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Live Chat: How to Create a Beautiful and Functional Bathroom

HouzzUK Polls
15 August, 2016
last modified: 16 August, 2016

Perhaps the smallest room in your house, bathrooms are nonetheless an integral part of every home and having a well designed one can make all the difference.

It’s also a room that you need expert advice to help plan, design, and build, which is why we’ve invited three bathroom experts to answer your questions.

On August 26th August at 1pm we are joined by Terence Witten of Ocean Home Designs, Kurt Goldsmith of Kent Blaxill, and Chris Burton of The Brighton Bathroom Company for a 45-minute live chat!

You can start posting your questions now to get a head start! You don’t need a separate link to join the chat, all the questions and answers will be visible here (you just need to refresh the page!)

See you Friday the 26th August!

Comments (50)
  • Julie Scales

    What are the latest ideas for somewhere to put your shampoo,conditioner,shower gel,soap etc whilst in the shower? Pictures very rarely show anything!!!!

  • Julie Scales

    What is the best flooring to use in a bathroom? Would you recommend Amtico?

  • louisep2012

    Hi, any thoughts on how I could incorporate a shower into my family bathroom?The bathroom was installed by the builders and unfortunately they didn't incorporate a shower in this bathroom so we only have 1 shower, our ensuite. Fine for us but not for visiting family. obviously a cheap option is a handheld shower mixer over the bath but I would prefer not to have a shower curtain and instead create a better more long term solution. I'm open to any suggestions. ill attach a floor plan sketch

  • househund

    I'm considering a Japanese Soak Tub... What are the pros and cons?

  • PRO
    Marc Oliver Bathrooms

    Louise P, I have a design for your bathroom to incorporate a seperate shower

    Email me directly for sizes and products used.

  • louisep2012

    Thank you for taking the time to do the plan Marc Oliver, I'm pleasantly surprised a separate shower would be able to fit. I need to check that my current bath will fit on the window wall as ideally I don't want to buy a new bath. Thanks again for your input.

  • jackiep3

    We bought a 'P' bath with a glass screen for our ensuite as I love a bath and him indoors loves the shower. Everyone happy and you don't use up valuable space. No regrets.

  • Lynne Wright
    hi do you have any ideas what I could do here, the bathroom fitter (I use that term lightly) removed the bath and then boxed in the pipes, I don't have any tiles, so apart from re tiling or ripping out pipes and radiator I haven't a clue what to do with it. thanks
  • Emmeline Westin

    Hi all, it's great that you're getting involved, but let's leave it up to the experts of this Live Chat (starting on Friday) to answer the questions. Thanks!

  • Titania C

    I've bought a William Holland copper bath and some lovely Francisco Seggara tiles for the new bathroom. We'll have a seperate shower too. I don't now know what sink style to go for (max size of 70x45) or which tiles to use in the shower area? I hate themey


    r clinical bathrooms so would never have anything matching ever. I like bathrooms that feel like a living space with curtains etc. but I'm feeling a bit uninspired.

  • RO'K

    We are opening up a seperate bathroom and toilet and thinking of a cast iron roll top bath with white subway tiles, seperate shower and dark grout as its a period house. We love this style but how could we make it look warmer and include storage as the period suite we like doesn't seem to go with much I've seen.

  • nonosackitey

    I have a very small bathroom and even dnt know where to fix the basin.pls help cos i dnt know how to go abt it

  • PRO
    Hamilton interiors

    Regarding the placement of shampoos etc in the shower.

    If building or renovating ,I generally create a recess in the shower area to house them, if retrofitting you can source marble shelves in tile shops or ask carpenter to build a shelf from marine ply and get the tiller to tile it.

  • Sarah Stanley
    This is the ensuite on the house we are buying. It has one more window on the right hand side just out of shot. We rarely if ever use a bath but there's not one in the family 'bath' room. We could fit in a shower cubicle and a bath in the ensuite or we could leave the bath out and go for a massive shower enclosure and have the ensuite of our dreams. My heart says shower room but my head says if we sell on in future would we be advised to put a bath in too? We have no plans to sell but never say never! I'm not sure the family bathroom is big enough for a full sized bath.
    What would you do in this fairly large blank canvas please?
  • claireissima

    Have you tried tadelakt or other waterproof plaster for the shower/wet area, and would you recommend it? Or would you recommend beton cire (or neither!). Thank you!

  • PRO
    Ocean Home Designs

    Hi Claire we have not tried either of those so would not be able to comment on it.

  • PRO
    Ocean Home Designs

    Hi Sarah I think when it comes to a bath or shower room its difficult to say if its going to affect the sale of your property, the potential buyers may feel the same as you and we are finding that more clients now days hardly ever use the bath. I would personally go for the bathroom of your dreams.

  • Abi Nuchi

    Hello Everyone!

    Welcome to the Live Chat. We are pleased to be hosting Ocean Home Designs, The Brighton Bathroom Company, and Kent Blaxill

  • Abi Nuchi

    Here is our first question of the Live Chat, to be answered by Terence of Ocean Home Designs: what are the pros and cons of an open plan bedroom-bathroom?

  • Abi Nuchi

    A question about walls for Chris of Brighton Bathrooms: is it realistic to use wallpaper in the bathroom?

  • PRO
    Kent Blaxill

    Good afternoon everyone!

    We're glad to be here and ready to answer your questions!

    KB

  • Abi Nuchi

    Welcome Kent! Here is a question for you:

    how can you optimise a bathroom that doesn’t get too much natural light?

  • PRO
    Ocean Home Designs

    I love the idea of an open plan bathroom-bedroom the only cons that I can think of is unwanted odours may travel into the bedroom & you will always be visible from the bedroom so no quite time in there! Apart from that if that's what you want then go for it its something a bit different.

  • brightonbathroomco

    Hi Abi.....good to be here....

  • brightonbathroomco

    With regard to Wallpaper in bathrooms, there are specialist wallpapers which are specifically design for bathrooms. However, we have design wallpaper in our designs prior and recommend applying a coat of satin or matt varnish with a rad roller to the wallpaper surface. This provides long term protection in humid environments.....Chris The Brighton Bathroom Company

  • PRO
    Kent Blaxill

    A dark bathroom with small windows can be a nightmare! Especially when some bathrooms face a side-return or their neighbours brick walls!

    We'd recommend the use of mirrors and a well-thought out lighting layout to help brighten the room - Many LED lights have a choice of warm or cool light bulbs and the right combination together with mirrors to reflect what light there is will help enormously!

    If you don't want lots of mirrors everywhere then a glass splashback is a great solution as well as the reflective surface will serve to boost ambient light levels even further.

    The other possibility is to have a sun tunnel installed - This uses a reflective stainless steel tube from the roof and brings it into the roof via a port in the ceiling. This will definitely increase the amount of natural light in the bathroom!

  • Abi Nuchi

    A practical question regarding floors, for Terence of Ocean Home Designs: what is the best flooring to use in a bathroom? Would you recommend Amtico?

  • Abi Nuchi

    We now turn to the topic of small bathrooms. This one is for Kurt of Kent Blaxill: if you have a teeny, tiny bathroom, what is ONE feature you should invest in to help make it feel bigger?

  • brightonbathroomco

    With regard to adding light in a windowless bathroom is to use a white laminated glass door which ensures privacy but takes light form the adjoining room. You can also cut a high level window in a stud work wall which ensure privacy but increases light.

  • PRO
    Ocean Home Designs

    We mainly tile floors but I dont see a reason why you cannot use Amtico in the bathroom if you have found the flooring that you like.

  • Abi Nuchi

    Here’s a practical question I’m sure we’ve all asked at least once, to be answered by Chris from Brighton Bathrooms: what are the latest ideas for somewhere to put your shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, soap, etc, whilst in the shower?

  • PRO
    Kent Blaxill

    I have a small bathroom under my stairs! well, it's a loo and a washbasin - that still counts, right? :)

    In a very small bathroom I would consider a good illuminated mirror as an essential as it will help to reflect the light and push the walls back to give the illusion that the room is larger than it really is.

    The other trick is to keep the room as clutter free as possible and don't try to shoehorn things into the room as these will have the opposite effect.

  • Abi Nuchi

    By the way, homeowners: feel free to ask as many questions as you like right here on the live chat page, and one of our professionals will try to answer!

  • Abi Nuchi

    Are you updating your appliances? We have a question for you, answered by Terence from Ocean Home Designs: Is there any particular appliance you think it’s worth to buy at a premium? Where shouldn’t you skimp?

  • PRO
    Ocean Home Designs

    Shower mixers, showers, taps & toilets is where you can spend a bit more but as I love the bathroom | would try not to skimp of most things if you want the bathroom to last. You do get what you pay for in the end and quality products tend to last longer.

  • Abi Nuchi

    Here’s one for all the renovators looking to diversify their bathrooms, directed at Kurt from Kent Blaxill: I’m considering a Japanese soak tub. What are the pros and cons?

  • brightonbathroomco

    The obvious answer is to build a single or multiple recesses into a shower area. Some women also like one at low level as a foothold when shaving their legs. Other options are triangular stone shelves which can be put in the corner of the enclosure or floating stone shelves which can be supported by the plaster, tiles and stud work behind. Their are also some stylish shower caddies which can hang over fixed panel of glass. Hope this helps.....

  • Abi Nuchi

    Chris from Brighton Bathrooms will now answer a question for those who want to DIY: is it realistic to do my own bathroom tiling? Can I tile over pre-existing tiles?

  • PRO
    Kent Blaxill

    Japanese soak tubs are a fantastic bit of luxury! Here are the pros & cons:

    Pros:
    - They are the height of luxury.
    - In a good sized bathroom they are a real statement piece.
    - They can give you total relaxation.

    Cons:
    - They generally use more water than a normal bath - consider whether or not your hot water tank has the capacity to fill it.
    - Because they are heavier, you need to ensure your floor can support the extra weight.
    - Not many Japanese soak tubs have an overflow - This means you can't fill it to the brim and immerse yourself and it will mean that your bathroom ought to be fully designed as a wetroom.

    Also, bear in mind that because of their design, they're deeper than a standard bath and are often supplied with a step to help you get in and out.

  • Abi Nuchi

    Open question: which flooring options would you recommend for bathrooms on a budget?

  • Abi Nuchi

    Lastly, a question for the ages, for Terence of Ocean Home Designs: there’s lots of hype about digital bathrooms and all kinds of electronics systems for bathrooms but we want to hear a professional’s opinion about whether or not it’s worth investing in. What’s your favourite gadget?

  • PRO
    Ocean Home Designs

    Although its not my favorite you could go for a vinyl as its relatively cheap and easy for a fitter to install quickly

  • PRO
    Ocean Home Designs

    I like the Crosswater digital range of shower controllers you can store different users desired temperatures and you can even fill up your bath from an app on your mobile phone.

  • brightonbathroomco

    For DIY bathroom renovations to save money it is possible to tile over existing tiles. You will need to score the tiles with an emery stone to give them a key. Then use a single part flexible powder adhesive as buckets of adhesive will provide sufficient adhesion. It will then be necessary to install a timber baton to the wall to provide a level line to then work up from. When tiling over tiles, things to look out for are architrave details around windows and door frames, the space behind the bath taps to ensure you can still operate them. You also need to set out the room to ensure the vertical and horizontal grout joints leave good sized cuts when the tiling reaches sanitary ware or floor and ceiling lines.

  • brightonbathroomco

    With regard to economical flooring, Lino is the obvious choice. However, tiling over existing tiles can be a similar cost. The existing tiles need to be sound and same applies as with wall tiling with regard to adhesives etc. DIY tilers should ensure they use a standard setting adhesive as Rapid setting adhesives dry too quickly for slower tiling.

  • PRO
    Kent Blaxill

    There's a wide range of flooring options for bathrooms that are warm underfoot, water resistant and easy to clean.

    If you're on a budget but you want some that's very long lasting - we'd strongly recommend spending just a little bit more to get Karndean vinyl flooring - this will ensure a lifetime product that looks & feels great underfoot.

  • Abi Nuchi

    Thank you for joining us in our Live Chat, Chris, Terence, and Kurt! And to all the users reading along.

  • PRO
    Kent Blaxill

    Our pleasure of course! We'll hang around if any users wish to ask additional questions as well :)

  • brightonbathroomco

    Thanks Abi, Terence and Kurt....enjoy the Bank Holiday...!

  • Tina Hennessy
    What colour and style bar stools would you put in this kitchen white gloss units dove grey splash back gloss light grey floor

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