How to repair shower fixings

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

If your shower fixings need to be repaired, you can save quite a bit by doing the job yourself.  UK bathrooms often have problems with shower fixings, either due to hard water problems or simply because of the wear and tear of everyday use.  If you need to repair yours, here are some tips to make the project go a little easier.

To remove the fixture, disconnect the hose from the shower valve, and watch for dripping water. Then, remove rail caps from the rail so you can undo the screws.  Remove the rail.  Remove the old hose and take it with you to the shop to buy the new shower kit.  This will ensure that you get a shower hose that is the right size for your existing shower control valve.

To install the new fixture, line up the bottom fixing hole on the new railing to the existing bottom hole on the tiles, then see where the other holes line up.  If they do not match your existing holes, make a mark where they should go using a pencil.  Then, use a tile drill bit to drill holes in those locations.  Place the rawl plug into the tile, pushing it into place and then screwing it in.  If there are exposed holes, fill them with grout.

Fit washers onto both ends of your new hose, and connect one end of the hose to the shower head.  Connect the other end to the shower control valve.  Hang the shower on the rail and the job is complete!

Choosing the right bathroom sink

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

Finding the perfect sink for a bathroom can be a lengthy task but planning ahead and deciding on exactly what features it should have can narrow down the large number of options available.  The sink should fit in with the general style of the bathroom, but choosing a special model with a unique style or luxury finish can turn an everyday item into a focal point of the room.

Sinks are available in a variety of materials and colours.  While bold colours can give the room a feeling of individuality, white models fit in with most bathroom styles and white sinks can help a small bathroom to look larger and lighter.  White ceramic bowls are widely available and affordable but those looking for a luxury and classical finish can also consider options made from rather unusual materials such as marble.

A wide range of different shapes are also available and companies such as Bauhaus Bathrooms stock a large number of styles to suit any room.  Round sinks can look great on a worktop and can make a real style statement, but they are best suited to larger bathrooms as they stand out quite a way from the wall and take up more space than other styles.  Rectangular sinks are very effective in contemporary bathrooms and fit well into rooms with a minimalist theme.  A more traditional scooped oval shape is suitable for a large number of rooms and doesn’t take up too much space.

Floating sinks hung on a wall can look very effective but are only suitable for walls that have enough strength to support them.  Models with pedestals mounted into a worktop and sinks with a bathroom cabinet underneath all hide pipes well.  Cabinets underneath a sink can also provide additional storage space to help reduce clutter in the bathroom.

Choosing lighting for your bathroom

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

Lighting is important in every room in the house, especially in the bathroom.  Furthermore, strong direct light is essential for certain activities such as shaving or applying make-up. There are strict safety regulations governing lighting in the bathroom or cloakroom.  Bathrooms are divided into zones – zone 0 being the bath itself, zone 1 the area directly above the bath up to 2.25m, and finally, zone 2 stretching 0.6m horizontally and up to 2.25m vertically.  Sinks are zone 2 units.  Specialist down-lights are ideal for zone 1.  In zone 2, you can install suitable wall and ceiling lights, while in the area beyond zone 2 (sometimes referred to as zone 3), you are allowed to have any type of light fitting. For your main bathroom lighting, you should have your switch positioned on the wall outside the bathroom, or operated via a light pull inside the bathroom itself.  Remember that it is recommended that all new bathroom lighting is installed by a qualified electrician.  UK Bathrooms have an extensive range of light fittings to choose from, with both contemporary and traditional décor catered for. The light in a bathroom can be greatly affected by the window and its soft furnishings.  If you are fortunate and you have a bathroom hidden from the sight of any neighbours, you might be dispensed from curtains or blinds altogether.  However, if you do require some privacy from neighbours, keep fabrics pale and airy so you can maximise the benefit of natural light.  In some modern houses and in converted apartments, bathrooms can be rooms with no walls to the outside, and therefore without any natural light.  Here, it is important to give special consideration to lighting. Down-lights are a popular choice, as some of them can be directed to a certain area, for example towards the sink.  Illuminated bathroom mirrors add a touch of glamour, and they are also practical for tasks such as shaving.

Advantages of power showers

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

Choosing to install a power shower is a great way to combine the ultimate in luxurious showering experiences with cutting edge technology and sleek, contemporary design.  Power showers are the first choice for those looking for a great shower experience time after time.

By using an electric pump, power showers can increase water pressure and improve water flow, ensuring that even those who live in a home with low water pressure can enjoy a powerful shower that offers a truly invigorating experience.  Power showers make the bathroom a fantastic place to spend time in and are also an impressive addition to bathrooms that are often used by guests.

Power showers also offer a greater deal of control over temperature as they are fed from a hot and cold water system.  Adjusting the water temperature is quick and easy and can be achieved with short, simple adjustments that produce the perfect shower for every individual’s needs.

While these showers feel great, they can also look superb, and the range of smart, contemporary designs available to choose from can even make the shower the main feature of your bathroom. 

By combining the power shower with accessories such as large, stylish shower heads and sleek valve systems from companies such as Crosswater, a shower can be eye-catching and an important feature in your bathroom.  The luxury of a power shower is also a great addition to small bathrooms, where it can bring a premium washing experience to the bathroom, regardless of the actual size of the room.

Mirror, mirror on the bathroom wall

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

To most women and young girls, the bathroom mirror is the most important item inside the bathroom; not the elegant bathroom tiles or expensive bathroom fittings – just the mirror. Young girls can spend hours just looking at themselves in the mirror.

Come to think of it, the bathroom mirror is for everyone. A mirror-less bathroom is difficult to imagine since it is in the bathroom where we check how we look, put on make-up, shave, brush our teeth, comb our hair, or simply see how we are doing. The bathroom is where we clean ourselves and then look at the mirror to check if we have done a good job.

The mirror may be overlooked, because people focus on the reflection and not on the mirror itself. Without people noticing, the bathroom mirror is very important and manufacturing them has become big business. If you get the chance to buy a new bathroom mirror, at UK Bathrooms you will be surprised at the variety. Mirrors come in different sizes; forms, such as rectangular, square, round or oval; and styles, such as framed, ornate, decorative or simple.

Mirror size depends on the size of the vanity unit. It definitely should not be bigger than the vanity or sink since these serve as its base. Most importantly, the design and colour of the mirror extensions or frame should match the vanity, cabinets, tiles and other fixtures.

Mirrors need light to reflect. When installing your new bathroom mirror, make sure there is enough available light, whether natural or artificial. It is also very helpful and aesthetic to install mirror lights.

Your bathroom: your palace

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

One thing that most people commonly overlook is the importance of their bathroom. Families brag about their living room, kitchen, playroom, guestroom, bedroom, and even the garage or basement. The bathroom, however, is just a tiny place where people go to relieve themselves. This does not have to be the case. Your bathroom stands for who you are and it should be kept pristine, inviting, clean, and comfortable.

The bathroom stands for privacy. This is where you perform bodily functions that require complete privacy. This is where you become yourself and never need to pretend to anything.

The bathroom stands for beauty. This is where you bathe, comb your hair, put on makeup, shave or check for blemishes. This is where you fix yourself before facing the outside world.

The bathroom stands for modern style of home design. Nothing can better represent who you are than the bathroom. Leaving the room unkempt, damp and untidy tells others something about you. It is wise, therefore, to invest on bathroom fittings, tiles, vanity units, mirrors, taps, bath, enclosures, and other pieces of furniture to make it perfect. Check out the multitude of options at UK Bathrooms for the most modern styles and designs; these include designers like Bauhaus Bathrooms and Simpsons Showers.

Putting the final touches to your bath

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

Unless you are fortunate enough to have a beautiful free-standing model, you might want to conceal the underbelly and piping of your bath.  Bath panels will solve this problem; they are very easy to fit and can make a great difference to the look of your bathroom.  With such a large range available from UK Bathrooms, the most difficult task could be deciding which ones to choose.

While the majority of baths in the UK are a standard length of 1700mm, there are panels which will accommodate shorter baths and shaped baths.  Depending on the positioning of your bath, you may only need a side panel, or a side panel and an end panel.  Most panels come in one piece but some have multiple removable sections.  These are especially useful if you want to use the space under the bath for storing items such as cleaning materials.

Panels can be plain or decorative.  They could have a simple embossed pattern or, at the high end of the range, there might be glass panels within the main panel.  In terms of panel materials, plastic is the most widely-used and the easiest to maintain.  Wood will need to be treated to protect it from moisture.  Plastic can be white or coloured to match, or even contrast with, the bathroom suite.  The colour of wooden panels varies according to the type of timber; alternatively, they can be painted in a colour of your choice.  A tongue and groove panel can give your bathroom a Shaker feel.

Installing a wet room

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

When converting an existing bathroom to a wet room, there are a number of crucial factors that have to be considered when choosing tanking products.  These are the products used to waterproof the room, such as rubber-like pastes, sleeves and cloaks, reinforcing tape and corner fixtures.

The waterproofing system will require a degree of movement in keeping with that which occurs naturally in most walls and floors.  When there is an expansion or contraction it is vital that no cracks occur.  The products will be subjected to large increases in temperature, especially if under floor heating is used and must be robust enough to withstand this.

The products need to be porous so that water vapour can be extracted from the room.  Failure to enable this will cause problems such as mildew and damp.  Finally, only use products that have been certified by the EU as conforming to ETAG 22, watertight covering kits for wet room floors and/or walls.  For some, a wet room is a matter of style but for others it can dramatically improve the quality of life.  Many elderly people struggle to get in and out of baths and even the step into the shower can be hazardous.  With a wet room, there are no concerns about navigating such obstacles and therefore, it is a sensible option for consideration by anyone with elderly parents who are beginning to have mobility problems.

Improving your storage

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

It is said that you can never have too much storage space, and one room which is often neglected in this regard is the bathroom.  You might try to cram everything into a tiny cabinet above the sink, but there are better alternatives available.  Bathrooms often have limited space, but carefully-planned use of cupboards can help the room look tidy and stylish.  Whether you need a few cabinets to hold toiletries and make-up or want to store enough towels for a large family, UK Bathrooms will be able to accommodate all of your needs.

Clever use of space below the sink and bath, and above the toilet, can provide storage possibilities as well as transforming the look of these units.  Having a removable bath panel allows cleaning materials to be concealed but also close at hand.  Rails can be placed under sinks, leaving towels within easy reach.  A variation on the traditional vanity unit incorporates the toilet, giving a streamlined finish and easy access to toilet rolls when required.  Storage units can be free-standing or integrated, and floor- or wall-mounted.

Storage cabinets do not have to be white or blend in with the suite, unless this is your preference.  Wood or MDF cabinets are popular and, with the different colours available, can create quite an impact.  For a futuristic look try stainless steel; matching door handles and worktops can enhance this look.  Having a laundry basket removes any excuses for leaving dirty clothes or towels lying on the floor.

Bathroom colour selection

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

Selecting the right colour scheme for your bathroom can be a difficult task, especially if you already have some coloured fixtures in the room and they cannot be altered.  Anyone starting afresh, with an entirely new design, has the freedom to choose any colour scheme imaginable; but remember, freedom can be a dangerous thing in the wrong hands!  A bathroom should be a relaxing and uplifting place, so bear in mind that a violent colour scheme will have a dramatic effect on the mood of the room. 

Everyone has their own preferences but, in general, warm and strong colours are best.  The days of lime green, pastel shades and ice-blue are long gone and most modern designers tend to use much bolder, natural colour patterns including browns, greens, reds and oranges.  When contrasted with clean white fittings and tiles, these colours create an impressive effect.

Patterns should always be approached with great care in a bathroom; busy and small detail patterns can be distracting for the eyes.  When the room includes fixed items, such as coloured bathroom tiles, flooring, a bath tub and sink, and you are unable to change these, you must be careful to ensure that a complimentary colour is selected for the rest of the design.  If you have difficulty with this, consider painting the walls white and then purchase new furniture for the bathroom that compliments the new colour scheme.  UK Bathrooms is a good place to start your research, as they have an extensive selection of bathroom fixtures and fittings in all sorts of colours.