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.
With the popularity of kitchen islands, it's logical that the concept is moving to the bathroom. If the square footage of your bathroom is big enough, this is an elegant and very functional option. Not only is the style of this island very chic, it provides a vanity space for applying makeup, donning jewelry or styling your hair. On the other side is the basin. No more leaning over the sink to get close to the mirror! This wonderful design also includes a free-standing tub and a fireplace — the ultimate bathroom luxury. Fans of more traditional bathroom arrangements will like this one, also from American Standard. A corner shower with a partial glass wall, toilet with a tank, and single basin vanity comprise this tiled bathroom. Any of these elements would be easy to incorporate into an existing bathroom for an instant design refresh.
If you're not sure you can afford an entirely new bathroom, there are ways to give your existing one a fresh new look on a budget and without replacing the sanitary ware (the toilet, bath, sink and shower). First, you'll need to do a thorough clean. If the grouting is mouldy, try using a specialist cleaning product, available from supermarkets and DIY stores. If that doesn't work, buy an anti-mould grout-reviving pen, which you can get in black or white depending on the colour of your grouting. If you choose to redo the grouting altogether, use a sealer that will help prevent staining and mould growth in the future. To help prevent the mould coming back, try to leave the bathroom window open after showering or, if there isn't a window, install an extractor fan and leave the door open when you leave the room. If you are lucky enough to have a cast-iron bath but the ceramic covering has started to crack, consider buying a resurfacing kit or hiring someone to do a professional job for you, rather than replacing it. When you come to sell your home, buyers tend to rate period features.
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