How do you build a good bathroom?

First steps

We chose the smallest bedroom, which we never used. It’s above the kitchen, which would make the plumbing simpler. There was nothing to rip out apart from an old carpet, so we had the classic “blank canvas”.

I knew the elements I wanted to include, and to help us work out where everything should go, I found free online design software. It was useful as we could try different options, and it stopped me placing the radiator next to the basin, where the door would have knocked it! Style choices Top of my wish list was a large statement bath. As I’m quite tall, it was important to find one I could comfortably relax in. I thought I’d prefer a period-style roll-top, but looking online, I realised I liked simpler contemporary shapes. We settled on a smart black-and-white theme. I love patterned floors and white wall tiles with contrasting dark grout.

The shower enclosure had to be spacious, with a large drenching head. To give a wet room feel, I picked a low-profile black shower tray and a shower screen with black fittings, plus black taps and accessories, too. Shopping spree Andrea and I set a £5,000 limit, including fitting the bathroom. I was pleased that it came in under budget. I’m happy to buy stuff without actually seeing it, so I searched online for the best deals. We found the key pieces at Soak, and saved money by buying at sale time.

How do you build a good bathroom? Photo Gallery

I was going to get a smaller-sized bath, which was cheaper, but when I realised the bigger one would actually fit, we agreed to go for it. It takes a long time to fill, but it’s worth it to have such a lovely soak. There were masses of monochrome floor tiles to choose from, so I looked for the best value. Although we couldn’t afford underfloor heating, I found a modern matt black radiator, and the room is never cold. Work inprogress We asked the plumber who’d fitted our kitchen to work on the bathroom, too, and I sourced a good electrician and tiler through a nifty app that gives feedback on local tradespeople.

Luckily, we could still use the old ground-floor bathroom, because the installation took about three months. It was tricky organising when the different trades should come, and we sometimes had to get time off work to be here. In hindsight, it would have been easier to have a single company handling everything. Lastword Although we’ve lost a bedroom, we’re hoping to convert the loft to add another one. Our new bathroom is so clean and comfortable, and using it feels like a treat. We’re thrilled with what we’ve achieved.

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