Top bathroom renovation design rules

Property expert Michael Holmes offers his advice on making the most of your bathroom renovation

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1. Pick a layout and stick to it

Avoid making unnecessary changes to your existing sanitaryware layout — the fewer alterations you make, the lower your plumbing costs will be. If you do need to move some key elements, then at least keep the toilet close enough to connect to the existing soil pipe.

2. Choose sanitaryware before plastering or tiling

To ensure the hot and cold pipes and waste are in the correct positions, you need to choose all sanitaryware, taps and showers before plastering or tiling. Specify everything before first-fix stage, as leaving key decisions until the sales are on can mean expensive alterations.

3. Don’t go overboard with lighting

Opt for pendant lighting — a single central fitting will prove much cheaper than individual downlights or wall lights. Check out multi-bulb fittings that only require a single power cable, for a flexible scheme.

4. Mix and match

Stick with white, and mix items of sanitaryware from different suppliers, in order to offset affordable buys against luxuries such as a quality bath. However, avoid cheap fixes such as plastic baths or shower trays that are so thin they are flexible and, therefore difficult to seal and make watertight.

5. Avoid wall-mounted sanitaryware where possible

Ditch wall-mounted fittings, as less work equals less cost. Wall-mounted taps, basins and toilets often require specialist fixings, chasing out to house plumbing, and the concealment of cisterns. It’s quicker and cheaper to fit deck-mounted taps, pedestal basins and close-coupled WCs.

6. Simple is effective

Keep the design simple and avoid curves, steps, ornate decorative mouldings and non-essential details or ornamentation. The simpler the design, the more cost-effective it will be to fit out.