09 Feb Back to basics: landing a bathroom layout that works for you
Bathroom layout planning for a more functional, more attractive space
For most people, the inspiration driving a new bathroom is design and style. We get that and that’s why we design such an expansive range of stylish shower screens, frameless glass hardware and framed mirrors. However, we also know no matter how beautiful the bath furnishings, the success of a newly constructed bathroom hinges entirely on the planning process and developing a really solid bathroom layout before any hardware or tiles are purchased.
Whether installing a new bathroom or remodeling an existing one, start by answering these two key questions:
- Who will use the bathroom
- How will they use it
Clearly and specifically answering these questions will drive every feature and design decision going forward.
For example, appropriate lighting varies depending on the users and how they’ll use it. Will it be mom’s new ensuite where she’ll apply make up and check her outfits? Or will it be a guest bath that would be more inviting with softer, more natural light?
Similarly, if designing a bathroom for a maturing couple, focus on easy access with wider doorways, taller toilets and sill-less showers. If the bathroom will be for a young and growing family, give attention to storage space and robust, fully framed shower screens.
As you work through the general bathroom design principles, the “right” answer for each depends on the answers to the two key questions.
General bathroom design principles
- Focus on function above all else. The room must offer sufficient space for comfortable use. Make certain the door into the bathroom is easy to move around and people have enough room to dry themselves off, undress and dress.
- Based on your answers to the key questions, plan for the appropriate number and size of mirror, counter space and storage space. Do you need a full length mirror or just an “over the sink” mirror. Do you need storage under the sink or can you have a pedestal sink to create a more spacious feeling?
- Ensure the location is convenient to the bedroom(s) of the intended users.
- Lighting is crucial with bathroom design. If at all possible, include natural light. In general, ensure the bathroom employs a combination natural and artificial light to meet the needs determined by the answers to the key questions. Consider the four types of lighting: task, ambient, accent and decorative. The strategically planned combination of these lighting types ensure the end result of a bright and functional bathroom space.
- If it’s a newly constructed bathroom and not a remodel, chose a location near, above or below other rooms using water, such as the laundry room, utility room, kitchen or other bathrooms. If you can use existing hook ups, much of your detail planning may already be done. However, if this isn’t an option and moving of plumbing is required, do your homework to ensure you stay up to code and comply with regulations.
Adding a new bathroom to your home or remodeling an existing one can add to its overall value. Taking a moment to create a bathroom layout that takes into account the two key questions and the general bathroom design principles will yield massive benefits. This is one project where you don’t want to “wing it”. Once you give attention to nail down the basics, dive in and let the fun of choosing bathroom furnishing, colours, hardware and other design elements wash over you. Strategic planning keeps your bathroom functional and your design delightful.