Want a fresh-feeling bathroom but don’t know where to start? At Chaplin Crooks Architects we can guide you through the process of designing and undertaking bathroom renovations in Christchurch.
A bathroom renovation is one of the best ways to upgrade your home and add a bit of luxury to your daily routine. With a well-designed bathroom or ensuite you could feel like you’re waking up in a 5-star hotel every morning. To get it just right requires not just an eye for aesthetics, but also careful planning and specialised knowledge of the technical requirements in what is probably the most demanding environment inside your home.
Chaplin Crooks Architects: Planning Your Bathroom Renovation
From considering space limitations to selecting fixtures, at Chaplin Crooks Architects, we cover all the key architectural design aspects that will help transform your bathroom into a functional and luxurious space.
Begin by looking at the available space, and planning what features you want to include in your bathroom. If you’re adding a bath or separate shower where there wasn’t one previously then you may find that space is a bit tight unless there is a way to obtain some space from an adjacent room or cupboard. One sure way to spoil a bathroom is by not allowing enough room for circulation and drying off, so make sure you allow an appropriate amount of space from the outset and be aware of this when selecting vanity and shower sizes.
The Importance of Layout
The basic elements – a toilet, vanity with sink, shower and/or bath – must be accommodated first. With each of these, think carefully about the best location – perhaps you’d like to have morning sun through a window in the shower, or a bath in front of a window where you can watch the sunset. In collaboration with renovations experts like Chaplin Crooks Architects, you can benefit from professional guidance on layouts, ensuring your bathroom is both functional and luxurious.
Fixtures and Fittings: Style Meets Function
Whatever your budget, you should ensure that you are selecting quality fittings that will last for a long time. It is also important to balance the style you are after with functional requirements.
There are many well-made fittings at lower price levels that are very good value for money, though it’s usually best to stick with simple styles and standard finishes rather than special colours that may wear and start looking tired after a few years.
At higher price levels you’ll generally find that there are more options for different styles and finishes, though it is still best to pick something that won’t go out of style in a few years. Prioritising durability and efficiency in our fixture selections helps extend their lifespan and contributes to long-term cost savings.
The type of toilet you select, wall-mounted or floor-mounted, with a built-in or concealed cistern, is not just an aesthetic decision, it can also influence the cost of the renovations.
Wall-hung concealed cistern toilets look great, but often require modification to framing to fit in the cistern and connection brackets. If you’re on a tight budget then standard back-to-wall toilets can be a cheaper option.
Shower and Bath: Luxurious Choices
The number one priority for most clients in a bathroom alteration is to get a bigger shower. If you’re upgrading from a 900mm cabinet shower then you’ll be looking forward to a luxurious shower each morning.
The premium option is a tiled shower – these can be customised to exactly the size you are after, and can make good use of an awkward corner that doesn’t fit an off-the-shelf model. Where possible you’ll be looking for level-entry access, frameless glass screens and door, recessed shelving and a nice-looking channel drain. Epoxy grout is a must – being resistant to water absorption it it much easier to keep looking clean and fresh.
If your budget doesn’t stretch to a fully-tiled shower, the good news is that there are some great new off-the-shelf shower options now available. With acrylic trays available in a wide range of sizes it is becoming much easier to find a lower-cost option that fits your space almost as well as a tiled shower can. Many of them also come with the option of installing tiles over the base or instead of the acrylic wall liner so you can further customise the style of your bathroom or ensuite.
The inclusion of a bathtub can significantly impact the renovation’s scope as it takes up a substantial amount of floor area, particularly if you are after the look of a freestanding bath. If space is at a premium for your new home, existing bathroom, or bathrooms for heritage homes in Christchurch, then a popular new style of bath is a back-to-wall model, which combines the appearance of a freestanding bath with the practicality of a drop-in model. They’re a good space-saving option when trying to include a bathtub in your renovation, and being built against the wall or into a corner they are much easier to clean around than a freestanding bath. Conversely, if a bathtub isn’t a priority, a shower-only design may be more practical.
Flooring: Between Durability and Budget
Flooring needs to be both attractive and capable of withstanding moisture. Porcelain or ceramic tiles are a good option for durability, and would be the flooring of choice for the vast majority of our bathroom projects.
Tiles offer unlimited design possibilities, but here are some tips:
- Keep the colour scheme and style consistent, and make sure that the module of wall tiles works in with those on the floor so that joints line up.
- Ideally opt for tiles that have some non-slip quality if used in shower floors
- Tiles require a flat and stable substrate to lay over, and timber floors often require an overlay or additional flooring preparation to reduce movement in the floor that can cause cracking of tiles or grout lines.
If you’re after something different to tiles then it’s crucial to think about how well-suited it is to use in a wet area. TImber flooring, whether real timber or vinyl planks, is increasingly popular as a flooring option in houses, but the joints can be vulnerable to water entry and in most cases these products are not best suited to bathrooms.
One area where vinyl is ideal is in a wet-room bathroom designed for accessibility, which is a good way of future-proofing your investment if you plan to be in you home during your retirement. Whatever your preference, we can assist you in making an educated decision that aligns with your budget and long-term expectations.
Material Durability in High-Moisture Settings
Bathrooms are unlike any other room due to their constant exposure to moisture. Proper waterproofing is crucial to prevent structural damage and future repair costs.
The most critical area is in the shower and under tiles, where a reliable waterproofing membrane is essential to prevent any moisture ingress through to lining boards and framing where it could cause significant undetected structural damage.
We consider this in our architectural plans, integrating the waterproofing membranes that we have found to be most reliable. These are often sheet-applied membranes with welded joints that guarantee a consistent membrane thickness, or two-part chemical curing membranes that avoid the issues that many water-based membranes have with drying out properly over the colder winter months.
Lighting: From Practical to Mood-Setting
By thinking about how you use the bathroom at different times of the day, it is possible to tailor the lighting to suit your lighting rather than just a single light in the middle of the room.
Here are some suggestions:
- General lighting for the room, and don’t forget the shower
- Mirror lighting for shaving or make-up
- Dimmable lighting for using the bath – it’s hard to relax with a bright downlight shining straight down into your eyes!
- Low level lighting on a sensor to provide just enough light for using the bathroom during the night.
- Smaller downlights to illuminate a wall of feature mosaic tiles in the shower
Ventilation: Critical for Healthy Bathroom Design
Poor ventilation can lead to persistent moisture, contributing to mould and mildew. Our design plans always include robust ventilation solutions to prevent such issues. This could be anything from simple yet efficient extractor fans to heat recovery ventilation systems that minimise heat loss.
For a truly luxurious experience it’s worth thinking about how including some modern features can enhance your experience. Ask us how some of the following items could be included in your renovation
- Digitally controlled shower mixers where you can set your perfect temperature
- Bluetooth speakers in the shower
- Bidet-style toilet seats with all the bells and whistles
- Electronically-controlled privacy glass
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Here are some bathroom renovation pitfalls to steer clear of:
- Choosing fittings that are too big for your room, meaning there’s not enough circulation space.
- Not checking for clashes between different fittings, e.g. doors and drawers that are blocked from opening fully.
- Picking tapware and shower heads that require more water pressure than your hot water cylinder can supply.
- Not thinking about how functional the layout will be for you, e.g. towel rails placed out of reach from the shower.
Project Budgetary Concerns: Optimising Investment
Bathroom renovations can vary in cost depending on the upgrades you desire. For anything that is more than a minor refurbishment it is always wise ot have a cost estimate prepared before you get too far down the track. This will help you decide what fittings you can afford within your budget, and whether there are any areas that you need to pull back on.
Contact Us for an Expert Renovations Consultation
By avoiding these common errors and leveraging expert guidance, your bathroom renovations can exceed your expectations. At Chaplin Crooks Architects, we’re committed to bringing your vision for a Christchurch bathroom renovation to life, offering comprehensive solutions to ensure the bathroom reflects your style, needs, and aspirations.
Given the complexities and investment of renovations, informed choices are essential. We are committed to guiding you through every stage of your bathroom project, offering tailored recommendations to meet your functional, aesthetic, and budgetary goals.
Contact us today to discuss your unique renovations requirements.