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Make the Most of Your Bathroom Budget

Even on a tight budget, it’s possible to create a bathroom that you’ll love for years to come. With a few tips and tricks you can make your bathroom budget stretch as far as possible without compromising on quality. 

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Sometimes it’s better to splash out and choose a high quality product which will help you make savings in the long run. Nonetheless some cheaper options, such as giving your walls a lick of paint, will refresh your bathroom just as much. But where should you splash out, and when should you save?

Here are some buying and saving tips for bathrooms on a budget from Bristan designer Chris Taylor.

What's worth spending on and saving on in a bathroom? 

Taps are always an area worth spending money on. They play an integral part of your bathroom design and are one of the most frequently used fittings. You’ll want to buy a product that will survive years of use, and unfortunately a cheap tap is likely to lead to tricky water problems further down the line. Functionality aside, high-quality taps give a real sense of style, as they’re a feature most people notice right away. Open spout taps are a great choice for those looking to bring an atmosphere of modern chic into the bathroom. Elegant and clean in design, the cascading water provides a real sense of luxury.”

Similarly to taps, cheaper tiles often lack the premium finish of more expensive versions. It’s likely that tiles will take up a good proportion of your wall space, so it’s worth using some of your bathroom budget to invest in a tile that will look the part and stand the test of time. Removing and changing tiles is also a time-consuming job, so the chances are that you aren’t likely to change them on a regular basis, which means it’s best to get it right first time around.

However, there are deals to be had when it comes to buying tiles and it’s possible to pick up a superior product at a discount price. Look out for end-of-line reductions on well-known brands to bag yourself a bargain. 
Baths aren't for everyone but a good quality shower is essential to a modern day bathroom. Spending money on a decent shower can bring a host of benefits to your home, including saving money on energy bills thanks to water flow control options as well as clever design ideas that can save on space. With a well-built shower you will also be less likely to encounter part breakages and leaking, which could cost your bathroom budget more in the long run.

Investing in the right shower may also dramatically improve your overall showering experience, making it more enjoyable for you and your family. Thermostatic showers for example, may cost a little more but you'll be able to maintain a constant temperature throughout your shower rather than suffering from extreme temperature drops or rises if someone else in the house is using a tap or toilet.

Accessories are a great way to get creative and express your own individual style. However, don’t blow your bathroom budget on small pieces that may be easily damaged or replaceable, instead save your pennies for the things that matter. Finishing touches like a soap dish and toothbrush holder are nice to have, but needn’t be expensive. If you’re not a big fan of accessories, you can always simply rely on the design of your bathroom to do the talking.

When choosing a bath, you'll need to decide whether it's a freestanding or fitted bath that you want. This decision is often dependent on how much space you have, and the shape of your bathroom. Freestanding baths have a more luxurious feel, but will take up more space and may be more expensive to fit. 

As for fitted baths, they're often more space-friendly but bear in mind the effect a smaller bathtub will have on your overall bathing experience. Both types have their pros and cons, but no matter what you decide, be wary of buying a product that you haven’t seen in the flesh. Once you see the bath, it may even be worth getting inside and testing it out before you buy. It may sound strange but you don't want to waste time and money fitting a bath that turns out to be uncomfortable.

Do you have any other good money saving ideas for bathrooms?

Nobody wants to live with an outdated bathroom but a complete renovation can be costly. If you’re strapped for cash but looking to breathe life back into your bathroom there are a few quick and easy ways you can make a difference, even with a smaller bathroom budget.

1. Paint - A fresh lick of paint can go a long way and it’s a cost-effective solution for those looking to spruce up their bathroom but save on money. By making your walls pop with colour your bathroom will appear clean and new and it requires little expertise.
2. Updating Taps – Taps are often a focal point in your bathroom and some shiny new chrome taps can give the impression your bathroom suite is brand new. Easy installation taps also help cut costs by saving on labouring charges.
3. Updating Accessories – Tired or damaged looking accessories can drag down your decor making it appear tired and used. A few basic accessory purchases such a new shower curtain, floor mat or decorative vase can help create a feeling of newness.
  1. Can you recommend any new and clever products?

  2. Digital showers are a modern marvel that can greatly improve your showering experience. Not only are they suitable for any type of domestic plumbing system, they’re also easy to fit, allowing a no-hassle installation. Digital showers also offer greater control over temperature so you don’t waste money perfecting the temperature before you step in. 
  4. Certain digital showers come with wireless controls; this gives consumers more flexibility on the location of the shower valve. This is of particular convenience to those looking to create a minimalist style interior or those with small bathrooms who simply don’t have space.

  5. Another added benefit is that building disruption is kept to a minimum as there is no need to damage existing tiling. Easy to replace parts are also handy, we all know how much of an inconvenience it can be waiting weeks for a specific part, especially if you live in a busy household.

How have advantages in manufacturing and technology helped some bathroom elements to be more affordable?

Advances in technology have improved our lives immeasurably over the years and the bathroom is not without exception. 

Bristan’s EasyFit taps for example, contain flexible inlets that allow an easy connection to your bathroom’s existing pipe work. Bristan also have follow-along installation YouTube videos, making it easier than ever to fit your own taps with relatively little DIY know-how and reducing overall installation costs.

Manufacturing methods are also continuing to improving the durability and efficiency of taps, meaning customers will be buying a higher quality product but at no extra cost. 

What should people never skimp on in a bathroom?

If you’re trying to create a decor with a difference or have a specific idea in mind, a bold bathroom statement piece can really pack a punch. However, cheaper look-alikes can make your daring look come up short so push your bathroom budget as far as you can. 

Another area you should never skimp on is hiring the right expertise for the job. Unless you consider yourself an expert in DIY, it’s well worth hiring a tried and tested workman. After all, the fallout from a cowboy builder/plumber/tiler is that it could cost you a lot more time, money and distress further down the line. If you can, speak to people who have had similar work done by the tradesmen or company and check their online reputation for any horror stories. If their services are unusually cheaper than industry standards then alarm bells should be ringing, quite often you get what you pay for.

How can a bathroom designer help stretch your budget?

As the saying goes ‘planning makes perfect’, so hiring a good bathroom designer is a sure-fire way to get the most for your money. Not only will your designer know all the tricks of the trade when it comes to maximising space and creating the best bathroom on a budget, but they will also detect any possible design disasters before you start working. Designers will also have a more thorough knowledge of products on the market, giving you more design options to choose from.

Browse Bristan’s range and discover a selection of bathroom products that will last you for years to come.

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