A designer bathroom can have a huge effect on the ‘wow’ factor of your home and make a real difference to both its comfort and value.

But however much you spend on the latest designer fittings and stylish fixtures, your dream bathroom can quickly turn out to be a damp squib if the design and installation aren’t carried out by competent, skilled professionals.

Enter the bathroom installer; a multi-skilled tradesperson with an eye for design who can tap into a wide array of skills to ensure you won’t end up in hot water when transforming your bathroom.

What they do

A good bathroom installer will be with you every step of the way to help plan, visualise, source materials and install. Depending on the level of service offered, they should be able to help you with design through to installation and completion. They will typically be able to handle all the work required in fitting a bathroom including:

  • Plumbing
  • Tiling
  • Electrical work
  • Plastering
  • Joinery
  • Building and construction
  • Interior fitting

Even if they don’t carry out work themselves, they will normally have a trusted network of tradespeople they can call on to help complete your project. They will also worry about the project management to save you time and hassle.

They will also possess in-depth knowledge of the types of materials involved and latest design trends and innovations to help you choose the perfect bathroom at the best price.

What they charge

As with all home improvement jobs, the price will depend on the time the job takes.

The average cost of a new bathroom, including all fixture and fittings and installation is around £5,000. This should cover everything, including project management, so in theory you should be able to choose your design then let the pros take over until it’s time for the big reveal.

If you want to get more involved and save some money, it’s important to try and separate the cost of materials and the cost of labour. When it comes to buying things like baths, showers, taps and tiles, the sky really is the limit. However, unless your chosen bathroom goodies are particularly tricky to install, the cost of fitting them should be roughly the same whether you’ve gone for royal flush or bog standard. Some average costs for typical bathroom installation tasks are:

  • Install a pedestal basin – £70 – £120 (1 – 2 hours)
  • Install a toilet – £75 – £140 (2 – 3 hours)
  • Install a bath – £130 – £220 (3 – 5 hours)
  • Tile a bathroom – £400 – £1,300 (1 – 5 Days)
  • Change taps on bath/basin – £50 – £80 (1 – 2 hours)
  • Install an extractor fan – £150 – £240 (2 – 4 hours)

Obviously, these prices are just intended as a guide and will vary depending on supplier and where you are in the UK. Central London bathroom installers will usually cost more than ones in Manchester, for example.

What to ask

When sourcing a local bathroom installer, make sure you ask a few informed questions to ensure you get the service you are expecting. Try and find out if:

  • They will visit your home to discuss the style you wish to create and the suitability of the fittings you’ve chosen for your project
  • You can get samples of things like tiles and flooring
  • You’ll receive a plan and visual of your bathroom
  • They will dispose of any waste materials such as rubble and the old bathroom furniture

Trades to trust

With so many different skills involved in installing a bathroom, it’s unlikely that one person will carry out all the jobs required. Membership of the Federation of Master Builders gives you the peace of mind that they are vetted and approved by the UK’s largest trade association on the construction industry, while the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) keeps a register of qualified plumbers. It’s also worth checking that staff hold City & Guilds qualifications in plumbing, heating and gas fitting and are registered Gas Safe where necessary.

The law

As with any internal home improvements, your new bathroom will need to comply with building regs and any work involving gas will need to be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. In some circumstances, planning permission may also be needed. Your bathroom installer should be advised on all these requirements.

Ready to hire?

3 is the magic number

As always, try and get three quotes from three different bathroom installers to ensure you pay a fair price for the job.

Certification and references

Don’t be shy about asking for any relevant certification, proof of public liability insurance and references or photos from previous jobs. If the bathroom installer is trustworthy and competent, they’ll be pleased (and proud) to show you both.