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The Bathroom Dilemma

Probably the hardest room in the house to design, here we offer some tips and advice.


My own experience of designing bathrooms has always been a process that involves arguments with myself (and the builders) and changing my mind (numerous times)…however the end results have been generally pleasing! The bathroom, along with the kitchen has got to be totally functional, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it gorgeous too, even if you’re restricted by size or budget.

Deciding what you want or more realistically, can fit in your bathroom is a good starting point. Bath, shower or both? I’m much more of a shower girl personally but then if space allows who doesn’t love a soak in a bath and its a good house-selling point too. Shower tray or wet area? Glass screen or curtain? Pedestal or wall hung? Vanity Unit? Storage? Built-in or free-standing bath? Lighting? Seriously it’s endless. Then there’s layout, you’ll always find its dictated by those boring (but very essential) things like plumbing, doors, windows and walls! Whilst challenging, any bathroom can look pretty chic nowadays if planned carefully.

The style and look of a bathroom depends very much on personal taste and the overall design of your property will also dictate a little, but again you’ll be faced with seemingly endless choices… Modern, vintage? Dramatic, subtle? Dark, light and so on. There’s definitely no rules, but to simplify I think you can go two ways and I still wonder which way I’d go if I was to design another.

1) Keeping it simple. You can’t really go wrong here. Think medium to large tiles, perhaps light to mid-tone stone tiles or porcelain tiles with minimal variation. Clad floor to ceiling, creating the perfect backdrop, timeless.

2) Mix it up. Now I’m not saying to go mad and create something that’s too over-powering, but I do think there’s room for a little creativity. By this I mean adding some character, through shade, texture, pattern or format. Perhaps don’t have everything perfectly matching, add a piece of free-standing furniture or a vintage cabinet. This way your bathroom can feel a little more personal and an extension of the rest of your home.

So if you’re about to embark on a new bathroom, the ever-faithful Pinterest should be your first port of call. Finding a builder/plumber/tiler that can achieve what you want you want but also knows their stuff so you don’t end up with problems or leaks down the line is also essential! Not forgetting the endless selection of natural stone and porcelain tile choices at Mandarin Stone and our experienced Mandarinos can offer design advice as well as discussing all those daunting technical queries such as underfloor heating, water-proofing, sealing, substrates. These dark Winter evenings are the perfect time to cosy-up and get pinning those bathroom ideas, check out our bathroom board HERE.

For guidelines on preparation, installation and sealing of bathrooms and wetrooms, visit our advice & support section. We stock a large variety of stone bathroom tiles which you can order online, request a brochure, or see for yourself at our tile showrooms. Call +44 (0)1600 715444 to learn more.