A PROFESSIONAL APPROACH TO BATHROOM DESIGN
October 01st 2015
Bathroom installations can be a lucrative business but it is crucial to achieve a professional standard of finish. Here, Derek Charge National Showroom Manager at Graham, offers guidance and explains why installers should be taking advantage of the expert help available.
The aim of any new bathroom installation or refurbishment should be to delight the customer. However, the reality for many busy installers is that it can often take a lot of time and effort to initially secure the job – particularly if you are faced with customers who are unsure about their needs, indecisive about the bathroom’s overall design or need support making the most of their budget. When you have lots of other jobs on the go – dedicating the time to help make the job happen can really be a challenge.
This is when it is important to remember your local plumbers’ merchant and the support that a local branch network can provide. For example, we recently launched a new B2B2C bathroom catalogue – The Graham Bathroom Collection, which provides an essential overview of suites, showers, brassware and accessories from a range of leading suppliers. The 260-page catalogue offers affordable options suitable for standard installations through to larger, high end projects and acts as an ideal leave-behind for customers.
Doing all that you can to ensure customers are happy with the choice of bathroom suite is crucial and today consumers have far more influence on the final product choice than ever before. Ultimately, the final choice will have the single, biggest impact on the overall success of the job – so consumers need as much help as possible to make the right decision.
At the point where you are asked to provide a quote, take some time to run though some standard questions. For example, what is the bathroom’s intended use going to be? Are customers looking for a calming, luxurious or purely functional space? This can help determine whether or not the right type of bathroom is actually selected. Also, a customer’s individual taste is going to play a big part in whether or not they are happy with their bathroom. Therefore, it is worthwhile checking if they prefer showers to baths and if they prefer modern or traditional aesthetics.
To help make that all important decision - we have 25 bathroom showrooms around the UK, which allow your own customers to view a wide range of products from suites, showers, wet rooms, taps, furniture, tiles and accessories in a lifestyle setting. At the end of the day – you want to be as certain as possible, as do they, that they are making the right choice and today there really are product and brand choices to suit all tastes and budgets.
However, a professional bathroom installation is not just all about the products. Careful planning is essential. Installers can also benefit from handing over the time consuming planning phase to bathroom showroom experts who in many cases will use 3D software to help achieve the ideal design. Once a design and suite have been selected and the job has been secured – then it is all simply ready for installation.
Of course all installers will appreciate that the difference between a standard job and a professional finish lies in the attention to detail. If you have passed the planning stages onto a showroom expert to handle for you – then you should be supplied with detailed designs with which to progress.
Moreover factors such as space saving suite options, storage and accessories should also have been discussed and selected, including any products and systems that could help the environment. For example, when compared to traditional radiators and towel rails, underfloor heating systems can offer comfort as well as an efficient method of heating. Water saving devices such as water saving shower heads, flow regulators, low flush and dual flush toilets should also be considered as options during the design stages.
Even if it looks to be the most straightforward install there is, it can be worthwhile to spare a few minutes checking if the manufacturers’ have any best practice advice and tips for installing their own product. Social media is really valuable for this, and a few minutes checking industry blogs such as Channel Graham or You Tube will mean you have immediate access to ‘how to’ videos and advice on completing the job to a high level.
Compliance is of course key and if you are installing a new radiator or towel rail into the bathroom and onto the customer’s central heating system – then ensuring you add a chemical water treatment to clean the system of any potential remaining debris is a requirement under Part L of the Building Regulations. At the same time, it is also worthwhile checking inhibitor levels and adding if necessary.
Furthermore, if a customer is spending money on a new bathroom – an area of the property that is prone to high levels of moisture - then a quick check to see if any ventilation in place would be advisable. Installers who pride themselves on a professional job should explain to their customers that without effective ventilation the new bathroom is highly likely to suffer from mould and condensation.
Anyone looking to secure a bathroom installation job can of course tackle the complete process themselves - from the point of being contacted for a quote, through to helping customers decide on a design and suite. However, when you consider the wealth of support that is out there – why not let the experts help secure the job for you and do all they can to ensure you have a happy customer.