How to design a bathroom: 5 things to consider
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How to design a bathroom: 5 things to consider

Dreaming of a new bathroom? When you start to turn your dreams into reality, you may realise there’s more to consider than you’d expected.

Whether you’re re-thinking an existing space or creating one entirely from scratch, it really is important to plan it out carefully and get it right. 

Here are five important considerations to help you achieve the ideal bathroom.

  1. Plan your layout

Take your time to create a bathroom that will last for years. More so than any other rooms, practicality comes first in a bathroom, especially a small one. That’s not to say it can’t be warm and stylish too, but first tick the functionality box. 

The first thing you need to do is carefully measure your bathroom dimensions. Then, if the room is already in use as a bathroom, look at the layout of the existing plumbing. The simplest and cheapest approach is to keep fittings where they are. If you want to re-think the layout of the plumbing, seek advice from a plumber first and work out if you want to make the additional investment.

When planning the layout, it’s essential to allow enough space around fixtures and fittings. Have you ever been in a bathroom where there’s simply no space between the loo and the sink? To avoid that, it is recommended that you plan a clear floor space of at least 760 mm from the front edge of your sink, toilet, bath or shower[1].

Consider your household and if there are young children, you need to think about bath time and how everyone will fit. If there are more elderly residents, you’ll need to make sure the right fittings are included.

If space is limited, work out what your absolute top priorities are in order to avoid ending up with a cramped, uncomfortable set up. 

  1. Storage 

One of the key practical considerations is storage. Think through how much you need and factor it into your layout. Towels, spare toilet rolls, shaving gear, shampoo, toothbrushes, bath toys, you’ll have a long list of bathroom essentials to make space for.

If you plan ahead early, you can also make clever use of space: think cut-out alcoves, built-in shelving, or even a wall-mounted rack with individual open cubby holes to store extra towels. 

  1. Privacy

You might crave a bath with a view, soaking next to a large window which lets in plenty of light. But this only works if you can enjoy it without sacrificing your privacy. 

So, plan for the right layout that protects your privacy, or at least ensure you have the right window coverings. If you’re doing a full bathroom re-fit then you could opt for frosted glass. If you’re on a smaller budget, you can get adhesive frosted window film in different designs to add interest and privacy.

Otherwise, your options include venetian blinds, miniblinds, and pull-down shades. Be careful about choosing curtains or wooden shutters that would get ruined by the moisture in your bathroom.

There are steps you can take towards achieving auditory privacy too. Whether it’s taking advantage of the white noise provided by a ventilating fan, ensuring you properly seal your door or investing in soundproof materials.

  1. Sufficient heating

Don’t start your day by stepping into a cold bathroom. Instead, when designing your bathroom ensure you can keep it nice and warm for your toes.

If you're lucky enough to have a large bathroom or live in an old, poorly-insulated house, you may need to invest in something better than just a heated towel rack.

Underfloor heating is a popular option as it can save you money and space. You can also install it yourself, if you’re confident in your DIY skills.

  1. Ventilation

Bathrooms can be damp and humid places, so make sure you incorporate good ventilation in your design plans. This will help prevent mould and mildew appearing, which can look nasty as well as lead to health problems[2].

Invest in a good extractor fan that stays on after you’ve left the room, or better yet, if it’s an option, add a window for natural ventilation and light.

This is another small but important step towards creating a more comfortable and practical bathroom.