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Bathroom Renovations Design Tips
Step 1 – Measuring
1. Measure the bathroom walls accurately and draw the plan to scale. Centimeters make a difference.
2. Indicate the doors and windows on the plan
3. Measure the floor to ceiling height
4. Mark the existing drains connections.
Step 2 – Layout
- Always do a design that is firstly practical and then aesthetically pleasing.
- Do not position a basin underneath window.
- Do not position a toilet opposite the entrance to the bathroom.
- Do not place the shower at the entrance to the room; this could result in a tunnel affect.
- Do not build partition walls that take up space and make the room appear smaller.
- For showers in particular, use clear glass panels. Because they are transparent the room appears bigger.
- Do not build unnecessary and impractical steps around the bath.
- Do not sink the bath into the floor as you will have to go on your knees to put in the plug or clean the bath.
Step 3 – Common principles to implement when designing your bathroom
- We views things in perspective and dimension therefore, place small items in the front and taller items at the back of the bathroom. Place items that have a broad base, on the floor and do not hang bulky items on the walls. These principals will create the illusion of space.
- When squares and rectangle shapes are used in a bathroom design, sharp corners and dead ends are created. These may restrict movement and flow.
- Using curves and round shapes enhances the flow of movement in the bathroom.
- Ensure that the door at the entrance opens against the wall, this minimises wasted space.
Step 4 – Positioning the Sanitary ware
- The focal points when entering the room should be the vanity basin and the bath.
- The tallest item which is the shower should be places in the furthest back corner.
- The toilet should be placed out of sight if possible.
- The bath is always a focal point and should generally speaking be close to the vanity basin.
Step 5 – Practical tips to consider when renovating your bathroom
- Using LED lights to brighten up the room, the brighter the room the bigger it appears to be.
- Use large mirrors to create an illusion of space.
- Use big tiles; this reduces the number of joints between tiles. Spaces between tiles are filled in with grout. If there are fewer spaces a smoother and softer effect is achieved, this will make the room appear to be larger. Grout is porous and tends to discolour with time.
- Lighter coloured tiles make the room appear bigger.
- When designing your bathroom bear in mind not just your personal needs, but also the needs of a future home owner.
- If possible consider a double vanity in the main bathroom.
- Choose the most stylish and practical bath that will fit into the bathroom.
- After many years of designing bathrooms it is apparent that a simple uncluttered design is the most practical and also the most popular.
Bathroom Renovations - Where and how to start
1. Test the water pressure, firstly the cold water by holding your thumb on the spout to block the water flow. Now open the cold water. Feel the pressure. Do the same with the hot water. You will find one of two possibilities.
- If the pressure is equal you have a balanced water pressure. This is the best system for the new generation Lever Mixers; it also works equally well on the old generation spindle taps.
- If there is a pressure difference between hot and cold, the pressure is unbalanced. If the cold water is the stronger it means you have low pressure geyser. Only old generation spindle taps should then be used.
NB. Balanced water pressure is when the pressure is equal in both the hot and the cold water.
- To balance the system a pressure reducing valve must be placed in the pipeline before it divides the water flow and diverts it to various areas of the house.
- The valve must not be more than 10 meters away from your geyser.
Why use Lever Mixers?
1. Lever Mixers are easy to operate and so convenient to use.
2. Set the tap to the desired temperature and leave it in that position
3. The new taps have a built in flow rating device to minimise water wastage.
4. The new taps have aerators that make the water flow appear stronger
5. The lever mixer taps reduce water consumption and save electricity.
All the personnel at PHI BATHROOM RENOVATIONS have been trained to advise you on the products that are used in your bathroom.
What should be included in a bathroom renovation?
- Remove all the old pipes from the walls and the floor, especially if they are galvanized. They will have rusted and corroded. Pipes are not costly to replace.
- The new layout:
- The new design must be practical (It will last for many years to come).
- It must be aesthetically pleasing.
- Never combine old and new products. The old items will be very noticeable.
- Be wary of fashion trends, they to date quickly. Simple and classic designs are the most practical.
- Always use a good quality product (first grade only and make sure that after sales service is available). Inferior products will not qualify for after sales service.
- Re-enamel, re-glazed or re-surfaced products have a limited life span.
- Use only first grade tiles. Tiles and how they are laid can make or break the renovation of your bathroom.
- Use an established company whose workmen are properly qualified to do the work:
- Ask for references & follow them up.
Do's and don't's to consider:
- Don’t pay a deposit, often problems arise when the deposit is paid. An established company should be strong enough and confident enough to fund the project.
- Do not take anything on word value, everything must be stipulated in the quotation/contract and signed by both parties.
- Do not accept verbal completion dates; note these dates in the contract.
- Do not allow work to continue unless daily inspections are done. If the work is not satisfactory, stop the project and call out the company responsible for the bathroom renovation company and ask for assistance.
- Be willing to give guarantees for payment.
- Ensure that you have a plan signed and approved by you and the contractor.
- Get a signed specification list of the products that you have agreed upon.
- Follow the progress, advise the company if the work is behind schedule. Enquire as to what arrangements will be made to catch up on the work.
What are the most likely problem areas in the bathroom renovation industry
1. SHOWER FLOORS
- Mosaic tiles are commonly used on the floor however the grout discolours and absorbs dirt and body oils. Scrubbing the grout wears down the waterproofing agents. Eventually dampness appears on the walls.
- Use a shower base, it is hygienic, easy to clean and still looks good after many years. It eliminates waterproofing problems.
2. SHOWER DOORS
- By law shower doors must be made of toughened glass. The vulnerable components of shower doors are all the mechanisms that swivel, slide and pivot around these can be the problem areas.
3. BATHROOM CABINETS
- Ensure that a good quality wood is used. It must be sealed and suitable for the purpose for which it is to be used.
- Ensure that the cabinet has sufficient ventilation.
- Cabinets can be set on leg sets or be wall hung to prevent water damage.
4. SPA BATHS
- Ensure that you always read the guarantee.
- Only buy a good quality Spa baths from reputable companies that have been in existence for many years.
- Install to manufacturers specifications.
- Allow for sufficient inspection doors to give access to the area under the bath.
- NB. Get someone that is sufficiently skilled & experienced to install your spa bath as it can give you endless problems.
- Take time to look and listen to advice given by the consultant on the various products. He can advise you on which companies are willing and helpful in the event of problems that may occur with products.
- Choose sanitary ware that is white and classic. White and neutral colours never date.
- A beautiful bathroom renovation adds so much value to your property, avoid colours and styles that would date easily.
- Make a list of what is required i.e. taps, tiles, baths, basins, toilets showers etc. before going to select the various items required for your bathroom renovaton.
Important points to consider when selecting the tiles for your bathroom renovation
- Use Light coloured tiles in neutral shades.
- The darker the tile the smaller the room will appear to be.
- The longer the tile the higher the ceiling will appear to be.
- The broader the tile the bigger the room will appear to be.
- Mat tiles absorb light, glossy tiles reflect light.
- Glazed tiles are easy to clean.
- Natural, unpolished porcelain, slate or marble will absorb body fats and soaps. This will eventually cause discolouration.
HOW THE BATHROOM RENOVATION TILING IS DONE IS OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE
- All houses are out of square and the floors are not level. The art is not to demolish the house and rebuild. It is to hide the imperfections and make them less obvious. This is when the skilled artisan is so important.
- If the tiles are laid diagonally across the floor a wall that is not straight will be less obvious than when the tiles are laid in a straight line.
- Ensure that the sizes of the two end tiles at the corners of the room are the same. Ensure that the tiles directly below the ceiling and the last row on the floor are cut to the same size.
- A diagonal pattern on the walls of small bathrooms is not recommended as it could create a busy looking corner.
- Start tiling from the floor to the ceiling and balance the last row on the floor and just below the ceiling to be the same size.
TILE BOADERS (LISTELLOS), POSITIONED AT DIFFERENT HEIGHTS GIVE VARIOUS VISUAL PERCEPTIONS
- Placing Listellos horizontally one third from the bottom of the wall is the best position, your eye follows the line, it appears to draw in the bottom portion and kicks out towards the top, and this makes the room look bigger.
- Placing Listellos in the middle seems to cut the room in half. Not a good idea.
- Placing them one third from the top of the wall drops the level of the ceiling.
- Colourful borders and architraves date easily. Rather use classical designs.
THE SPACES BETWEEN TILES ARE IMPORTANT.
- The wider the space between the tiles the more grout needs to be used. Grout is a porous substance and will absorb dirt and deteriorate with time.
- When tiling the walls care should be taken to place the tiles as close together as possible according to manufacturer’s specification.
- When tiling the floor, stick to the manufacturers recommended spacing. As there is more movement in the floor than in the walls.
SELECT THE COLOUR OF THE GROUT CAREFULLY
- When renovating your bathroom take into account that light and natural colours disappear; darker colours frame the tile and can look very busy. We recommend that white grout is used on the walls and dark grey on the floors.
- White Grout on the floor will discolour rapidly.