When redecorating your bathroom, what should you splash out on and where can you save? It’s often a false economy to cut corners because a bathroom is subject to daily wear and tear, and any compromise in quality will soon show. But there are ways to spend money where it will count and to save where it won’t make much difference. Here’s our guide to how to be wise with your bathroom makeover budget.
Who will be using it?
First think about what you want to get from your bathroom – because that’s where to focus the money. For example if this is a space that the whole family will be trooping through every morning, or you like having visitors and they will be taking turns in there, then a massive luxurious tub will not get the use it merits. Instead fit a good quality shower set that is intuitive and reliable, set in a durable stall that will take a lot off punishment. Keeping your existing layout will also save the expense of moving plumbing and pipework around.
The internet is a great resource for researching all possible products and comparing what brands have to offer. If you already know what you want and are shaping around for price and availability then it is ideal. But you don’t get to touch before you buy. What looks smart on screen may feel flimsy in the flesh. And are you going to want to go to the time and trouble of repacking and posting a dud back and shopping for a replacement while a whole project languishes? Also if you source online you are relying on your own planning, measuring and design skills to translate your ideas into finished reality. A local independent retailer will have experienced staff and much-needed nous when it comes to fitting. Perhaps the mark-up will be money well spent.
Spend on sanitaryware
Cheaper sanitaryware is prone to bubbles and faults in the glaze which means it may soon start to stain and crack. Even unbranded sanitary ware comes with a lifetime guarantee. But do check carefully who is offering that guarantee. If it’s a manufacturer based abroad are you sure of calling that guarantee in if anything goes wrong in future? On the other hand if your retailer round the corner is backing a product then you may have a better chance.
Splash out on brassware Don’t stint on the brassware. Cheap chrome plating can look fine online or in the showroom but may quickly flake and tarnish, meaning you have to replace it. Avoid paying twice for taps and fittings by going for the best quality you can afford from a reputable dealer who will offer guarantees.
Save on the tub
A bargain acrylic bath will be fine for the odd soak, whereas a quality luxurious shower will be used every day by the whole household. And if space is tight or you can’t afford to fit two new units, a quality diverter, shower head and handset over the bath offers the best of both worlds.
Turn up the heat
No one likes a chilly bathroom so do invest in some decent heating. Quality bathroom radiators are more efficient, better looking, will last and are more reliable than cheap versions. High grade stainless steel complements most decorative schemes and will never rust. Aluminium is becoming more popular as people become more energy-conscious, because it heats up and cools more efficiently.
Save on floors and tiles
Vinyl flooring is stylish, durable and cheap. It can also replicate the look of, say, Scandinavian pine or travertine marble, while requiring only a quick mop to maintain it. It can also be a bright pop of deep colour to increase a sense of space and bring disparate elements together. But beware the potential false economy of fitting four cheap floors over ten years instead of one of good quality. For walls, the choice of tiles at a budget price has never been better – just make sure you buy more than you need from one retailer – even the plainest white tiles will look slightly different from store to store. For a more exciting style, the latest stone- and wood-effect wall tiles look perfect, cost lot less than the real thing, are much easier and cheaper to fit, and don’t require the same high-maintenance commitment for years to come.
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