Buying Guide Bathroom Fitters
Choosing a bathroom is only the start of your bathroom experience … it’s going to be necessary to deal with a bathroom fitter too, unless you are a DIY expert. Even an experienced DIYer may not be fully qualified to do a full bathroom installation, and may need to call upon specific experts such as a qualified electrician or Gas Safe registered plumber at various points in the project. Having a bit of background knowledge regarding the different stages and tasks involved will help the bathroom fitting go smoothly.
In an ideal world, it would be fabulous to have a fully qualified bathroom fitter on speed dial, available to come and install every element of your carefully chosen bathroom. In reality, it’s not that straightforward, and what can also add to the upheaval and timescale is that in a very small bathroom (such as a cloakroom or en-suite) it may only be realistically possible for one tradesman (or woman) to be physically working at one time.
HOW TO CHOOSE A BATHROOM FITTER
Independent showrooms and the bathroom chains are able to suggest a bathroom fitter usually as integral part of the whole bathroom purchase. Talk to the person you're buying the bathroom from , they will either be able to provide installation services or have a list of contacts who will undertake bathroom installation. If you’re buying a bathroom online, or your supplier doesn’t have a suitable contact, then of course, word of mouth recommendations for a bathroom fitter are ideal. Be merciless and ask all friends and colleagues if they can suggest a bathroom fitter, a personal connection is invaluable.
WHO DOES WHAT
A bathroom installation team can vary in numbers … it’s unusual for one single person to be qualified and capable of doing every single task involved in a full bathroom installation. You may be employing a general builder, especially if the bathroom installation is in a new loft conversion or extension. The general builder may have been recommended or directly employed by the architect if it’s a new build or larger project. There will also be a plumber, plasterer, tiler, carpenter, electrician and a plumber who is gas-qualified if required. A general builder or bathroom fitter may do the general plastering, carpentry and plumbing, and then call on an electrician and tiler when and if required. Remember, a fully tiled bathroom needs to be expertly done and is a very different job from adding a small tiled splashback behind a wash basin.
BATHROOM INSTALLATION COSTS
Of course, it’s vital to discuss bathroom installation costs at the start of the project, but equally, it’s very difficult to give precise figures as problems may arise as work progresses. Your bathroom fitter may discover an unexpected faulty pipe or worn out component that needs to be replaced and which will involve extra costs. An independent showroom will provide a full installation cost if they’re handling all aspects of the project. A general builder will quote for the full job, but may allocate certain tasks to an electrician or tiler, in which case they may offer a fixed quote at an hourly or daily rate.
ORGANISING YOUR BATHROOM INSTALLATION TEAM
Timing is the most important aspect; your bathroom supplier will offer a delivery date, and of course, that’s the date when your bathroom fitter will need to have access to the bathroom. If it’s an empty room, installation can gallop ahead. If it’s a replacement bathroom situation then of course the team needs to be ready for the new products, preferably with plastering, tiling, electrical and plumbing work all in place. Factor in time for removal of the old suite, flooring and tiling.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A FULL DESIGN SERVICE
Independent showrooms offering a full design bathroom installation service can take care of all aspects of the installation. It may be installing a brand-new bathroom into an already-decorated and updated room, or designing, planning and installing the entire project , from suggesting a suitable bath to specifying floor tiles and light switches. A full design service will still need your input though, as you’ll be presented with drawings, piles of colour swatches and tile samples, and will need to discuss each option with the designer.