As we all know, planning a new bathroom is exciting, but can feel daunting. Whether you’re starting with a blank space or replacing like-for-like, there are hundreds of decisions to be made.

Classic looks … our beautiful English Duck Egg fitted bathroom furniture.

Updating an outdated or past-its-best bathroom can be fun, or a tiresome procedure. If you choose a Utopia bathroom, that will make the job easier, as our teams can help with all stages … from choosing which WC or bath will suit the room best to help with designing the layout and finding installers through our specialist bathroom showrooms. For confident planners and designers, why not try visualising your ideas by using our visualisation concept – even changing the style and colour of tiles has a fabulous impact on the overall look!

Try out hundreds of possible colour schemes with our visualisation feature

If you’ve got a good idea of the type of bathroom you’d like, use that as a starting point. Try and make a few basic decisions … fitted or freestanding furniture? Separate bath and shower or over-bath shower? Lots of cupboards and drawers or will a simple vanity cabinet be enough? Think about the walls and floor. Will the existing paint and/or wallpaper stay or be replaced? Will the walls be re-tiled? Will the walls need plastering? The answers to all these questions will influence the advice needed and steps to be taken.

This straightforward bathroom layout could be used in any bathroom, keeping it simple is sometimes the best option

Broadly speaking, if you’re content with the existing layout of your current bathroom, a cost-effective way forward is to replace like-for-like – leave the toilet, basin, bath and shower in their existing positions and avoid the extra installation work that will be needed if you’re moving a basin, the soil pipe, and re-positioning shower panels or controls. That’s not to say that some re-positioning of fittings will be involved, but moving a tap a couple of inches is somewhat easier than moving it from one side of the room to the other. If you’ve got a plumber/general builder ‘on board’ they will be able to advise.

Include curves and unusual shapes within a new layout – expert advice will help make the most of awkward areas

If you are purchasing new bathroom fittings from an independent bathroom specialist (such as those who supply Utopia fixtures and fittings) they will have an in-house design team who can plan the layout of the new bathroom, as well as arranging delivery and installation. Order a brochure ahead of your visit to the showroom (visit our brochure request page here ) and spend a couple of evenings soaking up our inspirational photographs of beautiful bathrooms, shower rooms and cloakrooms. Keep a tape-measure handy, so you work out how many cabinets will fit along each wall. Don’t worry- within a short time of browsing you will get used to instantly calculating how many 40cm/50cm/60cm cabinets will sit neatly along that particular wall! On the other hand, if you’re unsure about making a start, our design teams can guide you through the whole sequence from start to finish. Sometimes it’s easy to start with a fixed idea – perhaps a centrally-positioned, focal-point  bath is an absolute must-have, but one of our designers may be able to make an even more exciting suggestion; our teams know that looking at a plan with ‘fresh eyes’ can open up surprising and exciting schemes. The same applies to colour schemes. Perhaps you’ve seen a stunning jungle-print wallcovering, but are unsure whether it’s suitable for bathroom use. Getting expert advice from one of our bathroom specialists will help find a space for that wallcovering – keeping it away from potential water splashes, but making it a key part of the room design.

A freestanding tub and walk-in shower or wet room area adds a touch of glamour

Do you fancy incorporating a wet-room space into the new bathroom? In that case, expert advice is a must, whether it’s from your builder or plumber who have experience in those types of installations or whether it’s from the designer. A wet-room (where the entire room is waterproof and the floor slopes gently towards the drain area) must be precisely and carefully planned, to ensure water drains away perfectly and evenly. Even if you’re not going for the full wet-room look, perhaps including a shower screen and flush-fitting shower tray instead, the floor and screen areas must be millimetre-perfect to ensure proper drainage and splash prevention.

Sensible showering  is another area where expert input is required concerns the shower position and specification. It’s not just where the shower will go (you may need advice regarding the type of cubicle and the logistics of the doors which are best suited) it’s whether it will work well with your hot water supply system. Again, take advice initially from the builder and/or plumber, especially if the bathroom update is part of a whole-house upgrade.

DECORATIVE DETAILS

A decorative floor can add instant ‘wow’ whilst setting the scene for contrasting plain-coloured cabinets and simple plain painted walls. Look at Utopia’s range of porcelain and ceramic floor tiles here. However, if you’d rather have luxury vinyl tiles, the new Amtico Décor range rather appealing, see above and below, and view the new range here.

And Finally … a new bathmat is an instant splash of colour for the bathroom, we’ve got our eyes on some of the latest designs from Amara, which happily come in a variety of colours, including our favourite shades of aqua. See the rest of the collections, and alternative colourways, here.