Advice

Where to start

Are you replacing an existing bathroom, converting a bedroom into a bathroom or shower room, possibly adding an en-suite, or a new cloakroom? Start by measuring the space available and draw a plan showing the position of walls, doors and windows. Consider how space can be maximised, possibly by relocating the hot water tank (if you have a conventional cylinder) into the loft space. If you have a combination boiler you will not have a hot water tank or cold water storage tank.

Then ask yourself a series of questions:  

• Do you need a shower or bath, or both?

• Have you considered a wall mounted toilet, or a wall mounted basin?

• Have you considered mounting your taps on the wall?

• How will the room be heated?

• Can you include storage units?

It is also important to consider who is going to be using the bathroom - the mix of products chosen and the design of the loo, basin, shower, bath, and choice of taps may depend on who will be using them. Is it a family bathroom? Will it be used by persons with special needs, the elderly, or disabled?

Measure twice, buy once!

Inaccurate measurements can result in costly mistakes. Take time to measure the room correctly to ensure the fittings you choose will fit in the space. You may even find there is more space available than you originally thought, allowing you to install a larger bath, bigger shower cubicle, or twin basins.

Water Supply

Combination boilers, unvented cylinders or pumped water supply are called high pressure systems. Many taps and showers imported from the continent are only suitable for use with a high pressure system. If you have a standard gravity system (with a water tank in the loft and the cylinder in the airing cupboard), this is a low pressure system. Fittings designed for use with a high pressure system can work with a low pressure system if a booster pump is fitted. A pump will also be necessary if your shower head is at the same level or higher than the base of the cold water tank. This is called negative head and means there is insufficient water pressure to create a flow of water.If you are unsure about the type of water system you have, consult your installer. He or she will be able to offer advice as to whether you will need to install a pump.

Consult your installer

Choose an installer that has been recommended or whose work you have seen and been impressed with. Get more than one quote for the work, but remember the cheapest option is not always the best. Make sure the installer you choose is familiar with the types of products you wish to install, for example has he or she fitted a wall hung WC before? And ask for confirmation that the products you are buying are compatible with your current water supply.

Painting a cast iron bath

Cast iron baths sold in the UK usually have a rough, unfinished exterior allowing you to paint the bath to match your décor. Aston Matthews has made it easy for you to customise your bath, as the majority of its cast iron baths are now available with a superior smoothed and primed exterior ready for you to just add that final coat of colourful paint at home, without all the time consuming preparation. Choose an oil based gloss or eggshell paint and a colour that co-ordinates with your bathroom scheme so that the bath blends in, or a colour that contrasts with the rest of the room to turn your bath into the focal point

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