Bathroom planning advice from Tywford Bathrooms
Affordable housing providers can face a difficult task when it comes to procurement. Regulatory and financial restraints mean that most are more mindful of budgets than ever before. Meanwhile, shifting consumer behaviour, not to mention smaller homes, mean that providers are working harder to plan a practical, affordable and design-led bathroom space. Here, Daniel Fairfield, Product Manager, from Twyford Bathrooms offers some advice.
The best starting point for generating long term savings and increasing quality is to develop and foster relationships with tried and tested suppliers. Building a relationship with reputable manufacturers will mean that procurement teams can better understand the products - suppliers can, in turn, better understand project requirements. Doing so can also help keep a consistent level of service without the fear of encountering a dip in maintenance standards.
Manufacturers should also understand the significance of product durability and stock continuity in fulfilling housing targets and maintenance obligations. Look for a supplier with a dedicated team that can advise on everything from bathroom safety to product specifications, as well logistical support, planning and contractor training.
Quality and Durability
Housing associations should also be future-proofing the bathroom. It’s important to use a supplier that offers bathroom products with guaranteed quality and robustness. When purchasing brassware, for example, look for designs with solid brass composition casting, ceramic cartridges and chrome plating (to BS EN428) to ensure functionality, safety and durability. Importantly, too, find a supplier which offers extra security measures such as Twyford’s 5-year guarantee on brassware.
Many providers today are contending with smaller spaces than ever before, with today’s new build properties typically smaller than 30 years ago, the average size of a bathroom now stands at just 4.4 square metres. In fact, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) estimates that the average size of a one-bedroom new build home is just 46 square metres – that’s the same size as a tube carriage.
It’s crucial that providers specify products that maximise any available space. Products such as Twyford Alcona’s close coupled toilets are easy to install and reduce the outward projection of the WC. Alternatively, to go one step further, installing a wall-hung toilet will lift the toilet’s footprint from the floor. Twyford’s Alcona wall-hung toilets also includes a compact range for particularly small spaces.
Importance of the bathroom
It’s not just the space benefits these solutions can offer. Opting for a close-coupled or wall-hung ceramics will also, importantly, offer tenants a design-led solution and a streamlined, clean aesthetic to the space.
Indeed, housing providers must not underestimate the role of the bathroom in the home. Geberit carried out research in 2018 which revealed that the bathroom was the most important place for sanctuary in the home – and, of course, the significance of having such a sanctuary will have been keenly felt by many over the months of lockdown.
So, it should come as no surprise that tenants are also becoming more discerning about their bathroom design. Of course, affordability will always be a major factor in public sector housing, but today, quality of life is also key. As a result, the societal shift to improving wellbeing means that we are seeing a shift away from the specification of bathrooms on purely functional means.
Getting your installation spot on
The ability to quickly install fixtures and fittings is another important consideration for housing associations. Any bathroom manufacturer worth their salt will have invested heavily in extensive research about installation methods, especially those operating in the affordable housing sector.
More often than not, credible suppliers will have systems in place that enable bathrooms to be fitted through innovative factory-fitted professional fittings. This can help housing associations streamline their installation process, saving time and money. The Twyford Total Install® system, for instance, enables bathrooms to be fitted through factory-fitted professional fittings, using fewer tools and providing products that can be easily maintained.
Modern housing projects are incorporating eco-conscious designs and elements, and this is no different for the bathroom and opting for companies that are leading the way in water saving innovations. For instance, Twyford has been committed to reducing toilet flush volumes with the Flushwise® dual flush push button toilet, which uses 60% less water than a standard toilet.
Housing associations face many challenges, with an ever-changing landscape shaped by shifting elements, from government policy to changing lifestyle trends. By seeking out the services of trusted and reputable bathroom manufacturers that stand for quality, industry expertise and superior performance, housing associations can help face these challenges head-on.
To find out more about Twyford’s latest additions to its Alcona range visit the website