A visit to a bathroom showroom will open the door to a world of design possibilities, whether you're just looking for a quick update or are shopping to kit out a new bathroom. Here's our pick of the best.
105-107 Wandsworth Bridge Road, SW6 (020 3375 9002, alternativebathrooms.com) and Ealing and Queen’s Park
BEST FOR: SIMPLE STUNNERS
Independence means this trio of showrooms is stocked with choice products from all sorts of suppliers, from the no-frills to the high-end. The service provided here covers all bases too, from advice on total refurbishments to the provision of a new bath tap. Visitors should be prepared to be seduced by beautiful etched shower screens, as well as basins and baths that are asymmetrical – inspired by natural forms or made from various composite materials.
141-147a Essex Road, N1 (020 7226 7220, astonmatthews.co.uk)
BEST FOR: SOMETHING NEW
Keeping Londoners clean since 1823, Aston Matthews always embraces innovative bathroom products while also celebrating classic design. Among the more recent additions is the Artline collection – solid floor-standing and wall-mounted furniture made from solid teak. There are also cabinets that can be made to your measurements and painted in any shade of Farrow & Ball, not forgetting those famous cast-iron, freestanding tubs, primed and ready for some colour.
BATHROOM DISCOUNT CENTRE
297 Munster Road, SW6 (020 7381 4222, bathdisc.co.uk)
BEST FOR: TIGHT BUDGETS
Splashing the cash may not be an option, but that doesn’t mean your new bathroom has to look sub-prime. This Fulham showroom (and internet outfit) has some big brands on offer at great prices. Laufen, Lefroy Brooks and Crosswater are just some of the instantly recognisable names here, along with Matki showers and Hansgrohe taps – quality products that won’t break the bank.
52 High Street, Harborne, Birmingham, B17 9NE(020 7349 0066, bathstore.com) plus nationwide.
BEST FOR: LONG-LASTING GUARANTEES
It’s likely that you already know where your nearest Bathstore is, such is the extent of this company’s showrooms. Pay them a visit and you’ll find solutions to all sorts of issues, whether you have a small space, a limited budget or just wish that someone would make some decisions for you. The MyPlan range, finished in wenge, gloss white or oak, includes both furniture and fittings so there’s no need to stress over details. All ceramic basins, bidets and toilets are guaranteed for 20 years.
169-171 Lordship Lane, SE22 (020 8693 2223, bellsbathkit.co.uk)
BEST FOR: CONVENIENT CONVENIENCES
In these days of internet shopping, it’s great to find a local high street selling more than cups of coffee. Bells has been around for nearly a century and it sells some very impressive bathroom brands, including No Code, Aqualisa, Samuel Heath and Matki. British bathroom manufacturer Utopia is also available here, as are QX’s whirlpool baths, if a standard soak just won’t suffice.
25 Wigmore Street, W1U (020 7629 0058, boffi-chelsea.com) and 254 Brompton Road, SW3 (020 7590 8910)
BEST FOR: SQUEAKY-CLEAN LINES
Here you will find simply exquisite bathrooms, in which tubs take on stunning sculptural forms, futuristic materials complement warm wood and wall-hung cabinets keep everything uncluttered. Stop by these showrooms for super-stylish details include elegant taps, lamps and mirrors and thanks to Boffi’s takeover of Italian furniture giants De Padova, you’ll find lots of inspiration in the shape of freestanding storage, too.
CATCHPOLE & RYE
Saracens Dairy,Ashford,Kent,TN27 0SA(020 7351 0940, catchpoleandrye.com), plus showrooms in Fulham and Tunbridge Wells
BEST FOR: CAST-IRON BATHS
If you’re a fan of the full-on soak, you’ll love the capacious baths made and sold by this ever-so-English company. Your full bathroom kit is available here, including classic taps, showers with huge roses and proudly old-fashioned WCs, but the tubs, cast in the Kent foundry, take centre stage. Choose from roll top, double-ended, plinths, feet and optional enameled interiors with finishes of nickel, copper, brass and even crystal, which can be customised with a name or image. For even more inspiration, head to the 3,000 sq ft showroom in Ashford, Kent.
261-267 Deansgate, Manchester,M3 4EW(020 7902 5250, cphart.co.uk) plus others nationwide.
BEST FOR: INNOVATION MEETS ESTABLISHED BRANDS
CP Hart’s flagship Waterloo showroom recently went through a major expansion and revamp, so head for those iconic arches to find working displays by big names including Duravit and Hansgrohe, an exhibition area featuring cutting-edge looks and a coffee bar where you can mull over your future purchases. Some great own-brand pieces are available, plus innovative offerings by the likes of EX-T, bringing a living-room look to the bathroom. The Primrose Hill showroom is dedicated to Italian design and the Wimbledon outlet has discounts of up to 75%.
126 Wigmore Street, W1U (020 487 5077, designspacelondon.com) and 120 Webber Street, SE1 (020 7228 8088)
BEST FOR: MODULNOVA
They’ve recently moved from Battersea to Southwark, but DesignSpace has maintained its strong links with those Italian champions of modular design, Modulnova. Well known for their enviable kitchens, the brand also works wonders in bathrooms, producing strong sculptural shapes in both natural stone and modern materials, such as kerlite, cemento and aluminium. Storage solutions are equally well considered, with custom-made cabinets available in more than 50 different colours and finishes.
DEVON & DEVON
77-79 Westbourne Grove, W2 (020 7221 5137, devon-devon.com)
BEST FOR: UNAPOLOGETIC GLAMOUR
Gravitas meets gorgeousness in the luxurious bathrooms displayed here. With showrooms as far afield as Shanghai, Copenhagen and Istanbul, Devon & Devon creates completely coordinated schemes – wall and floor coverings, mirrors, lighting. The key pieces, such as tubs and basins, have an authentic modern look and are made from the finest raw materials going. There’s the occasional utilitarian feel but mostly, we’re talking full-on glamour and opulence.
642 King’s Road, SW6 (020 7376 4499, drummonds-uk.com) and 27 Chepstow Corner, W2 (020 7229 2336)
BEST FOR: MODERN CLASSICS
Originally established as an architectural antiques company, Drummonds soon moved into the manufacture of top-quality, classic bathroom products. The iron, brass and ceramic beauties are now sold around the world, with freestanding tubs among the best sellers. Choose from roll top, boat or slipper baths and team with a seriously elegant basin – we’re talking marble surrounds, taps with china levers and the like.
17,19 and 26 All Saints Road, W11 (020 7221 3550, edwinsbathrooms.co.uk) and 232 Wesbourne Park Road, W11 (020 7221 3550)
BEST FOR: TRY BEFORE YOU BUY
Sorting out the bathrooms of Notting Hill-ers for decades, Edwins took a turn for the glamorous last year with the launch of their luxury Wellness showroom in Wesbourne Park Road. Displaying some truly spectacular products, such as Dornbracht’s Sensory Sky system, it also offers total privacy appointments, allowing you to try out the special features for yourself. All Saints Road has some hard-to-find brands such as Armani Roca, Falper and Svedbergs, as well as selling washers and sink plugs. All bases covered, then.
JUST ADD WATER
15 – 17 Margaret Road,New Barnet,Hertfordshire,EN4 9NR(020 7697 3161, justaddwater.co.uk) and Barnet and Buckhurst Hill
BEST FOR: A PRACTICAL PARTNERSHIP
Shopping for a new bathroom can feel like a bit of an effort. First the trip to a showroom where you decide on the look you’re after and then it’s time to sort out the practical concerns. Fortunately every one of the three Just Add Water showrooms has a plumbers’ merchant attached. There’s also a design and installation service, ample parking and plenty of space for room sets and displays by the likes of Matki, Jacuzzi, Twyford and Ideal Standard.
LONDON BASIN COMPANY
Available online (020 8749 1267, londonbasincompany.com)
BEST FOR:DECORATIVE DETAIL
In many bathroom renovations, it’s all about the tub. Time to redress the balance with something frankly spectacular by the London Basin Company that specialises in globally inspired porcelain artworks that you happen to be able to wash your hands in. A sure fire way to add individual character to your bathroom, one of these beauties would be the perfect addition to an otherwise uninteresting cloakroom or an ensuite that needs a decorative touch.
143-145 Kew Road, TW9 (020 8940 7554, original-bathrooms.co.uk)
BEST FOR: OODLES OF EXPERIENCE
Whether you’re after a quick refresh or a complete refurb, you’ll find ideas, expertise and plenty of pleasing product lines here. Among all the big brands and famous names are exclusive and obscure offerings such as Bard & Brazier’s luxurious towel rails, Bard & Blackwood’s handmade wooden loo seats, stunning contemporary taps by the likes of Fantini or Graff, and Kanth’s futuristic showers. Well worth a visit to Richmond.
Wandsworth Bridge Road, SW6 (020 7751 2150, porcelanosa.com) and Clerkenwell, Croydon and Watford
BEST FOR: MAGNIFICENT MATERIALS
This Spanish company’s extraordinary tiles can really transform a bathroom, but did you know they supply the actual bathrooms, too? Subsidiary brand Novak is responsible for a comprehensive range of tubs, showers, WCs, taps and furniture, with the standards of design you’d expect from this globally admired group. Check out the innovative Krion material that offers a modern stone-effect in all sorts of colours and the latest Chelsea collection of bathroom products with its glamorous Belle Epoque accents.
Chelsea House,London Road,Bath,BA1 6DB(020 7449 9594,ripples.ltd.uk) and otherlocations nationwide
BEST FOR: A FRESH PERSPECTIVE
There’s more to planning a new bathroom than selecting the right tub and taps. Ripples’ design team will help you look at the bigger picture, visiting your home, talking through your requirements and hand drawing a plan that makes the most of your space. Naturally these specialists know their way around all the latest product lines so can make suggestions you might not have considered. From lighting and colour schemes to storage and materials, they’ve got it covered.
*ROCA LONDON GALLERY
Station Court, Townmead Road, SW6 (020 7610 9503, rocalondongallery.com)
BEST FOR: INSPIRATION
Certainly not your standard bathroom showroom, this cavernous Zaha Hadid-designed gallery space is more likely to inspire you to go home and get busy with a mood board than secure the perfect sink waste. There are some highly desirable pieces on show here by both Roca and its sister company Laufen, including those that minimise water and energy consumption. And did we mention the cafe, library and meeting room? Perfect for rubbing shoulders with architects, design students and the like.
BEST FOR: HYGIENIC STYLE
Squeaky-clean needn’t mean sterile looks, as Toto’s cool, contemporary bathrooms prove. The company’s best known for its Washlet toilet, complete with ‘warm water cleansing system’ but it also has sleek sunken or freestanding tubs, elegant basins, water saving style-conscious taps and showers, plus simple modular furniture that reflects the brand’s Japanese design credentials.
VICTORIA + ALBERT BATHS
Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, Lots Road, SW10 (020 7351 4378, vandabaths.com)
BEST FOR: MODERN TUBS
V+A baths are available from other discerning bathroom businesses, but it’s worth visiting Chelsea Harbour to see a good number on display. Made from volcanic limestone that’s been blended with resin to form the naturally white material Quarrycast, these statement makers are guaranteed for 25 years. They’re available in classic shapes with detailing such as claw feet and roll tops, but the real beauty of the material is best appreciated in the simply sculptural modern models. There are basins to match, plus furniture to accommodate both countertop and recessed designs.
WEST ONE BATHROOMS
1 High Street, Oxshott, Surrey KT22 0JN(020 7751 8000, westonebathrooms.co.uk) and Battersea, Clerkenwell, Knightsbridge, Mayfair, Notting Hill and Wandsworth
BEST FOR: SPECIALIST SHOWROOMS
There are seven West One showrooms in the capital and while every one can be relied on to have the essential ingredients for impressive bespoke bathrooms, each has its own speciality. In Notting Hill it’s the wares of Italian company Agape, Clerkenwell goes large with Kohler and Kallista, Mayfair is suitably blingy with products finished in 24-carat gold, platinum and crystal and in the interiors’ mecca of Chelsea you’ll find a dedicated design studio on one of the four floors. New products and advanced technology abound and specialist products include outdoor showers, hot tubs, steam rooms and saunas.