Whether it’s the ultimate retreat to soak away the day’s worries or the busiest room in the house, your bathroom should be functional, easy to clean and safe. Getting to that point with a bathroom renovation can be time-consuming, expensive and messy, but we have some tricks to help you.
1. MOVE THE UTILITIES
It might cost you more to move the plumbing around, but it could make for a much better layout and even allow you to have a separate bath and shower. A three-way bathroom can have its walls opened up to create a large space, with more room to create the ultimate layout, while a narrow bathroom would benefit from the far end being taken up by the bath or shower.
2. ALLOW FOR WET & DRY AREAS
Try to keep showers and baths furthest from the door. Keep toilets and vanities closest to the door, so any mess from a shower is kept away from the main traffic areas. Also consider the placement of the toilet; you don’t want it to be the first thing you see when you look through the bathroom door.
3. MAKE A WINDOW A FEATURE
If moving a window to make way for a shower is not an option, work with it. Provided it is waterproofed properly, surrounded by tiles and features opaque or frosted glass, a window in a shower can be a great feature of the space.
4. CAN YOU MOVE A DOOR?
Bathroom doors usually swing open against a wall, rendering the entire space around and behind the door useless. By moving the door into the centre of the wall and replacing it with a recessed sliding door, you can then use both sides of the door for utilities. This allows you to have a toilet on one side of the wall and a vanity on the other. It’s a good idea for small bathrooms as it makes the best use of the space available.
5. WATCH YOUR GAPS
Tiny gaps between vanities and baths or between the vanity and the wall that won’t fit your hand or arm will be impossible to clean. They will trap dust and water almost straight away. Either make sure you leave enough space to get your arm in there or have no gap at all. Just make sure you have a clearance of at least 70cm from the front of the basin to the nearest wall. Leave at least 60cm in front of the toilet and about 20cm from either side of the toilet bowl.
6. WHICH END FOR SHOWER TAPS?
Give careful thought to which end of the shower you want to place your taps and shower-screen. If your screen is fixed, you want to make sure you have enough room to get into the shower without the vanity or other items getting in your way.
HOW TO BE PRETTY & PRACTICAL
Go grey for grout! White grout on floors will always look dirty. Choose a grey colour so any eventual discolouration will be disguised.
Stop the slip Natural stone tiles with a bit of texture are a little less slippery for the floor than smooth tiles, but give them a test at the store or in your home by spilling water on them and checking how slippery they are.
Clever showerscreens A fixed, frameless showerscreen is stylish, but screens that swivel are ideal if you have kids or a shower over the bath; the hinged style allows easy access to taps and bathing.
Tap troubles Avoid mixer taps in the shower or bath. They are so easy to bump or play with and can potentially cause burns so are not ideal for families with young children.
Big vs small The bigger the floor tile, the less grout you need to clean. They also look great with a smaller wall tile in a contrasting colour.
Keeping warm Heat lamps are a good affordable alternative to underfloor heating. They might not be the prettiest light choice, but they do keep a space warmer in winter.
Height matters Consider the height of the tallest person in your home when installing showerheads, especially if the shower is combined with a bath as the floor height will have risen considerably and you don’t want to be squatting down to shower.
Smart storage Recess shelves between the wall studs in showers for shampoo and conditioner, and above toilets for toilet roll storage – or just simply to style and make pretty with candles or greenery.