Bathrooms

Anyone who has recently been through the process of designing and kitting out their dream home will know that the bathroom is one of the most challenging rooms to get right. Not only that, but it can be super expensive - and if you're under strict budget constraints it's easy to over-spend when you haven't done your homework first. To help you get started, we've put together this handy buyer's guide for bathrooms.

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Decor

The decor is always important to your bathroom's look, but a "less is more" approach is usually kinder on your wallet. In practice, that means you should be sporadic with tiles, perhaps only fitting them on one wall and sprucing up any leftover blank spaces with shelves and mirrors.

You can also consider experimenting with wooden flooring as opposed to tiles. This will go with most colour schemes, and although it doesn't tend to last as long you can guard against water damage with well placed floor-mats. Crucially, you will be making a lot of savings - as even the cheapest tiled flooring can blow a big hole in your budget.

Units

Of course, the central components of any bathroom are the shower, bath and sink units - which are also far and away the most difficult bit to get right. Our tip is to opt for one stand out feature instead of overloading your bathroom with gimmicks - not only will this do a lot for the feel of the room in terms of space and aesthetics, but will also ensure you don't spend more than you can afford.

Buying a complete suite will generally save you money, although it does limit your options. Stores like Wickes and Ikea often have sales on which can give you big discounts - and this is where you can really take advantage of buying a matching set instead of individual units. You can also find a deal that includes the installation costs and that will mean the tricky plumbing side of things will be taken care of already.

Try to avoid substituting ceramics for plastics when it comes to your bath and your sink, as cheaper materials will be more susceptible to cosmetic damage, and in the long run this will mean you're replacing your bathroom just a couple of years down the line. Similarly, standalone legged bath tubs are in vogue, but they don't tend to last as long as the sturdier ones you build into a surrounding floor unit. Style isn't everything.

Accessories

Again, it's best to take a miminalist approach when it comes to accessories - this makes your room look more spacious as well as helping to drive down needless expenses. You should also try to opt for neutral colours for your walls and floors where possible as this will give you a broader range of options when it comes to finishing touches like curtains and mats.

Innovations like heated towell rails can be tempting but they're best avoided if you're on a tight budget. Instead of pricey features, try to spruce up your room with small things that have a big aesthetic impact like customised tap handles.

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