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21 Oct 2021

Space-saving Solutions in the Bathroom

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British homes are now smaller than ever, so how can we achieve the perfect, yet practical, bathroom in smaller spaces? Sophie Weston, Channel Marketing Manager at Geberit, explores the opportunities.

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According to Which?, British homes are now typically 20% smaller than in the 1970s, with houses built in the last decade now averaging 67.8m2 of living space. To put this figure in some context, the size of both decks of a London bus is 55m2.

With this restriction on space, it is inevitable that the bathroom is one area to have been squeezed with the average size of a British bathroom now just 4.4m2, and we all know what 2m looks like after the last 18 months.

Despite the downward trend in size, demands continue to change. As people get used to spending more time in their home, the ways in which they use their property is shifting. Buyers and self-builders are increasingly seeking bathrooms that are not only functional but inspirational too, providing a place of sanctuary away from the buzz (and sometimes chaos) of family life, home working and entertaining.

New YouGov research from Geberit shows more than a quarter of us (27%) are working from home five days a week or more and half of us are spending more time on our self-care routine than we were before the pandemic. The home has become something of a sanctuary – more so now than ever before.

With all this in mind, the challenge of creating luxurious yet practical spaces within increasingly smaller rooms has placed a renewed emphasis on the significance of product and design innovation to help maximise space. Here’s how manufacturers are helping developers and self-builders to meet that challenge.

The benefits of wall-hung design

One of the most effective solutions is to specify a wall-hung WC – reducing the outward projection by concealing the cistern behind a stud wall and lifting the pan from the footprint of the floor.

Wall-hung ceramics offer a premium look and feel in smaller bathroom spaces, creating the illusion of ‘floating’ above the floor. Offering a space-saving alternative to traditional close coupled toilets, they can open up the bathroom space by allowing flooring to run underneath the toilet, whilst offering a sleek, streamlined design.

However, it’s not just all about space. Hygiene and ease of cleaning is now a huge consideration for homeowners – and lifting the toilet from the footprint of the floor is an effective way to enhance hygiene too. With no hard-to-reach areas, cleaning is easier, and dirt/dust accumulation is significantly reduced. Geberit’s KeraTect Glaze also offers a non-porous and smoother surface to help prevent staining of the ceramics and create a high-gloss effect, while Geberit’s Rimfree ceramic appliances can also eliminate tricky corners and hard-to-reach areas around the pan – further supporting customers to maximise hygiene in the bathroom.

And for that extra design versatility, wall-hung furniture offers the opportunity to add the finishing touches to a project with the option of adding stylish flush plate finishes, such as textured rustic wood or slate designs that blend harmoniously into any decor style.

A shorter solution for basin depth

The other big opportunity to save space through product innovation is by specifying short projection basins. In addition, back-to-wall toilets with concealed cisterns are another effective and stylish way to streamline the space. By hiding the cistern in the wall or furniture, it can offer a simple, yet effective, solution for smaller spaces.

Intelligent storage solutions can also make better use of space, reducing unnecessary clutter in the room. This includes vanity units or mirror cabinets, designed to offer practical, dual-purpose usage and make sure homeowners don’t need to make compromises.

Achieving luxurious spaces

Fuelled by the rise of social media and reality TV shows showcasing aspirational properties, consumers increasingly want design-led, ‘Insta-ready’ solutions throughout the home, and that includes the bathroom.

With smaller spaces to work in, budget is no longer the biggest restriction – but by working with leading manufacturers to identify space-saving solutions, you can find the balance in almost all cases.

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