Bathroom Companies

Peaches asks:

Does anyone know of a good local bathroom design company? We’ve had a few astronomical quotes and are looking for something a bit more reasonable‚Ķ..

The Phantom replies:

I have often found that the real money goes on the ‘design’ and ‘project management’ parts of the process in pretty much every area of redecoration. If you’re prepared to get out a piece of paper and a pencil, do a few calculations, a little bit of research and take on talking and organising individual tradespeople, you can do it for a fraction of the cost of a company that takes on the entire ‘project.’

It’s what I generally do – it’s just a case of making lists, getting recommendations for individual specialists – plasterers, plumbers, tilers etc and making careful arrangements. The only drawback I’ve found is that it tends to take a little longer (a lot longer if you’re very unlucky) as you have to book workmen in advance and if one lets you down, the whole chain collapses (that is what you pay a project manager for – to be a rottweiler on your behalf.) But if you can afford the time, the upside is that the money you save on administrators you can plough into the chinaware, so the whole thing looks better.

One place that I found good for discount bathroom-ware is JEM, in the Angerstein trading park, on the peninsula. (squeezed in between See Woo and what used to be the quad-bike shop under the flyover. The rest of it seems to be catering supplies and bucket shops.) Don’t expect obsequious servitude – it’s a showroom – you wander round and ask questions and that’s it. But the prices are good and the range not bad at all. There always used to be an ad in the local paper saying if you asked for various blokes (I can’t remember, but try John, Dave, Bill – something generic like that) you’d get a further discount.

Water-loo by Hither Green Station isn’t bad either. I ended up buying my bathroom-ware at Raymac in Welling; sadly if you really want to get something cheap, leg-work is a necessary part of the gig. There are about three discount tile-sheds in close proximity along the road that goes to ASDA in Charlton, and, first left off that road, going from towards Charlton from the Peninsula, there is a glass company that cuts all kinds of glass and mirrors to size. There’s also a posh bathroom fittings shop, H2O in Charlton Road.

I’m afraid I can’t help you with all-in companies. There are dozens of them around – just look in the free magazines – maybe someone can recommend somewhere…

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