Converting your loft is the first step to adding value and space to your home, but what you do with that space is equally important. Simply reinstating it as a storage space is a waste when you could add a much needed second bathroom to your house. Not to mention the fact it’s at the top of your house secludes it from the hustle and bustle of the lower floors, adding a feeling of luxury. But when using your conversion as a bathroom there are many issues to consider.
Shower or Bath?
A typical feature of any loft conversion, unless you have also extended your conversion to include a dormer, is its sloping roof. This sloping roof can pose difficult questions when it comes to deciding what to do with your space because of the lack of head room. In terms of a bathroom, it can mean the difference between enough head height to accommodate a shower, or the installation of a bath as an alternative. There are many attractive solutions to this though.
If you can afford to go the extra mile, having a bespoke bathroom fitted will make the most of the head height. From a curved shower unit attached with a wall to floor glass screen, or a roll top stand-alone bath, there are lots of options available to you. You could even explore having your bath set into the floor to give it the feel of a Jacuzzi; the only limitation is your own imagination as any bathroom designer will try to meet your requirements with realistic solutions.
For those who would like to go down a more traditional route, installing a bath underneath your window is a popular option. It makes use of the otherwise unused eve space and frees up precious floor space. Not to mention the fact that if you’re clever with the bath you choose, you could also have a few built-in cupboards where the bath panel might normally be.
Fitted storage is a great way to make the most of your space. It is unlikely that you will have a luxurious amount of floor space, and stand-alone units might not fit well into a sloped roof space as they cannot be flush against the wall. In this case, we recommend fitted cupboards. Finding a good carpenter is key, and whilst it might cost a little bit more than a normal bathroom unit, it will last for as long as you live in your house. And because it’s completely unique to your property, you will have the pleasure of choosing handles, varnishes, and paints that meet your artistic vision perfectly.
If you are an excellent DIY carpenter, or simply would like to have a go, you can purchase raw materials from any local hardware store such as B&Q. The important thing is to utilise any space you wouldn’t normally use, such as the lower eves of the sloping roof, as a low-level storage unit.
Suspended wall units give the illusion of space, and if their locations are chosen well, they could really make the most of the space. For example, a mirrored unit on a flat wall above your sink is a natural choice to keep toothbrushes, medicines and cosmetics away from other surfaces. These need not be bespoke pieces either; shops such as IKEA have a great range of bathroom furniture with all of the fixtures and fittings included… as long as you can figure out their pictorial instructions!
During the conversion process, you will need to make sure it is suitably waterproof for the inevitable condensation and splashes produced in the day to day use of a bathroom. It was once considered luxurious to have a carpeted bathroom, but in the modern day it is simply not practical, and when there are water-resistant stylish flooring options out there such as tiling and linoleum, you need not turn to carpeting.
Tiling your floor is ideal if you have installed an under-floor heating system or would like to utilise any local produce, such as slate. This helps support local businesses and also minimises your carbon footprint as the materials won’t have to be shipped from afar. Slate and other natural tiling materials bring a sense of the organic into the man-made home environment, so if you’re looking for a more relaxing bathroom experience where you can take a break from the stresses and strains of life, natural tiling will meet your needs.
When it comes to the type of paint you use, most paint companies do the work for you with a dedicated bathroom range. The paint for a bathroom differs from that used in the rest of the home in that it is steam resistant due to the fact it is not water-based. This means in its make-up it has a higher content of acrylic, although this can vary from brand to brand, making it easier to clean and won’t wash off. Although like most surfaces in the home, it may need to be retouched from time to time.
This is the fun part! When it comes to furnishing your conversion you can pick a theme and run with it. A common bathroom theme includes the seaside; the white and blue of the sea brings in a breath of fresh air. Then there’s a splash of the organic using colours such as sand and green to blend with a natural wall or floor tile. Generally bold colours are best left to larger spaces as they can tend to make a small room feel too busy. Instead, add a splash of colour with towels and removable objects such as soap dispensers and refillable shower gel bottles.
Just a handful of options have been mentioned here, but the main points to keep in mind are practicality, which includes storage and waterproofing, and designing a bathroom that meets your needs. Utilising your loft conversion as a second bathroom is a great investment, so make sure you get it right to make the most of it!
Image Credits: iStockImages