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Bathroom Plumbing Guide? Baths and Basins
14.02.2018 11:52

The easiest course when refitting an old bathroom is to use equipment that is the same shape and size as the old equipment. Then all the pieces will fit in the same opportunities and the existing plumbing and waste runs can be used. But the opportunity of planning a new restroom from scratch so that it works better than the old one is usually too good to miss.


Start by deciding what improvements could be made - for example, would a shower plus a bidet be a better idea than a bath? Should the WC be part of the bathroom, or separate from it? Would two wash basins ease the load on the bathroom in the early mornings? Or should extra basins be put in some of the bedrooms?

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There is an enormous range of bathroom products available. Some products is inexpensive and utilitarian; some is unashamedly luxurious; and some is designed to overcome special difficulties, such as a shortage of space.

When you have decided what bathroom products you would like, cut out scaled-down plan styles of the individual items from a piece of card and put these on a scale plan of the bathroom. Leave sufficient area around each piece of equipment so that it can be used properly - room for elbows at the side of the wash basin and for knees in front of the WC, for example. Add scale plans of these activity spaces to your cards. Where two fixtures are unlikely to be used at the same time - for example, a WC and a bidet the activity spaces might overlap without making the bathroom any more awkward to use.

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Do not forget to take account of things like windows and central heating radiators. Doors that get in the real way could be rehung, or converted into sliding doors. Where possible, arrange products in a logical order - WC next to both basin and bidet, for example. Bear in mind that it is best to keep water and waste pipe runs short and that they may need to end up being concealed if they are not to look ugly. WC waste pipes are huge and you may need to allow room for them.


Baths are constructed with a variety of materials. Enamelled cast iron, the traditional material, is very heavy (it takes two strong people to move a bath made of it), rigid and hard-wearing, but it has poor opposition to chipping and is expensive. Enamelled pressed steel has much the same properties, but is much lighter, a little less rigid, and relatively cheap. Plastic materials glass or acrylic reinforced plastics make a bath that is very light, fairly cheap, and with good opposition to chipping. But the bath needs supporting, has poor opposition to chemicals, and may melt if warm things like a cigarette end come into contact with it. The common styles of bath are listed below.


Plain rectangular bath 

Cheap; usually 700mm wide and 1700mm long, but other sizes are available.


Rectangular bath with extra features

 More expensive than the simple type. Different brands have different features; handle grips generally for holding on to when shifting about in the bath; nonslip base makes position in the bath safer; dipped entrance makes it simpler to climb in and out; taps need not be positioned at the end, but on one side, in a corner or plumbed into the wall; plug holes need not be at the ultimate end.


Corner bath 
Usually comes with an oval bathing area. Along with looking different, it may be the answer to some space problems as it takes up less wallspace. Like other unusual baths, it is generally made of a plastic material - and may require a greater volume of water than a traditionally shaped bath.


Double-sized bath for comfort when bathing with a pal; many different shapes are available.


Bath with seat 
A small, deep bath for sitting in rather than lying down in; some are deep enough to allow the water to come up to shoulder level.


Most basins are constructed with vitreous china which has good resistance to chemicals and naked (lames but is quickly cracked or chipped. Other materials used include enameled and acrylic pressed steel.


Pedestal basin 
The pedestal provides some support for the basin and helps to hide plumbing and waste traps. The basin is at a fixed height.


Wall-hung basin

 Can be positioned at any height and leaves the floor clear, but relies completely on the wall structure for support and does not provide any cover for the plumbing and waste pipes.


Vanity or counter-top basin 
The basin is mounted in a worktop or in a ready-made vanity unit with cupboards underneath. When slicing the hole for the basin, take the measurements of the actual basin to be used, as these can vary in size by a few millimetres. The store may cut the hole for you if you purchase basin and vanity device together.


Corner basin 
Designed for use in confined spaces, but ordinarily a small wall-hung basin is a better solution.


Semi-recessed basin 
Another solution to fitting a basin in a small area. Recesses about 60mm or so into the wall.


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