Perhaps you’ve just moved into your new property or maybe you’ve finally found the time and money to renovate? No matter what the reason, the opportunity to redesign your bathroom doesn’t come around too often. But there are several important factors to consider if you are redesigning your bathroom:
Layout vs plumbing
The key difference in designing a bathroom compared to most other rooms is that many of the features in the room need to connect to plumbing drains and water lines. When you design a bathroom layout, you need to have decided on how many ‘wet walls’ you want. A wet wall is a wall that allows for connectivity of a utility to water. A single wet wall means that the toilet, sink, shower, etc. will all be along a single wall. This is a cheaper and easier option (assuming there isn’t already a two- or three-wall setup in your bathroom), although it does limit your layout somewhat.
Two-wall set up offers much more flexibility for your design. You can put your sink and toilet on one side of the wall, and put a shower on the other. Three-wall layouts, of course, offer the most versatility. But the plumbing costs of adding one or two more wet walls can significantly increase the cost of your design. If you’re unsure, we recommend that you talk to a professional designer (perhaps at a showroom) before you finalise your layout design.
Increasing your bathroom square-footage is probably a little ambitious – it’d be extremely expensive and will require sacrificing some space from a neighbouring room. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make your bathroom feel large. For starters, have you considered removing your door and converting to a sliding door instead? Having to open the door means you need to leave room for it, while sliding doors open up that space for you to use for whatever you need.
A vanity unit can help your bathroom look great but, additionally, it gives you a place to put all your spare toiletries etc. This will help to reduce clutter in the room, giving the impression of more space. If you do opt for a vanity unity and your bathroom is particularly small, think about getting a rounded unit to allow for more space and, more importantly, help you to avoid walking into corners!
Crucially, you need to make sure you’re being realistic in your design based on how much space you have. If you have a tiny bathroom, then your dream of him and her sinks and mirrors with a walk-in shower and separate bathtub might be a little beyond ambitious. Choose your fittings carefully; be sure they will fit in the available space and not make the room claustrophobic.
Bathrooms tend to get a lot of moisture in the air and this can cause problems for your bathroom, particularly when it comes to mould. Many people overlook ventilation in a bathroom, but if your design features any wood, the condensation can cause lasting damage.
Sadly, simply opening a window won’t do the trick. You need to make sure the air has a clear path through the room. If the room is an en-suite, a window will simply direct the moisture into your bedroom instead. Consider installing an extractor fan instead. Leaving it on during your shower and for 15 minutes afterwards can drastically reduce the impact of condensation and humidity.
The first consideration you should have when arranging bathroom lighting is the mirror. Many of us perform our morning routine in front of the mirror in the bathroom and you need to make sure you’re lit well enough to do this. This means wall-mounted lights on each side of the mirror at about eye level, with another one above the mirror. This combination will allow clear, even lighting of your face in the mirror with no shadows. The mirror will also reflect light effectively to even the lighting of the whole room.
Ceiling-mounted fixtures work as a practical, space-saving lighting option. If you have a small bathroom or enclosed shower, you might want to consider vapour proof light fixtures, which use rugged die-cast housings for applications where the lamp socket and wiring are protected from any moisture. You can also include some decorative lighting fixtures to offer some personality to the bathroom. If your fixture is large, make sure you have enough room for it. There should be at least 7 feet between the bottom of the fixture and the floor, so you will need a tall ceiling.
Additionally, don’t be afraid to make the most of natural lighting. True, no one wants to shower in front of an open window but, with the correct blinds, you can allow sunlight to flood into the bathroom while still giving some reassuring privacy.
Bathrooms need to have floors that are impervious to water and slip-resistant. If you are looking for a luxurious design, then stone or ceramic tiles can offer a lavish style. However, stone flooring can be slippery when very wet. If you want to create a ceramic or stone tile effect without having to actually use ceramic or stone material, you might consider Vinyl flooring instead.
Vinyl flooring is ideal for bathrooms because it’s comfortable for bare feet, waterproof, and slip-resistant. It also works as an insulator to keep your bathroom warm in the cooler months and, if it gets particularly cold, they are excellent for accommodating underfloor heating.
You might be considering using engineered wood because it has a way of making any bathroom layout look beautiful. However, we wouldn’t recommend this unless you’re using laminate or wood-effect vinyl flooring. Extended water exposure will damage and warp wood over time.
If you’re looking to add a little bit of variety to your floor design, why not add carpet to your bathroom? You might be thinking, “Well, for the very good reason that carpets don’t deal well with being constantly damp because it allows mould to grow, and mould is bad.” Well, you make an excellent point and you’re quite correct. However, you might not be aware that there are bathroom carpets available that are designed with a waterproof backing. You’ll be glad of a carpet when you get out of the bath during the winter months! Alternatively, you can just get a rug for the bathroom and wash it regularly.
Those are our top tips for bathroom design. We’re sure there are many other critical factors to consider – if you have any ideas why not share them on our Facebook and Twitter pages? We’d love to hear from you!