Bathroom Flooring Tips - 7 points to consider
Let's take a look at what the options are for bathroom flooring and discuss the pros and cons of each option
- CARPETS: Let's start with carpets (just in case you were considering this). Overall, this is not a good choice. Bathrooms generate a lot of moisture and carpets absorb it. They will be very slow to dry out in the confined space of a bathroom by which time you will almost certainly have added more moisture. If you are determined to do it, make sure you choose a non-organic material like Nylon with a very short pile
- SOLID WOOD: Solid wood will eventually begin to rot in the airless conditions of a bathroom floor. Of course it is aethetically appealing which means a lot of people will choose it, but you need to make sure it is adequately sealed against moisture on the exposed surfaces, and importantly down the seams between boards
- ENGINEERED WOOD: The composite construction of engineered wood makes it a much better bet to avoid the problems of condensation and spills in the bathroom. Because the top surface will be real wood, however, you still enjoy all the visual benefits of solid wood. Make sure you have it professionally installed nd that it is adequately sealed again
- NATURAL STONE: Natural Stone such as Limestone, Marble and Slate loloiks great and will probably boost the resale value of your home, however, it can be cold to stand on and depending upon the texture, can get slippery when wet. It is also the most expensive option by and large. If you go that way, do consider a textured surface for safety.
- VINYL: This is a very practical choice, and with some of the quality brands available, can look great. For the utimate in dampness protection, go for a sheet vinyl installation to avoid any seams. If you are less worried about that (for example you don't have children to bath!) take a look at some of the tile and plank options which can look great.
- CERAMIC TILES: Best choice here is a porcelain tile, they are made with a much denser clay than normal ceramic which means they are highly resistant to moisture. Because they are a very hard tile, they are also extremely hard wearing. If you are planning a wet room, they really are a must, bear in mind howerevr that they are more expensive than standard ceramics and there will typically be fewer design choices. If you go for normal ceramics, you'll find there is a great choice of styles and shapes to choose from and they are great for bathrooms, but bear in mind that any ceramic pr porcelain floor will be cold to the touch. One final point, the smaller the tile size, the moor grouted joins - Pro, this will make the floor less slippery, Con, Grouting deteriorates.
- LAMINATE: This is a relatively cheaply constructed product with multiple syntheic layers fused together. The visible element is a clear topcoat covering aprinted design layer below. It is certainly ok for bathrooms and is easy to clean. Installed properly with very tight seams, it should be fairly resilient to water ingress. If water does get below the surface, however, it will destroy the flooring.
Mirrors in the Bathroom
If you are looking for a simple way to really freshen up your bathroom, think Mirror. A decorative mirror mounted in your bathroom can create a real focal point, and make a real statement about you. As we all know, adding a mirror can give the illusion of more space which is particulary useful in a smaller room (as most bathrooms usually are), but it can also make a bathroom or shower room feel much brighter by reflecting light. If your choice is for a very decorative style of mirror, perhaps with an ornate frame, the mirror will also double as an artwork. We've selected a few images above to give you some ideas for your bathroom, shower room or wetroom.
Extra Bathroom Storage
Here's a really simple addition to your bathroom to gain extra storage space
Buy a small mesh trolley on wheels. You can use it to store towels and other bathroom bits and it will look great. If it ever gets in the way, it's really easy to just wheel out of the bathroom
17 Point Bathroom Cleaning Plan
Regular cleaning is a must on the bathroom, Here are a few tips to help you get the best result.
First off, as with any form of cleaning, work from top to bottom, that is to say, clean the upper surfaces before the lower, in this way you will avoid redoing work.
- Clear any surfaces by moving any toiletries, pots and packets out of the way
- Wipe over chrome fittings with a proprietary scale remover and leave per instructions
- Pour a generous amount of bleach up around the rim of the toilet and leave
- Clear any cobwebs or dust from top of walls and ceiling
- Wipe with a lightly bleached cloth all around your window frame and inside the frame of any opening widows. This will prevent mould growing
- Wipe a damp rag on the top surface of any wall cabinets. Rinse and repeat.
- Clean mirrors and shower panels with a clear proprietary window cleaner and a piece of kitchen roll. Re-wipe with a dry shee
- Rinse scale remover from chrome fittings
- Spray all surfaces with bathroom cleaner designed to remove remove soap, scum and body fat ensuring that you spray all around and underneath tap and shower fittings
- Leave the cleaner on the surfaces for a few minutes (dependant upon manufacturers instructions) then fill sink and bath with a couple of inches of warm water.
- Take a clean j-cloth or similar and use it to flood the surfaces and taps allowing the water to flow back into the basin/shower. Repeat this procedure then drain away the water and rinse basin/bath
- If you have a detachable shower head, flood the areas carefully with clean cold water to rinse, otherwise use a rinsed j-cloth
- Run over the whole area with another slightly damp cloth to dry and polish
- Use a toilet brush inside the loo to thoroughly scrub with the bleached water then flush.
- Pour a surfactant toilet cleaner in the bowl (this sticks to the sides and gives a fresh smell) but make sure you have flushed away bleach first
- Finally give the floor a sweep and a wipe down with a moist cloth (depending on floor covering).
- Last thing, open a window for an hour or so and get some fresh air in. This will keep the bathroom fresh and inhibit the growth of mould on windows and ceilings
Back to Nature
We love this really chic bathroom, with its back to nature look. From the natural sandstone tiles to the shingled floor and the rough rendered wall, it invokes a really Middle Eastern or Moorish feel. Set off with a small palm and ample downlighting, you could almost be on holiday in Morocco
Cleaning your shower screen
Glass panels look great and are relatively maintenance free compared with shower curtains. If you want to keep yours glistening, follow 2 simple steps
- Buy yourself a good quality squeegee and use it religiously after every shower (while you are still in the shower), it’ll only take you 10 seconds max and will stop water stains.
- Once a month polish the glass on both sides using a weak solution of water and white vinegar on a fresh, lint free cloth
Small Bathroom - Big idea
This just shows that even a tiny space can be turned in to a beautiful and functional bathroom. This one features a wallmounted toilet with cistern inside the stud wall to help save precious inches.The shower screen is clear glass which helps the room feel brighter and bigger.A great job
10 facts about taking a Cold shower
If you watched any of the recent Athletics world championships or perhaps the Rio olymics last year, you’ll probably have heard quite a lot about ice-cold baths. Top athletes use them to recover after their races. So, why do they do it, and why might you want to consider a cold shower. Here are ten things to consider
- It will save you money
- It will help the environment (CO2 emissions etc.)
- It will tighten your blood vessels and help remove waste products such as lactic acid
- It will increase your heart rate and oxygenate your body making you feel alert and ready to go
- You will spend less time in the shower leaving more time for other things
- You should head for a temperature of about 15 degrees C
- Try to complete your shower within 5 minutes
- If you can’t face it, start with warm water and progressively turn down the temperature
- Take one first thing in the morning and it will help you battle the day ahead
- Don’t try this if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure. Check with a doctor first.
Clear a blocked waste
You know what happens, it takes longer and longer for the sink waste to empty and then one day it stops emptying altogether and you’re stuck with a basin of soapy water. Obviously you can call in a drain unblocking company, but chances are, you can fix the problem with some stuff you already have about the house.
Root around in your cupboard and find some vinegar and some baking soda (if you have a bag of soda crystals which you can buy cheaply at most supermarkets, better still):
- Start by pouring a kettleful of boiling water down the offending waste
- Pour in a tub of baking powder (about a half cup’s worth) and leave it for 5 minutes
- Pour in about a half pint of vinegar and another half point of boiling water
- Put the plug back in to contain it, and leave for 10-15minutes
- Give it a final flush out with another kettle full of boiling water
The fizzy concoction should loosen up all the fatty deposits hanging about in the waste so that they can be flushed through
Trending Bathroom Ideas: To achieve a really warm and welcoming look, and somewhere you’d enjoy spending your time, consider natural materials including timber or timber effect tiling, elements of sandstone, onyx and marble.
It’s a look that will fill your bathroom with a sense of calm.
Trending Bathroom Ideas: Forget the typical vinyl off a roll, and think in terms of ceramic tiles designed into a pattern. This can be particularly effective in a plain bathroom, because it acts as a feature for the room, but one that is totally functional as well.
The look works equally well in a small or large bathroom, provided you adjust any pattern to suit
Allow this image to provide you with some inspiration for a modern and stylish bathroom. Obviously, this one is a large bathroom, and most of us don't have that much space, but there are lots of elements here that could apply even in a more modest bathroom. Light off-white shades throughout, lots of natural materials such as wood and stone, and some decorative flowers.
Floating bathroom cabinets for clean lines, free-standing bath and basin units plus a coat stand, and focused lighting above the bath and basin areas along with large mirrors which make the room look lighter and brighter. The overall effect, clean, modern, bright, stylish but understated.
Planning a visit to Beijing?
If you plan a visit to Beijing, you may want to take your own loo rolls
After a continuing rise in the theft of toilet rolls at the Temple of Heaven Park, the authorities have decided to take some counter measures involving facial recognition. On visiting the public toilet, you will be required to "register" your face before using the facilities. Having registered by standing for a few seconds in front of a facial recognition system, the machine with dole out a two foot strip of toilet paper. And that had better be enough, because you will have to wait 10 minutes before the system will allow you to have 'seconds'.
I suppose an option would be to take a friend with you who doesn't need to go!
Marble in the bathroom
If you are really looking to splash out on your new bathroom, then consider using marble to provide an element of dressing. There has been a trend in that direction in recent years and whilst we've been used to seeing marble used in quality kitchens, we are now starting to see it specified in the bathroom.
There are of course many ways to use marble starting with simple basin and bath splashbacks, all the way to covering an entire wall or buying a bath made from marble. If you do choose either of the latter ideas, do be aware of the considerable weight involved and take advice from a structural engineer. Do be aware, of course, that marble is quite porous, much more so thn granite for example, so it can discolour and will need sealing. You may also be surprised to hear that the surface does scratch, so you need to keep sharp edges away from it. Because it contains mineral elements, the veining can also rust if the surface is not kept sealed
On the plus side, there is a huge choice of options with marble in terms of the base colour and of the veining. Because it's a natural material, you are guaranteed something absolutely unique, and that is a large part of its appeal
An Esso petrol station in Alberta, Canada has been awarded Canada's "best Restroom" award. Most of us in the UK would avoid the average petrol station toilet unless it was an emergency .
We've all seen them with loo roll scattered across the floor, dirty sinks, unflushed toilets and smelling as if they've been hosed down with urine (which they generally have!). Well, if only we had a few like this one in Canada
Image courtesy Global News
Extra Bubbles Please
According to research carried out by Cambridge University's Cavendish Labs, more bubble bath is a good thing. You know how it is, you fill the bath ready for a relaxing soap, you climb in and enjoy a muscle easing soak in a deep, warm bath. Then, no sooner have you dunked yourself, than the water starts to feel colder, and within a few minutes you're attempting to top up with hot water.
Well, it seems that if you increase the bubbles in your bath, they'll' insulate the water which will stay hotter for longer. If you stay in for 30 mins, your water could be about 3 degrees centigrade warmer So, stay warm and save money.
Got £5 Million to spare?
If you have around £5 million available and fancy a warm climate, you can bag yourself an apartment in the UAE. Finished in Italian crystalised marble with Swedish timber floors floors, the bathroom is pretty special.
Frankly, you could spend the whole evening in the loo just looking out over the Dubai skyline
Image courtesy gulfnews.com
Recent Bathroom Transformation
Here are some before and after images of a recent bathroom update we carried out in Bedford
Designing a Traditional Bathroom
Perfect for an older home, why not consider adding some authenticity and period chic by fitting a traditional bathroom
Let's start with the toilet. traditional styles are available in a close-coupled style with the cistern over the pan, or a high level style where the cistern is positioned on the wall above the toilet pan.
The basins gereally come in a choice of three styles, a console where the sink is positioned on top of a supporting frame - often in chrome; a sink built in to a vanity unit where you have a storage unit beneath; or finally a basin perched atop a ceramic pedestal
Now for the taps. There is a huge range of possibilities out there, cross-head is a great option to look at and they will give you the right feel without breaking the bank
For a truly authentic look, consider a free standing bath. The can be single (slipper style) or dual ended usually with the taps and pipework exposed as a feature. Whilst white is the timeless colour choice, ther are available in a range of other tints. Finally, don't forget that freestanding baths are now available in acrylic materials so you don't have to worry about the weight
The perfect authentic bathroom will also contain some furniture if there is room, so consider a wicher chair and perhaps a matching cabinet if you have space
Naturally, you'll probably still want a shower so think about a heavy drench type shower head with exposed controls mounted on the wall, and if you have room, perhaps a built-in shower seat
If you are planning to have tiles, then ideally choose a solid statement color in a smaller size (for example the metro), try fitting these to chest height throughout the room.
Lastly the floors, if you've gone for a plain statement colour wall tile, you could choose a contrasting patterned vinyl for the floor with a victorian motif or perhaps a timber style.
Catering for elderly relatives
If you sometimes have Mum to stay, you may want to consider whether the bathroom she wil be using has the accessibility features required by many eldery people.If you don't, just a few inexpensive changes could make all the difference.
The first thing you'll want to consider is making sure that you have non-slip mats. Bathroom floors can get slippery, and the elderly can have a little problem balancing easily, so this will help prevent accidents
In the shower, and next to the bath, you'll want to fix grab handles to enable your elderly visitor to steady themselves, particulary when getting in and out. They are chepa to buy but just make sure they are really securely fitted to the wall
Even though they are not the most attractive of additions, an elevated toilet seat wll reduce the amount of bending which mum needs to do which will help her back. The extension can always be removed when you don't have visitors
If you have a shower, and it is large enough, why not supply a small plastic chair to go inside. Often the elderly can't stand for long, and it is perfectly acceptible to take a shower whilst sitting down. It will be less tiring and will guard against slipping. Once again, you can put the chair away in the garage when it's not required
These few, inexpensive changes will help make your bathroom more accessible and a safer place for Mum or Dad to use.
Tips for a Zen bathroom
Getting away to a Spa for a long weekend of pampering and luxury can be a great experience, so why not try to bring some of that luxury into your own bathroom?
You need to stop treating your bathroom as a quick in-out morning only thing, and start looking at it as a place of relaxation and comfort. Of course, you don’t want to have to necessarily start re-fitting your bathroom, so we’ll look at some ways of achieving the effect with minimal spend. You’ll want a soothing colour scheme, strategically situated lighting and effects and a focus on comfort
First off, consider adding a lighting dimmer for the bathroom. Nothing quite improves the ambience more than soft lighting. You may even want to try out some softly coloured light bulbs, such as apricot or rose. Find some safe locations, and add a few decorative candles, perhaps the scented variety. They look great and the bouquet will improve the ambience still more.
Next, add a couple of houseplants, perhaps a variety that will drape over the window sill to give a relaxed look to the room. Because of the high humidity levels, you’ll need to choose something suitable. Good bathroom plants include Aloe Vera, Bamboo and Boston Fern (see picture). If you have space, fit a small shelf a stock it up with a prettily displayed stock of your favourite pampering products, masks, body scrubs, attractive jars, lotions and potions along with some delicately coloured towels, piled high.
Try to create the illusion of space with light coloured tiles along with with a nicely framed mirror to match your colour scheme, and a contrasting pastel coloured window blind. Close to the bath, keep a large glass or ceramic container with a large selection of fragrant soaps to help improve the bouquet in the room. Make sure you have some texture alternatives in the bathroom, you can achieve this by having a nice soft bathrobe on the back of the door, a colourful, perhaps ethnic floor mat and heaps of towels. If you are re-fitting, if possible, go for a rainfall style shower fitting for a wonderfully opulent shower sensation
Finally, don’t forget to have a selection of books and magazines at hand so that you can have a decadent hour in the bath
Panasonic – Hi-Tec Toilets
When we think of Panasonic, it’s generally about their range of digital products such as Televisions and Hi-Fi, but did you know they also produce an innovative range of luxury loos ideal for a bespoke bathroom?
To start with, for your family bathroom you can get a Panasonic toilet with a seat that automatically raises and lowers when you enter the room, with heated seats and armrests (for if you are planning to stay awhile) and of course built in music in the form of an MP3 player to make your stay a little more relaxing.
Some versions also come with a built in bidet function which you can also follow with a warm air drying facility so you can leave in comfort. Of course, after all that activity, you’ll want to know that your loo has been left spotlessly clean, so of course there’s a built in self clean facility using a detergent mix, so nobody would even no you’d been there
For the eco-consciouss, you’ll also be pleased to know that its efficient action also means it uses quite a lot less water than a conventional WC, so it can help your budget.
Obviously equipment like this doesn’t come cheap, but if you want the best experience maybe you’ll be happy to pay the price. You may not want it fitted in a budget cloakroom but maybe it would be right for a designer bathroom.
Needless to say, the complexity means you’ll need it fitted by a professional bathroom installer.
There’s no need for your bathroom to look stark and cold because there are many forms of primary and secondary lighting to give it the feel you want.
Consider a series of wall mounted, recessed spotlights for a bright and modern feel, or go for some concealed coloured lighting if you prefer a softer cosier feel to the bathroom
Spice Up your bathrooom
Bathroom with accents
(image courtesy idesignreport.com)
Once you've worked ot the main colour theme of your bathroom, try adding some colour highlights. Bright,vivid highlights can add a real contrast in the bathroom and they draw the eye. Try matching the colour of all the accessories to get the maximum effect, also, try picking out a couple of unexpected elements to highlight; this will add interest.
5 Inexpensive Bathroom Improvements: No. 2
In the UK, we are only recently coming around to the idea of bathroom storage. There are lots of options available, and a particularly nice idea is to have a basin and WC combo unit which tidies up the look of the bathroom by hiding unsightly plumbing, but also provides space for cleaning products etc.
5 Inexpensive Bathroom Improvements: No. 1
There is nothing quite like the feel of a warm fluffy towel on the skin after you’ve finished showering; they are a great, inexpensive addition to any bathroom. You can get free standing or wall mounted towel warmers, and the wall mounted versions can be electric or they can be plumbed in to your heating system
Don't Forget The Flora
Trending Bathroom Ideas: You can go beyond the typical potted houseplant and think about cascading creepers or even an indoor, vertical garden.
If you want a look to wow your friends, give this one a go
Make your taps shine
Before resorting to anything else, you first need to try the basics. Give them a light run with a soft soapy cloth and use a small soft brush ( an old toothbrush perhaps) to reach into the inaccessible corners.
If you don’t get the results you want, try a little warm water mixed with a small amount of Vinegar. The acidity in the vinegar will help break down the dirt. Finish off with the soapy cloth as above.
When you’ve finished, be sure to polish the chrome lightly with a soft dry cloth. This will remove any water stains that would otherwise spoil a good job.
If you are still having problems, there are a few other things you an try.
Use a little baking flour on a dry tap and rub it in with a soft cloth again. A fetr a little dry rubbing, add a small amount of water which will create a paste and rub a little more, The tiny flour grains will be very mildly abrasive and will help lift of the dirt. When you are finishes , rinse off thoroughly and dry with a soft cloth.
Toothpaste can also be used as a very mild abrasive. It’s is designed to gently lift stains from your teeth and can work well for chrome fittings. Use the same procedure as for flour.
And to get that final sparkle and surface protection? Try a little baby oil followed my a buff with a soft cloth.
And what about rust? Whilst chrome doesn’t rust, the underlying metal can. Try rubbing the rust section with a little soapy aluminium foil from the kitchen, or even with a small handful of moist topsoil from the garden
And finally, lime-scale. Using vinegar and water in a 25% solution, soak a soft cloth and wrap this around the offending area, leave for a couple of hours then remove it and you should see the lime-scale dissolved away.
Disclaimer: Whilst all of these methods are known to work, if in doubt, please check with the fitting manufacturer before trying them.
Choosing the right shower
In past days, showers were not considered a necessity in the UK. Virtually everybody had a bath but few had showers. Things have changed however; most people are keen to have a shower facility in the bathroom these days, and there is a huge choice available.
Walk in Shower
If you have sufficient space, a walk in shower is a great option to choose, it looks great and is really accessible. Walk in showers commonly have glass doors, although you can use a shower curtain, but some people are opting for a fully tiled dividing wall. A dividing wall can even be built with a curve for a really cool look.
With a walk in shower, you could also consider including fitted seating. It’s ideal for disabled use, but it also provides somewhere to sit and drench yourself.
This is really a variation on a walk-in shower. If space is tight, fitting a shower in to a corner can be a great option
This is probably the most common choice as it requires no additional space and will usually be the cheapest option. They are a good all-round choice, and great for kids bath/shower time. You’ll have the choice of a glass screen or a shower curtain, with a glass screen probably being the best choice as curtains will tend to get mouldy in a shower and require regular cleaning.
Free-Standing bath with shower
This is a trickier one, obviously you can elect to place the bath against a wall, and use a screen or curtain as normal, however, this is losing much of the benefit and purpose of a free standing bath.
If you want your bath away from the wall and do not want a separate shower, you will probably need a hand held shower unit and a wrap around curtain suspended from the ceiling
A bath/shower combination is not normally a good choice if accessibility is a consideration. That being said, it is possible to fit a specialist bath with a side access door to enable the user to walk-in to the bath
Walk in showers are clearly a better choice for this use, and you should consider a seating facility (as mentioned earlier) and some grab handles to aid the user
Bathrooms - Industrial Style
In recent years, there has been a steady rise in customers choosing the "Industrial Aesthetic" for their new bathrooms resulting in a more utilitarian look.
It's now quite common for people to specify design elements that reference the heavy duty look of Industrial design. Common features these days include the "metro" style tile with its bevelled edges and so called becasue it was historically a staple of tiling in prisons, hospitals and Undergound (or metro) stations. This tile is generally chosen in solid colours, partcularly black or white.
Lighting is often of a bulkhead or pendant variety, typical in offices and factories - tough and heavy duty. Surfaces include marble, ceramics and even concrete, with polished or natural finish; the latter often being chosen to finish worktops and walls. For flooring, that old favourite of stripped floorboards also fits in well
Bathroom taps and shower controls are regularly subject to the industrial design aesthetic also, with heavy duty levers and handles adding a rugged no-nonsense look and feel that is built to last
In search of a toilet
For the inhabitants of Delhi (and there are 27 million of them), finding a public toilet in acceptable condition proves very difficult indeed
Well, it seems that Google is coming to the aid of local residents. Working with India's Ministry of Urban Development, they are developing a Toilet Locator app. Using your GPS position, they will be able to point users to the nearest available toilet rated as accessible and hygenic. On arrival, if the loo doesn't meet expectations, the visitor will be able to leave feedback to assist other serachers. Don't know if it will be launched in the UK, but for sure, it would be useful in some of our larger cities.