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Several ways to gain an ensuite

Most homes in the UK don’t have a surplus of space. But many homeowners are keen to add an ensuite bathroom to take the strain away from the main bathroom. So where is the new ensuite going to go?

Thankfully there are a few clever ways to find extra room for a second bathroom.

The most important consideration is to understand exactly what you want from an ensuite as this can often go on to determine the best location. Are you looking to create a private sanctuary to unwind and relax? Do you need a stream-lined additional shower for a quick turnaround? Is an adult space away from the children top priority? or have you always dreamed about a larger extension and creating a master suite in the loft?

For example, if you’ve got a big bedroom that could potentially be partitioned, or a little-used adjacent room, then adding or creating an ensuite could be more straightforward than you think. However, whatever the solution, installing an extra bath or shower requires additional plumbing, heating, and electrical work.

It is important to consider the location of the existing soil pipe as this can be expensive to move and, in some cases, may need planning permission to do so. As an alternative, plumbing can be boxed in or concealed by a false wall. Water pressure is also key. Check your boiler has a sufficient supply of hot water to meet the demands of an additional bathroom – you may need to update or reinstall a water tank or pressure booster – and then make sure that any new taps or shower fittings are compatible with the water pressure.

Next for consideration is sanitaryware. With recent innovation in design and materials the choice is now greater than ever which benefits ensuites which are generally tighter for space or awkward with a pitched roof. Slimline, multi-functional units are a huge help here.

If linking the ensuite to your bedroom, choose décor, furniture and sanitaryware that complements the design of the main bedroom. Instead of painting them both the same, choose a neutral scheme in the ensuite and accessorise with items in an accent colour from the bedroom.

If you have a carpeted bedroom, this of course shouldn’t be continued into the bathroom, but you could choose floor tiles for the ensuite that match the carpet colour. Alternatively, opt for a flooring type that will work well in both the bedroom and bathroom such as luxury vinyl tile.

Headroom is likely to be the biggest challenge when planning an ensuite in the loft. Shape and size of the roof will determine the layout of the new room. Basin and shower will need to be in the tallest part of the room – usually towards the centre – while bath, toilet and storage units can sit under the eaves.

If you have enough space, then having a bath or shower in the master bedroom is also a possibility. Becoming more popular than ever, it still comes with its own considerations and limitations. Think carefully about walkways leaving plenty of space around bed, wardrobe, bath, or shower. While a roll top bath creates a wow factor in a bedroom, ensure the weight of a bath of this type, especially full of water, won’t cause any structural issues. You may need to strengthen floor joists particularly in the centre of the room.

Creating & designing an ensuite isn’t always plain sailing – but with a little research and upfront planning, there’s usually a perfectly feasible solution.

18th Jul 2022