Designing a bathroom



The bathroom area is  the most used area and is often the smallest room in the house.  It has to provide daily use by each member of the household  and needs to  provide for all ages.

The needs of the user varies from small children to adults and their personal preferences. In addition the nature of the bathroom  requires that it  meets the difficult conditions of moisture and wet floors.

The design and décor in the bathroom are more durable  and changing the décor and style is not as easily achieved as in other rooms e.g. bedrooms and lounges so it is essential that the finish be carefully considered. Work on the bathroom can be disruptive  to the daily routine, most contractors will minimise this as far as possible  but there will be periods when facilities will be limited.

Replacing a bathroom can be expensive so decide  if you want to completely replace or just update the present facilities, either way planning is paramount and each decision has to be considered carefully before starting work. The following points should be considered for guidance.

Consider the present facilities

Is there a separate toilet and bathroom area?

If there is would it be desirable or possible to combine the two areas. This would provide a larger area but would the layout provide a more usable area or would it create awkward spaces.  Also the work would be more disruptive and costly. Consider alternatives could positioning doors provide a more user friendly area without  combining them?

Is the location of the  amenities making the best use of the available space?

Is the toilet best positioned?

The position of the toilet is dictated by the  position of the main drain outlet  moving   to another location  may not be possible and would be costly and very disruptive , some  adjustments may be possible as the  the more modern suites have smaller cisterns and  plumbing can be adjusted to some degree .

Hand washing Basin

Is this convenient would a larger or smaller basin be preferable. Is pedestal or fitted unit wanted?

Is bath positioned to provide easy access?

Again the location  must consider the position of the main drainage but if  planned carefully it may  possible to re arrange  the orientation of the bath or to accommodate a corner or free standing bath.

This needs to be decided in the planning stages so that the feasibility can be discussed with the contractor, the position of the taps and drainage  need to considered  before the bath is purchased so that   the connections are made before the bath arrives, consult your contractor to ensure that  the plumbing is compatible with the bath.

Will it be possible to  get in and out easily , if bathing small children is it possible for a parent to support and assist them in bathing? If the location is fine are there any adjustment  required e.g. Fitting of an over bath shower or a ledge for toiletries ?


Do you want the shower running from the mains or have an electric shower. Do you want the shower  surface mounted or  fitted into the wall?

If there is space would a separate shower  cubicle be preferable.

What about a wet room?

These may be  desirable for  adults and provide a space saving  solution for  small flats , however in a family home  where there are children  providing a bath  is preferable and  will have an impact on resale values.

What next ?

Once the planning for the location and  a decision on which bathroom suite is to be fitted  the next step is to consider  the doors, windows, walls and finish.


The condition of the windows  should be considered as replacing once the bathroom is finished may effect the choice of décor , tiling may be damaged if windows are replaced after the work is completed. If the window needs replacing or an extractor fan fitted  to a tiled wall it might be better to incorporate this into the refitting. If this is not possible it could influence  the choice ao wall covering

What heating is in the room  are  radiators in the best place is a heated towel rails requied.

What are the wall coverings ?

There will be tiled areas in the bathroom already  are these to be kept or replaced? Is the tiling going to be of the same area and location or is it to be extended . If extended the current tiles will need to be removed prior to re-tiling to obtain a flat surface. What is the condition of the plaster. If an area is to be painted  is it worth having the wall skimmed to provide a smooth finish ?This enables a  high standard to be achieved to the final finish.

Choice of tiles and finish is a matter of personal choice  however , bearing in mind that you will probably have to live with your choice for a longer time  you might like to consider the following points.

  • Full floor to ceiling:-full tiling is more expensive and cannot be easily changed  but is durable and easily cleaned.
  • Part tiled  with painted  walls , this can allow changes to the décor by changing the colour of the un-tiled areas.
  • Lighter coloured  tiles  will general provide the illusion of a larger room whilst dark colours tend to make a room feel smaller.
  • Will the colours have a number of  colour matches should you wish to change painted walls or soft furnishings?


What floor covering

The existing surface will affect the choice of flooring to some extent but generally the choice is a matter of personal preference but, bearing in mind that the floor will be subject to water spillage, often a vinyl  material with sealed edges   is the material of choice as it  ensures no egress of water into the rooms below.

In conclusion

The decision to update or re design your bathroom  might seem daunting but  the end results of planning  will be well rewarded  by the daily pleasure of a well designed, functional and skillfully  fitted facility, which increases the value of your property.

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