Bathroom Refurbishment: What should my budget be?

Lots of the traffic through our Ballymena showroom is people who are doing their research to gather a budget for their project. Confused about whats required and what isn’t, its difficult for them to know how much cash is required for their bathroom refurbishment. For your convenience, we have put together a quick guide to give you an idea of what you need. We have included floor tiles, wall tiles, sanitary ware and bathroom furniture.

Bathroom Layout

Bathroom Layout chosen for case study

In order for this case study to be useful and relevant, I wanted to chose a common bathroom size in the UK and Ireland. The average bathroom is smaller than people think, at 2.5m long and 1.5m wide. There is a 800mm internal door opening inwards to the bathroom and a 750mm window on the external wall. A standard family bathroom should contain a toilet, sink or vanity unit, bath, radiator and taps for the basin and bath. Tiles will be chosen due to their impermeable nature.

What about the Tiles?

The wall and floor is a great area for creating aesthetic appeal and individuality within your bathroom and so these must be considered in the case study. 

Wall Tiles - Popular Subway Style Tiles in White for a Clean and Light Feel

I decided to choose the ever popular Metro Tiles as they provide a style that almost everyone loves! These subway tiles are used in bathrooms across the UK including Hotels, Bars and Private Bathrooms. They have a light gloss for light to reflect off and the slight bevelled edge provides a depth the to room to give it an added feature. They come in a vast range of colours so all tastes and colour schemes can be accommodated meaning it is a good tile to base the case study on. At £14.95 per square metre, its hard to argue against them.

Floor Tiles - Colour Scheme chooses the Dream Range


Whilst the point in this article is provide you an idea of what budget you could kit out a bathroom with, its important to maintain a realistic approach when doing so. In other words, the selections must complement each other in colour scheme and style. With a small floor space, we want to keep eyes away from the floor and attract them to the larger wall area (See our blog on Tips to Make a Bathroom Feel Bigger). I have opted for the Dream Range, and more specifically Dream Marengo. This 45×45 Matte tile is a light grey colour which will contrast well with the White Metro tiles on the wall and suit well in our colour scheme. We sell this range for £9.95 per SQM.

We need some Sanitaryware!

What’s a bathroom without, well, the bath, or the toilet or sink? Options are limited for the bath in a space this size, so we’ve opted for the standard 1500mm Lotus Bath from Sonas Bathrooms Ireland.  We sell these baths for £149.95. Next, we have decided to use the Belmont 550mm Vanity Unit and Basin in White to maintain our colour Scheme. This unit is generously priced at £95.95. This unit comes in a variety of sizes and also comes in a Wood Effect finish if you are trying to create a differently styled space. Finally, the toilet itself. We have chose the Denver Toilet due to its simplicity. This fully shrouded close coupled toilet features the eco friendly dual flush system and allows your to hide all pipework within itself. This set will set us back £127.95.


Bathroom Accessories

We could draw the line after sanitaryware but in reality, when you are drawing up a budget, you want it to be for everything you require and not just the bare bones, because you only fool yourself. In my opinion, every bathroom needs a towel rail or radiator and also a mirror, so we are going to include these costs. 

The Grand Total...

15 SQM of White Metro Tiles (Allows 10% Extra for Cuts) = £224.25

4.125 SQM of Dream Marengo (Allows 10% Extra for Cuts) = £41.04

1500mm Lotus Bath & Panel = £189.95

550mm Belmonth Vanity Unit = £95.95

Denver Toilet = £127.95

500mm White Radiator = £58.32

Cosmos Bath & Basin Taps = £98.90

Erin 550mm Mirror = £41.95

Adhesive & Grout for Tiles = £110

Budget = £988.31 inc VAT

Remember however that this does not include fitting (which we do not provide). This case study was based on what we consider an average bathroom within UK and Ireland. Your budget may have to be more if your room is larger than this, or if you want to have a much larger choice in product. Your budget may also be less if you omit some of elements, tile less of the room or have a smaller bathroom to begin with e.g. an en-suite. 

If you ave any difficulty in getting ideas together and would like to discuss your project with us, be in contact or book a meeting with us in our custom built consultancy room.

What is Water Pressure?

If a new bathroom refurbishment is on the horizon, or if you are having problems with water appliances leaking in your house, you may have had the word “Low Water Pressure” or “High Water Pressure” thrown in your direction.

Water pressure is a standard used to describe the rate at which water may flow in plumbing fixtures. The unit for this is the “Bar”, this is the force required to shoot water straight into the air to a height of 10 metres A house’s water pressure is basically determined by it’s elevation in relation to the reservoir which feeds it water. Homes in the hills above a reservoir would struggle with low water pressure as they would rely onwater being pumped, whereas houses at low elevations would be able to rely on the natural water head of the falling water to drive water pressure.

The adjacent diagram, prepared by Anglian Water clearly shows the difference in water pressures between houses. If you still aren’t sure if you have high or low water pressure, then follow our simple instructions below:

  • Turn off all taps, washing machines, dishwashers and all other water using appliances.
  •  Turn a tap on full power and fill a measuring jug up for ten seconds. Record how much water was collected.
  • Multiply this by 6 to get flow rate in litres per minute.

For example, if you collect 1.2 litres of water in the 10 seconds, then your flow rate is 12 litres per minute. Our general guide is:

  • Less than 10 Litres per Minute is Poor Water Pressure
  • Between 10 and 15 Litres per Minute is Acceptable Water Pressure
  • Above 15 Litres per Minute is Good Water Pressure

All of our Taps & Brassware products show a minimum operating pressure to ensure that the product can perform to its maximum.

Completing a bathroom refurbishment is a bigger job than most realise. It’s not a matter of choosing the products you like and having them installed the next day. However, with our vast experience in the industry, we have been able to put together a convenient list of things to consider, making your project stress free and maybe even enjoyable.


1. The Use of the room

The first thing to think about is “What will the room be used for?”. The majority of houses these days have at least two bathrooms, both serving different purposes. Ironically, the bathroom that you spend the least on will, in most cases, be the one that is used the most. Our view is that there are 4 types of bathroom Refurb:

  • Family Bathroom – Used a lot by the home owner
  • Downstairs Toilet – Used a lot by visitors
  • En-suite – Used daily for simple tasks
  • Guest Bedroom En-suite – Used rarely but an opportunity to impress.
Tara 55 Mirror

Deciding which purpose your room has in your house will play an important role in deciding the facilities you require, the level of finish and ultimately the budget required.

2. What have you got?

The next step is to go into your space and quickly note down what you have in the room. Draw a plan view, noting any windows, door ways or other openings. Measure the room and record these in metres (we once had a customer bring her measurements in terms of milk carton lengths!). If known, note the water pressure conditions, as this will have a say on which tap and shower options are available to you. 

Record where the existing pipe work is located, and find your existing hot water supply. This information will be handy for step 3!


3. What do you want?

This part is usually people’s favourite or least favourite part. Some people have a very well defined image of what they want. They have done the research using Pinterest and Instagram, spied through websites, written down what they need and have a budget in mind. It’s important to remember that what you choose must be suitable for a long time period – you will likely have these tiles or vanity unit for 10+ years. If you find something you really want but it isn’t compatible with your room, write it down, there may be ways to make it work. Knowing your measurements, what you can have and what you want will keep the project hassle free for yourself! Don’t confuse yourself. By being decisive you save yourself from becoming obsessed with everything that can go wrong.


4. How do you get what you want?

This part is important. Take the list of products you want to an installation specialist and discuss the work that will be needed. Provisionally book their services, remembering to allow some extra float incase products become out of stock etc. A good tradesman usually has at least a 3 week waiting time, which in itself says a lot about their services, they are busy and so are sought after. Discuss if there is the scope to make changes to the room’s layout or plumbing to see if you can get all the products you wish. Sometimes there may be a better layout or use of space, and a good installer should make you aware of this.


Discuss what material that you will require that you may not have considered. Is the tiler providing adhesive and grout? If not, what type is required? Do you need matting for tiling on timber floors? Does the wall require priming before tiling?

Have your product arrive in good time, and store it in a different room. By doing this you reduce the chance of delays, and ensure that the tiler doesn’t spend the first 2 hours shifting the tiles out of the room that he is supposed to be tiling!

All in all, if planned well a bathroom refurbishment should be a relatively enjoyable process, making your ideas a reality. Having a good tradesman is vital, and by using online reviews or word of mouth, make sure you get the best available.

If you require any assistance in your project please be in touch and we will do everything we can to guide you through the process!


Plan Your Bathroom Online

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1453293187806{margin-top: -200px !important;background-color: #ffffff !important;}”][vc_column css=”.vc_custom_1423574892319{background-color: #ffffff !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1510247837166{margin-bottom: 20px !important;}”]With the ease and convenience of shopping online, we are able to extend the same great service across the United Kingdom and Ireland as we do locally. Our experienced consultation team is available to you via phone and email and we encourage you to send us your proposed bathroom or kitchen design.

Shop Tiles

Our online collections of tiles are representative of the many beautiful floor and wall tiles we stock. From neutral tones to daring patterns and mosaics, we can source for any effect you wish to achieve. If there is a specific tile you have in mind that doesn’t appear on the website, do contact us as we may have it in store.

Request a Sample

In the process of selecting tiles to complement your design scheme, a sample is invaluable to affirm your decision. We are happy to ship out a maximum of 3 tile samples to guide you in your decision. Use our Contact Us form to make a request.

Bathroom Suites

Browse online in comfort and compare prices. Our bathroom furniture and sanitary ware are priced competitively with complementary pieces in a range of styles for your dream bathroom. We have a range of freestanding tubs, specialty toilets, and bathroom furniture.

Delivery and Shipping Costs

Shipping is FREE for all Northern Ireland deliveries on orders of £300 or more, less than this and shipping is £25. Ireland – £45, UK Mainland £80. This may be higher if orders require more than one pallet. Please contact us if you are outside the UK Mainland before placing an order so we may calculate the delivery fee.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

A question that often arises in our shop is whether to install an electric shower or a power shower whenever you’re considering renovating a bathroom or installing a brand new one. To make an informed decision you have to be familiar with the merits and drawbacks of each, and which one best fits your purpose.

Firstly if we could consider the case of power showers. A power shower by definition is a shower which mixes hot and cold water from your water system and pumps it to the shower head. There are two main types of powershowers, one with an integrated pump and one with a separate pump usually housed in the hotpress or some other concealed place. Both are equally efficient with the separate pump version more aesthetically pleasing, but of course they are usually more expensive. The main benefits with power showers are they usually have a generous flow of water to the shower head, and they cost virtually nothing to run. They usually have a long working life and are manufactured by all the leading brands. The downside is the pump can sometimes be noisy particularly when fitted to a stud wall and, of course, you need to have warm water in your system before you start, to ensure a cosy shower.

Electric showers have their merits too, the main one being you can have a shower at the drop of a hat, no need for warm water in the tank- you’re good to go at any time. Electric showers are fed from the mains water supply, and need to have a heavy cable directly to the metre board. There is of course a huge range on the market, all of which are working on the same principle. Because electric showers have to heat water instantly they tend to have quite a restricted flow but one manufacturer has come up with a remedy: adding hot air to create the illusion of a better flow, meaning you might think you have more water without any more actually being there. Electric showers tend to be relatively cheap to buy and might sound the obvious choice, but bear in mind every shower you take costs to heat the water (about the same as 3 electric kettles going at once).

To sum up, electric showers do have a place in a modern home, but the merits of power showers far outweigh its electric counterpart. Of course no argument is so easily won and this argument can stand a lot of debate in most homes and can only really be answered by the individual homeowner and family. The best solution is to have one of each, then you can enjoy the benefits of both!



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