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Tips on how to plan a new bathroom

© Rupinski (Fotolia) faucet
© Rupinski (Fotolia)

Budget
Whether you have a tiny amount or thousands to spend on a new bathroom, it is important to set yourself a realistic budget. Price up the major items such as the bath, shower, toilet and sink. However, remember to take into account the less obvious costs of plumbing materials, plastering, paint and accessories.

Layout
How do you want the space to work for you? It will of course depend on the size of the room. Small rooms will require creativity to get the most from the space. Larger rooms may be problematic because there is so much you can do with them. Think about getting a design specialist to help. High street stores such as Bathstore offer a design service. Alternatively, B&Q have an online interactive planner to enable you to easily design and buy your bathroom.

Lighting
Bathroom lighting needs to be bright, enabling you to see clearly. Illuminated mirrors are great for applying make-up and often have a shaver socket incorporated. Down-lights give good general light, while wall lights are more specific. You could always consider fitting a dimmer switch for when you want a more subtle light. Whichever lights you choose, there are strict regulations to be adhered to with bathroom lighting, particularly shower lights and lights over baths.

Flooring
A tiled floor is the obvious choice. Natural stone may be expensuve but is hard wearing and lasts. Ceramic tiles can look just as good and come in an array of colours, styles and sizes. Real wood looks beautiful. However, consider the practicality in a humid environment and the likelihood of the wood getting wet. Bamboo flooring is an alternative – environmentally friendly and because of the way it is constructed, suitable for bathrooms.

Theme and colour
This is the fun part, deciding on whether you want a relaxing feel to the room using off whites, pale blues and greens or a more glamorous spa-like bathroom using darker colours such as purple, red, pinks and deep blues, perhaps with a touch of gold. Browse home and interior design magazines and websites for inspiration.

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