Choosing bathroom radiators

Author: dpinning  //  Category: Bathrooms, DIY Tips, Radiators

Before you choose your radiator, it is essential to know how much heat you require in this room, so you can decide on a radiator that gives you adequate output. 

Heat output is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs).  In order to calculate the amount of heat output your room will require, you first need to work out the volume of your room in cubic feet by multiplying the room’s height by its width and then by its length.  The volume then needs to be multiplied by five, to give the heat output required in BTUs.  This gives you an approximate guide, which can be refined further, for example by adding 15% if your bathroom has two outside walls, and a further 15% if there is no loft insulation.  Always round up the output figure to the nearest suitable radiator.

Your bathroom can be heated by a radiator, a heated towel rail or a combined towel rail and radiator unit.  You can find radiators and towel rails to match your chosen décor and your bathroom tiles, whether traditional or contemporary.  Valves are usually supplied separately, since the type of valve you require depends not only on the radiator, but also on the location where the pipework comes into the room, i.e. through the wall or up from the floor.  If you are installing a completely new heating system, you will be able to decide on the position of pipework.  Otherwise, you may prefer to base your decisions around the existing pipework. 

If you opt for a heated towel rail, you might want to consider a dual fuel system, which enables the towel rail to heat up when your central heating system is switched off.  You simply turn off the valve, and then you turn on the rail’s own electric element.  This is an ideal solution if you prefer warm towels all year round.

Preparing a wall for tiling

Author: dpinning  //  Category: Bathrooms, DIY Tips, Tiles

It does not matter what sort of DIY job you are undertaking, there is one rule which if avoided or skimped will result in a poor or unsatisfactory end result and that rule is preparation. Ask any time served tradesman and they will tell you that the finish of a job is only as good as the preparation and the amount of time spent on it, this applies to tiling a wall just as much as painting or wallpapering it.

If the wall surface is papered, it is not suitable until you have stripped the wallpaper and prepared the walls.

For Brick and Concrete you must scrub the surface to remove any loose material, fill any holes to give an even surface. Painted surfaces are alright providing the paint is sound if so then wash down with sugar soap, if the paint is flaky rub down and size the walls, using a PVA adhesive mixed one part PVA to five parts water and allow to dry before tiling and then we would score the painted surface of the wall with the edge of a scraper to help the adhesive stick.

Plastered walls are ideal, but first ensure that these dry out for at least a month before tiling. Size all bare plaster using a PVA adhesive mixed one part PVA to five parts water and allow this to dry before tiling; plasterboard should be treated in the same way.

Old tiles make an ideal surface as they are usually smooth and true and you will get a good finish, however remove any loose tiles and use filler to level the surface. Wash down with sugar soap. Wood panelling again is a good surface but, it must be at least 12mm thick and you should paint all bare wood with oil based primer and allow this to dry.

Picture: litlnemo

Tradesman prefer British made bathroom fixtures and fittings

Author: dpinning  //  Category: Bathrooms, Home Improvements

Just moved into a new house? Or had your bathroom refitted, then chances are that the tradesman used British made fixtures and fittings. A recent survey by a top UK bathroom supplier has revealed that 47% of tradesman believe that bathroom fixtures and fittings made in the UK are the most reliable, with China ranked second with 19% and German made products third with 13% of the vote.

As well as being reliable, those interviewed also felt like the British made products lasted longer and had a better design than there foreign counterparts. While 38% of respondents claimed not to care where the products came from as long as they did the job, a massive 62% said that they preferred to use British made products because they last longer, are built to better tolerances and parts were easier to source.

This is great news for British manufacturers, especially those who specialise in bathroom fixtures and fittings, and it does show the world that we can at least produce something right.

For those who are looking for British made bathroom fixtures and fittings there are many top brands to choose from including Armitage Shanks, St. James, Kudos showers and Ellis Furniture to name a few.

For more information on the survey click here:

Practical, attractive bathroom blinds

Author: dpinning  //  Category: Bathrooms, Interior Design

The bathroom is the most used room in the home, so it is important to choose window coverings that are attractive, practical and easy to maintain, while offering optimum privacy. Luckily, homeowners have several versatile options for bathroom blinds.

Fabric curtains can collect dust and encourage the growth of mould. Blinds made of moisture-resistant materials, such as PVC, aluminium or bamboo, make a better choice for rooms in which humidity is a factor. Venetian blinds are a popular choice for bathrooms, because they are attractive, easy to care for and moisture resistant. A quick wipe with a soft, damp cloth removes any dust, keeping your blinds attractive and mould-free.

Roller blinds are another practical choice as bathroom blinds. Affordable, attractive and versatile, roller bathroom blinds offer optimum privacy whilst still providing ease of use. Blackout liners can be added to roller blinds for additional privacy. Liners also enhance the insulating properties of bathroom blinds. Bathroom blinds keep the room cooler in summer by filtering the sunlight, and warmer in winter.

Whatever your family’s tastes, budget and needs, there are bathroom blinds perfect for your home.

Picture: Ralph Daily

Choosing a new bathroom suite

Author: dpinning  //  Category: Bathrooms, DIY Tips, Home Improvements

The kitting out of a bathroom requires careful consideration.  Combining aesthetically pleasing style with practicality and ease of cleaning takes a certain amount of forward planning.

The first thing to consider is the colour scheme.  A traditional white bathroom suite looks clean and crisp and will complement virtually any colour choices in the rest of the room. Coloured suites work well within a particular design, but they can limit future decorating potential further down the line.  Wooden bath panels give a rustic feel to an otherwise practical white enamel suite.

Free-standing baths add a touch of glamour to any bathroom, as well as becoming a draw for potential buyers should you decide to sell your home.  Baths with the fittings in the centre make a home bathroom seem as stylish as a hotel en-suite and make the bath more spacious.  For a real hotel feel, add a dual sink with matching taps and an under-sink storage cabinet.

Saving water should be a priority wherever possible.  An eco-bath from Cleargreen is specially designed to reduce water usage and to retain heat for longer, and is made from a minimum of 30% recycled materials.  Fitting a shower over the bath also saves water, as a typical ten minute shower uses half the amount of water that it takes to fill a bathtub.

Whilst an enclosed wet-room may look wonderful and save on space, it is worth remembering that most potential buyers will be put off by a house with no bath.  Instead, fit glass shower screens from Aqata around the edge of the bath to get the look without losing it.

Enclosed toilet cisterns create a space for ornaments or other decorative items, which can really spruce up the look of a bathroom.  Geberit produce some which are practical and environmentally friendly, and for an even more eco-aware bathroom choose toilets with a dual-flush system to save on water and energy.

How to update your bathroom sink

Author: dpinning  //  Category: Bathrooms, DIY Tips

Does your bathroom need an overhaul?  Are you tired of looking at the same bathroom surroundings day after day?  A good place to start a bathroom remodelling project is by updating your bathroom sink.  If you have been intimidated by the thought of doing this kind of job yourself, you may be surprised to learn that it is possible to replace your old basin with a new Shades basin in just a couple of hours.

The fun part of updating your bathroom sink is shopping for a new one.  Do you know what kind of atmosphere you would like to have in your bathroom?  Your new sink will go a long way toward creating that ambience.  If you decide to invest in an eco-friendly bathroom, you can choose a sink and taps that harmonise with that vision.

Cleargreen, for example, manufacture a line of environmentally-friendly taps that conserve water and reduce energy.  These taps complement an updated sink perfectly.  You can browse the company’s line of taps at UK Bathrooms.

Once the new sink has been selected, it is time to install it in your bathroom.  Generally, you can follow the instruction manual that you receive with the sink, but it is also important to make sure that the water is turned off before you begin.

Plumber’s putty should be placed around the spouts so that the sink can easily be connected to the plumbing.  The sink tubing needs to be attached to the pipes carefully and time taken to line up the threads when tightening the pipes with the wrench.

How to fit a bathroom sink

Author: dpinning  //  Category: Bathrooms, DIY Tips, Interior Design

You do not always need a plumber to fit a bathroom sink; it is a simple DIY job.

Remember to turn off the water supply before you start, you may be able to do this using isolator valves underneath the sink, otherwise you will have to turn off the entire water system at the main stopcock. First, remove the old sink, remembering to remove the taps if you plan to re-use them on the new sink.

Line up the sink against the wall and check it is level using a spirit level.

If you are not able to connect the water supply/waste pipes back to the sink trap directly, fit the tap connector and waste pipe parts to make the connections, ensuring a watertight seal around the new taps using the washers supplied. If possible, do this before you fit the sink to the wall or worktop; it will make your job easier later. 

Connect the overflow to the wastepipe before screwing the sink to the wall or placing it into the worktop. Finally, seal around the back lip of the sink with a waterproof sealant and tighten the joints on the flexible tap connectors with a spanner.

Make sure you do not tamper with any earth connections in the metal pipework; consult a qualified electrician if in any doubt.

Bathroom Storage Ideas

Author: dpinning  //  Category: Bathroom Cabinets, Bathrooms, DIY Tips

Small bathrooms can become cramped especially if multiple people and families use them. Bathroom storage is a great way to create a tidier room and can even make it look bigger than it actually is. Using all of the available space is essential for a clutter free bathroom.

Here are some of the best bathroom storage solutions:

Bathroom Cabinets

Bathroom cabinets are a great way of storing your essentials such as shaving accessories, tooth brushes and tooth paste, and usually feature a mirror which cuts down on the wall space needed. Cabinets are available in a range of designs and sizes and purchasing an illuminated bathroom cabinet can also add more light to the room.

Bathroom Storage Towers

Bathrooms in the UK are notoriously small, so when looking for storage ideas it is better to think tall rather than wide. Storage towers make use of the vertical space in the bathroom and can be used to store various items such as clean towels and toiletries.

Build your own storage

Building your own storage is easy and cheap, and can be customised depending on the layout of the room. Install a storage bath panel or build your own under basin storage unit, there are no limits to what can be created.

Fitting shelves in your Aqata shower is also a good storage option and there are many different shapes and sizes to choose from.

Getting inspiration from magazines or online is a great way to come up with something special for your bathroom, and identifying your needs as a whole and getting rid of any non-essential items is key to creating a clutter free bathroom.

Traditional Bathroom Design Ideas

Author: dpinning  //  Category: Bathrooms, DIY Tips, Home Improvements

Traditionally themed bathrooms have become very popular over the past few years with Victorian and Edwardian styled bathrooms being top of most people’s lists. Retro themes and vibrant colours have also seen a resurgence, so how do you create a traditional bathroom.

It’s all in the planning

Planning is key to creating a traditional bathroom, so look in magazines and online for inspiration. Among the most popular fittings in any traditional bathroom are the freestanding bath and high level toilet. These are timeless fixtures and although expensive really make a traditional bathroom come to life.

Tiles also give a traditional look with checkerboard tiles for the floor and plain ceramic tiles for the walls. Dornbracht taps and mixers can also make a statement as well as a vintage ceramic basin.

Saving money on your bathroom

There are plenty of ways to save more while creating a traditional bathroom and the best way is to shop around. Check online prices and local bathroom suppliers for the best prices or visit reclamation yards who normally stock traditional bathroom pieces at reasonable prices.

Fixtures and fittings

As well as traditional taps and mixers, you should also look at adding a big bathroom mirror and some vintage light fittings; these will really stand out and finish off the look of the bathroom.

Baths and bath panels

Author: dpinning  //  Category: Bathrooms, DIY Tips

Your bath needs to suit both you and your bathroom.  It should fit in with your lifestyle and your décor.  Many people underestimate the influence a choice of bath can have on the overall look of a bathroom.  For example, free-standing Cleargreen baths add a feeling of extravagance.  Roll-top baths and corner baths are popular choices for those seeking to add a little luxury to the bathroom.  These types of bath have a far greater capacity than a standard bath, so bear in mind they take longer to fill – perfect for a long relaxing soak.  They work best in a room which also has a shower for when you are in a hurry.  Whirlpool baths are another indulgence.

Choosing from the range of standard baths available may be the better option for a family home.  Standard baths work in a variety of settings, and they range from basic to designer.  For these you will need a bath panel to conceal the exposed areas of your bath and the pipework.  Some baths have moulded panels as part of the package, while for others you will need to choose panels.  These panels usually have separate plinths, which allow for movement.  The bath panel must be fitted carefully to ensure that water can’t gather at the top and damage it.  With attractive styles available, your bathroom fittings can be more than practical – they can become a feature in your bathroom.