Did you visit the Ideal Home exhibition? Were you inspired to make some changes to your bathroom? If you need more inspiration, Linda Parker has some further suggestions ….
The Ideal Home show has recently finished its 2015 stint at Olympia, and if you were one of its thousands of visitors, it’s likely that you came away from the show with quite a few good ideas – and not just for bathrooms and bedrooms!
One of the products we’ve investigated is the Kube filtered system from Kinetico. See it here www.kinetico.co.uk … hard water is an issue for many homes, and this system comes in at a rather affordable £249. It’s a non-electrical system, which supplies crystal clear drinking water straight from the tap. At the end of the day that’s a more convenient way of getting limescale-free water than fiddling around with jug filters or a fridge-freezer that will need to be plumbed in.
The show is a great place to visit if you’re looking for new flooring or tiles; we also loved the new ranges on show from Quick-Step www.quickstep.co.uk. It’s great to know that high-quality laminate, such as the Impressive Ultra range from Quick-Step can be used in the bathroom, thanks to the water repellent Hydroseal waterproof coating. It’s the perfect way of getting wood-look flooring into the bathroom, take a look at the Sandblasted Oak Natural, Natural Pine, Scraped Oak and Natural Varnished Oak designs. Of course, it’s highly suitable for use with underfloor heating. Shown here, Classic Oak Beige, around £19.99 per sq m, Quick-Step.
For high-tech bathroom aficionados … The iBD bidets from Izycare www.izycare.co.uk caught my attention, I’ve always been curious about these products (having had the experience of a demonstration of the Geberit Aquaclean Plus in Paris a couple of years ago http://www.geberit-aquaclean.co.uk/en_uk/produkte/geberit_aquaclean_8000plus/geberit_aquaclean_8000plus.html). By all accounts the WC-bidet combination is slowly but surely becoming a more acceptable idea to us Brits.
One other bathroom-related product that would be on my wish-list, if I had the finances and a spare bathroom to put it in, would definitely be a steam-shower cabin. These are the sort of items that are regularly seen at home and design exhibitions, but of course we rarely get the chance to try before buying! At the moment my view on these ultra-luxurious products is that I’m happy to look forward to a steam-shower as a treat every so often when staying away from home in a hotel …if I had one installed at home I think I would spend far too much time relaxing and steaming!
Back to planning the perfect bathroom from top to bottom. I usually start with the lighting … it’s vital to get that right, and any positioning of new lights, switches and systems needs to be done at the beginning of the building work. If you’re looking for new lights, make sure you choose IP44 or above rated design, which is suitable for bathroom use. The Bathroom Lighting Centre www.bathroom-lighting-centre.co.uk has a glorious selection, from wall mounted chandeliers to recessed down-lighters that are suited to Zone 1 use. In a nutshell, the bathroom is split into three zones, 0, 1 and 2 and individual bathroom light fittings are labelled according to their Ingress Protection rating, relating to water resistance. A professional bathroom designer will be able to point you in the right direction. Or, the easy way to do things is to choose a bathroom cabinet, such as those from Utopia’s range, which has integral lighting.
As far as the middle of the bathroom – i.e. the fittings and furniture is concerned, professional designers will nearly always say, that if the space is available, don’t hesitate to choose furniture for your bathroom. Even a small bathroom will have the space to accommodate a vanity cabinet – if you have the space for a basin, you have the space for a cabinet beneath it. Even a single drawer unit will help, and an uncluttered surface, combined with a beautifully lit mirror/cabinet combination will help streamline the look. Owners of larger bathrooms can revel in the choice of modular, floor-standing and wall-hung cabinetry, meaning that there will be room for every conceivable beauty product, as well as cleaning items, towels and linens. A linen bin is a great addition too, if space allows.
Bathroom flooring must never be an afterthought. If you’re working with a bathroom designer, they will embrace the whole scheme and suggest flooring that will complement the fittings, furniture and wall tiles. Of course, it’s also the time to make the decision to include underfloor heating. UFH does help even out the temperature, and in a fully-tiled room, helps avoid condensation. Electric mat systems, also known as ‘dry’ systems, can be installed beneath any sort of hard, smooth flooring, including laminates and vinyls as well as tiles. We loved the new wood-style laminate flooring from Quick-Step, as mentioned previously, but if you want to stick with ceramic or porcelain tiles, why not try Utopia’s patterned designs, such as the Bohemian design in Beiges and Blues, or the wood-look designs in Weathered Elm and Honeyed Elm designs. An intricate pattern, such as Bohemian, is a great choice for large rooms with lots of plain surfaces – a change of pace and an injection of pattern lifts the whole scheme. See the choices available here http://www.utopiagroup.com/bathroom-tiles/bathroom-floor-tiles.php
Parquet Weathered Elm