One of the quickest and easiest ways of giving your bathroom a facelift is to either decorate, or to change smaller items which don't require extensive plumbing or electrical work. Changing an entire bath is quite a project, but changing the bath panel is something which can be done cheaply and easily, and can completely transform the way your bathroom looks. Too many of us are putting up with old, cracked or tired bath panels and are unaware that there is a huge range of different options to choose from - a bath panel no longer just has to be white plastic.
It is certainly true that nearly all of the baths and other sanitary ware sold here in the UK is white. Gone are the days of the coloured bathroom suite, hopefully never to return. So in the shops, the default option is to choose a white plastic bath panel to go with your new white bath, unless of course you have opted for something freestanding. Because white is such a popular choice, many stores stock nothing but white - they know it will be a popular choice and that white bath panels will sell quickly. Browsing around online though will open up a whole new realm of possibilities when it comes to your bath panel choices so start by exploring through a few different websites and see what is on offer, then think about how you are going to tie this in to the design scheme in the rest of your bathroom.
Just replacing the bath panel should instantly make your bathroom appear more modern, but you can give it even more of a lift by choosing something different from the plain white. A wood effect bath panel with a mirrored finish will update the bathroom, and will bring some warmth into a bathroom which is mainly white. There are many different wood finishes on the market, so take time to choose the one which is most appropriate for your bathroom and the one which matches in best with everything else in the room. If you already have a variety of different finishes and patterns, it might still be best to stick to a plain white panel.
Don't write off more unusual bathroom panels if you have a more traditional, or Victorian style bathroom. A traditional styled bath panel made from solid oak or veneered wood will tie in well with this sort of bathroom, but again care must be taken not to overload your bathroom with too many different styles and finishes. If you already have a wooden bath panel on your bath which is looking a little worse for wear then think about painting it with satinwood or gloss paint rather than replacing it; this will be a cheaper option and is worth trying before heading out and buying a new one.
Many bathrooms are severely lacking in storage, particularly bathrooms in new build properties where developers try to cram as much as they possibly can into the smallest space possible. Lack of shelves and cupboard space often means that there's nowhere to put bottles of shampoo or toothbrushes, which end up cluttering up window sills and he edge of the bath. If this all sounds very familiar, then it makes a lot of sense to replace a standard bath panel with one which has built in storage. This storage helps you access the space under the bath which is usually wasted, with sliding or flip down panels. This space is perfect not only for everyday toiletries, but also for cleaning products and children's bath toys.
Installing a new bath panel is straightforward, and can usually be done by a homeowner with basic DIY skills. Replacing a bath panel - assuming you have a standard size bath and the panel does not need trimming or cutting to size - is really just a case of unscrewing one panel and screwing the other one in its place. If you have a non-standard bath, it might be simpler to get a joiner in to do this work for you. As no plumbing work is involved, this is a simple job which should cost you around £100 for the fitting.