SMART IDEAS FOR A FAMILY BATHROOM
With a little research and careful planning, a new bathroom can cater for every member of the family, no matter how large (or small).
In an ideal world, we’d all have an en suite exclusive to parents, a children’s bathroom and a guest bathroom. Life, sadly is not that perfect and for most of us reality is the family bathroom where everyone has to make the best of the same space. The ideal solution is to find space for a small ensuite or even a walk in wet room with a basin, either off the master bedroom or elsewhere in the house. Companies such as Crosswater, Bauhaus and Simpsons make this idea surprisingly possible with a good selection of smaller fittings that mean a useable bathroom can be created in a space as little as 1.5m square.
If the costs of plumbing work mean the budget won’t stretch, a rethink of the family bathroom can make life much easier. Start by replacing a space eating conventional close coupled toilet with a sleek, wall hung model that will take up much less wall area and make the room easier to clean because it hangs clear of the floor. The Celeste wall hung range from Bauhaus has a lovely curved shape and includes both wall hung and back to wall pans with water saving flush. There’s also a bidet – a European must have we tend to scorn here – but it is a useful thing if you have small children. Forget the basin and pedestal – opt instead for a basin built into a furniture base – Solo and the single Celeste unit from Bauhaus both come in a range of attractive colours. Position two side by side if possible for an instant doubling of facilities and some very handy extra storage space. Matching illuminated mirrors are available for both ranges.
If you have small children, a spacious walk in shower is a real time saver as two or more can wash at the same time – and it is fairly safe to leave them unsupervised for a short time (unlike a bath). A walk in is also a safe and sensible choice for older or less able family members, providing safe and accessible bathing. A shower seat can be added for extra comfort – Simpsons has a choice of two that can be folded back against the wall when not in use. The level access Elite walk in shower enclosure from Simpsons, which comes in sizes from 1050 to 1450mm, is accessible for all the family. Combine it with an ultra-safe thermostatic shower valve for an invigorating shower that won’t become dangerously hot or chillingly cold if other taps in the house are turned on. Crosswater offers one of the UK’s largest ranges of thermostatic shower valves all featuring required built in safety features and ARE TMV approved. Multifunction shower kits, that combine a valve, fixed riser rail, large overhead drencher and a hand spray are fast to fit and easy to use. The Elite Cool Touch from Crosswater is perfect for families as the body of the shower never becomes too hot to touch and there is a safety stop at 38oC that can be over-ridden if necessary.
Adding a heated towel rail will provide warmth and comfort and put an end to wet towels on the floor. Bauhaus energy efficient ladder rails come in a choice of sizes and styles and have a smart chrome finish.