If you’re bored with the standard run of the mill bathroom finishes and are looking to inject a bit of style and personality into your bathroom, then a good place to start is with your bathroom vanity.
Let’s face it, some of you will be a little more blessed with instinctive style and creativity than others and some people just need a bit of a confidence boost to find their inner design mojo. I know I’ve said this before but if you’re in doubt and having an ideas crisis, a good place to start is by flicking through the pages of any home design magazines. You could also scour the internet for bathroom vanity images. There are some amazing blogs out there for plenty of inspiration and Pinterest also has a sea of images on almost any topic.
A Few Ways to Add Personality to Your Bathroom Vanity
A beautiful mirror is a great way to add a style statement to your bathroom vanity. Contrasting styles such as a large vintage mirror teamed with a modern contemporary vanity is a great way to add depth and create a focal point for your bathroom.
Another way to add a personal touch to your bathroom vanity is to use a unique tile as the splashback. There are a huge range of options available so you’re bound to find one that fits with your own personality. A popular choice at the moment are graphic tiles or Italian glass mosaics and a few clients are even opting to add a bit of bling for something a bit more dramatic.
There is a considerable choice available in tapware today with an extensive range of styles and options for the most discerning tastes. A great way to boost your creativity when it comes to tapware is to visit your nearest bathroom showroom to look at the various displays. You can then decide on whatever catches your eye.
The vanity unit is a critical choice in your new bathroom as it is always such a key focal point and often a jumping off point for the overall style of the room. Options include custom cabinetry, refashioned vintage dressers, wall hung units, or something completely outrageous and imaginative.
Simple styling items such as your soap dispenser, glass jars, ornaments, towels etc. are a relatively inexpensive and inventive way to add your own personal touch to your bathroom vanity. However, I’m a firm believer in the ‘less is more’ approach to styling so I tend to go for quality over quantity.
Whatever your style, weather it’s chic, classy, kitch, vintage or a combination, there are so many ways to add your personal style to your bathroom vanity so don’t forget to have some fun in the process.
For more information on bathroom vanities, contact Bourne Bathroom and Kitchen Centre.
Replacing your taps is an easy and cost effective way of adding a touch of style to your basin. Here’s a basic guide to replacing taps so you can give your bathroom a makeover, without spending a lot of money.
Here’s What You Need To Do The Job
• A wrench
• New taps
• A bucket
• Plumbers tape
• Utility knife
1. Before you do anything you need to turn off your water supply at the mains. To make sure all the water is drained from the pipes turn the taps fully on, until the last drops of water run out.
Using your utility knife, break any sealant between the basin and your taps by running the knife around the base of the taps.
2. Grab your wrench and unscrew the nuts that connect the tail of your taps to the water pipe. At this point you might want to place a bucket under the sink. Water will run out of both the tap tail and the water pipe!
3. Under the sink you’ll find the back nut which secures the tap in place. Use your wrench to loosen and remove it. You can twist the tap itself in the opposite direction to get some extra leverage if you need to.
Once this back nut has been removed you’ll be able to lift off the old taps very easily.
4. You should now be left with an empty hole. Take your new tap and put it tail first into the hole. Tighten the back nut (under the sink) to hold your new tap in place. Use the wrench if necessary to get the tightest fit possible.
You don’t want your tap coming loose after a few uses.
5. Get some plumbers tape and wrap it tightly around the joint which comes out of the water pipe. This gives it a water tight seal, and stops any water from leaking onto your floor when the taps are on.
Don’t wrap too much tape around the joint or you won’t be able to connect it to the tail of the new tap.
6. Connect the water pipe to the new tap, and tighten as much as possible using your wrench. It’s vital you make sure this join is as tight as possible as it’s the biggest leak risk.
Also keep an eye out to make sure your nut doesn’t cross thread. This is one the biggest causes of leaks.
7. Turn on your water supply, and test your new taps by turning them on fully. It’s a good idea to test them one at a time, and then together to make sure you’re getting an even distribution of water.
If you’re not, check all connections to make sure they’re secure. You may find you’re losing water.
You’ve now got new taps, and a brand new stylish finish to your bathroom!
Make Sure You’ve Got The Right Fittings
As you can see, replacing your taps is quite a simple job. If you have the right materials it shouldn’t take any more than 45 minutes.
One thing you do need to double check is the size of your new taps. Be sure you’ve brought a pair which fit your current basin. Although most basins will take standard sized taps, some require a specific size and model.
It would probably be a good idea to remove your old taps before you buy your new ones. That way you can take one of the old ones to the store, and compare it to the ones you’re buying.
Few would disagree that after a hard day nothing feels better than slipping into a hot, relaxing bath, filled to the brim with comforting bubbles.
As you lay back in your spacious tub, you look over at your stylish vanity unit with modern taps, and your smart, functional toilet. As your carefully chosen tiles glimmer under candlelight, you’re in bathroom heaven.
Sounds good doesn’t it?
We all deserve a little luxury in our lives, and the bathroom is one part of the home that can become a sanctuary when it is well designed and installed. So what makes a beautiful luxury bathroom, and how can you design one yourself?
Here are some tips to help you create your own designer haven.
Consider the Size of the Room
There’s no point making plans for a huge whirlpool bath, a shower unit, vanity unit and matching toilet if you only have a small space to work with.
Be sure to take accurate measurements of your bathroom, and work with the space you have. You can still have a luxury bathroom even if it’s small. You just have to think a bit more carefully about the bathroom products you choose.
Corner baths and basins can be well suited to the small bathroom, and with hundreds of modern designs to choose from you’ll still end up with a room you can be proud of.
What’s Your Budget?
Bathroom suites and units vary massively in price, so you need an idea of what you want to spend before you go shopping.
Remember you need to factor in the cost of installation and building materials, so don’t go blowing your whole budget on the bathroom products.
Who’s Going To Be Doing The Actual Work For You?
You might save a bundle of money putting the bathroom in yourself, but make a mistake and you could end up costing yourself a small fortune in repairs. Only undertake the job if you know what you’re doing, and don’t be afraid to use some of your budget to pay for a professional installer.
It’ll be worth it in the long run!
What Style Are You Aiming For?
A designer bathroom doesn’t have to be filled with the most modern suites to be luxurious. You can create an equally stunning space using more traditional suite designs.
If you prefer a more traditional look, why not consider a freestanding tub. These are very attractive, and slot perfectly into a bathroom trying to capture an old-fashioned look.
Think about the overall feel you want for your space before you start buying any suites.
A Whirlpool Bath – The Pinnacle Of Luxury
If you want a bathroom that screams luxury then you really need to consider a whirlpool bath. Feeling millions of bubbles rushing over your body as you slip into a peaceful state of ecstasy is unrivalled.
Not only do they look stylish, but whirlpool baths are said to have a number of health benefits. They’re known to help people with back pain and muscle discomfort, in addition to being trialled in the treatment of stress related conditions.
More importantly, whirlpool baths are far more affordable than they used to be, and in our opinion, no modern bathroom should be without one.
Think About Colours
Your three-piece bathroom suite may look spectacular in blazing red, but if you have bright green tiles on your wall it’s going to clash.
Don’t forget to think about the colour scheme, and remember to factor in the cost of any repainting or retiling work you might want to do. Depending on the size of the room, a full re-tile job could be expensive.
For more information about designing your very own luxury bathroom contact us.
Without kitchen sinks you wouldn’t get running water to drink or wash up with.
A sink is of importance to your kitchen, so you’d think that picking one would be simple, right? Most people believe it’s just a case of sticking a standard sink in wherever your water supply is and moving on to the fun stuff like picking out your cabinets and work surfaces.
Well, if all sinks were created the same then it would be an easy task. However, the world of kitchen sinks has evolved, and now there are hundreds of different types to choose from depending on your requirements, and how much money you want to spend. Here’s a quick look at some of the things to consider when choosing your next unit.
How Many Bowls Do You Want?
Gone are the days when sinks were just one simple bowl!
Now you can buy them with one, two, and even three separate bowls. Multi bowl units serve many purposes; one is used for washing up, and the others will be used for food preparation, hand washing and the like.
It can be useful and more hygienic to have separate bowls for washing up and food preparation, but it’s possible to get by with one bowl so don’t feel obliged to go multi bowl.
Many modern units also come with drainers as standard. These will be situated on either the left or right hand side of the main bowl, and you can generally specify which side you want yours on when you make your purchase.
Steel, Granite, Or Ceramic?
Although the majority of kitchen sinks are made of stainless steel, you can also buy them in granite or ceramic.
Stainless steel sinks are hygienic and easy to clean. However, over time they develop scratches, no matter how carefully you use them. This is just general wear and tear and nothing to do with the quality of the unit.
Ceramic sinks are less likely to scratch and more traditional, but there is the risk of cracking if something very heavy fell inside it. They also tend to show up dirt and food residue a little more.
Granite sinks are becoming more popular. They add a modern look to your kitchen. The main advantage with granite sinks is they’re easy to clean and are heat resistant. Make sure you buy a decent quality granite product as cheaper units may fade over time.
Inset Or Undermount?
One of the last things you need to think about is whether you want an inset or undermount unit in your kitchen. Inset sinks are normally built so the sides overlap your work surfaces. An undermount sink is fixed under the work surface to give a much smoother finish.
Inset sinks can become loose over time. When small gaps appear around the side of the unit it can drip or leak into the cupboards below.
Once you’ve decided on the number of bowls, the type of material, and the type of finish you want from your model you can then start to look around in the stores. Many manufacturers are known for very durable and high quality products.
Don’t forget if you’re replacing an existing sink you need to measure the old unit so you don’t go and splash out on a new one that won’t fit in its place! (Yes, we’ve seen people do that before!).
For more information on selecting the right sink for your kitchen 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.
Although basins are just one small component of your bathroom, finding one that compliments the room, whilst being a good match to the rest of your suite is important if you’re to achieve a look you can be proud of.
One common misconception sink buyers have is that you have to buy your bathroom suite as one set. In fact, you can buy each unit individually, giving you the freedom to design the bathroom of your dreams.
The type of basin you choose depends on the amount of space you have, and the amount of money you want to spend. Are you looking for something plain, cheap, and cheerful, or do you want something unique and trendy?
Here’s an idea of the different types of basins available to give you some inspiration.
These stylish basins sit on top of a bathroom unit or counter, with waste and drainage pipes concealed beneath the unit. They look modern, sleek, and tidy without unattractive plumbing on show.
These type of basins are great if you a luxurious look.
Inset basins are similar to counter basins, except instead of sitting on top of your bathroom counter they sit within it. An inset basin is a great space saver, and gives a very tidy feel to the room. The great thing about the “inset” is that it conceals pipe and waste works.
You’re also less likely to catch yourself on them if you move through the bathroom in a hurry!
This is the most common type of sink found in the home. It simply hangs from a bathroom wall. You can buy these in many different styles and designs from the most basic, to some very modern and trendy looking models.
If you want to add an ultra modern twist to your bathroom… then a glass hand basin is definitely worth your consideration.
These are almost always counter style models, but in the right setting can look absolutely stunning. You can find them in clear glass, although these can be quite tricky to keep clean.
Frosted glass sinks are also very popular. Aside from looking as if they’ve come straight out of a 5 star hotel, they’re also a little easier to keep immaculate.
It’s worth mentioning that when you buy your sink you may be able to choose the type of basin taps along with it. Don’t assume you have to have the taps seen on the display model. If you opt for different taps try and select them at the same time you buy the basin unit. This will save you the time and any hassle of having to measure the tap holes, or risk buying ones that don’t fit!
Some retailers allow you to upgrade your taps to match the rest of your bathroom. If you have a bath with gold taps you’re not going to want a basin with silver ones are you?
Think about the rest of your bathroom suite when choosing a sink. If you have a rounded bath toilet, then a rectangular hand basin seem will seem out of place.
And if you have plain white units, you probably don’t want a bright red or stone basin turning up in the middle of the room. Try to pick something that’s going to match, or at least positively compliment the other units you have in the room.
Take your time, and don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Whilst the way your bathroom looks is personal to you, a professional will be able to give you some tips on the best type of basin to look at, depending on your overall room size and design.
For more information on the finding the perfect basin for your bathroom contact us.
With so many showers on the market, knowing which one is right for your bathroom can be a challenge. Here’s a guide to some of the different shower enclosures and shower screens available, and an explanation to which type of bathroom they’re best suited.
These are a bath and shower unit combined. This is the usual standard, normal bathtub with taps and drainage at one end, and a shower unit above it. It can either be part of a mixer tap unit where you simply press a button and the water starts coming out of your shower head instead of the taps, or you can buy a completely separate shower unit that sits independently on the wall.
These types of shower will have a fitted shower screen at one end that can be retracted when not in use.
A unit like that is ideal for smaller bathrooms, or for en-suite rooms where space is limited. If you wanted to have an extra item (like a bidet), then a combined shower and bath would give you the extra space you need.
Quadrant enclosures are perfect for tighter spaces or bathrooms where the shower will be positioned in one corner of the room. They have a tray with two straight edges and a curved front. Around the curved front you’ll normally have two sliding doors which allow you to get in and out the shower.
Pivot Shower Enclosures
If you prefer a shower door that opens outwards instead of sliding, then consider buying a pivot shower enclosure. It has doors that have a hinge mechanism and whilst it doesn’t offer many benefits over a sliding door, it tends to be less prone to sticking. These again have a tray for you to stand in except they tend to be square and not quadrant shaped.
If you opt for a pivot unit you also need to consider space, as you’ll need room for the door to open outwards.
Walk – In Showers
These are better suited to bigger bathrooms where space isn’t much of a concern. The surface area of the shower tray itself is generally much bigger than with the other types of enclosure, and they don’t have doors.
Instead you’ll have a shower screen, which usually curves around one side, creating a sort of maze effect. This allows you to get into the shower without the use of a door, but without having to worry about water getting all over the place.
Once you’ve decided on the type of enclosure you want, you then need to think about the actual shower unit itself. Most units now are powered by electricity, and come with different features and settings.
You’ll be able to buy standard units which simply throw jets of water out with a control for you to choose your temperature and pressure level, or you can go for a more sophisticated shower which gives you control over the type of water stream you experience.
Would you like a soft stream of water or a powerful jet? Would you like a consistent jet or one that pulsates? You can even get ones that have a setting to throw out water and soap at the same time!
Who needs a sponge anymore!
Of course the more complex your shower unit the more you’re going to have to pay, so think about your budget before you go splashing out! Make sure you also take those all important bathroom measurements before you hit the stores. Otherwise you won’t know how much room you have to play with!
For more information on picking the right shower for your bathroom contact us.
Basins, baths, bathroom vanities, or toilet – What’s the most important thing to think about when designing your bathroom?
Whilst getting your bath, toilet, and sink right is important, in our opinion a well designed and functional bathroom vanity is the critical element in any stylish modern bathroom.
Here’s why every bathroom needs its own vanity unit.
A Great Use Of Space
Unless you happen to live in a very large home, most bathrooms are fairly modest in terms of size and space. Bathroom vanities and cabinets provide an excellent way to save space, whilst providing some much needed storage solutions.
Most vanity units are made up of a mirror, a sink, and a set of cabinets. They come in hundreds of designs and styles, from the most basic and affordable, to the top end of the market models, which wouldn’t look out of place in the home of a pop superstar!
Depending on the size of the cabinets you can use them to store anything from towels and sponges, to creams and soaps. Take into consideration whether your cabinet is based above or below your sink, as you wouldn’t want children rifling through draws if they contain creams or chemicals!
Provide A Focal Point
When you enter a well-designed bathroom, the vanity unit is normally the first thing your eyes are drawn to. An attractive mirror, set above a delightful counter top complete with sink, with two deep drawers underneath in a lovely marble effect, will create the perfect centrepiece for any bathroom.
Many designers will actually start off a bathroom plan with bathroom vanities, before building everything else around it. For the best impact you really want to place your vanity unit or cabinet in the centre of a wall rather than to one side or in the corner.
Not only does it help keep things symmetrical, but it also helps create that focal point you’re looking for.
The other trick when picking out a suitable unit is to consider the size of the mirror. If you pick a bathroom vanity with a large mirror you’ll create the illusion of space, making your bathroom seem much bigger than it is.
This is especially effective if you only have a small space to work with.
Create Peaceful Lighting Effects
You want your bathroom to be a place of peace and tranquillity, and you can use vanity lighting to create some very soothing and relaxing lighting for the room.
Most bathrooms will have a main light in the centre of the room, and this will normally be quite bright. Hardly conducive of the atmosphere you are probably looking for. You can, however, buy vanity units that come with much softer lights, perfect for when you’re lazing in the bath.
Try a soft peach coloured light effect, or perhaps a simple shaving light will produce the perfect balance between light and darkness.
They Don’t Have To Be Expensive
Like all bathroom suites you can buy top of the range units, which can cost a few hundred dollars, but you can also find very attractive and functional vanities at very reasonable prices. Take into consideration the rest of your bathroom suite and try to get something that fits the theme, but don’t be fooled into believing you have to spend a fortune to get a decent quality unit.
All in all, the bathroom vanity is a wonderful piece of furniture, and a vital component for any modern family bathroom. It really should be the first thing on your designers list.
For more information on bathroom vanities contact us.
A bathroom renovation can transform your home, but there are many things to consider before actually starting work on this project. First of all are you going to be doing the work yourself or getting workmen in to do the work for you?
The scale of the renovation can dictate this decision. If you own the property you’ll probably not mind spending a bit more on the project than if you’re a tenant.
There are plenty of “how to bathroom renovation” guides out there, but if you want to go it alone then following these tips will help you to get organised and hopefully save you a bit of money as well.
The other thing that will influence whether you do the work yourself is whether you feel you are competent enough to do the work. If you’re thinking of tiling a large area think about your experience. Have you ever done tiling because if you haven’t, it can be quite tricky?
Having established who is doing the work the next thing to think about is how big the bathroom actually is. This will help you decide whether you want both a bath and a separate shower or a combined unit. Would you like to have a vanity unit? If so, where and how many?
Another thing to consider is whether you have kids and what their ages are. If they are youngsters, safety becomes very important. You wouldn’t necessarily want large expanses of glass that could injure them if there was an accident.
Think About The Materials You Need
Try to be as accurate as you can with this, as some of the materials can be quite expensive and you don’t want a lot left over when you have finished.
What you also have to decide is whether you will still be able to use the bathroom whilst you are renovating it. If you take out all the pipe-work then it will be impossible to use it until you have installed the new pipes, but if your renovation is less dramatic then you may be able to carry on using it during the process.
By now you’ll have started to think about the style you want for your new bathroom. Are you just going to go for the latest and shiniest in bathroom fittings or are you going to have a theme.
This could be as sensible or wild and wacky as you want it to be. For example, we’ve seen a small bathroom made to look like a ship’s cabin with a porthole behind which was a painted scene on glass and illuminated from the back by a light. This was really effective as the porthole created an illusion of space and made the bathroom seem much larger than it really was.
It is important to think deeply about what’s involved in bathroom renovation and what you actually want. Do think very carefully about a theme (if you’re going to have one) and make sure it’s something you’re happy to live with. You don’t want to be halfway through the project and then decide you don’t like the idea.
So to sum it all up; decide what you’re prepared to spend, decide on a theme (or not), work out the cost of materials, decide if you can use the bathroom whilst it is being renovated and then get started. Above all, because we all spend a lot of time in our bathrooms, make sure that once you’ve renovated yours you enjoy it!
For more information on things to consider when doing a bathroom renovation contact us.
There are many examples of successful bathroom renovations where research and understanding of a project is undertaken before commencement. There are also examples of bathroom renovators not doing their homework before they commence renovation of a bathroom. These can be as varied as not setting a budget, poor tool and material selection or ignoring safety procedures. Here are a few of our top tips for a successful bathroom renovation.
1. Do Your Homework
Do your research and understand what you are getting into. What is involved in a project of this type? Even if you are not undertaking the work yourself, know what to look for and what questions to ask so the project stays on track.
2. Hire Good Help
Meet with a couple of contractors and decide who you think would be best to work on your bathroom renovation project. Check references and test their reliability by leaving telephone messages for return calls. The person will be in your home and life for a few days or weeks so choose wisely.
3. Inaccurate Measurements
Get your measurement right! Every centimetre counts when it comes to installing bathroom products including cabinetry. If you are in doubt about how to do it, call in the experts.
4. Do the Prep Work
Not paying close attention to the preparation work for a home renovation project can spell disaster. Simple things such as cleaning the floor before laying new flooring can result in a much better effect. Do it right the first time to avoid rework, saving you time later on.
5. Don’t Forget About Safety
Your personal safety is important so use goggles to protect your eyes, ear protection to protect your hearing and gloves to protect your hands from splinters and nails. Have a first-aid kit on hand just in case – you can’t be too careful.
6. Buy Good Materials
A common mistake people make with a bathroom renovation is buying cheap materials. The bottom line is, you will get what you pay for
7. Use the Right Tools
Correct choice of tools will avoid common mistakes. It will avoid damaging the tool, damage to the project or any harm coming to you.
8. Storage of Materials
Always store your bathroom renovation materials in a cool, dry place. Keep tools away from the outside elements and use coverings where necessary.
9. Choice of Paint
Choose the correct paint for your bathroom renovation. There is different paint available for a wide range of surfaces. Use flat for ceilings and possibly for the walls. Use semi-gloss for any wood or other trim.
10. Electrical System
Walk through your home with an electrician before you finalise your bathroom renovation plan.
11. The Style of Your Home
Be sure to keep with the style of your home when you plan a bathroom renovation. If you have a Federation style home, then continue that theme with the renovation of the bathroom.
12. Set a Realistic Budget
Plan ahead by getting quotes for materials and labour. Set a realistic budget and pad it for any unseen problems.