But price clearly isn't the main driver for everyone – 49% of people who used their own installer did so simply because they prefer to and 21% did so because they always use the same tradesman. It's also worth thinking about whether it would be cheaper for your installer to get your bathroom for you, as some companies, such as Travis Perkins and Plumb Center, sell directly to trade, sometimes at cheaper prices. Electrical works, including the installation of lighting, fans, sockets or electric showers should be carried out by a Part P-registered electrician. To find a reliable local tradesperson, check Which? Trusted Trader for recommendations of tradespeople who have been through our rigorous checks. Once your new bathroom or en suite is complete, make sure you gain the relevant building regulations approval, including drainage, electrics and ventilation, and checking that any glass meets the required safety standards. You might need to prove that you've done this when you sell the house.
Your bathroom or shower room should be functional and practical, but also a place where you can unwind. Read on for tips and advice on how to strike the best balance. Whether you have a small or large bathroom, you'll want to get the best for your money. That's why we surveyed Which? members to find out what they thought of the big bathroom brands they've used, including Bathstore, Victoria Plum, Homebase and B&Q. Visit our guide to the best bathroom brands to find out which came top for quality of products and finish, customer service and value for money. Bathrooms come in all shapes and sizes, as do the budgets to create them. Whether you're putting together an en suite from scratch or revamping a wet room, the most important thing to think about first and foremost is who will use the bathroom and how, as this will affect how you design it.
According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, bathroom fixtures take up 20% of the renovation budget on average so when choosing fixtures and finishes consider who is using the space and how heavily it will be used. Is it a kid's bathroom? Then plastic laminate flooring and countertops are a good option because they're both durable and inexpensive (and high-end material is of less importance to children). You'll thank yourself later for using finishes that are low maintenance and easy to keep clean. In that regard, choose quartz instead of marble and make sure glass shower doors are treated with anti-spotting agents. In terms of fixtures, you'll want high-quality construction like all-brass parts and a PVD finish that will resist scratches. Basic chrome is cheaper than materials like nickel or bronze. Low budget, high impact swaps include replacing specific features; here's our guide on how to pick out the best bathroom vanity. When making any changes consider where you can creatively hide storage in the room and for energy efficiency be sure to look for low-flow toilet models.
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