Best bathroom brands
By Liz Ransome-Croker
Article 2 of 11
Find out how the installation services of budget bathroom brands Wickes and B&Q compare to Bathstore or a local company or trader
If your bathroom isn't fitted correctly, not only could it end up taking the sheen off your brilliant new products, but it could also cause plumbing problems later down the line.
That's why we've surveyed thousands of customers about their bathrooms. We asked them how satisfied they were overall with their installation and whether they would recommend the service to a friend.
We then asked them to rate important aspects, including speed and quality of installation, the amount of mess made and communication.
This is the first year we have been able to rate bathroom companies for their installation services, and the three brands we have scores for are Wickes, B&Q and Bathstore.
Our results show a 26 percentage point difference between the top and bottom scores for installation services.
The table below reveals overall customer scores for each of the bathroom brands, as well as individual ratings for the different areas, so you can see the strengths and weaknesses of each one.
Which? members can log in now to unlock the scores in the table below. If you're not already a member, you can join Which? to get instant access to this, as well as all our bathroom ratings and reviews from across the site.
Sample sizes: B&Q 42, Bathstore 36, independent tradesperson or bathroom/DIY company (i.e. independent builders and plumbers, DIY companies or bathroom companies not widely known outside your local area) 939, Wickes 31.
See how each bathroom brand scored for measures including durability, quality of products and customer service, by visiting our page on the best and worst bathroom brands.
A number of bathroom companies offer an installation service. With others, such as online-only companies Victoria Plum and Victorian Plumbing, and trade companies Travis Perkins and Plumb Center, you'll need to book an installer yourself.
30% of the people we surveyed had their bathroom installed by the same company they bought it from, and 9% had it fitted by someone the company recommended.
However, more people (41%) found an installer themselves. A small percentage - 9% - installed their bathroom themselves, and 5% got a friend or family member to do it.
When we asked people why they chose to find their own installer, instead of using one from the company or recommended by them, 47% said they did it because they simply prefer to pick their own.
23% did so because they always use the same trader and 6% because the quote they got was cheaper.
If you're on a tight budget, you might want to consider an installer associated with a trade company, such as Travis Perkins and Plumb Center, as they may have access to cheaper prices.
Electrical works, such as the installation of lighting, extractor fans, sockets or electric showers should always be carried out by a Part P-registered electrician.
Once your new bathroom or en suite is complete, make sure you gain the relevant building regulations approval, including drainage, electrics and ventilation, and check that any glass meets the required safety standards. You might need to prove that you've done this when you sell the house.
If you use an installer that is part of a Competent Persons Scheme, or is registered with the relevant body, they will be able to sign off any work themselves.
To find a reliable local tradesperson, and for more advice on the regulations and trade bodies associated with different jobs, visit Which? Trusted Trader.
Bathroom installation problems
38% of people didn't experience any problems with the installation of their bathroom, but 62% did. Of the people who did, the most common issues caused by the installer or the company were:
- installation took longer than planned (39%)
- poor quality workmanship during the installation (17%)
- wrong part were delivered (16%)
- extra costs were incurred during the installation due to necessary extra work (14%)
- installers caused damage to the property, suite/components or bathroom furniture (14%)
- installation was delayed as parts/components were not available when needed (14%)
- installation was delayed by the installer (13%)
- components didn't fit as well as they should (12%)
- components were of poor quality (8%)
- substitute parts were supplied without my approval (2%)
How Which? rates bathroom installation brands
In February 2018 we asked 3,982 Which? members about the bathroom suites (bath, toilet and sink) and bathroom furniture they had bought in the last ten years and their experiences with the brand they had used. We also asked about their experiences with bathroom installation services.
For the bathroom suite and furniture, this included rating the quality of the bathroom itself, its durability, the brand's customer service and its value for money. For installation, we asked them to rate:
- arranging the installation (e.g. time it took, ease)
- the speed of the installation
- installation quality and finish
- mess during and after the installation
- installers keeping to arranged times
- resolving any problems
- communication of any issues and answering questions.
Overall customer scores are based on how satisfied customers were with the company and how likely they were to recommend it to a friend.