will, at some stage, have to confront an obvious question - what is the bathroom floor going to be made of?  First and foremost, a bathroom floor has to be one that is both hygienic and durable.  It will also need to be easy to keep in good condition over a lengthy period of time.  The good news is there are quite a few different kinds of bathroom flooring material that not only fit those important criteria but that are also relatively inexpensive.  Bathroom flooring options include marble, wood and even certain types of carpeting, but by far the most common form of bathroom flooring is bathroom tiles.  The two most popular kinds of bathroom tile are ceramic tiles and laminated tiles.  Ceramic tiles give the floor of the bathroom an even and firm feel which, together with the fresh and vibrant appearance and the fact that they are incredibly simple to keep clean with only the bare minimum of effort, makes their popularity among householders very easy to understand.  Perhaps the only caveat when it comes to ceramic tiles is the not inconsiderable amount of effort that is involved in installing them, which can often be challenging when going around bathroom radiators - particularly designer radiators - and bathroom cabinets.  It is also important that bathroom tiles fit in with the rest of the bathroom’s decor and bathroom accessories.

A Guide to Tile Accessories

DIY stores now often sell tile accessories.  These are tiles with bathroom fittings added to them, for example, toilet roll holders, soap dishes, and towel rings.  These are ideal for people who are new to DIY because it means that you will not need to spend time drilling holes into tiles to fit these accessories yourself.  This article provides you with a guide to fitting tile accessories.  Fitting an Accessory TileFirstly, you must make a decision on where you want the tile to go so that you can leave a space for it.  When you have fitted all the tiles, you should clean the remaining adhesive from where you want to place the accessory.  Leave the area undisturbed for 24 hours.  Apply fresh adhesive to the accessory tile and press it into place.  Use masking tape to hold the tile into place whilst it dries.  Now you can apply the grout to all of the tiles.  Drilling into TilesSometimes you will have no choice but to drill into a tile.  What you should do is stick masking tape to the place to the area you wish to drill.  This will prevent chipping.  Additionally, you should wipe away dust immediately as this can discolour the surrounding grouting.Grout WhitenersIf your grouting gets discoloured, then you can buy whitening products.  Firstly, you should clean the area and leave it to dry.  Then apply the whitener according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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