- Hiring tradespeople
- Central heating
“Tiling the entire bathroom is expensive,” says bathroom designer and fitter Terry Ward from Surrey-based Ward Brothers Bathrooms Ltd. “Perhaps you can get away with only tiling around the bath, shower and sink?”
“Reduce the cost of a bathroom refurbishment by keeping bathroom fittings in the same place,” says Terry. Moving something like a heated towel rail, for example, means calling out specialist traders and adds expense.
Cheap taps and valves are a false economy. Spending a bit more now saves money in the long term because cheap fittings will deteriorate as the installation ages meaning you’re more likely to need to call out a plumber.
“Using large tiles (larger than 70cm x 40cm) and choosing natural stone or mosaics adds expense,” says Terry. “Installation is very labour intensive with these tiles. Also, avoid porcelain tiles as they are time-consuming to drill and require the bathroom fitter to use a diamond-tipped drill bit which has to be regularly replaced.”
“Choose ceramic tiles as these are easy to install,” says Terry.
If you have electric underfloor heating, allow for expansion and contraction of the materials by leaving a 2.5 to 3mm grout joint.
Terry says: “Waterproofing the whole room costs a lot. Save money on a wet room installation by only waterproofing the shower area.”
Ask your bathroom fitter to create a small outline step for the shower area. “This prevents setting the shower element right into the floor,” explains Terry.
Always use a reputable bathroom fitting company to install a wet room. Cheap jobs will inevitably leak after 12 months.
“Wall-mounting taps for the basin and bath adds cost,” says Terry.
“You can reduce the cost of bidet and basin installation by choosing floor standing equipment as its much quicker to install,” says Terry.
Wall-hung toilets and basins look very smart and compliment a shower room perfectly.
Make a shower fitting cheaper by installing the shower against a stud wall,” says Terry. “This saves cutting out solid walls to accommodate pipes, valves and so on, followed by making the decoration good.”
Terry advises "If you have a gravity water system, make sure the valve and shower outlet are low pressure. Many companies sell mid pressure equipment which won’t normally result in a satisfactory shower experience for a home with a gravity water system."