skip to Main Content

How to choose a bathroom company

Choosing a company to design, supply and install your bathroom can be challenging. Quite often you are forced into making arrangements yourself, asking one company to supply the products, and different tradesmen to fit them, leading to inconsistency and, in some cases, a disappointing end result.

The following nine top tips will help make sure your bathroom project is as high quality as you expect, delivered on time and in budget.

1. Ask yourself if you want to renovate or start from new

Deciding to either renovate or create a new bathroom in a new house can be a very exciting but also daunting for people. For many people it can signify a large expense, a bad experience previously, being unsure on what brands to stay away from or to use or not knowing the best layout for your space. It is important when choosing a bathroom company that they give you the best vision for your bathroom and value for money.

2. Why choose a bathroom designer?

A bathroom designer will be able to visit your home, see what you have already but also use their imagination and creativity to design a tailored design and specification for your space. A bathroom designer will also know what products are on the market that maybe you haven’t been aware of or maybe didn’t think you could use. They are able to also check how plumbing works with the space or have access to someone that can confirm that for them. A good bathroom designer will want to ensure that the space works the best it can for you and your family to give the best layout, wellbeing and quality.

Joe Muhl from Ocean Bathrooms

3. Consider a ‘complete’ service

If you require a complete service then ensure you either look at the customer case studies or meet the installers prior to starting, they will be in your house from a minimum of a couple of weeks, so the cleanliness, professionalism and workmanship you want to know is the best.

4. Decide style and budget

Before you start your project you need to decide what style and budget you want to go for as products, cost and quality can range substantially to what you require. Giving away a budget to the designer is not to let the designer spend every penny, but also to be able to show you things you either can or cannot have in the project.

5. Finding a bathroom design and supply company

There are various sources you can use:

  • Recommendation (word of mouth) – as homeowners and friends for a recommendation,
  • If you know a specific brand you would like that is specialist, contact the supplier/manufacturer and they should be able to recommend a showroom selling their products and offering the services you require,
  • Online – browse social media sites or use a search engine
  • If you are using an architect, they may recommend someone they use regularly for their projects. A lot of architects do not get involved with the design of a bathroom/kitchen and will give a professional recommendation on who to use.

Once you have found a selection of firms, arrange to visit them in the showroom and see what brands they use, design software they use and if they have an installation service (if it is recommended or in-house). Once you are happy with the person and company who you are dealing with, invite them to do a site survey and measure up the space, and come up with their vision. Some people get three designs and quotes, but bear in mind most companies do not charge for the design service, specification or their time (unlike interior designers, architects and other trades). So, if you are happy with the company and the design, do you need 3 or 10 options?

Discuss expectations with your designer and supplier beforehand:

Your budget expectations, what budget you have or that you want to spend, are important. If you were to choose a single item that is 80% of your budget, where would you need to cut back on other aspects of the project?

6. Do you like their previous work?

These days it is easy to see work. You can do this in person, with a customer who is happy to show you around, via the company’s website case studies, or by a recommended customer call. This is also a good way to see their fitting quality.

7. Do they listen to you?

When discussing your project with the designer, make sure that, if there are some “musts”, let them know about this in advance, ensure they listen to you or, if they do an alternative option, request that they give you the reason and to show you why it works better. Some designers can be guilty of wanting to put their “standard design” or “their mark” on the design. Sometimes this is what the client wants. But the space, most importantly, is for you and has to work best for you.

8. Do they respect your budget?

It is best to be upfront with the designer with regards to budget. They can design in product-based or installation-based elements which could benefit you if your budget were to change. Consider using a phrase like “the budget is £X, but if there is something I really like then we can increase it”. This may allow the designer to come up with something special that you will like. Having the budget upfront also then ensures you are not being unrealistic before the process starts. If there is a “must-have item” or a “like item”, this can also be built in to the budget. 

9. Consider bathroom supply fees

Most bathroom designers and suppliers do not charge for their design work. In some cases, there can be several re-designs, showroom appointments and site visits. Bear this in mind when trying to negotiate, or asking for discount, as you wouldn’t do this with most professionals! The “value” of the project is what is important. Because of online and unbranded products, bathroom designers have to put together a full specification and design for free (which an architect, Q&S or contractor would charge you for if they did it).

When you are buying from a company with a showroom, think about the investment cost for that showroom. Generally, companies with showrooms have invested over £250,00 to £1m to give you the option to see products (rather than online images). They also have to pay costs of running a showroom, staff training and continual investment.

The best value for money is generally to opt for an all-inclusive package. If what you are looking for is the absolute cheapest price, you may want to pay a designer to do the bathroom design and specification, then buy the individual elements yourself. But be aware of hidden charges – if there is an issue, are they going to fly to this country, or drive hundreds of miles to sort it out? So look for a value that works for you, but also means the designer and supplier have an invested interest in the project.

Don’t be driven by who can discount the most. You need to look at the skill, reputation, professionalism and design quality of a good designer. Have they come up with a solution to your problem that you or other companies haven’t thought of?

Above all, enjoy the process, the selection, the design, the input and meeting the people that will help create your perfect bathroom space. Communicate before, during and after. If the cost is too much, or overruns the initial budget (normally because this hasn’t been said at the start), don’t be afraid go back to them and ask them to re-design or specify alternative products to reduce the cost, avoiding potential embarrassment afterwards or having to change the designer.

Ocean Bathrooms London Showroom
Ocean Bathrooms London showroom
Inside Ocean Bathrooms' Bridport showroom
Back To Top