4 tips for transforming your bathroom to add value
PUBLISHED: 12:06 01 June 2017 | UPDATED: 13:06 14 June 2017
Bruce Clark from built environment consultancy Nash Partnership speaks to interior designer and fine decoration specialist Lucinda Rowan-Mayberry (Mayberry Fine Interiors) about bathrooms, which are a key area of focus for altering properties. How can you transform these spaces easily to increase value?
A newly fitted bathroom will always help to sell a house and can add value to a property. Even if the room does not boast top-end brands, the fact that it has been updated to meet the latest expectations can help to attract interest from potential buyers.
Bathrooms are usually the most private spaces in a home. The wide choice of decorating materials, fixtures and fittings available shows the difference between ‘utility’ and ‘aspiration’. But the amount of money we invest in our bathrooms can easily outweigh the amount of time we spend in them or the value they add.
Choose materials wisely
People often choose bathroom materials because of the associations in their mind with luxury to achieve a feeling of being a pampered lifestyle. Slate, granite and marble are popular ‘luxurious’ choices. The choice of material alone, however, does not guarantee that the desired feeling will be achieved. Carefully-chosen wall paper, coloured plasters or some specialist paint finishes can achieve the same result if used carefully. Often, the choice of small fixtures and fittings are as important in conveying quality through their feel in use as much as the look. Similar looking but less expensive fittings or those sold purely for their looks fail more quickly. How the materials are used and detailed is at least as important as the choice.
In choosing materials, consider the condition and construction of existing walls and ceilings. Large marble or glass sheets need a flat and stable background, otherwise joints will open up or the sheets crack because of point loading or thermal movement.
Bathrooms go through large changes of temperature within very short periods. Even in a traditional bathroom, the main surfaces must be able to exclude water (or steam) from the structure behind. Otherwise, you will create the ideal conditions for structural decay. The moisture is not just caused by water leaks, but the warm, moisture-laden air onto cold surfaces. Effective ventilation is an important counter to condensation. Also, unsealed openings around the pipework and ceiling-mounted inset downlights can potentially lead to moisture gathering within hidden voids, as well as being the source of air leaks and draughts.
Structural and servicing considerations
When planning the space, structural and servicing considerations are extremely important. We know of instances where installing a free-standing bath needed major works to the floors – in this case, a complete new first floor structure that was not considered or budgeted for when the bath was chosen. Drainage pipework can need lots of space to ensure it is laid to adequate falls to avoid blockages. Is there sufficient space in the floor void and access available to clear blockages? The last needs to be provided to avoid having to rip expensive finishes up for access.