The ultimate sourcebook for interior and garden decoration



Ask the decorating experts


I am trying to find a wet room system that will cater for a very strange shaped shower area. All the systems that I have been told about have a set 'hidden tray size’. Any ideas?

  European Heritage, supplies wet room products (trays, drains, membranes, waterproofing materials). You could also try The Big Bathroom Shop. They are an online only business trading from a huge warehouse, with 12 bathroom experts on hand to help with your enquiry.

Where can I find Portuguese woven cotton bath mats in white or beige?

Have a look at the ‘Braga’ bathmats in white or clay with a geometric floral motif from Balineum, or the ‘Oporto’ mats with a diamond or spot border and the larger ‘Salamanca’ mat from Cologne & Cotton, who have several shops in London.

I am looking to purchase bath taps in chrome which can be side-mounted into an old roll-top bath. I would prefer taps with a shower attachment if possible.

Manufacturers of the type of bath taps you are after include Barber Wilsons & Co or Bristan and Lefroy Brooks. Their ranges are available through good bathroom showrooms including Aston Matthews or Edwins or C.P. Hart. Another company you could try is Catchpole & Rye. Make sure you order a brochure from each of these companies to compare the look and price and study the technical specifications to determine if you could use each particular tap set on your bath. Most of these companies could also provide 'legs' for the tap set, so that the taps would be suspended from the floor, rather than fixed to your bath. If there are already holes in the bath you should speak to your plumber before ordering to be sure you could use the tap set with your particular bath.

A client has requested a thunderbox WC. Not just the seat but to stretch from side to side of the loo. Where could I find one, or who could make one for me?

Tosca & Willoughby are specialists in all types of loo seats in a wide variety of styles and finishes. Catchpole & Rye have one of the largest collections of old sanitaryware in the UK. They also manufacture reproductions of antique items in short supply. Products include Edwardian glass shower canopy baths, throne-like loos and Victorian cast-iron washstands. Also fully restored turn of the century French 'Porcher' bathrooms and French and British period tubs. They could provide your thunderbox WC.

I was wondering if you could advise about how to waterproof a carpeted bathroom floor?

Wool carpet is unsuitable for bathrooms. If it persistently gets wet, the backing and underlay deteriorate.  There is no way to waterproof carpet that we are aware of, but you could use a good bath mat to absorb some of the water. Balineum  for example, have a good selection, as do Woods of Harrogate. However, it would be far better to change the flooring, even if your home is rented. Carpet can be taken up then relaid once you return your home to the landlord. Flooring that is best suited to bathrooms includes cork, vinyl, linoleum, ceramic and porcelain tiles. See also our 'Design Topics' pages for more advice on choosing bathroom flooring.

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