Kya deLongchamps breaks down the potential issues and cost to kick up the feel, quality and style in a new shower-room.

Installing a shower where the bath once held sway and throwing down new, white ware and tiling, is a favourite budget-friendly up-tick.

Any renovation requires micro-management. Follow our practical pointers to stage a new, luxurious deluge in a standard family bathroom.

Pressure: Bar pressure will determine if you can have a powerful downpour or a modest drizzle. Head is the distance between the base of a traditional attic water tank and the outlet of the shower.

The greater this distance, the more pressure is delivered in a gravity-fed mixer. If you don’t have a nice combi-boiler system or enough head for decent pressure (less than 600mm; termed negative head), there are three solutions.

Firstly you could take a deep breath, reach for a HRI tax break (revenue.ie), and install a fully commissioned, sealed system, operating on mains pressure (basically, renovate your entire plumbing/heating system).

Secondly, you could take a squeak of space (600mm distance from the shower tray) and add an appropriate pump to improve flow to the shower.

It’s easier to do this if pipes are accessible and you isolate a pump to the showers, rather than the whole, house water system. Your plumber will check your hot-water tank capacity.

Brands matter with pumps. Prices start from €180 and rise to €600 for a respected firm, like Stuart Turner or Salamander, in a 2.2-3BAR (negative or positive head) domestic for multiple bathrooms.

Finally, there’s electric-pumped showers, which are inexpensive (€250-€350), thermostatically controlled, heating water as needed, and a cinch to upgrade.

Sadly, despite their efficiency, and increasingly handsome designs from Triton and Mira, they are not always enough for water babies, running at about a third of the pressure of any combi-boiler-fed shower.

Temperature and types: Top deck trends include in-hand operation, shower panels with split-centigrade, digital thermostatic control (pre-set control), and multiple body jets.

When choosing a shower, be realistic about who will be using it. Over-head rain showers are water-hungry and overpowering for young children and the elderly.

10mm, toughened glass gives this Zion arrangement, from Crosswater, structural thump and a perfect, airy, frameless view to your choice in tiling or real-stone panels, as here. Crosswater enclosure systems, from €995, City Bathrooms & Tiles, citybathroomsandtiles.ie.

Consider styles that allow you to switch between a gentler wall shower for hair-washing and toddlers, together with that dramatic ceiling mount.

Modern ceiling heads are a new alternative to the traditional, Victorian-inspired shower rose and can be flush-fitted. Any concealed shower elements add structural complexity to your renovation and can demand as much as 100% more than wall-set bar-mixer kits.

Thermostatic control to less than 40C by valve is an absolute must to guard against scalding — specify it as standard, if you’re not fitting an electric shower with integrated thermostatic control. To cut water usage, investigate aerating and spinning heads, which give that big soak sensation without draining the tank.

Enclosures and elements: Consider the shower, surround, and tray as a working water-wicking system. Complete, plug, and play shower enclosures with a door, walls, and tray are offered in 800×1,200mm enclosures and leak- and grout-free pods, from €1,200. They might seem convenient, but can prove cramped for a larger adult.

Today, the tile is the star of most bathrooms. The open-plan feel we love in our interiors is delivered in both contemporary enclosures with less-visible framing and frameless shower panels set with clips to the walls and tray on a slender track.

Two walls provide a discreet walk-in. Here, matched to black shower fittings, sleek slab furniture byPeripal, from €1,995. Use water-resistant, engineered laminate or wood-look tile, from €25m, overreal-wood board floors. City Bathrooms & Tiles.

1-3 panels of tough, 8mm glass can make for a superb, economical lens trained on those Moroccan and European beauties.

Pat Roche, CEO of City Bathrooms & Tiles, adds:

September showers: Budget-friendly up-tick of the bathroom

Kya deLongchamps breaks down the potential issues and cost to kick up the feel, quality and style in a new shower-room.

Installing a shower where the bath once held sway and throwing down new, white ware and tiling, is a favourite budget-friendly up-tick.

Any renovation requires micro-management. Follow our practical pointers to stage a new, luxurious deluge in a standard family bathroom.

Pressure: Bar pressure will determine if you can have a powerful downpour or a modest drizzle. Head is the distance between the base of a traditional attic water tank and the outlet of the shower.

The greater this distance, the more pressure is delivered in a gravity-fed mixer. If you don’t have a nice combi-boiler system or enough head for decent pressure (less than 600mm; termed negative head), there are three solutions.

Firstly you could take a deep breath, reach for a HRI tax break (revenue.ie), and install a fully commissioned, sealed system, operating on mains pressure (basically, renovate your entire plumbing/heating system).

Secondly, you could take a squeak of space (600mm distance from the shower tray) and add an appropriate pump to improve flow to the shower.

It’s easier to do this if pipes are accessible and you isolate a pump to the showers, rather than the whole, house water system. Your plumber will check your hot-water tank capacity.

Brands matter with pumps. Prices start from €180 and rise to €600 for a respected firm, like Stuart Turner or Salamander, in a 2.2-3BAR (negative or positive head) domestic for multiple bathrooms.

Finally, there’s electric-pumped showers, which are inexpensive (€250-€350), thermostatically controlled, heating water as needed, and a cinch to upgrade.

Sadly, despite their efficiency, and increasingly handsome designs from Triton and Mira, they are not always enough for water babies, running at about a third of the pressure of any combi-boiler-fed shower.

Temperature and types: Top deck trends include in-hand operation, shower panels with split-centigrade, digital thermostatic control (pre-set control), and multiple body jets.

When choosing a shower, be realistic about who will be using it. Over-head rain showers are water-hungry and overpowering for young children and the elderly.

10mm, toughened glass gives this Zion arrangement, from Crosswater, structural thump and a perfect, airy, frameless view to your choice in tiling or real-stone panels, as here. Crosswater enclosure systems, from €995, City Bathrooms & Tiles, citybathroomsandtiles.ie.

Consider styles that allow you to switch between a gentler wall shower for hair-washing and toddlers, together with that dramatic ceiling mount.

Modern ceiling heads are a new alternative to the traditional, Victorian-inspired shower rose and can be flush-fitted. Any concealed shower elements add structural complexity to your renovation and can demand as much as 100% more than wall-set bar-mixer kits.

Thermostatic control to less than 40C by valve is an absolute must to guard against scalding — specify it as standard, if you’re not fitting an electric shower with integrated thermostatic control. To cut water usage, investigate aerating and spinning heads, which give that big soak sensation without draining the tank.

Enclosures and elements: Consider the shower, surround, and tray as a working water-wicking system. Complete, plug, and play shower enclosures with a door, walls, and tray are offered in 800×1,200mm enclosures and leak- and grout-free pods, from €1,200. They might seem convenient, but can prove cramped for a larger adult.

Today, the tile is the star of most bathrooms. The open-plan feel we love in our interiors is delivered in both contemporary enclosures with less-visible framing and frameless shower panels set with clips to the walls and tray on a slender track.

Two walls provide a discreet walk-in. Here, matched to black shower fittings, sleek slab furniture byPeripal, from €1,995. Use water-resistant, engineered laminate or wood-look tile, from €25m, overreal-wood board floors. City Bathrooms & Tiles.

1-3 panels of tough, 8mm glass can make for a superb, economical lens trained on those Moroccan and European beauties.

Pat Roche, CEO of City Bathrooms & Tiles, adds:

Quality firms, like City Bathrooms & Tiles, offer useful CAD and in-house design help here. What about a more architectural, deconstructed showering area, using a low-level tray or tanked, fully waterproofed, tiled flooring?

As a bundle, walk-ins are priced from €500, for 900×2,000mm in 2-3 panel sets with a simple gap access — a perceptible price loading on standard enclosures in the area of about 30% (but 50% less than a full wet-room).

Individual panels for both are easily adjustable, where walls are not true. The performance of your floor tiling and tanking, and the fall of the floor, will be crucial.

Low-level and inset trays with antibacterial coatings are great value in ABS, acrylic-capped stone resin. Look for new, integrated wastes, with a good litre/minute action matched to the delivery rate of your shower.

Shallow black or grey stone styles are the rage, if you are not tiling over a tray as a shower floor.

Expect to pay €3-€400 for a 900×1,200mm example. Where room is at a premium, enclosure door action can make all the difference, sliding and pivoting. Concertina doors have the deserved reputation for leaking.

Labour costs: There are two broad ways to approach the build. My advice: leave the plumbing and electrics alone. The first is the traditional all-in-one, with a seasoned contractor managing all the work (and subcontracting skills).

This 10 Series, off-set quadrant arrangement trains the eye on the tile, not the frame of an enclosure. It also provides a partition to the bath area. €2,212, merlynshowering.com.

The advantage here is that it’s the builder’s problem to segue one worker into the next. It’s a small space and difficult for multiple trades to manage at once. Any trades sitting on their hands, or which have to be rescheduled, equal expense. All-in, there should be a full survey on-site to preclude any woolly provisional costings.

Total bathroom refits depend on a huge number of variables, including the quality of fittings. Without changing plumbing positions, €4,000-€7,000, including VAT, ware, tiling and all electrics and plumbing, would be a starting point for a 1.5x2m bathroom/shower-room.

Next, you can do a bit of sourcing, labour and DIY, (strip the room, tile/paint) and hire in needed talent, establishing a single price for their input, estimated on hours.

On-the-hour individual trades: tiling costs can equal and surpass the price of the tile. With any cutting — and bathrooms with conduits, pipes and corners always demand it — tiling can be €20 per metre, or €120-€150 for a small wall.

Some individuals will offer to work for less — ensure you see examples of their work and not just yards of ceramic tile flooring.

Electrics: And not just for electric showers. Increasing ventilation? Pumps need a 230v dedicated supply and many gravity-feds will include thermostatic elements and more. €40-€45 per hour, plus VAT.

Get a price from a RECI-qualified professional, and expect a €75-€80 call-out fee to just swap out an electric shower like-for-like. Plumbing comes at a minimum, hourly rate of €35, plus the VAT and any materials.

If you don’t have a contractor or individual trades in mind, you could post your project on a nationwide trade search, such as tradesman.ie, for a number of quotes — don’t leap on the cheapest and do due diligence before committing.

One-panel, frameless walk-in shower, detailed with concealed wall and ceiling valves. HansgroheRaindance, £300 (€458), matched to Select S 120 hand shower, with three jets and select button tocomfortably switch between spray modes, from €90. Ecostat Select Thermostat, from €400 each (onlinedeals). Irish suppliers nationwide. Single, 8mm glass, Kiimat panels, from €380, 1,200mm x2,000mm, bathshack.com (Cork).

Include a 15% contingency for breakages, problems found after digging back under the plaster, behind the bath, and exploring the attic, etc. General, local, competent labour help will be hard to find under €15 per hour, unless you roll up your own ragged sleeves.

So, anything else we should invest in? “A quality vanity unit is a great investment,” Pat Roche says. “Storage is essential in your en-suite or main bathroom, so having a well-designed and quality vanity unit, with good storage space, combined with ample basin space, is a must.

source:-irishexaminer