26 Jun 2014

Bathroom love...

I can't tell you how many hours I have put into these bathroom choices.  I don't know why bathrooms are so important to me. I have visited countless show rooms, and browsed untold numbers of catalogues.  With my now extensive knowledge, I even helped a friend realise she had a quick release toilet seat which she didn't even know existed!

So, drumroll...the final selections-

I initially specified Grohe taps and shower valves- I like reliability and that is worth spending on (you will pay the extra cost many times over just to get the plumber out!).  But I was advised by my design team and plumber to take a look at Crosswater as an alternative high quality brand with a good record for reliability.  Their prices are extremely competitive, the design is really lovely, and their products come with a 15yr guarantee. The choice was made. 

Bathroom basin taps will be the Crosswater Svelte basin mixer. Lovely simple lines and felt great to touch- nice weight and action.

Svelte basin tap ©Crosswater

The shower valves are from Crosswater Central Collection.  Again really clean and simple lines.  I love the landscape orientated bath/shower valve that we will have in the family bathroom.  In the ensuite we will have the portrait-orientated Central shower valve. All the shower risers, shower heads & wall outlets will also be Crosswater.  As are the basin traps and click-clack wastes (so many decisions I didn't even know I had to make!).

Central concealed shower valve ©Crosswater

As previously discussed I am very opinionated on ALL bathroom things, so this was an extensive and exhaustive search.  The Euro range by Bathstore offered excellent design at affordable prices (especially in the Sale), believe me to get similar you will pay twice as much.

The basins will be from the Euro Duo range.  Simple, clean & straight lines, I think they are very elegant and practical looking classic modern design.  We've got a large 700mm one in the family bathroom, the 500mm in the ensuite, and a great narrow cloakroom version in the upstairs loo.

Euro Duo 500mm Basin ©Bathstore

The toilets will be the Euro Mono Back-to-the-wall.  Again simple lines, and has the all-important quick-release toilet seat. This is also straightforward to replace if necessary (for earlier ranting see here).  

Euro Mono Back to the Wall Pan ©Bathstore 

The only thing that would take the toilet to a heavenly ideal of perfection would be if I could have a chunky wooden toilet seat (I tried so hard to find a modern styled toilet where I could choose a solid wooden seat, they don't exist!).  Maybe a groundswell of consumer demand will mean that the Bathstore design team will consider bringing one to market...wouldn't everyone prefer to sit on a warm chunky piece of wood rather than plastic?!

The shower screens took forever to decide.  I mostly don't want to know they are there at all.  They should be easy to clean. They've also got to be robust enough to stand-up to the ravages of family life. In the family bath we've chosen Simpsons Ten Hinged bath screen.  It's as minimal as you can find and made using 10mm glass, which has a really luxurious feel to it.  We can also fold back the screen during bath time, for easy access to slippery children!

Ten Hinged Bath Screen ©Simpsons

The en-suite screen took a lot of deliberation.  We had originally just wanted a single glass screen and really liked the Simpsons Ten Shower Panel, again minimal, elegant and loved the 10mm glass.  But our shower tray is 1400mm long, so we had to think long and hard about the length of the panel, potential for water to leak out, and width of opening for access.  We drew out the different options on the floor and Dimitri even brushed off his physics to calculate angles and potential for 'splash'.

In the end we went for a practical but elegant solution, the Simpsons Elite Walk-in Easy Access (not the most glamorous name!).  The hinged panel at the end will give generous access, but will stop water leaking out as it can extend much further when flat.  Practicality has to come first!  

Elite Walk-In Easy Access Shower Screen ©Simpsons

Towel rails are not necessary, we have underfloor heating in the bathrooms and the MVHR should mean that towels dry quickly, but who doesn't enjoy a warm towel in the winter?  After an initial dalliance with a custom-made copper pipe towel rail, I did a 180ยบ and found an grey anthracite coated rail, Edge by Bauhaus.  

I finally decided on the bath (see here for earlier frustrations).  Luckily I found a fantastic bathroom showroom really close by in Thornbury, Bathrooms 365, and they had both baths I had shortlisted on display.  I've gone with the Kaldowei Puro, simple and spacious with the side overflow I wanted.  Bathrooms 365 were brilliant, very helpful and with extremely competitive pricing so they will be supplying all the Crosswater/Simpsons/Bauhaus items, the concealed Geberit cisterns, and the Kaldowei bath. 

I'll let you in on a secret.  In the first throws of design I had desperately wanted to avoid chrome fittings.  I wanted brushed stainless steel or copper even, something less shiny.  However in a massive reality check I learned that unless you have buckets of money this is not a realistic option.  Chrome is firmly here to stay. I'm come to a Zen place of acceptance now, after initial rejection and protests.  I'm sure there must be a million reasons why chrome is the finish of choice, but for the record not all of us like shiny, shiny, shiny.

I can sit back and relax now (ha ha!) as a million choices have been made and I can say that I am excited about every single thing that is being put into my small but perfectly formed bathrooms!  Obsessive, me?

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