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Cost guide: bathroom fitters

We asked an expert bathroom fitter for tips on creating a beautiful bathroom without going over-budget.

Complete bathroom refurbishment

What adds expense?

“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?”

How can I make it cheaper?

“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.

Tiling the bathroom walls and floor

What adds expense?

“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.”

How can I make it cheaper?

“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.

Wet room installation

What adds expense?

Terry says: “Waterproofing the whole room costs a lot. Save money on a wet room installation by only waterproofing the shower area.”

How can I make it cheaper?

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.

Bidet and basin installation

What adds expense?

“Wall-mounting taps for the basin and bath adds cost,” says Terry.

How can I make it cheaper?

“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.

Shower fitting

What adds expense?

“Beware choosing a water-hungry shower head before consulting your plumber or bathroom fitter,” warns Terry. “These can sometimes require pump or system upgrades which add unforeseen expense.”

How can I make it cheaper?

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."

Find a Which? Trusted Trader Bathroom fitter and designer in your local area.

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