It's what you know

Planning a new bathroom is a major undertaking. On these pages, the experts provide a few pointers on what works best in a variety of situations
view of this streamlined contemporary bathroom, oval vanity angle, bathroom, bathroom accessory, bathroom cabinet, bathroom sink, ceramic, plumbing fixture, product, product design, purple, tap, toilet seat, white, gray
view of this streamlined contemporary bathroom, oval vanity with frosted glass top

With the impressive array of products available today, redesigning an existing bathroom, or planning a new one, offers many design possibilities. And European imports are proving a strong influence on current bathroom design.

Leading European designers are mixing form and function in many new and innovative ways, as seen in the products featured on these pages.

But knowing what will work in your home isn't always easy. To help you formulate your ideas, the consultants at Hastings Tile & Bath Collection answer some frequently asked questions.

Is any tile suitable for a bathroom? Yes, basically all tiles are suitable for use in bathrooms, but a wall tile may not be used on the floor.


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view of the bathroom showroom

I wonder if my 5ft x 8ft bathroom is too small to use large tiles. Is this the case? No, on the contrary, most smaller bathrooms look more spacious with larger tiles. This is because there are fewer grout joints and the room looks less busy. Placing tiles on the diagonal can also lead the eye to enhance a sense of space.

What other things can I do to make my small bathroom appear as large as possible? Using a cantilevered vanity unit means the floor area is not interrupted, which makes the room appear larger. Wall-mounted toilets and sinks are another option. Creating a wet area for the shower, rather than a separate shower stall, can also keep a room looking spacious. And, of course, large mirrors above and even below a cantilevered vanity will visually expand the size of the bathroom.

I love the minimalist look of cantilevered sinks. But if I don't have a vanity, what do I do for bathroom storage? There are plenty of interesting alternatives to a vanity cabinet. Tall glass wall units and cabinets concealed behind mirrors are just two options you may like to consider.

Will glass mosaics be slippery in my shower? Glass mosaics are suitable for your shower and bathroom floor, as the small mosaics have more grout joints, which help create a non-slip surface.

view of this bathrrom featuring mini lavasca tub, ceramic, interior design, product design, purple, table, gray
view of this bathrrom featuring mini lavasca tub, stained timber platform

I would like a freestanding tub. Can I achieve this with my current plumbing? You would need to consult with your trade professional. It is most likely additional plumbing work will be required.

Can I have wall-mounted faucets and toilets? Yes, but like the freestanding tub, some additional plumbing will be required.

I like the idea of a wood vanity top. How practical is this in a bathroom? Wood vanity tops today are finished so that they repel water and will not stain. They make a strong contrast to white sinks and also complement the popular neutral tones we are seeing today. For many homeowners, using wood is also a way to link the bathroom to materials that feature elsewhere in the house.

My bathroom is very dark. What can I do to lighten the space? Introducing a skylight and under-shelf lighting are two options. White or light-colored tiles and reflective surfaces, including mirrors and chrome fixtures, will bounce light within the room, making it seem brighter.

May 26, 2006
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