This bathroom cladding project was undertaken by a customer of ours. They were looking to totally transform their room and the project included renewing every component of the room. The items installed included:
- a new quadrant shaped shower cubicle
- a vanity unit and concealed cistern toilet
- heated towel rails
- bathroom cladding for the walls
- ceiling panels with a coving trim detail
- extractor fan
- large bathroom cabinet
The client undertook the work themselves with The Bathroom Marquee supplying the wall and ceiling panels.
Bathroom Ceiling Panels
Rather than use a traditional plaster ceiling the customer opted for ceiling panels.
These are extremely easy to fit and will go up over a variety of surfaces including Artex. This is a great boon as Artex is a nightmare to remove and certain brands at certain times contained asbestos. Always check with the manufacturers before removing this type of textured compound.
To finish off the ceiling a coving trim was used around the perimeter. This is a two-part trim that clips in place once the ceiling panels have been fitted. Using these trims has two advantages. Firstly they provide an attractive feature at the joint between the wall and the ceiling. Secondly they make cutting easier as you do not have to be as accurate with your cuts as you would if everything was exposed.
They opted for a gloss white panel that looks bright and clean. They also provide a smooth, wipe-over surface and never need painting.
Recessed spotlights have been sunk into the panels to provide lighting for the room. They are easy to fit with panels – just use a hole-saw on an electric drill to cut circular apertures. Halogen lights are being phased out which is good as they are not ideal for use with ceiling panels. L.E.D. lights are much bitter – they use less power and run cool so do not affect the panels in any way.
What Was Used In This Bathroom Cladding Project?
This was a total makeover so everything in the bathroom was added new. In this photo we can see all but a few of the items that were installed.
On the left we can see the shower cubicle. The design chosen was a quadrant. This is an extremely popular choice as it has several design advantages. It provides a generous showering area while have no hard “edge” at the corner. This gives the appearance of more space and guides the eye past the unit rather than coming to a stop at the corner.
Bathroom cladding is ideal for use in shower cubicles as they use no grout. Grout is always problematic when used in wet conditions. Mould can grow and it will eventually turn black if not raked out and replaced. Customers love the fact that once the cladding has been fitted they will have a maintenance-free surface for years to come.
Heated Towel Rail
This is the first of two towel rails fitted in this shower room. These type of radiators look great and enable multiple towels to be dried at the same time.
There is a huge range of styles and finishes available with white or chrome being the most popular. A straightforward ladder design like this is ideal. They are plumbed into the heating system and function just like any other radiator. It is possible to add a dual fuel option on some models. This consists of a small heating element that is used to heat the rail when the heating is off (in the Summer for example). This enables towels to be dried all year around.
Fixing is straight through the panels into the wall behind. The temperature of the towel rail is not an issue in general use. Providing it does not cause the surface of the cladding to exceed 60 deg C there will be no problems.
An extractor fan has been fitted to the outside wall to help remove excess moisture from the air. Bathrooms and shower rooms create a lot of steam and this settles on cold surfaces as condensation. Ceramic tiles are particularly susceptible to this but cladding much less so. Cladding is warm to the touch so condensation does not usually form on it. Although this great for your walls it just means the moisture will go elsewhere. It will then condense on the next cold surface it comes into contact with.
So an extractor fan is a great idea even if you install cladding. It will eliminate the problem at its root and will ensure you do not get problems elsewhere in the house.
Bathroom cabinets serve two purposes. They store a lot of bathroom clutter out of sight and they also act as a mirror for make-up or shaving. The vast majority of bathroom cabinets have a mirror front or mirror doors. If the model you choose does not have mirrors then you will need to fit a separate one.
When installing large items like this onto wall cladding you need to drill through into the solid wall behind. This will provide secure fixings. There is no need to use any spacers as the surface area is very large making it impossible to crush the panels by over-tightening.
If the cabinet has an integral light then a cable needs to be run to the unit. This cable can be chased into the wall and then clad over to hide it. Always use a qualified electrician for this work to ensure the work is safe.
When it comes to adding a sink to a bathroom you have two ways of going about it. You can add a basin and pedestal or you can install a vanity unit.
The basin and pedestal option used to be the more common way of going about this and is still popular. They are cheap and easy to install and look classy. Their main disadvantage when compared with a vanity unit is that they offer no storage space.
As vanity units have come down in price their popularity has risen. And it is easy to see why. They allow easy storage for items that would otherwise clutter up the bathroom. They also cover up all of the pipe-work associated with the sink. So hot and cold water supply pipes are hidden away from sight as is the waste pipe.
Vanity units are available as stand alone units or can be included in a range of built-in bathroom furniture. The layout of the bathroom as well as budget will determine which option is best for your bathroom. In this example the basin are toilet are on an adjacent wall so this is an ideal situation for a run of connected units.
This results in a very neat finish while being a practical addition to the bathroom design at the same time.
Tile Effect Wall Panels
For three of the walls in the bathroom the customer opted for a tile effect wall panels. The fourth wall utilised a darker marble panel to create a feature wall.
The tile effect panels used in this bathroom cladding project have a huge advantage over ceramic tiles. They use no grout.
Tiles rarely cause a problem in bathrooms but the same cannot be said about grout. It is far too common to see a beautifully tiled room spoiled by poor grout. It has to be remembered that not all grout is waterproof and this will cause problems in the long run. Moisture gets into the grout and enables mould to take root. The grout will start to develop mould spots and will turn black.
Eventually the grout will fail completely and allow moisture to get behind the tiles. This causes untold damage and needs to be prevented from getting to this stage.
The faulty grout needs to be raked out and re-applied or better still you can panel over the tiles with cladding..
This was a large undertaking by the customer but the results speak for themselves.
It is possible freshen up a bathroom design by just re-decorating buy cladding over the existing tiles without having to replace everything else. But this bathroom cladding project involved a complete replacing everything and resulted in a fresh-looking, low-maintenance bathroom.