Utopia    Guest Blog 15 Oct 2015

Neil Curtis, Senior Designer at Ripples, on how to avoid common bathroom makeover mistakes


Neil Curtis, senior designer at Ripples, offers advice on avoiding the common mistakes made when revamping a bathroom…

Making it work for you

When I design a bathroom I really need to understand the lifestyle of my customers, that’s why it’s really important to visit their homes first. I ask my customers how they use their bathroom, who uses the bathroom and how much time they spend in their bathroom. By asking these questions I can slowly start to build an understanding of their requirements and design them the perfect bathroom.

If a customer has children, then I would be suggesting we look at low-line baths, or perhaps if they like a selection of beauty products in their bathrooms, I’d be talking to them about storage solutions that work in the space they have. A specialist will be taking into account the lifestyle of a customer to ensure these personal touches don’t go unmissed.


Trouble choosing tiles

A tile will look very different on its own, compared to how it looks when it’s in place in your bathroom. It’s absolutely vital that you think about where you want your tiles placed, the colour and the size, before you make a final decision – these decisions will have a huge impact on the overall design of the bathroom.

When it comes to tiling there’s a lot more to think about than you may realise and the style of the room will impact which tiles I would suggest you pick. If a customer is looking for a contemporary finish, then I’d suggest we look at rectified tiles, the thinner grout lines will give you a crisp clean finish, through-body porcelain tiles (where the tile is the same colour throughout) will ensure that we don’t need to use tile trims and if a customer has a smaller bathroom, then I would suggest we look to use larger tiles to create a bigger feel.



Choosing products that are incompatible with your home is often a mistake that people make. It’s my job as a specialist to work with a customer to ensure that we can work around the constraints, so that we can create the customer their dream bathroom. For example, not understanding your water system will hugely affect what someone can buy (e.g. gravity fed system, combination boiler and pressurized system). Knowing what type of water pressure you have and how it’s supplied to the bathroom will allow you to maximise the choice of product you specify and allow you to achieve maximum flow rates in your new bathroom.


 You get what you pay for…

As in all walks of life, you do generally get what you pay for. Cutting costs will inevitably impact in the longer term. If a customer spends more on a product, they will find that they are more innovative, design-led and most importantly better quality. Spending money on installation should also be a high priority. The thing most likely to ruin a bathroom design is how it’s fitted. If you don’t spend enough on a good quality installer then the designs might not become a reality.


Don’t neglect the finishing touches

I always suggest to my customers that they should retain a small amount of budget to allow for finishing touches, these touches will really help to perfect the bathroom once we finish designing it and it’s installed. It’s important to think about doors and door handles, lighting, windowsills, blinds/shutters and paint too. Sometimes things like this can be overlooked and they make a huge difference.