Tips for renovating your bathroom

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Renovating a bathroom is not a cheap operation, and because of the amount of money you will spend you need the right advice.

Johannesburg - Many of us have “war stories” about renovating the bathrooms in our homes, whether from our own experience or from the experiences of others – and hindsight is 20-20.

Sanitaryware manufacturer Geberit would like to offer some suggestions before renovating, with the aim of taking some of the guesswork out of bathroom refurbishments.

* Find a reputable plumber who has a plumber’s card approved by the local authorities.

* Ask the plumber for references and call them.

* Negotiate paying an upfront deposit of 30 percent, a further 30 percent halfway through the project and the final 40 percent only on completion of the work and once you are satisfied everything works.

* It is a good idea to add 10 percent to your total budget for unforeseen expenses that may occur.

* Plumbing renovations = water interruptions, so make the necessary arrangements beforehand.

* Make sure that your contractor is liable for the removal of all rubble.

* If the plumber tries to talk you out of a product you have chosen, chances are they don’t know how to install the product.

* All reputable plumbing product manufacturers have technical support available; let the plumber use this opportunity as it should be a free service.

* Check when choosing plumbing products that there are spares readily available.

* Confirm with the retailer what the products’ warranty covers you for – malfunction of working parts etc. Warranties normally don’t cover wear and tear, or parts such as seals and cartridges.

* To protect your plumbing appliances and geysers ask your plumber to install an inline strainer/filter.

* Don’t expose any copper pipes on the exterior of the building to avoid potential theft.

* Be aware that while products from different brands may be similar, they are not the same; often you’ll hear a sales person or plumber saying “this product is just like that product”.

* Where possible choose a dual flushing option on your toilet to save water, such as the ones supplied by Geberit – there is even a touchless version. This saves water and is more hygienic.

* Concealed cisterns can save you up to 200mm of space in the bathroom, while using wall-hung toilets creates an elegant and spacious feeling and they are hygienic as you can clean underneath and around them.

* Geberit’s Monolith range is an ideal renovation option as it can easily be installed in place of your existing toilet and has a slim concealed cistern for the toilet behind an elegant glass panel.

* Floor-even showers are ideal options as they create the feeling of more space while giving you a very different and stylish look, without big expense. With only the drain being visible it’s important to choose a visibly pleasing and functional product such as the Geberit in-wall shower element or shower drain.

* Installing a hand shower by the bath or shower is useful.

* Even if your renovation is a small project, budget allowing, involve an interior planner or architect to help you maximise the space and create the ambience you are looking for.

* Use texture, colour and layout techniques to enhance your space. – Saturday Star, tips provided by Geberit Southern African


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