From new builds to renovations, bathrooms and bathroom furniture are essential in any domestic, commercial or industrial property. Where do you start when making the bathroom fit right into the purpose of the building? Find out things like how you can use mirrors to make a difference in your small bathroom and how you can make the most out of your wash space. We’ll guide you through the different types of bathrooms, what you can decorate your bathroom with and more.

Table of contents

What is a bathroom?

A bathroom, also known as a washroom or cloakroom in some cases, is a room that can contain any or all of the following:

  • Toilet
  • Bathtub
  • Shower
  • Sink or washbasin

A bathroom, some might say, is one of the most important rooms in the home and can vary in size and design. Below are some key bathroom types that can help you find the beautiful and unique design you need for the project.

Nuie lifestyle bathroom image

What is an en suite bathroom?

En suite bathrooms are built to sit within the confines of a bedroom with the only access being through a door to/from the bedroom area. These are common in locations like hotels or master bedrooms in private properties. They are typically installed to provide a personal, private space. So, if you’re familiar with the term en suite, you have likely experienced one.


  • More privacy for bathroom visits.
  • More convenient when having to make your way to and from the bed in the dark at night.
  • A boundary for your children – the bathroom can be your space to take care of your hygiene without interruption.
  • En-suites tend to be smaller than regular bathrooms, which can make them quicker to clean.
  • If you’re looking to add a guest room to the home, this can make them feel extra special during visits as they don’t have to worry about sharing the wash space.

For owners of hotel or holiday properties, an en suite can help make guests feel more comfortable when staying away if uneasy with sharing bathroom space with other guests, while also adding an element of luxury

Fun fact: ‘En suite’ is originally a French term that refers to something ‘following’ or ‘after’. The phrase has evolved over time in the English language to mean something different.

You should also not confuse the terms ‘en suite’ and ‘suite’ as the latter refers to a room with multiple rooms adjoining it.

What is a wet room bathroom?

A wet room is a waterproof bathroom typically with a shower area built to the same floor level as the rest of the bathroom. Wet rooms are a beautiful modern alternative to the traditional bathroom design. They’re stylish and add individuality to a property.

What is tanking a bathroom?

Tanking is the process of fitting a waterproof membrane on every wall before applying tiles to the surface. This can be a plastic or rubber material or even a waterproof liquid compound. As long as you have one of these forms of waterproofing installed on the walls and the flooring, you can get to making a beautiful wet room as soon as possible.

Wet room/tanking bathroom top takeaways:

  • Simple and easy to clean thanks to the open space and less cramped interior.
  • Wet rooms can increase the value of your property as their modern design appeals to many new homeowners.
  • Stylish and contemporary with a walk-in opportunity to meet modern-day aesthetics.
  • Perfect for bathrooms with a small space, giving you more design options.
  • Ideal for those who prefer showers to baths.

Hudson Reed lifestyle bathroom image

What is half a bathroom?

A half bathroom is a type of bathroom with only a sink and a toilet. The half bathroom is a style more practical for small space bathrooms or bathrooms that typically don’t need the utilities a traditional washroom would have. You can, however, fit a small vanity space for extra storage under the sink if required.

Many homeowners opt for a half bathroom on the ground floor. Sometimes for additional space. This is because it provides quick, convenient access from the ground floor. It’s also a popular choice for home improvements as it can help to increase the value of the property.

Half bathroom top takeaways:

  • Useful for those who need the essentials but can’t fit all bathroom facilities in one space.
  • Half bathrooms can be installed as a second bathroom in a smaller room on the ground floor if desired.
  • Has the potential to add value to the property.
  • Useful for extra storage when adding a vanity unit.

What is a Jack and Jill bathroom?

A Jack and Jill bathroom is a type of en suite bathroom that is accessible from two rooms. Jack and Jill bathrooms are a favourite of large properties. Unlike a standard en suite bathroom, this type of bathroom can be used by all members of the home, while still allowing the benefit of easy access from the bedroom.

Jack and Jill bathrooms are typically installed with two sinks. So, if you have a bathroom connected to another bedroom or hallway, you can install specific sinks to fit this aesthetic.

Jack and Jill bathroom top takeaways:

  • Grand bathroom space with a lot of room for movement meaning all standard bathroom facilities can be installed as needed.
  • A Jack and Jill bathroom is more cost-friendly than a traditional bathroom because it is a single bathroom instead of two.
  • Jack and Jill bathrooms still provide ample privacy as they can be locked from either entrance.
  • If you have children, it can help them become more independent while still ensuring they’re safe in a connected space.

Hudson Reed lifestyle bathroom image

How much does a new bathroom cost?

The average cost can change each year, but you will typically be looking at spending between £1000 to £8000. Now, this cost might not appeal to you, but you need to remember that the final price depends on certain factors including the size of the bathroom, what bathroom furniture you want, the facilities you need, labour and any other additional construction for the new bathroom.

Here are some factors to consider when budgeting for your new bathroom installation:

  • What size is your bathroom?
  • What facilities do you need or want to replace?
  • Do you want or need to replace any furniture?
  • What bathroom furniture do you have to buy?
  • Will any pipes need changing?
  • What materials are you using?
  • How much are you willing to spend on labour?

If you have any other questions that you think are important to your decision, it’s best to answer them before moving forward with your bathroom design.

How much is a small bathroom renovation?

A small bathroom renovation can reach the low end of the thousand-pound mark. Again, however, this will depend on what you plan to install. If you are installing a half bathroom with only a basin and a toilet, for example, you can find yourself on the cheaper end of the installation, spending around £1000. However, if you’re budgeting for a full renovation, you can reach a cost of around £8000 for labour, tiles, electrics, lights, baths or other features for the newly created bathroom.

Some ways to get around these costs include letting more natural light in (if possible) and avoiding placing too much furniture in the bathroom. Look at what you have to work with and think about what you need to install. We have a selection of small vanity units to fit right into your small bathroom. Check them out and discover a variety of beautiful basins to suit the project requirements.

How much does it cost to tile a bathroom?

If you’re tiling walls and floors, the average cost can be around £500 to £800. However, the true cost of tiling your bathroom will depend on certain things. This can include the material of tiles you use, the labour you have for the job, the size of your bathroom and anything needed for the bathroom tiling process.

What are bathroom tiles made of?

There are a variety of materials to choose from when it comes to bathroom tiles. In fact, modern tiles now come in a unique range of colours and styles too.


  • Ceramic
  • Porcelain
  • Natural stone
  • Encaustic
  • Glass
  • Concrete

For choice of materials, ceramic tiles are your best bet for meeting your budget needs. Other materials like porcelain tiles and glass tiles are higher-end products. You will need to ensure that whichever material you choose can be used on the wall and/or floor. Some tiles are not suitable for some surfaces. So check what tiles are usable on the surface before laying them anywhere.

What size tiles for a small bathroom?

For smaller bathrooms, it’s suggested to use small tiles as these can be fitted around fixtures and appliances easily and do not need excessive tile cutting. However, larger tiles are another option as they help to create the illusion of a bigger bathroom space.

When considering size, you’ll also need to think about shape; each with its own benefits. Shapes include, but are not limited to:

  • Square (can be great as a border around a room, especially when small mosaic tiles are used).
  • Rectangular (ideal for those who want to make narrow rooms look wider such as galley kitchens).
  • Plank (giving you that traditional look with contemporary benefits).
  • Hexagonal (Can be a lovely hexagonal grid feature or used as a splashback).
  • Arabesque (provides elegance with a classic period style that can be used as a decorative or splashback piece).
  • and much more.

What can I use on bathroom walls instead of tiles?

One of the most popular choices in the modern-day bathroom is the use of wall panels. They’re easy to clean, cost-effective and simple to install. Choose from aluminium or even PVC. The choices are endless.

How long does it take to fit a bathroom?

The average bathroom fitting can take anywhere between three days to two weeks. For an accurate time, you will need to consider all tasks going ahead for the bathroom installation. Such as what facilities are being installed, whether you hire labourers that deal specifically with each task and any other new bathroom construction that will take place.

Types of bathroom furniture explained

We know what the different types of bathrooms are, but why are they useful?

Bathroom mirrors

Mirrors are beautiful and, for some, are an essential asset of any bathroom. They’re also a fantastic way to make the bathroom feel bigger. You can opt for a small mirror above a vanity unit or go all out and make one wall full of bathroom mirrors. The choice is yours when there are many shapes and sizes available to you!


  • Small or large options to fit in with bathroom design.
  • The use of mirrors can make smaller bathrooms feel bigger.
  • Different shapes and styles are available for unique appearances.
  • Bathroom mirrors are purchased pre-fitted to a wall-hung cabinet for storage.

Nuie lifestyle bathroom with mirror image

Bathroom cabinets

Cabinets are more than an attractive focal piece. They work as a great storage solution too. You can also opt for different types of bathroom cabinets to fit into your desired bathroom space.


  • Can be free-standing or wall-hung.
  • Wall-hung cabinets can be pre-fitted with mirrors in place of the doors.
  • Can be used as an additional storage space for loose items (cleaning products, bathroom toiletries etc).
  • Available in many different colours, sizes and styles to suit traditional or modern bathroom design.
  • Taller, slimmer cabinets can be great for smaller bathrooms to maximise space usage.
  • Can be installed with a basin if needed.

Hudson Reed lifestyle bathroom with Old London cabinet rangeimage

Bathroom vanity units

Bathroom vanity units come in many different designs. They can as an elegant centrepiece for a bathroom and act as a useful storage space for toiletries and medication. You can even choose one with a basin to double up as a wash space and a storage location at the same time.

Bathroom vanity units, top takeaways:

  • Available free-standing or wall-hung.
  • Unique range of finishes to fit right into the style of your bathroom.
  • Can be installed with a basin if desired.
  • Different colours, sizes and styles are available to choose from for unique bathroom aesthetics.
  • Can serve as a focal point for bathrooms (especially when opting for a glossy finish).

Nuie lifestyle bathroom with vanity unit image

Bathroom storage

Although cabinets and units serve as bathroom furniture, standard bathroom storage offers a more cost-effective solution when you’re looking for something simple yet effective.

Bathroom storage top takeaways:

  • Freestanding or wall-hung storage is available to choose from.
  • Tall or short storage options to suit large or small bathrooms.
  • A variety of colours and styles to choose from.
  • Storage with drawers or shelves is optional.
  • Some come pre-attached to a WC unit for a compact bathroom toilet and storage design.

Hudson Reed lifestyle bathroom with storage image

What is the best bathroom furniture?

If you’re unsure how to choose bathroom furniture, check out our “10 inspirational bathroom furniture ideas” for more creative furniture recommendations. Find out what to hang on bathroom walls to maximise space usage, be motivated to learn more about how to decorate a bathroom with unique concepts and more.

How to protect bathroom furniture

To waterproof your bathroom furniture, ensure that the coating, gloss paint or varnish, for example, can protect against water splashes. Wooden furniture will need a coating to ensure that it can be protected and not rot away from water damage.

Explore our Help and Advice for more information about bathrooms and bathroom furniture. See what you can find in our range to make your new bathroom a luxury asset of the property.

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