I’m flabbergasted at the number of bathroom shops around, especially when most bathrooms I have seen in my househunting marathon in recent years / months has shown me more pink, turquoise and avacado than I could stomach. Who sustains them all I ask? Is it the over development with all these high rises? The hotels building an extra 2 floors? Is it the growing number of home purchasers? Or is it people like me, wannabe developers (in my case a hobbiest – I hate selling houses, breaks my heart and always regret it) I have learned from my first project in Birgu, that most stock is much of a muchness.
For my last 4 properties (and next 2) I am working with Keramit, a relatively small operation on the Birkirkara bypass, who have much of what they pack into their showroom in stock (amazing) and when I have had to order anything, it arrives bang when they say it will. The also know me, my terrible maths and how they need to double check everything; have I included the walls for example…..and how to nudge me with the introduction of a feature wall and how finicky I am about matching shapes and anyhow, they always get me just what I want. Slowly slowly enticing me out of my shell. I like a neutral (which doesn’t mean beige) base so I can play around with colour and not be restricted for accessories, towels, toiletries, candles etc. I have realised there is a bit of a trend emerging in my Malta properties. Slate grey. Love it. Think it looks great against the skin.
This current projects requires 3 bathrooms and I have lots of space to play with; each being 4m x 3m minus a 60cm x 60cm shaft for the services / ventilation. Each one has grey. One, fifty shades of.
So what do you need to consider when doing a bathroom? Here are my tips.
Bath. I like to have a bath, a big bath that I can lay down in. Do you? Make sure the floor can take the weight when full.
Shower. This has to have space for two if two heads can be fitted, all the better. I recommend 140cm as the optimum. 120cm is snug and 180cm can be a bit too spacious. I also have an aversion to shower curtains and prefer a walk in – if your bathroom is cold and you don’t want underfloor heating, you might consider a door on yours. Make sure the shower head is placed at your desired height and not the plumbers. Historically, mine have been 5ft tall. Causes a bit of a problem when you have a 6ft 2 boyfriend.
Heating / Ventilation. I always have electric underfloor heating – say what you will but when I get up in the middle of the night sans slippers – heated floors are welcome. Ventilation is necessary and a sensible requirement by MEPA. Getting out of a hot bath or shower and there’s nowhere for the steam to escape eventually will cause a problem.
Space. Plan to have space around the furniture; from 60 – 70cm around each which is just a bit more than in the rest of the house bizarrely. This is not my layout btw. Image courtesy of Dorling Kindersley.
Lights and mirrors. Lights need to be encased for safety yet bright enough to be able to do all those close up personal maintenance chores. Mirrors should allow people of various heights to be able to use them, and remember ladies in varying heel heights and place one (magnifying if possible) which can be moved on an arm for close ups.
Tiles. You should be aware that shiny floors = slippy floors. Have something with a bit of texture but not so much that it can’t be cleaned easily. Walls can add a bit of fun with a contrasting, feature wall in the shower or as a splash back for example. Be careful with tiles that will show watermarks. Look great in a showroom, not so great in real life.
If you are planning holiday / short let accommodation, keep in mind differing market’s preferences; the Italians like a bidet, the Scandinavians a multi-head shower…..
Once I have the first item chosen I match everything to it and then draw templates with cardboard so I can physically lay them in the room and move from one. This then translates to a scribble for the plumber who usually huffs and puffs a bit.
In Valletta, each of the bathrooms will have the same layout, but with different tiles, mirrors, lights and accessories. The sinks are mounted on different antique stands found (eventually) on maltapark.
It’ll soon be bathtime!