LIVE NOW: Bathrooms advice webchat with Ideal Home’s interiors editor

Ask Ros Anderson everything from planning the perfect small-space bathroom, to how to choose the right flooring

Ros Anderson - Ideal Home - Bathrooms webchat - image -

Planning to update your bathroom? Join our lunchtime webchat at 1pm and ask our expert for tips and advice.

Ros Anderson, interiors editor for Ideal Home, will be on hand to answer all those niggling questions, from how to design the perfect small-space bathroom, to how to find the right freestanding bath. She’ll even have all the inside gossip on the latest bathroom trends for 2010.

Be sure to register below to receive an email reminder so you don’t miss out.

All you need to do now is start lining up your questions and grab a sandwich for our lunchtime webchat – and, if you simply can’t wait for inspiration, check out our gallery of almost 300 beautiful bathrooms.



Welcome to our webchat with Ideal Home’s Interiors Editor, Ros Anderson. Ros will be with us in a few minutes, so get ready with those all-important bathroom questions.
Friday February 5, 2010 12:55

Livingetc 12:57

[Comment From FionaFiona: ]
I thinking of painting my floorboards in the bathroom. Do I need specialist paint?
Friday February 5, 2010 12:57 Fiona 1:00

Ros Anderson:
Well some people are very wary of having floorboards in the bathroom, but I think it looks very pretty and is also a good, affordable solution. As long as you’re not going to be spilling loads of water then a standard floor paint should be suitable. The advantage to this is also that you can always touch up the floor with your left-over paint when you need to.
Friday February 5, 2010 1:00

Ros Anderson 1:00

[Comment From MandsMands: ]
Hi Ros. My bathroom is neutral and, to be honest, quite bland. White walls, walnut bath, walnut shelving etc. What colours do you think would blend with my current non-scheme??
Friday February 5, 2010 1:00 Mands


Ros Anderson:
I’d suggest that accessories are the best way to add colour and bring a scheme together. That way you can change them when you want without too much expense or hassle.
With neutral, natural colours and some nice dark wood as you have, I currently like a plum accent for towels, soap dispenser, window blinds etc. It feels really warm and also glamorous. Another accent colour we often use on shoots here for that type of room is a vibrant, jungle green, which is available in lots of high street bathroom accessory collections this Spring.
Friday February 5, 2010 1:03

Ros Anderson 1:04

[Comment From Kate, LondonKate, London: ]
Hi Ros, what’s your favourite bathroom trend for this year? Is there any particular style you’re following in your own scheme?
Friday February 5, 2010 1:04

Kate, London 1:06

[Comment From MandsMands: ]
Never been a huge fan of plum but love the jungle green idea! Bring on pay day!
Friday February 5, 2010 1:06 Mands 1:08

What’s your bathroom style?
( 25% )
Modern minimalist
( 13% )
Vintage glamour
( 50% )
Industrial chic
( 13% )

Friday February 5, 2010 1:08

Ros Anderson:
Well there are a number of trends this yea. One is black for bathrooms – whether that’s glossy black for the units (try Utopia) or even black basins. It’s a very sophisticated look but I’d say don’t go overboard! Another is for decorative elements, especially on tiles. A lot of stores from Topps Tiles upwards have wall tiles with subtle patterns, often the sort you’d find on flock wallpaper.
For my own bathroom though I’m hoping to go with the trend for more feminine, quirky style. White metro tiles around the wet areas, a Victorian-style basin and pinky palm-print wallpaper from Cole & Son. Painted with Decorator’s Varnish it should withstand the humidity just fine.
Friday February 5, 2010 1:09

Ros Anderson 1:09

[Comment From RoomenvyRoomenvy: ]
My bathroom is like an ICE BOX when I get out of the shower. I have a standard radiator but it’s so unattractive. Are there any more subtle heating options?
Friday February 5, 2010 1:09 Roomenvy 1:13

Ros Anderson:
If you possibly can I’d urge you to go for underfloor heating. As the bathroom is a small area it shouldn’t be too expensive and will make getting out of the bath so much less chilly.
For a small room electric underfloor heating is a good option – try Devi of WarmUp. Add to this a heated towel rail and the ice-box effect should be banished – check online at somewhere like B&Q for online calculators to see how much heating your room will need.
Friday February 5, 2010 1:13

Ros Anderson 1:13

[Comment From MandsMands: ]
One more glamorous question: My shower screen has one of those plastic sucker things at the bottom but it gets so gungey and horrible. How on earth can I keep it clean? Or is it just one of those things you should replace?
Friday February 5, 2010 1:13 Mands 1:16

Ros Anderson:
Jen my deputy editor says she swears by Domestos Grot Buster! I think this is a hazard but you might want to look at replacing it with a fixed screen that fits tighter to the bath edge with less space for water to creep in.
Friday February 5, 2010 1:16 Ros Anderson 1:16

[Comment From AnnaAnna: ]
I’m thinking of decorating my bathroom – should I use tiles or wallpaper? Which will last longer?
Friday February 5, 2010 1:16

Anna 1:16

[Comment From MandsMands: ]
In response to your poll, I voted vintage glamour. That’s my dream bathroom but my real bathroom is modern minimalist 🙁 Anyone have a problem getting their husbands to embrace the vintage glamour look??
Friday February 5, 2010 1:16 Mands 1:18

[Comment From RoomenvyRoomenvy: ]
Distract them with the scented candles Mands, they’ll never notice!
Friday February 5, 2010 1:18

Roomenvy 1:20

[Comment From MandsMands: ]
Ha ha ha! At least I’ll have a nice-smelling character-less bathroom! Thanks RoomEnvy-er!
Friday February 5, 2010 1:20 Mands 1:21

Ros Anderson:
Tiles will certainly last longer, but they are also harder to change. Tiles are designed for the purpose and there are plenty of decorative options. If you’re wanting to add a decorative effect to the room I think it’s fine to use wallpaper, as long as it’s not on the wall behind the shower. As I mentioned just before I have been recommended Decorator’s Varnish (try Brewer’s) as something to paint on to help wallpaper withstand humidity. The advantage of wallpaper is you can always replace it.
Friday February 5, 2010 1:21

Ros Anderson 1:21

[Comment From CliveClive: ]
Is it possible to paint a cast iron free-standing bath, Ros? I’ve considered lots of different paints. All of which makes me anxious. At times unbearably so.
Friday February 5, 2010 1:21 Clive 1:26

Ros Anderson:
Yes it is and a cast iron bath with a painted exterior looks very dramatic. You can buy baths that are primed, ready to paint, or you can prime them yourself. Make sure you know which sort you’ve got.
If you need to prime, sand the outside first, then paint with an oil-based primer. Then you’re ready to paint with eggshell paint – Fired Earth have a great range of colours.
Friday February 5, 2010 1:26

Ros Anderson 1:26

[Comment From BessieBessie: ]
I’m doing up a bathroom for the kids I’ve read that rubber flooring might be good as it’s non slip, cheap and comes in lots of bright colours… is all this too good to be true?
Friday February 5, 2010 1:26 Bessie 1:29

What’s your bathroom layout?
( 60% )
( 40% )
Wet room
( 0% )
( 0% )

Friday February 5, 2010 1:29

Ros Anderson:
Rubber flooring is great – it’s also quite a green choice too. Unlike tiles it is soft to walk on, and you’re right, the range of colours is very appealing. Although it is water resistant be careful not to leave wet towels on the floor as it is possible to leave a water mark with prolonged contact. For a kid’s room look at a textured design to help make it non-slip.
Friday February 5, 2010 1:29

Ros Anderson 1:30

[Comment From nikiniki: ]
we have a tiny bathroom and have problems with the steam making the paint peel. what’s the solution?
Friday February 5, 2010 1:30 niki 1:32

[Comment From Jane, LondonJane, London: ]
Thanks so much about the tip on paintin a bath tub – always wanted to go for a pastel shade to create a country-style look Friday February 5, 2010 1:32 Jane, London 1:33

Ros Anderson:
It sounds as though perhaps you should relook at your bathroom ventilation. If the bathroom hasn’t been built recently it may not have the most efficient fan.
That’s something to consider but as a direct solution to the problem have you looked at specialist bathroom paint, which is created to be much more resistant to moisture? Dulux do their own range which might help the problem.
Friday February 5, 2010 1:33 Ros Anderson 1:33

[Comment From Roomenvy

Roomenvy: ]
I know it seems crazy, but I really really want wooden floorboards in my bathroom. Obviously it’s not the most practical solution. What can I do to get the same effect? Is laminate flooring all it’s cracked up to be?
Friday February 5, 2010 1:33 Roomenvy 1:38

[Comment From Rosie, WimbledonRosie, Wimbledon: ]
Ah for a wet room… Though I’m always puzzled how the toilet paper doesn’t get soaking wet everytime someone takes a shower. I’m sure the way it looks more than makes up for wet loo roll though!!! Ha ha.
Friday February 5, 2010 1:38 Rosie, Wimbledon 1:39

Ros Anderson:
Laminate flooring is great – but not necessarily for bathrooms. You can buy versions specially for use in high-humidity areas but I would be more inclined to go for bamboo. It looks good and is naturally more stable in humid areas than most other woods.
Alternatively vinyl flooring is very safe for bathrooms and although you don’t get that same hard surface, companies like Kardean do very beautiful imitation wood designs that look like whitewashed boards.
Friday February 5, 2010 1:39

Ros Anderson 1:39

[Comment From VanVan: ]
I’ve heard that bold tiling is a trend this year. How can I find some pretty Morrocan-style hand-painted tiles?
Friday February 5, 2010 1:39 Van 1:41

[Comment From RoomenvyRoomenvy: ]
OOoooh bamboo flooring, yes of course. I can just picture the relaxing spa-chic sanctuary it would become. Thanks Ros.
Friday February 5, 2010 1:41 Roomenvy 1:43

Ros Anderson:
Morrocan style tiles are gorgeous, and will give your bathroom a really unique look. Until recently it was mainly obscure specialist companies who did these, but I’m please to say Fired Earth have a new range, called Hacienda, which would work perfectly. It’s not a budget option, but if you want to invest in a dramatic look try there.
Friday February 5, 2010 1:43 Ros Anderson 1:43

[Comment From Jane, LondonJane, London: ]
Also, can you help? I have a really small bathroom, so small that a cabinet on the wall would be too imposing. Any storage suggestions?

Friday February 5, 2010 1:43 Jane, London 1:49

Ros Anderson:
It depends if you are planning to change any of your sanitaryware in the near future – that would be the time to go for a basin with integrated storage beneath for example. As a more immediate solution then mobile trolleys designed to sit under the basin might work. Also look at Ikea. Their Lillangen range is full of clever little add-on storage ideas that fit on the side of the basin, for example, so you can steal bits of storage space where you can.
Friday February 5, 2010 1:49

Ros Anderson 1:50

What’s on your bathroom wishlist Storage
( 20% )
Luxurious roll-top bath
( 60% )
( 0% )
( 20% )
Brand new wetroom
( 0% )

Friday February 5, 2010 1:50

[Comment From VanVan: ]
Thanks, I’ll check them out. What about a round basin that isn’t tacky?
Friday February 5, 2010 1:50 Van 1:51

There’s just enough time for a few more questions for Ros, so pick wisely!
Friday February 5, 2010 1:51

Livingetc 1:54

Ros Anderson:
I loved the trend for round basins on the counter-top when they first appeared, but now I’m not so sure. I think often they tend to splash water around a lot and aren’t too practical. I’d go for a more modern version, in ceramic, with softer edges and a shallower bowl – The Santos from Aquaplus Solutions is a good example.
Friday February 5, 2010 1:54

Ros Anderson 1:54

[Comment From Jane a different one!)Jane a different one!): ]
We live in a Victorianhouse, and would like to have a fitting bathroom. I really like tongue and groove, but we need to have the shower over the bath, so need the entire area above the bath tiled, how do we combine the two? and would i be a bit much?
Friday February 5, 2010 1:54 Jane a different one!)

Ros Anderson:
I really like tongue-and-groove too, and am considering it for my bathroom. I’d suggest that a classic brick tile in white or cream all around the bath could be teamed with tongue and groove painted in the same colour on the other walls without it looking too busy. Or introduce it as a bath panel, as a good traditional alternative to a plastic one.
Friday February 5, 2010 1:58

Ros Anderson 1:58

[Comment From Rosie, WimbledonRosie, Wimbledon: ]
So how do you find the bathrooms you feature in Ideal Home mag?
Friday February 5, 2010 1:58 Rosie, Wimbledon 2:01

Ros Anderson:
Well one of the ways is from readers, so if you have a bathroom transformation you’re proud of we’d love to see it. Go to the forum on the Ideal Home website and the instructions for how to send us some pictures are there.
Friday February 5, 2010 2:01 Ros Anderson 2:01

Thanks so much for joining our lunchtime webchat, we hope to have Ros back soon for some more fab tips but in the meantime, check out our bathroom photo gallery for more inspiration.

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