Category Archives: Bathroom Design & Planning

Lakes scoops Ideal Home Bathroom Award

We’re excited to announce that Lakes has won Best Shower Enclosure at this year’s Ideal Home Bathroom Awards, for the Wave Collection.

The awards were judged by Ideal Home’s team of expert editors, each with experience and knowledge of different aspects of bathroom design, and with a wealth of entries from some of the UK’s leading bathroom brands, competition was high.

Feedback from the judges was exceptional, with Holly Cockburn, content editor at Ideal Home, commenting: ‘Even though by their very nature, corner enclosures are tucked away to make the most of a small bathroom space, the brass finish of this Wave corner enclosure from Lakes ensures this design stands out and feels luxe.”

Mike Gahir, MD at Lakes, said: “We’re thrilled to receive this prestigious award, and it’s an honour to see our company recognised alongside some of the top brands in the industry.

“Increasingly more people are moving away from traditional baths, opting instead to create their ideal showering space. We’re proud to offer an extensive collection of contemporary, high-quality shower enclosures, with the goal of Lakes becoming the go-to brand for luxurious, yet affordable showering space solutions.”

Lakes product portfolio is evolving, with the recent launch of the brand-new Modular Walk-In Collection, offering unparalleled versatility and customisation, with an impressive 28 configuration options available. 

Lakes Introduces Wave Brushed Brass Range

Lakes, the leading manufacturer of innovative showering spaces, has expanded its popular Wave Collection to include a high spec brushed brass finish.

After the successful launch of Wave Black earlier in 2023, the popular range’s brushed brass offering is now available, reflecting the growing popularity of the trend amongst designers and homeowners.

The Wave Collection was launched in June 2022 and features hinged, quadrant, slider, and bi-fold door options as well as a side panel which can be combined with the hinged, slider and bifold doors. 

It was initially launched in a contemporary stunning silver finish as standard, with black and now brushed brass offered.

Reassuringly sturdy, while minimising weight to save resources, the Wave collection’s strong frames mean there is no compromise in the quality or performance of the showering space, while retaining simplicity and ease of handling for installers when carrying and manoeuvring it into position in confined spaces. 

The Brushed Brass colouration process was built around creating a durable finish that would stand the test of time, in line with Lakes’ wider commitment to quality.

Managing Director Mike Gahir says: “The Wave collection is precision engineered to the highest standards, with great attention to detail throughout to offer the perfect balance of functionality and style.

“The addition of a brushed brass option to the range is one we are particularly excited about as it is such a sought-after style right now.

“Its popularity has grown consistently over the past few years and it’s here to stay now, so we’re delighted to support our customers across the UK by introducing it to our Wave range.

“We’re looking forward to seeing Wave brushed brass in showrooms across the UK and seeing the final results when installed in homes.”

All Lakes products are backed by a unique no-quibble guarantee. 

To learn more about Wave Brushed Brass, visit

or call 01684 853 870. 

Family bathroom planning tips

Your family bathroom should be a practical and flexible space for all the family to use, but it also needs to be presentable to guests and potential buyers, too.

A family bathroom endures a lot of use, so it’s important that firstly you choose robust solutions that won’t break and, secondly make the most of the available space by building in as much storage as possible.

If you’re looking to design the perfect family bathroom, we’ve got a few things you should consider as well as a few top tips from other parents that have made their family bathrooms a cleaner, calmer and ultimately a more enjoyable space to wash away the dirt (and celebrate the last job before bedtime).

Shower/bath design considerations for a family bathroom

  • A double ended bath is ideal if you’re washing more than one child at a time. This way there are no squabbles about who gets the end with the tap!
  • Instead of taps, consider a bath filler that’s fitted centrally on the back wall of the bath. This avoids children from dipping their hands in to potentially hot water, and, no taps to clean, no taps to bump and no taps to clean behind. Win win!
  • If you’re concerned about hot water, a thermostatic safety valve can control the temperature and allow you to save time by chasing down the children whilst still running the bath.
  • For more tub space, you could go for a P shaped bath.
  • Consider putting the shower and bath control at the other end of the bath, this will allow you to push the shower screen against the wall (ensure the showerhead is high enough to clear the top of the screen) making it less awkward to reach and wash small people (this will also allow you to turn the shower on and off without getting your arm wet).
  • Fixed overhead showers look great, but consider including an additional handheld shower that makes it easier to hose down children and keep the bath and tiles clean.
  • Push down plugs can get easily knocked. Avoid losing half your bath water and a bruised toe and go for lever plugs instead.

Other considerations

  • If space is not a concern; two basins will make the morning rush more efficient.
  • Use underfloor heating as an alternative to lots of heated towel rails, which in themselves can pose a risk of burns if being used to heat the room as opposed to just warming your towels.
  • Install lever taps, these are the easiest for children to turn on and off.
  • Consider storage solutions for a potty, sink stool, spare towels, flannels, toiletries and toilet paper as you can’t leave a child unattended, even for a second.
  • A soft closing toilet lid saves your ears as well as their fingers.
  • To aid cleaning and keep your bathroom looking nicer for longer, opt for grey grout as opposed to white.
  • A back to wall toilet will avoid horrid stuff accumulating behind it for you to clean.
  • Tile as much of your walls as possible, this create a more hygienic and easier to clean bathroom.
  • Buy a non-slip bath mat and toy net!

Read more:

Take a look at our full checklist when planning a new or renovated bathroom  

Shower enclosure options: A guide to choosing between a Wetroom, Walk-in or Traditional Shower Enclosure.

When considering a new bathroom or the rejuvenation of an existing bathroom, we now have more choice than ever before. To save you from the anxiety that comes with choice paralysis, here’s our very brief summary of shower enclosure options, along with a few helpful pros and cons to help the decision.

Traditional Shower Enclosure

Fully enclosed shower tray with a door to allow access.

a collage showing traditional shower enclosures


  • The modern range of ‘traditional’ enclosures is so varied in shape, style and functionality that they have changed the notion that ‘traditional’ means passé.
  • With a wide range of choices from tray, trim, glass and door mechanisms, you’d be hard pressed to find a space that couldn’t be adapted to fit a traditional shower enclosure.


  • Even though the choice and range has grown massively, there will always be limitations in size due to the range of footprints commercially available.
  • Without a glass treatment like the AllClear stay-clean coating that comes as standard on Lakes enclosures, a traditional enclosure will need continuous cleaning to maintain that showroom shine.

Click here for a few perfect examples of Traditional Enclosures with AllClear as standard.


An entirely clad and waterproofed room, generally equipped with a shower that relies on inbuilt water drainage without the need for a shower tray.

a collage showing a selection of wet rooms


  • Provides that minimalist aesthetic.
  • A wetroom as a second bathroom can be a key selling point, in some cases adding value to a property.
  • Spacious with little to no obstruction.
  • The accessibility makes a wetroom ideal for many disabilities.
  • The unobstructed light provides the illusion of greater space.


  • Requires more money and time to install than more conventional enclosures.
  • Is often still necessary to have a shower screen to prevent other bathroom furniture and accessories getting wet.
  • Isn’t appropriate for all spaces.
  • Although it requires less strenuous cleaning on a daily basis, the sheer coverage of tiles requires greater care when it comes to protecting grout from mould and mildew.
  • If drainage and sealing is not proficiently done it can result in standing water and damage that is far costlier to access and correct.

Click here for the perfect shower screen to accompany your wetroom.

Walk-in Shower

Has many of the desired attributes of both Traditional Enclosures and Wetrooms. A Walk-in utilises the shower trays associated with more conventional enclosures but without being fully enclosed.

collage of walk-in shower enclosures


  • More easily accessible than traditional enclosures.
  • Provides an unobtrusive, luxurious aesthetic.
  • Great alternative in a space where a wetroom isn’t appropriate.
  • Great for larger spaces.
  • Provides the less constrained experience without having to tile and protect a whole room.


  • Typically a more expensive option than traditional enclosures.
  • Like traditional enclosures – unless treated with something like an AllClear stay-clean coating – it will still require continual glass cleaning.

Click here for examples of that perfect, luxurious walk-in.

In & Out of the bathroom: The Bathroom trends of 2017

It’s our job to know what’s coming (and going) to ensure we are always providing a product that is ‘Superior as Standard’.

A lot of our predictions come from provable statistical and industry insight, and some are more about gut feeling and our personal analysis of the direction of trends – and those informed theories are something we thought we’d share with you.


What to look out for in 2017


Digital VS Analogue

This may seem like a strange heading when talking about décor trends but it’s the best way we could summarise the coming bathroom trends for 2017 – let us explain. For the past decade especially, the tech giant Apple has had a huge influence in all areas of design, that influence has been seen in the clean, crisp lined, bright, reflective surfaces we’ve all become so used to. The design predictions for this year seem very much like a decisive kick-back against the clean reflective surfaces we look into every day, replacing them with raw materials, handcrafted objects, and imperfect forms i.e. An imperfect analogue aesthetic, compared to modern clean digital forms.



For years we’ve been awash with white, with the more daring throwing in the accent of a fresh bright colour, but we’re about to see the introduction of something new. This year is about sophisticated hues, matt sunrise pastels and confidently dark tones. The pastel colour palette trend rolling over from the end of last year consists of the kind of colours you’d expect to see in a desert sunrise – soft blues, pinks, peaches, violets and soft yellows.


bathroom trends 2017 colours


We’re out of the economic crisis, so to celebrate (before any political blunders cause another crisis) the colour of the year is the colour of money, green. Jokes aside, the many and numerous trend spotters are all reasonably unanimous that green will be pretty instrumental in décor trends this year alongside other rich earthy tones – so expect to see it in both tiles and paint schemes. Darker colours like dusky blue and very dark greys will be equally popular and can already be seen on a mass market level with commercial brands like Ikea already pushing dark interiors in this years’ showrooms.




For the last few years Copper and Rose Gold have absolutely dominated the pages of interior magazines and proliferated the home décor mass market, but as of 2017 we predict this is about to change. There has been a lot of early signs suggesting the bold copper colours are being replaced with the more muted tones of Brass, Bronze and tarnished metals with interesting patinas.




This is an important section of future trends, particularly in relation to bathroom design, seeing as ceramic and stoneware tiles account for a significant area of wallspace in every bathroom! So when it comes to tiles we predict you’ll see the metro tile carry on but in varied forms. The standard size high gloss metro will be seen in dark greens and crackled glazes, the white metro tile will be popular in a thinner (lower) heights and will be far more common in ‘raw’ bone whites and chalkier more tactile textures. To complement the new earthy, raw and green trends there has also been some talk about the resurgence of terracotta tiling, we’re not sure what the uptake of this idea will be, but we thought we’d mention it.



This year ceramics will be far more important to décor than just its impact on our tiling choices, artisanal handcrafted earthenware glazed items are the must have accessories of the year, replacing the clean copper and marble creations of the previous year.



So far we’ve talked about a very particular imperfect, tactile look for this years’ trends and this carries on into accessories and other materials you might be using in the bathroom.

Cork – In the early nineties there was a short-lived trend for cork flooring, but this year cork walls and other areas of cork detailing will be very prominent.

Woven baskets – That’s right you’ll see the re-emergence of the wicker laundry basket. Woven wicker products are sure to find their way into a few bathroom accessories this year.

Darker woods – So following a long stretch of light (Danish stained) and whitewashed woods to fit our clean, light environments you’ll start to see an increase in darker woods.

Living walls – You may have seen these pop up as a curiosity on Pinterest, but this year the living wall, a wall constructed of mosses, ferns and living plants, is set to appear in homes and hotels.


2017 trends in summary

In the year that celebrates 10 years of the iPhone, general trend predictions suggest that the contemporary bathroom aesthetic will be taking a step away from the white minimal tech inspired aesthetic, to something more tactile, more colourful, more natural and a little less homogenised in its perfection.

This leaning towards bold new colours, individual features and visibly tactile surfaces is perfectly complemented by the fact that we’ve introduced PureVueHD glass as standard in our Classic and Coastline shower enclosure ranges. PureVueHD breaks down the barrier between you and your décor with its clearer glass highlighting all those new textures and not adulterating all those muted metals, natural colours and tactile material choices.

Learn more about our PureVueHD ranges 

Bathroom Design Styles – Contemporary

Concluding our look at different design styles and complementary shower enclosures we end this series with a look at contemporary bathroom design.

Contemporary bathroom style is often confused with the modern, minimalist aesthetic, but it’s actually all about responding to key trends. In the early 2000’s this may well have meant a clean white modernist look, but since then contemporary styling has moved on to appreciate a more eclectic array of cultural influences from Japanese tradition to Scandinavian styling.

Cannes Shower Enclosure from Lakes Bathrooms
Cannes – Coastline Collection

Contemporary styling doesn’t just stop there, it expands to take in any ‘of the moment’ materials so in addition to natural slate, rich woods, glassware and crafted ceramics you can add in materials that have become available more recently such as synthetics and laminates. Colours tend to be bold but not intrusive. Seamlessly complementing the aesthetics of the room without overdoing it, think relaxing and futuristic rather than bright and garish.

To complement this new palette of richer colours and materials look for an enclosure that embodies the beauty of the environment it’s placed in. We suggest our Coastline range for example Cannes. Treat yourself to the ultimate in sumptuous simplicity; let the beauty of your décor shine through with the pared-down luxury of our elegant Cannes enclosure.

Complemented by the addition of optically superior, ultra-clear PureVueHD glass at no extra cost, your colour and material choices will be seen exactly as you intended. To see the difference in action click here.

For other enclosures that would complement your contemporary style bathroom take a look at our entire Coastline Collection.

Bathroom Design Styles – Classical

Continuing our exploration of different design styles and the types of enclosure that can complement the look –  we get up close and personal with classical design.

Classical design takes inspiration from the rich design aesthetics of the past. While modern design usually revolves around clean lines and simplicity, the classical look harks back to an age where the smallest detail was individually crafted and any opportunity to embellish and adorn was embraced.

Classical Style Influences

The most commonly influential eras for the classical design aesthetic are the Victorian, Edwardian and Georgian periods, which made great use of intricate wallpapers, detailed architraves and cast iron ornamentation. Roman and French influences also made an appearance in both furniture and tiling.

Creating a Classical Style Bathroom

Lakes Bathrooms semi framed slider shower door

If you’re looking to create the classical look in your bathroom, take inspiration from the design trends, materials and décor associated with these historical eras. Feature natural materials such as stone, granite or slate for surfaces and porcelain or stone for sinks and basins. With the current interior design trends putting the emphasis firmly on individuality, it’s possible to mix and match inspiration from different eras without getting into trouble!

When choosing a shower enclosure to complete your classical style bathroom, don’t get too caught up in the intricate and ornate details that this period embodies – instead we suggest you look for strong shapes and elegant styling to complement and highlight the quality and practicality that this design solution brings.

The Semi-Frameless Slider Door, from our Classic Collection, with its bold lines, is a truly distinctive choice, that could become the design focal point of your classical style bathroom.

Complemented by the addition of optically superior, ultra clear PureVueHD glass at no extra cost, you can enjoy your classic bathroom style in all its true colours. To see the difference in action click here.

For other enclosures that would complement your classical style bathroom take a look at our entire Classic Collection

5 things to consider when choosing the right shower enclosure

When planning your perfect bathroom, there are a myriad of decisions that you need to make: from which colours and styles work best in the space; to which fixtures and fittings to choose to give that ultimate bathing experience.

Whilst we have already shared our top tips for choosing the right shower tray  – another important decision you will need to make is which type of shower enclosure would work best in your bathroom. To help with this, we’ve created the mini-guide below, outlining the key areas you need to consider before making your decision:

1. Space

Mirror Side PanelHow much space does your bathroom have?

Available space is probably the most important factor in dictating what type of shower enclosure you choose. When space is at a premium making the right decision becomes all the more important.

Separate enclosure or over-bath shower?

If you’re hard pushed for space an over-bath shower and bath screen combination may be the answer. But limited space, doesn’t have to equal limited choice – check out our full range of bathscreen types and styles

Mirrored Glass

The beauty and simplicity of mirrored glass gives you the added benefit of having a full-length mirror without giving up the space required for one and reflects available light sources naturally to create the illusion of a larger space.

For more inspiration on making the most of a smaller bathroom space – check out our Helpful hints to make the most of limited bathroom space blog…

2. Position

An alcove or a recess in your bathroom might provide the ideal way to make the most of your space. Our choice of alcove and recess enclosures allow for beautiful shower design in any nook available.

If a corner enclosure is better suited to your space, fear not! The days of a clumsy looking cube in the corner are well and truly past. Today’s corner enclosures are designed for every eventuality from classic straight edged lines to seamless sweeping curves.

A centrally positioned enclosure will require more consideration in terms of number of panels and type of door (hinged, pivot, sliding or bifold) versus a corner or alcove enclosure. Although when it comes to type of door – the same considerations will apply.


3. Style

From classic to contemporary, minimalist to vintage chic, there’s no reason why your shower enclosure can’t fit with the style of your bathroom. Check out our latest blog on bathroom styles and the enclosures that can help you complete that perfect bathroom look.

4. Shower Trays

Wet-rooms are growing in popularity, but not everyone has the right kind of space for this kind of set up.

If you need a shower tray, there are a staggering number of options available – from low-profile to standard height; square, rectangular, pentagon or quadrant shaped, traditional stone resin to contemporary lightweight trays…for a helping hand read our guide on how to choose the right shower tray.

shower trays

5. Glass

Choice of glass is important for a number of reasons:

  • Thickness – the thicker the glass the stronger the enclosure. So whether you’re interested in 6mm, 8mm or 10mm glass, we’ll have an enclosure that fits the bill.
  • Mirrored or clear? As mentioned in point number 1 above mirrored glass reflects available light sources naturally to create the illusion of a larger space and can help preserve your dignity if your shower is directly over-looked by a window.
  • PureVueHD – With our latest innovation, see the true colours of your bathroom shine through. All of the enclosures in our Classic and Coastline collections come with the added benefit of optically-clear, PureVueHD glass at no extra cost.
  • AllClear® – Inspired by nature our AllClear® coating forms an invisible, microscopically smooth shield to prevent the build-up of grime on your enclosure. Available as standard on all products in our Classic and Coastline collections means more time available to spend luxuriating in the shower and less time required to clean it.

With such a wide range of options at your fingertips, we hope this information guides you through the key decisions you need to make in order to choose the perfect enclosure to complement your dream bathroom.

Bathroom Design Styles – Minimalist

The wide choice of shower enclosures available in todays market means that there’s a perfect enclosure to complement your bathroom’s design – whatever style that may be from classical to contemporary and everything in between. In this series of blogs we look at different design styles and the types of enclosure that can complement the look – starting with Minimalist.

The minimalist movement, formed during the 1950s, has become a true design classic, adopted by many for its ethos of embracing light, space and clean lines. This modern minimalist aesthetic is influenced by great architects and artists including Le Corbusier for his Villa Savoye, just outside Paris – and the later works of Frank Lloyd Wright such as the Guggenheim Museum.

Minimalist Bathroom Design


minimalist_designSo what does minimalist mean to us? In the context of bathroom design, minimalist means creating the illusion of light and space using a minimal palette of light colours – or even better, just white – clean lines, reflective surfaces, chromes and simple contemporary fittings, with minimal visible clutter.

When selecting a shower enclosure to achieve the minimalist look, aim for simplicity of design and elegance as highlighted by our Walk in and Shower Screen enclosures featured below:

Walk in

With the undoubted touch of luxury that comes with being able to just step into your shower and the illusion of enhanced light provided by the floating glass screen, this enclosure demonstrates that beautiful minimalism doesn’t have to mean basic.

Shower Screen

One striking AllClear® treated glass panel edged by an elegantly turned profile. We don’t need to say any more, because how much more minimal could you get.

Both enclosures are complemented by the addition of our optically superior, ultra-clear PureVueHD glass at no extra cost. Bringing the true minimalist ethos to your bathroom design. To see the difference in action take a closer look at PureVueHD

To check out the rest of the Classic Collection

How to choose the right shower tray

We are living in a time where options are no longer an option, they are an expectation. The modern day consumer DEMANDS choice, we couldn’t have moved farther away from Henry Ford’s old adage of “You can have any colour as long as it’s black”. This is no truer than in the shower industry. Although the basic concept of a shower enclosure is still recognisable from the earliest iterations, the design, form and material options have changed and expanded drastically.

This idea of options in enclosure design has forced the provision of options in shower trays to cater for these changing shapes and styles. So when you’re specifying your next enclosure there are certain decisions you’ll have to make, some dictated by function, and some simply a matter of taste.

Things you’ll need to consider:

  • Style of tray – heavy or lightweight?
  • Shape of tray – bow front/square/rectangular/pentagon/quadrant/corner?
  • Materials – stone or acrylic?
  • Finish – smooth or textured (gloss or matt)?
  • Which style will be the easiest to clean?
  • Waste position?
  • Ease of installation?
  • Floor surface – is the tray compatible with an ‘easy plum kit’ to level the floor?

The battle of the shower trays: Contemporary VS Traditional

Contemporary Lightweight Tray

Traditional Stone Resin Tray

40mm low profile 45mm profile or standard height 80mm
25kg weight for largest size 62.25kgs weight largest size
Come with integrated anti-bacterial agent as standard Can come with a tiling upstand
Lightweight with steel reinforcement Stone resin with acrylic cap
Tray shapes – Quadrant, offset quadrant, rectangular, square, pentagon, bow front (special order) curved corner (special order) Tray shapes – Quadrant, offset quadrant, rectangular, square
Can have easy plumb kit for ease of installation Can have easy plumb kit for ease of installation
10 year guarantee 10 year guarantee

As you can hopefully see there are perfectly good reasons for arguing either a contemporary or traditional option. The only way to ensure you make the right decision when it comes to a shower tray is to prepare yourself with the questions we have provided, with this strong foundation you should find it pretty hard to go wrong.

To find out more, request a brochure or click compare and contrast a wide array of trays for all needs

Plan the perfect bathroom

A full checklist for your new or renovated bathroom

When planning a bathroom – whether new build or refurbishment – there are many things to take into consideration. To make the process that much more enjoyable our experts at Lakes Bathrooms have provided their planning top tips to help you achieve the bathroom you desire.

Before you start…

Your first decision in planning any bathroom needs to be about what you want and need from the room: It is to be a functional family space, a stylish sanctuary, or a high-tech showstopper?

  • Functional space ☐
  • Stylish (luxury) space ☐
  • Show stopping (technologically advanced) space ☐

Once you have that focus in mind, you should plan carefully to make the best use of available space; thinking about whether bathing is essential or if showering is your preference. Do you want to combine the two with a bath and shower screen, or devote space to a wetroom or walk-in?

  • Bath only ☐
  • Combination bath and shower ☐
  • Separate bath and shower ☐
  • Wetroom ☐
  • Walk-in shower ☐
  • Fully enclosed shower ☐

When planning your space, make sure you’ve thought practically about how the room will work once it’s created. Will doors open the right way? Will everything fit and function the way you hope?

Begin your bathroom on paper and draw a plan to scale so that you can check your design will work. Grab some graph paper and plot your room outline before adding the elements you want to include. Alternatively there are now a number of online tools for accurately planning spaces. Take care to include radiators and other fixtures, plus windows and doors.

  • Plan on paper ☐
  • Plan online ☐

Walk yourself through using the room in your mind and check that it fulfils all your practical preferences. Planning in lighting and electrics forms part of this – do you need power to a cabinet (for example for shaving or toothbrush points) or light directed over certain features?

Next think about what sort of investment you want to make and hence how much you want to spend. Budgeting effectively is essential, so start by researching and pricing your chosen fixtures, fittings and finishes. Think about functionality like heating – do you want underfloor warmth, for example – and ventilation or extraction need to be considered.

  • Underfloor heating? ☐
  • Extraction fan? ☐

Eco aspects are now often considered in the bathroom. Do you want to capitalise on the latest design innovations that save water, power or avoid chemical pollutants? If this is on your list of priorities then do your homework when planning so that you can include environmentally responsible elements in your bathroom and buy from companies with good eco and ethical credentials.

Where to spend and where to save:


In terms of spending, that old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ holds true in the bathroom. So it’s wise to invest in the best fixtures and fittings that your budget can accommodate.

If you’re financially astute, you will probably want to consider the lifetime value of the things you’re buying and consider how long they may last. Choosing elements or treatments that may extend the life of your bathroom is a wise buy – for example a stay-clean coating on your shower enclosure, shower door or bath screen will keep it looking good for longer and improve its durability.

  • Do you want a stay clean coating on your shower? ☐

If you plan to have a shower in your bathroom then devote as much space to it as you can. Space is luxurious in the shower and with minimalist glass enclosures you can create a sense of light and space that really enhances the look of your bathroom.


Spend a bit of your time and potentially save a lot of your money by shopping around. There are some great deals out there and so thorough research really pays off. Check whether it’s most cost effective to buy your fittings separately or as part of a package – it may be that you can negotiate extras if you concentrate your spend with one supplier. Time to get serious with your negotiation skills!

If you dream of a wetroom but are put off by the cost, then you may be able to create the look and feel for less. Wet room demand has driven the traditional shower enclosure manufacturers to offer alternatives, with trays shrinking from 110mm monsters down to as little as 25mm in height. New lightweight materials make these easier to install and minimalist walk-in enclosure design goes a long way to create the wet room feel without the cost and hassle of waterproofing. It’s a B plan option to consider when budgets get squeezed, or when practical difficulty overtakes wet room feasibility.

When to DIY and when to seek help:

You can save even further by getting involved in your bathroom project at a practical level. The things that you can tackle yourself are the labour intensive parts of the job: Ripping out, preparing, creating the blank canvas. Then decoration and even tiling can be mastered. It may take you a little longer than a professional, but if you have the time and want to save money then it’s an option to consider.

Design is an area that you may be happy to do yourself; laying out the component parts of your room and choosing what will work where. However, many bathroom retailers offer a design service using specialist software that can create photo-realistic 3D pictures and real-time walk-throughs to give you a vision of your chosen bathroom design.

For safety and legal reasons you mustn’t attempt any electrical work yourself (this is now covered by Part P in the domestic market and must be conducted by a suitably qualified professional). Plumbing is another area where it’s best to rely on an expert. Whilst easy plumb screw fittings may make it tempting to attempt, a good plumber will be taking all sorts of factors into account, such as fall-away angle in the shower to ensure it drains well. Take care to comply with any regulatory factors such as Building Control if your bathroom project includes any structural work – this is definitely an area for the experts.

Don’t forget…

Last minute considerations can make or break the functional performance of the bathroom. For instance a bathroom can look stunning in the spring when it’s fitted, but then prove impractical come winter-time if heating wasn’t properly planned. Think ahead for things like lighting, storage, heating and extraction.

Basically in summation, when it comes to bathroom and shower choices, a bit of planning goes a long way, because once you know the logistics of your space choosing the right shower enclosure, style and door opening mechanic, is so much simpler. At Lakes Bathrooms we have a range of enclosures, trays, and door options to suit whatever your plan may be, check out our collections here.