what do you wish someone had told you before you redid your bathroom and/or kitchen?

(168 Posts)
sophable Sat 20-Mar-10 17:59:23

following on from the awesome breastfeeding thread, and on a much smaller and less important scale obv, i'm looking for your collective wisdom as i embark on major building works in my house.

weirdly not only am i going to hopefully benefit from your bathroom and kitchen wisdom...but as i'm preg AND undertaking building works of doom i'll be benefitting from the bfding thread too...

so your dream kitchens and bathrooms linked please...and also things you wish you'd known.

TIA

sophable Sat 20-Mar-10 18:47:38

company that you bought from link please strawb...

love cooking and will definitely also have an integrated oven, and gas hob (i'm right about gas hob if i love cooking aren't i? i hate the ceramic hob i'm on at the moment)?

why do i have the impression that neff is so good?

bran Sat 20-Mar-10 18:47:50

grin I was kicking myself for not placing a bet on it, all the cooking for a month or something. It was particularly annoying because we had someone in to do it while we were away on holiday and of course he couldn't finish it and we hadn't told him where we'd bought the tiles so he couldn't buy more.

We're moving house again soon and if he doubts me in any way when we are decorating there I will be bringing up the tile incident. Actually, it would probably work better if I don't seek his opinion at all.

sophable Sat 20-Mar-10 18:48:50

dh said the other day...just stop asking me as you know it won't make any difference what i say...which i thought was rather unfair!

Joolyjoolyjoo Sat 20-Mar-10 18:49:10

If you are laying the floor tiles yourself, and you are laying plywood and screwing it down first- DON'T use inch long screws!

Then later, after 8 hours of hard labour, with bleeding hands but perfectly cut tiles, when you realise that water is coming into the kitchen, DON'T tell yourself it must be coincidence.

Then when your DH comes home and gently tells you all the tiles will have to come up, DON't insist he is wrong, and demand your dad comes for a second opinion.

If you followed the first piece of advice not to use long nails, you won't have to sob uncontrollably as your dad and DH pull up all the tiles you spent all day laboriously laying so they can fix the leak in the radiator pipe under the floor sad

bran Sat 20-Mar-10 18:49:29

Coloured grouting is much nicer than you might think, especially if your tiles are quite dark. We have dark blue tiles on the bathroom floor with grey grouting and it looks much better than white would have and doesn't look grubby.

sophable Sat 20-Mar-10 18:52:25

jooly...i am SO sorry...i can only imagine the horror

Lastyearsmodel Sat 20-Mar-10 18:59:01

If you are buying a cheap batch of white tiles for your bathroom, double check against something that is definitely white that they really are white and not slightly off-grey. Which is why they were going cheap.

Not life-threatening, but bugs me every time I walk in there and see them against the white suite and walls, and would have been so simple to avoid.

sophable Sat 20-Mar-10 18:59:46

i have a fantasy about a curved bath surround...a steel bath in a stone surround with curved edges...is it possible? does it exist...is it something a builder could do with plaster, and what would you cover that with. once we stayed in a house with a swimming pool that had this, like a plaster finish that was curved on the side - if you imagine where you'd put your toes as you got ready to dive into the pool, no corner edge, just a curve of plaster...

Goldberry Sat 20-Mar-10 19:07:59

Wish I had realised that a black and white floor is not a good idea. Looks lovely for 5 mins after being cleaned, but the white squares show the dirt and the black squares show the dust!

Don't have pale kitchen tiles with pale cream grout. Especially if you own a very muddy dog. You will spend every day of your life washing them. Not including the fun saturday nights when you clean the grouting with a toothbrush and baking powder. Never, never again!

sophable Sat 20-Mar-10 19:11:12

thighs...nothing would make me do that, i'm a slattern and would deal with the grungey floor and grout...never the toothbrush ever ever ever!

sophable Sat 20-Mar-10 19:27:34

it doesn't exist does it?

keep em coming ladies...i know not to use inch long screws, to never rely on dh for measurements, to check that white things are really white and all sorts now!

RunningOutOfNames Sat 20-Mar-10 19:41:55

John Lewis of Hungerford kitchens - seem to get more for your money than some of the similar ones.

We had extra wide worktops to accommodate normal appliances rather than built in, got fed up leaving them behind every time we moved house.

Kitchen - get your lighting right....

bran Sat 20-Mar-10 19:54:58

My mother's new kitchen doesn't have wall cabinets, just base cabinets and full-height cupboards along a short wall. It's made a huge difference to the lighting problem as she can have little energy-saving spots anywhere she wants in the ceiling.

taffetacat Sat 20-Mar-10 20:13:51

We just finished a whole house remodel a few months ago.

Underfloor heating - wonderful

Our kitchen is modelled on this but much cheaper

Do your research on sanitaryware etc for bathrooms and then order from mainly trade places - normally about 30 percent cheaper than list price for main brands

If having spotlights/downlights in kitchen make sure you have some directly above where you are doing the food prep or get swivelling ones

Think really carefully about how many and where you want your electrical sockets

Research reasearch research then barter barter barter

Be prepared its an exercise in expectation management and prioritisation - unless you have a bottomless pit of money

Sidge Sat 20-Mar-10 20:14:59

I've just finished having my bathroom re-done. It's GORGEOUS! I will try and put photos on my profile in a minute if you like?

Anyway my bathroom top tips would be:

Don't have white tiles and grout. They quickly look grubby.

Make sure you get someone vaguely resourceful to fit it; we quickly discovered that my apparently beautiful bathroom is actually pretty crap and it's only the skill of my plumber/fitter that has made it so lovely. Things like hinges that don't fit properly and a designer in store that didn't make allowances for handles on cupboards that would prevent adjoining cupboards from opening hmm

Set your budget and then add at least 20%. You'll need it.

mumonthenet Sat 20-Mar-10 20:22:36

Have as few cupboards as possible. What I mean is...instead of shelves in cupboards have, drawers, inset slide-out baskets, pullout larders, etc. etc... in your cupboards. You can get them specially designed for everything, for pots/pans, crockery, tins.

How about a drop down tv?

Don't get kitchen units with beading / moulding round the door. I am a complete slattern, but the dirt that bukds even pisses even me off!

Get totally flat doors.

DecorHate Sat 20-Mar-10 21:29:17

I wish I'd read that other thread about not having wall cupboards in the kitchen. I don't have lots but have realised that if I cleared out all the crap art stuff from what was supposed to be my larder that I probably could have done without the wall units...

hormonalmum Sat 20-Mar-10 21:38:16

Think they may be called Spice drawers or something - apparently used as a filler in kitchen design. In our case, they seem to have been used as a main point of design. (I was pregnant and desperate to get moved in so did not fully think through the design)

I HATE THEM. If we had not got them, our kitchen would be so much better organised. They spoil our kitchen to the point that I am already looking forward to changing the kitchen..

Only get them if you really have to.

Have heard good things about under floor heating.

sophable Sat 20-Mar-10 21:42:00

thanks for all these!

definitely already on the no wall units except full length train...

v good tip re spots above working areas and thinking about sockets.

flowerpotwoman Sat 20-Mar-10 21:47:59

Sidge: please can we see your bathroom pics smile

sophable Sat 20-Mar-10 21:53:22

yes yes please sidge!

No134 Sat 20-Mar-10 21:56:14

buyers and sellers for appliances.

Hi soph, am in disguise atm, glad to hear all is well with you. smile

sophable Sat 20-Mar-10 21:57:23

No134, are you in disguise cause you are preg???? [hopeful and excited emoticon despite fact that no idea who you are!]

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