Embarking on my next project soon. Part of a cluster that is near Heathrow.

Here are some practical tips you may/may not find useful. I have experimented with different kinds of en-suites, over the years. I have a few golden rules when I build them:

· They must be easy to use

· They must be easy to repair

· They must be easy to clean

· They must look modern & stylish

· Most of all…. THEY MUST NOT LEAK

*Linear bathroom* - This layout is space efficient. With the door opposite a cloakroom basin, with the toilet and shower on the left and right. As I only cater to single occupants I try and make them snug: 2500mm x 1000mm

*Shower curtains*. For me, shower doors are just annoying. From installing, changing the silicone, removing the water marks from the glass, not to mention when they fall off their run/hinges or the handles come off, or rubber seal comes off or the glass smashes or they don’t shut properly…blah blah blah. Now, all I use is a tension rod and anti-bacterial hotel grade pure white shower curtain (£5) – not only is that solution sooo much cheaper – they look great and are easily replaced between tenancies. I like the ones with built-in eyelets (will share in a spec list)

*Deep profile shower trays* (sometimes called "high wall" shower trays) The shower curtain falls inside, they are easy to install, easy to clean, and easy to change the silicone. Also, less likely to get hairline cracks. I use Byretech Bath Seals as well as silicone - as double protection against pesky leaks. Extra bonus tip, put in noggins to support the shower tray - giving your shower stray max support (the less movement the better!)

*Hardiebacker board* My tile backer of choice, with a tanking system and tape on joints. I built 12 ensuites using the marine ply as my tile backer, and it was a disaster. Now I insist on a hardiebacker cement board.

*Decoupling matt* I had a major problem a few years ago, where floor tiles would start moving/cracking. I realised, I didn’t use decoupling matt between the substrate and the tiles. Now hopefully someone out there will avoid the costly mistake I made.

*Centrifugal Extractor fans* en-suites sometimes can’t have windows…in this case always best to use a powerful extractor. These Centrifugal Extractor fans are awesome for long duct runs. These are my guards against mould.

*PVC cladding on ceiling* - if there is any mould, you can easily and quickly solve the ventilation issues and wipe clean the mould

- they always stay bright and shiney too.

*10mm porcelain tiles* good quality, thick tiles will always be a winner for me. I have not experimented so much with shower panels – I’d be interested in people's experience with them?

*Shower Plates* for a thermostatic shower bar. These make swapping out a shower bar simple (so simple even I can do it!). I only use handheld showers with a holder.

*Lighting* I specify 3 x IP65 downlighters, and an LED over mirror light – all hardwired into the main bathroom light switch. A nice bright space.

*Toilet* Short projection loo 600mm. I keep thinking about installing a hidden cistern, but the faff of repairing them always makes me shudder. Any experience in the group about these? I like slow closing toilet seats too.

*Things to think about* adhesive, grout, silicone sealant, towel rail (although I don’t really install these anymore), hooks, door handles and taps. Oh, if you can avoid those pop up wastes – do it. They are a nightmare after a while.

BTW my in-shower storage solution is from IKEA, super reliable, easy to clean, easy to install and very practical.

I will share a full spec list of:

1) what I bought and
2) how much it cost and
3) where I bought it from

When I have purchased everything. Do you have any additional tips and tricks you have picked up? #hmolandlord #toptips #hmo #landlords #property #ensuite #R2R #hmoproperty #landlord