Let’s face it the toilet is not the favourite household accessory so it’s often not given a second thought unless it’s just not performing and then it’s a major issue. In my line of work I think that a lot of people overlook the importance of a good toilet. When you really think about it, aside from your sofa, it’s probably been sat on by most of your friends, neighbours and other visitors.
Most people wouldn’t think twice about splashing out on a new sofa because after all it’s money well spent because it gets so much use. In contrast, when it comes to toilets you’d be surprised by how many people want to get away with spending as little as possible. I still stand by my professional opinion that buying quality products will save you in the longer term (and you’ll be the envy of your friends, neighbours and visitors).
For those of you who take your toilet for granted and just can’t take a hint then here are my top 10 signs that it’s time for a new toilet:
- No amount of cleaning products or scrubbing can get your toilet looking respectable
- The last time your toilet was replaced was about 20 years ago (give or take a few)
- Your toilet uses so much water in a single flush that it resembles Niagara Falls
- Your guests prefer to hover than sit and relax (and aren’t too embarrassed to tell you so)
- You have never experience the wonders of “Dual Flush” in your own home
- The plumbing for your toilet resembles a crazy maze
- You’re still using a chain flush system
- There’s always a queue for the only toilet in the house
- The toilet seat is cracked or the hinges are broken (or worse – missing)
- Your guests prefer to sit cross legged and cross eyed to avoid using your toilet
So if you can identify with any of the above then you need to take a not so subtle hint and look at investing in a new loo.
For more information on toilets visit Bourne Bathroom & Kitchen Centre.
We all rely on the faithful toilet to perform its role without question. It’s often a bathroom fixture that we take for granted and don’t really think about unless of course it’s not working as it should. Today I want to get you thinking toilets and give you a glimpse of the future.
It still amazes me that we can find beauty in an object that has such an unpleasant function. But it’s not surprising when you look at the range on offer from the biggest brands in the business such as Caroma, Villeroy & Boch, and Fowler. My own personal favourite is the Seido Icon Series II Wall Hung Suite from Fowler. I’ve included a photo so you can see what I mean.
Thomas Crapper (yes that really was his name) spent his life increasing the popularity of the toilet in England back in the late 1800’s. I don’t think he ever could have imagined some of the features in the toilets that we see today.
Cutting Edge Toilets
There are a few newer developments of the modern toilet that some of you may not be aware of. Here at Bourne we’re on the cutting edge of all that is new in loos so we have put together the following list of new developments for you:
The Soft Close Toilet Seat
Hailed as a modern marvel, the soft close toilet means all those men out there that have a habit of leaving the seat up no longer have an excuse. A quick flick of the seat, and it lowers gently without a sound. It also means no more slamming or broken seats, if you have small children who always seem to be in a bit of a rush.
The Sensor Flush Toilet
Sensor technology is now a more common sight in a number of public facilities, especially in airports and shopping centres, so I guess it won’t be long before we see these features being introduced into residential bathrooms. Sensor technology is also great for all those germaphobes out there (you know who you are).
Auto Opening Toilet Seat Lids
Yes there are even toilet seats that automatically open and close when you enter or leave the room.
Toilet Seat Warmers
Great for colder climates, seat warming toilets are a real added luxury.
If any of you have been to Japan, you will know there are certain toilet features that need to be experienced to be believed. Yes there are even toilets out there that have built in speakers, make fake flush sounds to cover up any embarrassing noises. There are even toilets that have special integrated sensors to monitor blood sugar levels. Who knows, maybe this will be the way of the future?
For more information on modern toilets visit Bourne Bathroom & Kitchen Centre.
Saving space in the bathroom is a common problem that many of our clients face when embarking on their renovations. It’s one of the challenges we most frequently come across especially when it comes to bathroom planning.
So here are just a few ideas to help you make the most of your available space when planning your bathroom renovation.
Bathroom Space Saving Ideas
An over bath shower is a great option to save on space and maintain the functionality of being able to shower and have a nice relaxing bath in your new bathroom. While most people would agree this is not the ideal scenario, it’s sometimes the best option to save space and create a great overall first impression.
Wall faced or wall hung toilets with concealed cisterns are another great way to save on space and provide a more streamlined open looking bathroom. Not to mention the fact that they hide all of the ugly bits like the plumbing and cistern. Let’s face it, the toilet is not the most attractive bathroom feature so the less we see, the better I say.
A very cost effective way to create the illusion of space and make your bathroom look bigger is through the use of light colours particularly on the walls. Pale colours reflect light and will make your bathroom appear brighter and more spacious.
A floating vanity mounted on the wall will increase floor space and add to a more streamlined look.
Another good way to maximise space is to install a sliding entry door to the bathroom. The most effective way to use the internal bathroom wall space is to install a concealed sliding door which will add a much more pleasing aesthetic. It will also provide more functional wall space for fitting towel rails.
Multifunction fixtures such as mirrored cabinets are also a great idea to help you make the most of your available space.
Beautiful and functional storage solutions are a great way to add some style and personality to your new bathroom and help save on space. There are so many creative and different options available so you can have a bit of fun in the process.
One of the things I learnt over the years is that when it comes to bathrooms, less is definitely more. In my opinion there is nothing more tasteful than a well thought out and designed bathroom that has style and simplicity at the core.
For more information on how to save space in the bathroom contact Bourne Bathroom & Kitchen Centre.
Embarking on a bathroom renovation certainly isn’t for the faint hearted. It can be a rollercoaster ride of emotions, frustration and elation. There are so many things to consider such as bathroom planning, budgeting, design, colour scheme, and the all important selection of your fittings and fixtures. This brings me to today’s topic of the not so humble toilet.
There are a range of options when selecting your new toilet and I’ll be focusing on a few of our most popular premium brands. We’ve found that the average budget for a bathroom renovation is increasing and our customers are looking for quality and style in their bathroom fixtures.
It’s fair to say that for most of our customers, Caroma and Fowler are two of the most recognised brands, but I’ve also listed a few other brands that might not be as recognisable but still offer a very stylish and high quality product.
Caroma is household name when it comes to toilets, or anything to do with bathrooms really. They are the only manufacturer of toilet suites in Australia and have a long history dating back more than 60 years. Caroma have a very extensive range of toilet suites to suit just about any style or budget and renowned for their quality, reliability and excellent guarantee. Caroma is now one of the brands managed by the GWA Bathrooms & Kitchens Group
Fowler is another household name and started out many years ago making their products by hand. They have evolved into one of the finest manufacturers of bathroom products. With a strong commitment to research and trials, the Fowler cisterns and toilets use a 4.5/3L flush, saving both money and water. Fowler is another GWA brand.
Imperial Australia originated in 1995 as a distributor of bathroom and kitchen products and has grown to be one of the largest suppliers of bathroom and sanitary ware in the Asia Pacific region. Imperial is fully owned by Imperial Bathroom Products, a subsidiary of HKR International Ltd, a top 50 Hong Kong based listed company.
Villeroy & Boch
Villeroy & Boch is a German company founded in 1748 which has now developed into an international lifestyle brand which is represented in 125 countries around the world and has 15 production facilities in Europe, Mexico and Thailand. The brand continues to focus on core principals such as innovation and sustainability and has a great range to choose from.
By comparison to the other brands Paco Jaanson is a relatively new player in the bathroom market. Since its establishment in 2002, Paco Jaanson is now widely renowned for quality designer creations that stand the test of time. Their philosophy is built on the belief “Bathrooms are a very stimulating subject that has stopped simply serving one purpose: now it’s where you take care of both your body and soul.”
After all this talk of quality and style it also vital not to forget one other factor. If you have a conscious and are concerned about the environmental impact of your new toilet then the WELS rating is just as important as style so ensure you select a product with a high WELS rating.
For more information about toilets contact Bourne Bathroom & Kitchen Centre.
What You Might Not Know About Caroma Toilets
OK I know toilets are not everyone’s favourite topic of conversation but let’s face it, we all need one and preferably one that works well. Most people probably don’t give a second thought about toilets and aren’t really phased about the brand or how much it costs. That is of course unless yours is not working properly or you’re renovating or building a new home and shopping for your bathroom fit out.
To be completely honest, I don’t think the average person can really tell the difference between a $500 and $1,500 loo but there is one brand name that most people are familiar with when it comes to toilet suites and that’s the Australian icon Caroma.
So here are a few facts about Caroma Toilets that you might not be aware of:
1. Caroma is the only manufacturer of toilet suites in Australia
Given that they are the only manufacturer of toilet suites in the country, it’s not surprising they are such a well known brand name. It’s also nice to know that they employ over 2000 Australians nationwide.
Caroma is the market leader in dual flush technology and after introducing dual flush to the world in 1981, Smartflush technology is now the benchmark in toilet suite innovation. This technology provides a winning combination of water saving, design and performance.
3. Caroma also redesigned the toilet bowl
Together with dual flush, Caroma also redesigned the toilet bowl so that each flush required a lesser volume of water to effectively remove waste.
4. Caroma toilets can save up to 72% of annual water usage compared to a traditional toilet
Caroma’s Smartflush technology only uses 4.5 litres of water for a full flush and 3 litres for a half flush which really is something to brag about to the water conscious consumers of today. With such dramatic water saving capability, most Australian states now have legislation in place to make the installation of dual flush toilets compulsory in all new buildings
5. Caroma is the first to get a WELS 5 star rating
Caroma have recently achieved a 5 star WELS rating for their new Profile toilet suite with integrated hand basin. It’s good to know that they are continuing their investment in research and development to improve performance even further.
Caroma Toilet Best Sellers
Being at the forefront of research and development in regard to water saving technology certainly doesn’t mean that they’ve forgotten all about style. Some of our best sellers in the Caroma range include the Caroma Metro Invisi Series II and the Caroma Cube Invisi Series II.
For more information about toilets in the Caroma range contact Bourne Bathroom & Kitchen Centre.
Modern advances keep feeding our hunger for new exciting gaming experiences, but is the industry about to take a very strange turn.
Could the humble toilet be set to become the new hub for computer enthusiasts?
Yes, that was a serious question!
Those clever folks over in Japan have already launched “Urinal Gaming Systems”, and those answering the call of nature can now enjoy virtual skiing and clay pigeon shooting whilst “doing their business.”
In Japan men are often seen in public competing for the highest score in a target accuracy game, or trying their hand at a bar quiz.
But is this a concept which will catch on worldwide, and could we be about to see gaming systems find their way into our bathrooms at home?
So How Does it Work?
The concept behind the system is simple. A screen sits above the urinal, and this is where the games are displayed. Then using various sensors installed in the urinal itself, “players” control the games hands free (thank goodness).
So far the number of games is limited, but you can be sure software companies will be waiting in the wings ready with a host of new titles should the idea take off.
The units are set behind toughened glass to make them safer for the public and easier to clean, although there may be hygiene concerns surrounding their use.
A number of UK based media companies are developing their own technology, and a couple of pubs in London already have the urinal gaming systems fitted. The owner of one establishment in South London has stated that the new devices had been a hit so far. The games are a great talking point and give a unique way to differentiate them from their competition, they are very easy to maintain and keep clean, and it’s a good way to draw in new custom.
Some industry insiders think that toilet gaming is merely another marketing ploy in disguise. Along with the games, owners of the units can display advertising on their screens. A great opportunity for pubs and clubs to advertise drinks promotions, or sell advertising space to local companies.
Would They Work in the Home?
The first toilet gaming systems all incorporate the use of urinals, so in theory the concept wouldn’t work in a home bathroom setting. But with so much money being made from gaming you can bet a few companies will do their best to come up with an alternative.
If you’re currently looking for some form of multimedia entertainment while you bathe, you’ll be pleased to hear you can buy television sets especially for bathroom use. Now you can lay back and watch your favourite shows whilst you soak! They can be pricey, but in a modern designer bathroom they may have a place.
Personally, I think I’d rather see our computer gaming activities kept in the front room. Do you think Urinal Games Systems will be making an appearance on Australian shores anytime soon?
A well designed bathroom can make a house a home. We spoke to builder Michael who’s been renovating bathrooms for several years, to get some tips for anyone thinking of taking on the job.
Consider Your Space
Before you do anything you need to take accurate measurements of the room. One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is buying fixtures and fittings that are too big for their bathroom. The size of your room will affect the type of suite you buy, the mounting styles you need, and the storage solutions you choose.
If you have a very small bathroom you’re going to need to think about maximising your space with things like corner basins, wall hung toilets, and vanity units. Those with bigger spaces to work with can think about things like freestanding baths, and separate shower units.
Sit in the Bath
This tip is vital if you’re buying a bath tub. Before you spend your hard earned money on a swanky new bath, sit in it at the store. I’ve spoken to so many clients who get a new bathroom fitted, and then find the bath’s too small. This could be avoided if you try it out in the shop.
Most bath retailers have no problem with you testing a tub for size; in fact some will probably encourage it.
Tip If you only have a tight space for a bath then get the deepest one you can find.
Think About the Flooring
Carpet is a horrible idea in a bathroom, but I still see people using it. It’s impossible to keep clean and gets wet and stale very quickly. Instead opt for a ceramic, stone, or marble tile.
These are strong, durable, and most importantly water proof. If your budget will stretch, you can install under floor heating which is a lovely feature. Not only does it feel great when you step out the bath, but it also helps dry spillages quicker. This means less slipping.
Vanity Units for Storage
If you don’t have an airing cupboard in your bathroom you’re going to need some sort of storage solution. Vanity units provide excellent storage and have the added bonus of being the perfect home for your wash-basin.
You could also look at wall-hung cabinets that provide useful storage space. Corner cabinets look stylish and fit perfectly in a smaller bathroom.
Create Space With a Mirror
A large bathroom mirror creates a focal point in the room, and also gives the impression of space. I’ve worked for clients who bought themselves the smallest mirrors possible and it does make the room seem more cramped.
You can dress up your bathroom mirror even more by getting yourself some specially installed mirror lighting.
Buy a Quality Toilet
Don’t skimp on the quality of your toilet. You want one that’s comfortable and going to last. From experience, toilets with longer bowls and seats tend to be the most comfortable on the backside!
Install a Dimmer Switch
Dimmers can be picked up very cheaply and add a real dynamic to the lighting of the room. There’s nothing like turning the lights down low and enjoying a hot bath. Likewise, if you’re having a shave you want the option to have the brightest light possible.
Consider Calling A Professional
Renovating a bathroom is a big job, so you should only “do-it-yourself” if you’re confident in what you’re doing. A mistake can be very expensive further down the line (e.g. think burst pipes and flooding!).
I’ve been renovating bathrooms for a long time, and some of the toughest jobs I’ve had were clearing up after someone else had tried to fit their own new bathroom.
It can be done, but unless you know what you’re doing, my biggest tip is call in a professional!
For more information on renovating your bathroom contact us.
Well, it’s not the hardest job in the world. But if you choose to take on the job yourself rather than hiring a plumber, then there are some deadly mistakes you’ll want to avoid at all costs!
Don’t Go Charging Out To The Shops
I understand buying a brand new toilet can be exciting, but shooting off to the local bathroom store and buying the first stylish loo you clap eyes on could turn out to be a big mistake.
The very first thing you need to do is measure the distance between the wall and the drainpipe – the bit that takes your toilet waste through the floor. If you don’t do this you could end up buying a toilet that doesn’t fit in your bathroom, resulting in a waste of time and money.
Once your old toilet is off the floor you can take an exact measurement, or if you want to get a rough estimate before you remove your old toilet you’re best measuring the distance between the wall, and the plastic caps you’ll find at the foot of your unit.
Choose Your Loo Wisely
Think about the size of your bathroom, and the position of your toilet in relation to the other units in the room.
If you’re looking to save as much space as possible then a wall hung toilet with a concealed cistern would be a good choice. A close coupled unit also saves space as the bowl and the cistern are much closer together than on a standard coupled unit.
Also take into consideration the colour and style of the other units you have. Do you have a bidet in your bathroom near your toilet? Will the two look good together or will they clash horribly?
It may seem like a small detail, but if you don’t like the way your bathroom looks once the new loo is installed you’ll have to start all over again!
Be Sure You Know Where Your Water Valve Is
You’re on your hands and knees; you’ve just managed to remove your old toilet from the wall when suddenly water starts flooding out at you. Now is not the time to go hunting for your water valve.
Make sure you know exactly how to turn off your water supply before you start work on your installation. Many people have made this mistake, and the damage caused to the rest of your home can be extensive if you can’t find your supply control quickly.
Take Your Time Replacing The Vital Wax Seal
The place where your toilet connects to the floor contains a super important wax seal. This seal is essential as it stops the toilet from leaking water all over the bathroom floor. When you rip out your old bowl you’ll find the old wax seal comes up in bits. Make sure you clear this up completely so you’re left with a smooth surface for the new seal.
When you install the new seal, take your time, and properly secure the new bowl in the right position. Get this wrong and the first person to flush is going to get soggy feet!
Take Your Time
The best advice I can give you is to take your time. Rushing is going to result in mistakes and a poor result. You risk breaking your new toilet, or even worse damaging the drain and pipe work underneath. If you do you’ll have no choice but to call in a tradesperson.
For more assistance with replacing your toilet contact us.
The bathroom has become one of the most important rooms of the house and is often considered a bit of a sanctuary. So when it comes to buying a new toilet, there is a lot to think about. There is so much choice in today’s market, it’s important to do your research as a bad decision can end up costing you money in the longer term.
There are 5 key things you need to consider before buying a new toilet.
1. The Environment
With the introduction of the Australian federal governments WELS (Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards) program in 2005, retailers can now only sell WELS approved water saving products. This means that selecting an efficient water saving product has never been easier. Did you know that a dual flush toilet can reduce household water use by approximately 30,000 to 40,000 litres per household per year? Consider the WELS rating when selecting your new toilet.
Whether you’re building a new home or embarking on a bathroom renovation, I can’t stress enough the importance of planning. Getting the right advice and tips from an expert can help you avoid making costly mistakes that could continue to haunt you for the life of your bathroom. Expert advice can help you maximise your available space and select the right fixtures for a truly functional and enjoyable bathroom. Understanding your available space and optimal placement of your fixtures is definitely something to consider before buying your new toilet.
3. Type of Toilet
Visit a good bathroom showroom to view the range of different types of toilets available. This will help you to visualise how your new toilet will look once installed. It’s a great way to compare the available options for you to choose from and see how each different toilet suite operates. It’s also a really good opportunity to ask questions and get quality advice to help you make the right decision.
4. Cost and Warranty
Get a clear understanding of costs (don’t forget to include some budget for installation) and stick to your budget. More importantly ask about the warranty and availability of replacement parts, as a toilet is one purchase you don’t want to have to replace in the short term.
Leave the installation of your new toilet to a qualified expert and make sure their work is guaranteed if something does happen to go wrong relating to the installation.
For more information or advice on what to consider before buying a new toilet contact us.
When it comes to choosing a new toilet, there is so much on offer you’re spoilt for choice. Choosing the right toilet needs a lot of careful consideration to make sure you end up with a toilet that fits in with the style of your home but is also functional and designed to last.
Toilet design has come a long way in recent years and there is a large range of different shapes and models to choose from. It’s almost a little overwhelming when looking at what’s on offer.
There are usually three key elements that will determine the style of toilet that is right for your home.
Your available budget plays a major factor in style choice and there is a toilet style to suit just about any budget, ranging from the basic “Link” style toilet which features a separate cistern and pan linked by a pipe. “Link” style toilets start from about $150. At the top of the line there are the premium “Wall Hung” toilets which vary in price up to about $2,000. Most modern homes opt for a “Close Coupled” or “Wall Faced” style of toilet where the cistern sits at the top of the bowl and all pipe work is concealed. These range in price from about $200 through to $1,500. Some Wall Faced Toilets also have the option of concealed cisterns for a more streamlined look.
As with any product, you generally get what you pay for and spending a little extra on a quality toilet suite will ensure you get the longevity that meets with your expectations.
If you’re looking to make the most of a small space the best option is a “Wall Hung” toilet as these take up the least amount of space in comparison with other styles and are also very streamlined in appearance with the cistern concealed. “Close Coupled” or “Wall Faced” toilets are also good options if you have enough space.
Style of Your Home
Obviously, the style of your home and your individual personality will also play a part in choosing the right toilet. Fortunately with such an extensive range of toilets suites on offer you are guaranteed to find the right toilet for your home weather it’s a modern, contemporary or more traditional style you desire.