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What should I consider before I start work on my bathroom?

What should I consider before I start work on my bathroom?

Project type

  • Bathroom
  • Plumbing
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If you’ve already investigated whether building regulations approval and planning permission are required then there are some additional issues to consider before you start work on your bathroom.

  • It’s really important that a bathroom is installed correctly for hygiene and safety reasons and to prevent unwanted water leaks so follow our tips on finding a tradesman.

  • Do your replacement fittings match the originals in size? If so, hopefully there won’t be too much upheaval.

  • You might want to consider making your bathroom warmer while reducing condensation and mould by upgrading or installing mechanical extract ventilation, replacing the window and including a trickle vent, dry lining the walls with insulation and fitting a heated towel rail at the same time. (You may need building regulations approval for this work.)

  • If it’s a new bathroom, how you’re going to get a hot and cold water supply will need to be planned out, and new central heating pipework might be needed for radiators and towel rails. Waste pipes need to be properly specified with the right waste and trap sizes, installed correctly at the right gradient and with rodding eyes in case of blockages, and be connected to the existing system, assuming it has the required capacity and is in good condition.

  • If your soil and vent pipe is not in a convenient location, or if you need to pump waste to a different location, you will need a macerator.

  • Will the floor be able to support the weight of your new suite or a new partition? Remember that cast iron baths filled with water exert a huge pressure on the small feet – you’ll probably need to upgrade the floor joists.

  • Will you have enough water pressure for your shower? You may be able to increase this by fitting a pump.

  • You may need to extend your electrics, but beware that sockets aren't permitted in a bathroom unless it is very large. Your light switch will need to be outside the door or operated via a pull cord.

Speak to your local building control team (search for contact details above) if in doubt about anything.

Further information

Do I need planning permission for my new bathroom?

Do I need building control approval for my new bathroom?