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Bathrooms Information

Bathrooms Overview

This section has an array of companies offering a full range of bathroom products from bathroom suites to bathroom accessories. Showers and shower enclosures are also in this section along with taps and towel rails. In this section you will find many of the leading bathrooms suppliers and manufacturers as well a wide range of companies offering niche products to suit you every requirement....more


Featured Bathrooms Companies (3 of 46)

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Bathrooms Explained

There are many different bathroom styles on the market and they can be fitted out with a wide array of sanitary ware and bathroom accessories. The demand for new bathroom suites and related bathroom fixtures has been on the increase over recent decades following the rise in the popularity of DIY projects. Although DIY bathroom works are popular the majority of home owners will chose an aesthetically pleasing three piece bathroom suite traditionally comprising a toilet, complete with cistern and bowl, a wash basin and a bath. Current trends are to include a bidet within the bathroom suite or a shower to as an alternative to a bath.

Sanitary Ware

Historically most sanitary ware, with the exclusion of baths, was manufactured from porcelain and finished with a protective glaze for durability and hygiene purposes. Today this trend continues for domestic bathroom sanitary ware, although other materials, including fibreglass and acrylic plastics are often used as an alternative. Wash basins or hand basins are largely still produced in porcelain along with toilet bowls and bathroom bidets. Whilst shower trays are now commonly manufactured from acrylic plastics or composite materials for added strength. In recent decades the trend has been for toilet cisterns to be manufactured from plastics to reduce their weight and size and to allow them to be concealed within walls or cabinets. Baths however are much larger items and as a result were originally manufactured from enamelled cast iron. Cast iron baths were, and still are, costly to produce and tin baths, manufactured from sheet steel, were developed as a cheaper alternative. Cast iron baths can still be purchased today, but they are costly and generally manufactured in retro or original Victorian styles, the slipper bath represents one such example. Most modern bath tubs are manufactured from acrylic reinforced with fibreglass and other bracing materials. Acrylic is cost effective and easy to produce in a wide range of colours. Acrylic baths help retain bath water warmth, allowing the user to bath for longer periods.

Commercial sanitary ware or sanitary ware to be used in industrial environments is generally manufactured from more durable materials, such as stainless steel, to ensure it lasts longer and resists damage. Sanitary ware to be installed within public toilets also has to be vandal resistant, with urinals commonly produced in stainless steel or from thick moulded plastics. Traditional bowl and cistern toilets destined for public toilet cubicles should have a concealed cistern, which can be mounted securely the wall, away from vandals.

Water Efficiency

When choosing new sanitary ware it makes good sense to consider water usage, especially where toilet cisterns are concerned, and taking in to account the likelihood at all properties are to be fitted with a water meter in the future. Over the last decade toilet cisterns have been considerably improved to utilise less water. Many low capacity cisterns are available on the market, which generally tend to have a complete flush volume of 6 litres or less, compared to traditional toilet cisterns that have full flush capacities of at least 13 litres. Modern cisterns can also be purchased with a dual flush mechanism, which gives the option of using only 4 litres of water for a small flush or 6 litres for the full flush. These dual flush cisterns are sometimes referred to as low flush cisterns. Another consideration is the total volume of the bath, as some baths are of poor design and hold unnecessarily large amounts of water. Buying a low volume bath, designed with the contours of the human body in mind, will help reduce water consumption considerably. Water consumption can also be reduced by installing flow restrictors within taps and purchasing aerated shower heads.

A number of schemes exist to highlight the water efficiency of sanitary ware products. The Bathroom Manufacturers Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme labels products with water consumption data, such as flush volumes, to enable the user to make an informed choice. Whilst, Waterwise, selects the most water efficient products each year and allows manufacturers to use their Waterwise Mark.

Bathroom Suites

Many bathroom distributors, also referred to as bathroom suppliers, exist within the UK and provide an excellent source from which to purchase bathroom suites. Suppliers will stock a range of bathroom fittings and accompanying fixtures to customise most bathroom suite styles to your taste. Savings can usually be made by buying a complete bathroom suite, instead of buying each item of sanitary ware separately.

Most stockists will offer a range of stylised suites to appeal to the widest possible audience. All suppliers will present a contemporary or modern bathroom suite as part of their core product range. These suites will be styled according to current tastes and are likely to be 'in vogue' styles. If a modern style suite does not fit the bill a retro bathroom suite, containing design elements from past eras, could be considered. Popular retro style options include Victorian bathrooms, which typically incorporate cast iron, and brass fittings and fixtures, as key design features.

However, should a more rustic look be required a traditional bathroom suite, incorporating timber and ceramics in to its design, may prove to be the ideal alternative. A distributor may chose to stock a luxury bathroom suite to complement their range, which usually come complete with highly finished taps and other associated fittings to give that quality feel. Most luxury bathroom suites represent the higher end of the market and are priced accordingly.

For a truly bespoke bathroom experience a number of companies and individuals specialising in bathroom design can be employed to fully design your bathroom. Bathroom designers generally cater for the higher end of the market and will advise on the best lay out of sanitary fittings relative to available floor space. Some companies will be able to undertake complete bathroom projects from start to finish, including bathroom installation and commissioning, this is known as a turn key bathroom.

For commercial environments, such as within hotels, if may be worth considering commissioning and installing a prefabricated bathroom to reduce build costs and speed the construction process up.

Prefabricated Bathrooms

A number of companies specialise in factory built bathroom pods, also known as bathroom pods or modular bathroom units. These prefabricated bathrooms are assembled off site and are delivered to site as a complete fitted out bathroom unit for installation in to the building. Prefabricated bathroom units can be finished in styles, according to the customers individual requirements, to create a luxury or modern bathroom environment. Bathroom pods can be constructed from fibreglass or concrete, with some companies offering composite bathroom pods.

Modular bathroom pods can easily be batch produced and are therefore increasingly being specified for new hotels, hospitals and prisons. Disabled bathroom pods can also be purchased for carehome fit outs, whilst prison bathroom pods can be designed and manufactured to be robust and vandal proof. Bathroom pods, especially hotel bathroom pods, are gaining popularity as bathroom installation time and associated site costs can be reduced. Bathroom shower pods, containing a screened shower and its associated accessories, may be specified if toilet and sink fittings are to be installed separately. Bathroom pods simply have to be secured in place and connected to the building's drainage, water and electricity supplies before use.

Bathroom Accessories

A wide array of bathroom accessories are available on the market to complement and customise virtually all styles of bathroom suite. Basic fitments include IP44 rated light fittings for building regulation compliance, which have to be water tight compared to lights installed elsewhere in the home and are generally ceiling mounted. Light switches must be of the cord pull type to prevent electrocution. Consideration should also be given to fitting a bathroom fan, to extract moisture and prevent mould growth, if bathroom renovation works are being carried out. It is a mandatory requirement of current building regulations to fit a bathroom extractor fan in all new builds.

Other functional bathroom accessories to further enhance the bathroom users experience could be considered, with every day items such as bathroom mirrors and toilet roll holders available in many finishes and forms. Whether a wooden finish or chromed finish is required there is likely to be a product suitable for everyone's needs.

Storage can be an issue in many bathrooms, as most tend to be small to maximise floor space in other areas of the home. Where this is the case a bathroom cabinet, traditionally made from wood, but now generally manufactured from MDF boards with a plastic laminate finish, may provide a solution. Where bathroom space is really at a premium an under sink vanity unit could be considered to house essential bathroom products. For those with a large bathroom some manufactures produce bathroom units, which would create additional storage space. If a more bespoke solution is desired a bathroom furniture specialist could be employed to design and built cupboards or shelves to suit your requirements.

To add to the overall comfort and ensure your towels are always dry a wall mounted heated towel rail could be installed. Towel rails are available in a number of different configurations, from elongate floor to ceiling ones or horizontal standard fixtures. Finishes include chrome and heat resistant paints.

Small scale fixtures, such as bathroom taps, play a surprising important role in the overall end appearance of any bathroom. These can be purchased as mixer taps, stand alone taps or wall mounted taps, to name but a few configurations, and range in style from ultra modern to period fittings. The majority of taps are chrome finished, with brass effect finishes proving popular for installations within traditional period properties. Whilst stainless steel finished taps remain a firm choice for commercial taps. For example small touches, such as the use of traditional bathroom brassware, for traditional door furniture and tap finishes, could be considered to create an overall traditional feel.

To improve the every day functionality of your home bathroom a variety of bath screens can be fixed to the wall at the head of the bath to stop water splashes on the floor, particularly when using a shower mounted at the head of the bath. Screens can be retractable or fixed in position, whilst concertina bath screens can be folded out of the way, when not in use. Screens are either transparent plastic or toughened glass, which should comply with current safety standards, and screen frames are generally aluminium, chrome effect or plastic.

The usage of showers has considerably increased, with some households now having a shower instead of bath. In response to this trend many shower systems have been developed. Most can be purchased as a package, including a shower tray, shower screen and finishing fixtures. Shower screens are manufactured from scratch resistant plastic or toughened glass and can be tinted to produce a darkened effect. They may be of sliding, concertina or hinged attachment. Shower screens are usually marketed as shower enclosures if a door is included within the design. Shower enclosures can be custom made to fit most positions within a bathroom, with corner shower enclosures being a classic application for those with limited space. Shower trays also vary in shape, from semi circular shower trays to rectangular shower trays, to aid a variety of fitment positions. Many different types of shower can be installed within a shower enclosure, the choice is down to user preference, and governed by the hot water system of the home. Electric showers are plumbed into the house cold water supply and heat the water as required, using an internal heating element. For homes with large hot water cylinders or a combi boiler a mixer shower can be utilised to directly mix hot and cold water available in the house. A power shower would be suited to a low pressure water supply, as it houses an electric pump to boost water flow rate. A power shower can be plumbed into both the cold and hot water supply and can also control water temperature.

Modern bathrooms can easily be customised for those with disabilities. Handrails are widely available in finishes to suite most bathroom themes. Other disabled bathroom products are available in the form of shower and bath hoists, most of which are designed to be installed retrospectively. Disabled toilets can be obtained as standalone units for installation into existing bathrooms.

Bathroom Finishes

Bathrooms need to be finished appropriately to ensure their appearance does not deteriorate from the prolonged exposure to moisture. The most traditional method of protecting a bathroom from water contact are bathroom tiles. Bathroom tiles in the traditional sense are either porcelain or ceramic and are protected by a glaze to render them impervious to water. Glazed tiles were traditionally ornate and hand painted tiles were popular in the Victorian era. Nowadays the trend is towards more natural coloured tiles to mimic the colour of stone. Many companies have taken advantage of this trend and provide natural stone tiles. Ever popular stone tile choices include limestone and marble tiles, which tend to be pale and complement most bath room suite colours. Welsh slate, or other slate products, can be used to create darker floor or wall finishes.

Alternative bathroom floor finishes include vinyl flooring, available in a spectrum of colours, patterns and even mock timber finishes, and water proof laminate flooring, which can provide a more traditional feel to a bathroom. Any painting undertaken within a bathroom environment should be done with water resistant paints to prevent the growth of mould and ensure its longevity.

Wet Rooms

Owing to the popularity of the shower in modern day life it has become practical and fashionable to install a wet room within the home. Showers produce excessive condensation and housing a shower within a wet room helps to reduce condensation levels within the rest of the house, by confining it to the wet room. Wet rooms utilise an impermeable plastic liner, sometimes referred to as wet room tanking membranes, which cover the floor area and the lower sections of the room walls. The wet room liner stops ingress of water and damp in to the surrounding structure. The liner is usually tiled over once a drainage system has been installed beneath. Classic wet room design uses a sloping floor to direct water to a central drainage point, from which it drains in to the house foul water system. Drainage systems may be circular or channelised depending on preference and design constraints.