Buy A Bathroom Suite
The "complete suite" option is the most common route people take when they buy a bathroom suite.
A standard bathroom suite usually consists of
- toilet pan
- taps and wastes
- toilet seat
- bath panel
These one-stop-shop package deals usually represent excellent value for money and can work out a lot cheaper than if you buy all of the components that make up a bathroom suite individually.
One of the downsides when you buy a bathroom suite as a package is that you might find your options restricted. The amount of options open to you will vary from retailer to retailer - you might have a choice of tap style or colours - but your ability to mix and match components will usually be quite limited.
Most independent bathroom retailers will offer you the option of mixing and matching different components when you buy a bathroom suite. This will enable you to buy a bathroom suite that meets any specific criteria that you set (style, dimensions, price etc.)
If you do decide to buy a bathroom suite using the "Mix and Match" principle, be sure to check out our Bathroom Design section for further advice.
- the overall size of the bathroom and the components you require
- whether your intended purchase fits in with the style of the room
- if you have specific design requirements
- whether the items fit in with your overall colour scheme
- availability of the bathroom items you require and their lead times
- accessibility of local bathroom showrooms
- provision of an installation service
The size of your bathroom is a major determining factor when choosing which bathroom suite to buy. Large bathrooms give you scope to include a freestanding bath, his'n'hers basins or vanity unit, a separate shower cubicle and bathroom storage. Small bathrooms will restrict your choice to the items that will physically fit into the space that you have. Most UK bathrooms are not very generous when it comes to size and therefore the majority of suites that you see in showrooms are designed with this in mind.
The style of bathroom is really just a personal choice but it should be made sympathetically, taking into consideration the property, its age and any themes running through the overall design. For example, a traditional property, with lots of period detail would be best served by a style of bathroom that is in keeping with the rest of the house rather than buying a minimalist, modern suite that is in stark contrast to the overall theme.See the following page for more information on bathroom styles.
This is much more restricted than in the past where bathrooms suites came in lots of different colours. A lot of suites will only be available in white, but some are available in soft cream and some in pergamon (a colour somewhere between the two). Pergamon (or soft cream) lends itself to slightly more traditional designs whereas white will be the only option for most of the minimalist bathrooms. See the following page for more information on bathroom colour.
Bathroom Design Requirements
Customers often have specific design requirements that will influence their choices when buying a new bathroom suite. Tall customers might want to select a bath that is longer than a standard 1700mm unit. The less abled might require a bath that has a lower lip height to make getting in and out easier (sometimes referred to as a lowline bath) or might require lever taps that are easier to operate than standard taps.
Your heating system might also have a bearing on your choice as this can limit the amount of water available for bath filling. A large bath might require more water than your hot tank holds, or might take as excessively long time to fill if you have a combination boiler. Some mixer taps have high pressure requirements that might not be suitable for use with a stored hot water system, as found in many UK homes. See the folowing page for more information on bathroom design requirements.
Bathroom Lead Times
If you have already scheduled your home improvements the lead time quoted by suppliers might be a major factor when you buy a bathroom suite. Most retailers can deliver standard items relatively quickly but specialist items might be made to order or have to be brought in from abroad making the lead times increase dramatically.
Always check that the complete bathroom suite you require is in stock or if not in stock can be obtained in plenty of time. It is also vital to have the suite delivered well in advance of its installation to be able to check it over for any defect, damage or missing items. One or two missing parts can severely delay installation.
You might well have seen the bathroom of your dreams in one of the many glossy magazines that adorn the shelves of all high street newsagents these days but it is always worth trying to see the suite "in the flesh" to ensure it is exactly what you want to buy. It is not that easy to ascertain if your bathroom is a good quality suite just by looking at it or even touching it and trying the taps out - ask the salesman plenty of questions about the suite to make sure your not going to buy yourself a problem.
Bathroom Installation Service
If you do not have your own plumber lined up you might prefer to get the bathroom retailer sort out the installation of your new suite. This can have several advantages in that they will usually offer a complete service that includes any plastering, tiling and electrical work as well as the plumbing. Retailers who offer an installation service should also pay attention to the quality of the bathroom they are selling you as they will not want to fit a suite that will cause them problems in the short or long term.