Whether you are renovating, extending or building from scratch, planning your bathroom design early on in the project will ensure the end result is spot on.
Whether you’re re-fitting an existing bathroom to bring it into the 21st century, or adding a brand new one in an extension, planning and designing a bathroom that lets everyone wash and go in a hurry as well as enjoy spa-style pampering can be a challenge.
Before you start, spend some time on planning the room, carefully considering what it is you need and want as part of your bathroom design. Our design experts at our Bridgnorth, Oswestry and Northwich Kitchen & Bathroom Showrooms will be able to help you with all these details.
Who Will Be Using the Bathroom?
One of the most important considerations in planning a new bathroom is who will be using the room most. A master en-suite will have totally different requirements than a family bathroom, for example.
In a family bathroom, practicality should be your lead, whereas in a room to be used solely by one or two adults, you can afford to focus a little more on luxury and design.
Getting the Bathroom Layout Right
Your first task when designing a new bathroom should be to decide on the best layout for the room. It’s important to know exactly how much space you have to work with when designing a bathroom.
Start with the position of the toilet. Work out where the soil pipe currently enters the room — or where it will enter the room. This should guide you as to the best place for the toilet — you can then work around this.
Using a few sheets of graph paper, play around, drawing out your bathroom layouts to scale, marking on any windows, doors, alcoves, sloping ceilings or bulkheads. Be sure to keep the sanitary ware to the same scale.
Even a very small bathroom can be turned into a restful and practical space with some thorough planning.
Decide on what to Include In the Bathroom
Start with a list of what you’d like in a new bathroom:
- Freestanding bath
- Shower bath
- Spa bath
- Over-bath shower
- Separate shower
- Pedestal basin
- Console basin
- Twin basins
- Built-in storage
- Freestanding storage
- Heated towel rail/radiator
Select a Bathroom Style
With the fittings you want in your bathroom decided, the next step in designing a bathroom is to consider the style you prefer. The overall choice is between a modern look and one that’s more traditional.
For traditional bathrooms, baths, basins and loos with a classic or period look tend to be more decorative with ornate lines.
Contemporary bathrooms can be either angular or curvaceous in appearance, but both are typified by clean shapes and an absence of extra detail.
Choosing the Right Sanitary Ware
Shower Enclosures: Good planning is essential if your shower enclosure is to be a pleasure to use. Enclosures with doors that swing open should have enough space around them for the door to open and to allow you in and out. Enclosures with fixed glazed panels work well in small bathrooms — as do sliding shower doors.
Baths: There are various sizes of bath sizes available. For those who want a shower and a bath but are working with a small bathroom, a shower over the bath is a brilliant solution. A shower bath is a good option, with a wider section at one end for showering.
Basins: Even if you have a small bathroom, don’t skimp on the size of your basin — particularly in a family bathroom. Wall-mounted basins, or semi-pedestal designs, can give the illusion of more floor space and also allow the basin to be set at a height that works well for you and your family. Full-pedestal basins give a more traditional look.
Choosing the bathroom paint
When you’re choosing bathroom paint, colour will be a big factor, but there is more to consider. Bathroom paint has to be able to cope with moisture, and might need to be wipeable, too. You may want to think about finish as well. If your bathroom is on the small side, the soft sheen of an eggshell finish or satin will bounce the light around to make it feel bigger.
Choosing Wall Tiles
Wall tiles are a bathroom design must-have to protect them from water, whether that’s in the shower area, by the bath, or behind the basin. They can also be used creatively for an injection of colour or pattern. Try these strategies:
- Use a change of tile colour to zone a space. For example, you could use white tiles all round then pick out the shower area with a pop of colour.
- Hang the same tiles on the walls as the floor, but change the format with rectangular versions for walls and square on the floor.
- Smarten up walls with high-gloss metro tiles and crisp white grout.
- Create interest with a mosaic splashback.
Our Bridgnorth, Northwich and Oswestry Showrooms all have a wide range of wall and floor tiles to choose from.
Choosing Bathroom Flooring
There are several things that your bathroom flooring needs to be:
- Water resistant
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Warm underfoot
Good choices for bathroom flooring include natural stone tiles, porcelain and ceramic, rubber flooring, vinyl and linoleum and even engineered timber providing it has been properly acclimatised.
Perhaps even more important that the final finish of the floor is the bathroom sub floor.
In the case of renovation projects, you may find that the existing floor requires some preparation. Timber floor joists should be sound and capable of withstanding the weight of new sanitary ware, or heavy stone tiles.
Once you know the layout of the bathroom, you can plan your bathroom lighting, taking into account any features you want to highlight, as well as how much natural light enters the room.
- Downlights can provide the room with good overall light.
- Task lighting around mirrors will make precision tasks easy.
- Accent lighting can highlight a statement item like a designer radiator, or the base of the bath.
- Dimmer switches enable a change of atmosphere from morning to night.
A combination of downlighters (for general background lighting), task lighting (above mirrors, for example) and accent lighting (such as spots directed at features of note) works well. You might also consider some feature lighting set into the floor around the bath.
When it comes to Building Regulations, the bathroom is split into zones and the ingress protection (IP) rating of the lighting you choose should reflect the zone that it will be used in. TG Electrical Services will be able to discuss your requirements and give a free estimate on all work involved.