February offers at The Bath Store

At the moment, there are some great offers available at The Bath Store in every area of bathroom design including baths, basins, toilets, furniture, showering, taps, heating and more! Here’s a quick guide to what’s on offer right now.
If you are looking for a freestanding bath, you can now receive up to 50% off the total price at The Bath Store. Some of the most popular freestanding baths in the store are being offered at a generous discount price at the moment, including the pool freestanding bath with surround panel, and it’s vamped up sister, the pool freestanding ThermaFoam bath. ThermaFoam is environmentally friendly insulation, designed to keep your bath warmer for longer.
If you are looking for the slightly more ostentatious and glamorous roll-top bath you could receive up to 40% off the total price at The Bath Store this month. Some of the options available are the wonderful Salisbury slipper bath with cast iron feet at a £200 reduction, and the elegant Norfolk showering bath with cast iron feet, again at a not-insignificant £200 reduction. While these baths are seen in the ultimate in luxury, they are genuinely quite affordable, especially with these offers. If you do have a large bathroom capable of housing a freestanding bath, I’d advise you to have a look at what’s on offer at the moment at The Bath Store.
If you are looking for a combination showering bath, you can receive up to 20% off the total price at the moment. The curving Liberty 1700 bath, which allows for a particularly comfortable bath or standing shower as you require, is currently on offer for the very reasonable price of £189.00. The Liberty bath comes in either left- or right-handed versions, so that you have full control over where the standing area of your shower will be. These are really the ultimate in modern bathroom design; after all, why choose between a shower and a bath when you don’t have to? The old over-bath shower has developed into a stylish new form.
If you do have a smaller bathroom, don’t worry. There are plenty of offers available on shower enclosures too. At the moment, you can receive up to 50% off a slider shower enclosure. A slider shower enclosure is a larger, rectangular enclosure for large, contemporary bathrooms. Just as it sounds, it opens by sliding the door to one side. These are particularly chic, and are very nicely paired with new shower-head designs such as the cloud-burst shower head (providing a wide flow of water over a larger area than a normal shower head). For smaller bathrooms, you can receive up to 25% off the convenient quadrant shaped shower enclosure. Quadrant shower enclosures come with sliding doors at The Bath Store, meaning that they can be placed in quite a tight corner and require no room for the swing of the door.
Whatever your bathroom needs, there is something on offer at the moment at The Bath Store. Have a look at the website today for more discounts on basins, toilets, furniture and towel rails for bathrooms.

Choosing a shower tray

When choosing a new shower, it may not have occurred to you that you actually have to choose from a variety of shower trays too. Sometimes the choices involved in bathroom design can be overwhelming – from close coupled toilets to bi fold shower enclosures – the choice is now endless, so here’s a quick guide to the options of shower tray available.
Firstly, you should decide which material you want to use. Acrylic is the most common material used in shower trays. This is the plastic type of tray you have probably seen. Plastic is cheap to make, and therefore cheap to buy, and very convenient for a shower tray. It is easy to mould, so can be made into various different shapes, relatively hard-wearing (plastic doesn’t tend to degenerate due to water damage), smooth on the feet, can easily be coloured, and is of course very water resistant. However, there are actually many more materials you can have a shower tray constructed from. Stone resin is a good option; it is of course heavier and more expensive than acrylic, but it does create a great solid look and comes in various different colours. You could also choose to have your shower tray constructed from glass, ceramic, stone or even wood!
Bear in mind that because stone is a much heavier material, the drainage system may have to be more complicated underneath your shower (you may have to remove an area of flooring underneath). Also bear in mind that other materials may not be quite as suited to water as acrylic. Glass and ceramic look great as design features, but can become very slippery as you can imagine. These are probably unsuitable for households with either elderly people or young children, as even a sticky shower mat can easily slip on them and their hard surface can be quite dangerous for head injuries. Wood is another very attractive option, often used in Scandinavian design and in old-fashioned bathhouses; but again bear in mind that wood can become very slippery when wet, especially when mixed with soap suds. Wood also tends to degenerate as it is not fully waterproof; however shower trays constructed from wood are usually specially treated to minimise water damage.
Once you have chosen your material, it’s time to choose the shape and style of your tray. You can choose to have a square, rectangle, pentangle, quadrant or walk-in tray. The square is, of course, the most common shape, but tends to suit slightly larger bathrooms as does the rectangular shape. A quadrant shape is quite effective for a small bathroom, as it allows the overall floor space of the shower to be smaller. The walk-in tray requires even more room than the square or rectangular shapes, as it gives a small ‘tunnel’ going into the main shower space. It can be a very attractive design feature in a larger bathroom, however.
After the shape, you must choose the depth of your shower tray. You can choose to have it slightly raised, so that you step up into the shower, level with the floor so that you step over a small barrier and into your shower tray, or lowered into the floor so that the edges of the tray are level with your floor. Generally, the options that are available to you here depend on the type of flooring and plumbing you have. Ask your plumber or pay a visit to your local bathroom specialist for details of the options available to you.

Why are close coupled toilets so popular?

close coupled toilet

To explain why close coupled toilet designs are popular, I’ll first explain what a close coupled toilet is. The close coupled toilet is most likely the type of toilet that you have in your own home; it’s the most common type of toilet these days, the type that has the cistern attached to the actual toilet bowl at the back. Close coupled toilets are so popular these days that you may never have considered an alternative design, but actually there are quite a few nice alternative toilets being used in bathroom design these days.
The reason the close coupled toilet is so popular, however, is that it is the easiest and cheapest to make, and provides great functionality. Before the close coupled toilet was invented, most people had what is known as ‘high level’ toilets. These were the toilets that had the cistern high up above them on the wall to increase flushing power in the days when this was needed. You may remember seeing them in some period properties or hotels you have visited. The high level toilet was quite an attractive design, but it had an unfortunate tendency to drip on the heads of sitters (the dripping was clean water from the cistern, but it was still an unpleasant situation).
This is why as soon as flushes were invented with the power to flush without gravity the close coupled toilet was invented. This kept the cistern nicely hidden, which people liked as the toilet cistern had come to be seen as an eyesore and waste of space (nowadays people enjoy high level toilets as a design feature, but when they were more common this was not a consideration). With the cistern hidden, there was no danger of dripping, and the toilet bowl and cistern came together to be seen as one item in time. Nowadays, when most people think of a toilet, they think of close coupled toilets.
However, many modern bathrooms are now utilising such features as the wall hung toilet, or the hidden cistern design. The wall hung toilet can look quite attractive; it involves the cistern being embedded into the actual wall so that only the toilet bowl shows, and it is fixed onto the wall itself so that it appears to be ‘hanging.’ It is a nice design feature, but it does involve quite substantial renovation and advice from professional plumbers such as dsi-drainage.co.uk in order to have it fitted as the wall itself needs to be reinforced in order to hold the weight of a person.  The Bathroom Store have some great examples.
The hidden cistern design is quite similar to the close coupled toilet, except that the cistern itself is embedded in a piece of fitted bathroom furniture such as a vanity closet. The toilet bowl then appears to hang from this piece of furniture, which is in turn attached to the wall. Again, this can be a nice design feature and a nice alternative to the close coupled toilet. However, both these designs tend to suit only very contemporary bathrooms. For a traditional bathroom design, it’s more appropriate to use either the close coupled or the high level toilet.

Choosing shower trays

shower traysIf you have already chosen your new shower enclosure and shower system, it is now time for you to choose the last piece of the puzzle – the shower tray. This may seem like a very simple item, but actually there is a wide range of choice available and your choice can very much influence the look and feel of your new shower.

Among the various options available, one popular choice can be recessed shower trays. This does not mean that your actual shower will be set in to your floor, but rather that the shower tray will be set up from the floor, and will dip downwards inside. The advantage of this is that if your drain begins to clog, there will be a large tray to hold water before it begins to spill over. Some of the shallower trays will leak immediately out onto your flooring if the drain clogs even a small amount. A recessed shower tray also tends to give the enclosed feeling of being ‘in’ a shower that many people enjoy.

Of the recessed trays, a great many have an adjustable height, so you can decide after purchasing just how high you would like your shower to sit above the floor.

A shallower shower trays do have their advantages, however. Because it is shallower, it has a sleeker, more minimal appearance that tends to blend into the floor rather than sit above it.  Because you don’t have to step over the side of the tray to get into the shower, they are also more convenient for the older generation. In fact, they are more convenient for anyone who is prone to tripping! A specially designed low-profile tray, meanwhile, stays even further at floor level. In fact, they tend not to seem like ‘trays’ at all, but merely flooring for your shower. Again, these are a very popular choice and very contemporary.

After you have chosen the depth of your shower tray, you must then choose the shape. The shape is, of course, already defined by the type of shower enclosure you have chosen. If you are in the position of choosing the tray first, then you can make your choice of enclosure based on this. There are some great trays available in all shapes, from square to pentagonal and quadrant. The pentagonal is designed specifically to fit strange spaces in a small bathroom. Generally, both the pentagonal and quadrant shapes tend to take up less space than a square or rectangular shower tray shape, although large sized options of both are available.

The final choice to make is the colour of your shower tray. They are now available in a few different shades including white, beige, grey and black. While white is the usual choice, black would work well with dark tiles or flooring. The idea is for the tray to blend as much as possible with the rest of your bathroom. If you have grey or beige fittings, therefore, a grey or beige shower tray would be the best choice.

How to choose a shower enclosure

Shower enclosuresIf you are looking to remove a bath to replace it with a shower enclosure for the first time, or perhaps are simply looking to update your bathroom, you may be looking for some pointers on how to choose the right shower enclosures.

Well, the first thing you need to consider is of course the size of your bathroom. If space is an issue, you may like to consider perhaps a curving shower enclosure. These can be fitted neatly into the corner of your bathroom, maximising space. They also open inwards, or have sliding doors, so opening the door wouldn’t be a problem. However, you do also need to consider the style of your bathroom. A curving enclosure would work best if you have other curved fittings – a large ceramic sink bowl, for example. If you have a square basin, square fittings and a square toilet, a curving enclosure would probably not fit the look of the rest of your bathroom.

However, there are plenty of square shower enclosures that are also designed to maximise space, with sliding doors, inward opening doors, pivot doors and bi-fold doors with a wide variety of shower trays. It may seem contrary to common sense, but actually a walk in shower or wet room can be a very good choice for a smaller room. You will have to tile the whole floor (or lay some other sort of waterproof flooring), but generally this means that the floor space of your shower can be much smaller (a shower tray will take up a certain amount of room), although you will need enough room so that one side alone will stop the water from covering your entire bathroom.

If you do find that you have enough room for this, a walk in shower gives the illusion of space, as it is almost totally transparent. A fully tiled floor can also look very chic, and saves the danger of water logging other floor coverings such as wood and carpet which constantly need replacing. Tiles are also easier to keep clean.

If you have a larger room, you have the option of choosing pretty much any type of shower enclosure you desire. Bear in mind, however, that a larger shower enclosures suit a larger room. A small enclosure stuck in the corner can look out of place. A spacious curved enclosure is a good option for a large room, as it can give a particularly luxurious feel. Again, however, make sure that it matches the rest of your bathroom fittings. As a general rule, curved goes with curved, and square goes with square. A walk-in enclosure can go with either.

Whatever your needs, there is a shower enclosure to suit you. Remember to shop around and have a look at different styles before you decide. It’s always a good idea to visit a show room to get a good idea of the actual feel of a shower first before purchasing it. It should also give you a good sense of what shower enclosures go with what bathroom furniture, and give you some good ideas.

Free standing baths for ultimate bathroom luxury

Some time ago freestanding baths went out of fashion. Possibly because housing began to reduce in size, and possibly because a free standing bath that was shoved up next to a wall created all sorts of hygiene problems. Nowadays, however, modern houses are beginning to be built with slightly more spacious bathrooms – family bathrooms, they are called – as people are beginning to prioritise their bathrooms a little more. A bathroom is no longer simply a place to have a quick wash and brush your teeth, but a communal space where parents bathe their children and couples go through their nightly routine together.

Perhaps because of this, freestanding baths are again the height of fashion in a bathroom accessory, for both contemporary and old fashioned styles of bathroom. Larger houses these days most often have en-suites attached to the master bedroom with a small shower, so the family bathroom is just that. A freestanding bath provides ease of access to bathe the little ones, and even gives them plenty of room to share a bath.

For the absolute height of luxury, however, you need a traditional roll-top bath. Perfectly designed to cradle your body, there is something incredibly self-indulgent but wonderful about a slipper roll-top bath. There truly is no better way to unwind after work. New traditionally designed baths have special thermal properties, too, which mean they retain heat better than the old cast iron baths ever did, and are warm to the touch (anyone who have ever bathed in a cast iron bath will tell you how cold the metal is when you first get in). This means you can have the best of both worlds – old fashioned glamour, and contemporary function.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the resurgence of freestanding baths at the moment, however, is their liberation from the bathroom. New trends in interior design are placing the freestanding bath in the bedroom instead, or, indeed, anywhere you want in the house!

Gone is that old Victorian idea that the bath is an intensely private thing. Instead, couples are installing baths purely for the purpose of bathing together. Parents are installing miniature baths in their young children’s bedrooms, just to make bath time that little bit more enjoyable. Baths are being installed in front of plate glass windows for a wonderful view while bathing. You may want to put the close coupled toilet in an area that’s a little more private, however.

Of course, this isn’t practical for everyone. If your window looks onto the back of a row of houses, probably best not to place your bath right in front of it. If you have teenage children, don’t place your bath on the landing. I imagine they wouldn’t appreciate your nakedness. It is nice, however, to see the experience of the bath considered above the privacy of the experience. If you do have the option, looking at a beautiful view while bathing is truly relaxing. If you don’t, however, perhaps you could consider installing a Velux window or sky light? This would allow you to bask in the sunshine during the day and watch the stars from your bath at night, without being exposed to the neighbours.

What is a close coupled toilet?

close coupled toiletIf you’ve been going through some bathroom design magazines and have noticed the term ‘close coupled toilet,’ you may be wondering exactly what it is, if you’ve got one, and what other types of toilet are available. Well, the close coupled toilet is more than likely what you do have – it’s simply the modern type of toilet where the cistern is attached to the toilet bowl at the back.

There are many attractive close coupled toilet designs these days, including some that maintain a traditional appearance, while hiding a very modern flushing system. You can choose your close coupled toilet in almost any shape, from hexagonal to circular to square, to fit with any bathroom. Nowadays, they often come as standard with soft close seats (the type of seat that doesn’t slam down after you let it go, but floats down gradually).

This type of toilet replaced the traditional high level toilet which you will perhaps have seen in some old fashioned public conveniences. This is the type of toilet where the cistern sits high above the actual toilet seat, with the flush hanging down on a chain. Like free standing roll top baths, the high level toilet does have a very appealing vintage cool to it, but practically it is perhaps not the best design. The high level cistern had a habit of dripping onto the head of the person sitting on the toilet, which was why they began to be replaced in the first place. If you don’t mind this, they are still available today from many suppliers (but there aren’t as many available as there are the close coupled toilet).

Nowadays, there are a few contemporary alternatives to the close coupled toilet. One is the wall hung toilet – where, as you can imagine, the cistern is embedded into the actual wall, and the seat then appears to ‘hover’ attached to the wall. In fact, it is attached to the inner cistern with metal fixtures. While it does have a very chic finished appearance, the wall hung toilet is quite difficult to achieve (you must have a strengthened wall to hold the weight of people sitting on it) and involves major redesign.

The other alternative is to have a back to wall toilet, which is similar to a wall hung toilet, except that the cistern is not actually fitted inside the wall. Instead, it is placed within a specially designed vanity unit or set of shelves, onto which the toilet seat is then fitted. This is a far easier effect to achieve than the wall hung toilet, and means that a cheaper cistern than be used on the inside.

However, the close coupled toilet is still the standard choice for most new bathrooms these days and because of this, there are a wide variety of colours and styles available. For those who embrace all things traditional – there are brand new close coupled toilets that are designed to look Edwardian or Victorian. For lovers of contemporary form and function, there are some wonderfully sleek, modernist close coupled toilets. Whatever your taste, there is sure to be a close coupled toilet to suit you.

How to choose stylish Bathroom Suites

bathroom suitesIf your bathroom suite has seen better days and the time has come to consign it to the rubbish heap, you may be wondering exactly which new bathroom is for you. Well, there are loads of new bathroom trends (and new bathroom suites) out there for you to choose from.

Firstly, you need to think about the style of the rest of your house. Generally, what every good interior designer will tell you is that you need to be consistent throughout your whole house. This doesn’t mean that you need to have old fashioned furniture if you have an old fashioned house, however. Equally, it doesn’t mean you have to stick to contemporary furniture if you live in a new-built house or modernist apartment block. Sometimes a mixture of the two can be very appealing.

However, you do need to know what the style of your house is. If you have a slick white kitchen with plastic coated cupboards, a Smeg fridge and granite countertops, the chances are you should be looking at choosing very contemporary bathroom suites. If your house contains a lot of vintage or antique furniture, it’s best to choose a heritage style. Luckily for you, they are both very much in fashion at the moment. If you’re in the process of creating a style, however, then a bathroom is a good place to start.

The next thing you need to think about, of course, is the size of your bathroom. If you have a very large area to work with, then you can think about the very fashionable trend of having his-and-hers sinks and mirrors, for example. This works for both the contemporary and the heritage style bathroom. If you’ll be looking at contemporary style for a large bathroom, then a spacious walk-in shower would be a great option. For a heritage bathroom, a cast iron Edwardian or Victorian bath would look amazing standing away from the wall. You could also think about having both a toilet and a bidet, a trend that has come over from Europe and become very popular here.

If you only have a very small space to work with, don’t fear; there are loads of space-saving solutions nowadays. Generally, this is easier to achieve with a contemporary bathroom as you have the option of a shower rather than a full sized bath. There are many shower enclosures these days that have either inwards opening doors or sliding doors that don’t require any space in front of them. You can also choose to have a very small sink that is attached to the wall and require no floor space.

Finally, you need to choose colours. The best idea here is to decide if you are going to have painted walls, wallpaper or tiles first, as you can then match the colour of your bathroom suite to these. With a contemporary bathroom, you are free to choose quite bright or striking colours, while heritage style best suits more muted colours. Whatever you choose, make sure your bathroom matches the style of your house and that your fittings match each other, and you won’t go wrong!

Contemporary trends in bathroom furniture

Contemporary bathroom design is all about two trends; the ultra-modern and the heritage. Ultra-modern bathroom furntiture is, of course, all about sleek clean lines, minimalism and function. Heritage, meanwhile, is the celebration of the old fashioned standards – free-standing baths, old fashioned bathroom suites, traditional and refurbished fittings.

They both have their appeal, but the major appeal of the contemporary style is in its functionality. Here’s where you can utilise the best of all new inventions in bathroom fittings and furniture. For example, why have those pesky old fashioned hot and cold taps when you can have a swish swivelling mixer tap and never burn your hands again? Why have a clunky sink when you could have a free-standing vanity unit with drawers that slide out with effortless ease, and sink back in without a sound. There is no struggling with your furniture when you choose contemporary style.

Not to mention, you can choose to have the best in powerful, modern electric showers installed, perhaps in a particularly chic walk-in shower enclosure. For the ultimate in luxury, you can even choose to have a heated toilet seat installed.

However, heritage bathroom furniture also has its appeal. Vintage is very fashionable at the moment in all areas of fashion and interior design, and the bathroom is not excluded. In fact, some reconditioned bathroom fittings are so coveted that you will pay a pretty penny for them. While a contemporary shower in a walk-in shower enclosure, with multiple shower heads and all the trapping, is a luxurious experience, a traditional bath can be just as luxurious

It may not be practical for a small bathroom, but if you have the room, a cast iron free-standing Victorian bath can look incredibly stylish, especially if combined with the right fittings. Although it may seem contrary to common sense, in fact, a refurbished bath shower mixer is actually now the height of heritage fashion. Yes, it may well be too hot when you first get in and then too cold later, but for many people the vintage cool of the item makes it worth it.

The most important thing to remember when choosing bathroom fittings is that only the very able interior designer can combine these two styles effectively. Generally, it’s a good idea to stay well away from the combination of contemporary and heritage styles. Most importantly, you bathroom furniture must match. That means it must be complementary, if not the same colour. Rarely, this can be achieved with a mixture of white and black furniture – but it is a dangerous thing to attempt. Black and red, or red and white can also look good together in a very contemporary bathroom, but generally it is best to stick to just one colour.

For a heritage bathroom, some good colours to use are egg-shell whites, blues and greens. In many cases, however, heritage fittings can be successfully combined with bright, modern wall colourings, to give that contemporary edge. Just enough vintage is very cool, but you don’t want your bathroom to look like a museum.

A fantastic range of bathroom furniture from The Bath Store

The Bath StoreThere really is a bathroom to suit everyone from the Bath Store. From separate pieces, to whole suites, to whole sets of bathroom furniture; they have whatever you’re looking for. From the traditional to the ultra-modern, they’ve got every style covered. Here’s a quick list of my top picks from the Bath Store. I wish I had the space to fit them all in!

I found it very difficult to decide between the whirlpool baths and the old fashioned roll-top freestanding baths, but one I saw this one, I knew it had to be. The Salisbury slipper bath with traditional cast iron feet. This is truly the bath of my dreams. Its slipper shape design makes for ultimate comfort and indulgence, and just screams old fashioned Hollywood glamour. It calls out for bubble bath and champagne (and the Milk Tray man coming in the window). I also love the Landmark bath – it reminds me of the old tin baths of the forties.

  1. Head on over to the Bathroom Store also for the timeless Savoy Edwardian bathroom suite. I do seem to be on a very vintage theme here, but I just absolutely love this Edwardian suite. It really does seem luxurious, like it belongs in an old fashioned country house, and stands out from the crowd of contemporary bathrooms.
  2. Myplan oak furniture. Toilets and sinks which are part of the furniture are very much the fashion these days, and I can see why. They’re highly functional, space-saving and aesthetically beautiful. This particular design offers basin units, wall cabinets, toilet furniture, mirrors, worktops, mirrored cabinets and countertops from which to mix and match. It comes with a lovely wood grain effect finish and seems very Scandinavian.
  3. Virgo LED illuminated mirror. Yes, the Bath Store do mirrors too. This particular mirror has a very cool, modern LED effect, with tiny lights that illuminate a border around its edge. To me, this seems like something you would see in a high class design hotel. I would love to have one in my own home.
  4. Beta ceramic bowl, top and stand. I love this washbowl; it is just so elegant. To me, this seems like something that wouldn’t look out of place in a traditional Japanese home. It would make a great centrepiece for any bathroom, especially teamed with some very simple, modern furniture.
  5. Cloud 3000 square shower head. This is just an absolutely fantastic piece with an extremely wide head that will allow the shower to drench you all over like, as the name suggests, a cloudburst.
  6. Playtime integrated shower head column. This is a shower head that is actually integrated into a walk in shower or wet room, for a completely seamless look. They Playtime shower enclosures are my favourite. They are just so minimal they seem to blend into the bathroom.

If I could choose them all, I would! It just goes to show, there really is a massive amount to choose from at the Bathroom Store. If you’re looking for a bathroom that will really stand out, the Bath Store’s the place to go.