How To Plan A Bathroom

July 21, 2014
How To Plan A Bathroom

Are you looking for advice on planning a bathroom? You are definitely not alone! Many people would love to redecorate and revitalise their baths, but they really aren’t sure where to turn. That’s why we’ve put together these tips on planning a bathroom, regardless of the bathroom size. After all, it doesn’t matter if your bathroom is luxurious or cosy. It still needs to perform — and do so in style.

When it comes to planning a new, or updating an old, bathroom Nick at Swish Bathroom Solutions has been helping customers since 2006. So we made a bee-line to Nick and got plenty of swish advice and ideas when it comes to bathroom size.

What’s the first step in planning a bathroom redesign or update?

To look at the whole picture rather than considering isolated features. It’s crucial to have the overall bathroom size and bathroom design in mind so that space is managed thoughtfully and intelligently. The average Australian bathroom size is 2.7m x 1.8m and there tends to be two layouts that work best with this bathroom size – see the plan below.

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The above illustration captures the layout of the two most common bathroom size and bathroom plans for Australian homes.

These are the most common bathroom size and bathroom layouts because they are the ones that work best to this space. If you have an average size bathroom then we’d recommend you consider these layouts. This won’t stifle creativity – it just affords you the best level of function for the space you have. There will be plenty of creativity to come when choosing tiles, finishes, colours etc! You should have no end of options!

Don’t forget, too, that depending on your budget, you may be able to increase the overall width and length of your bathroom through interior construction. For instance, if you can extend one of the walls, you may be able to increase the bathroom size. Some people like to take this into consideration, especially if the space seems particularly cramped.

Read More: Bathroom Essentials

Do you recommend the ultimate bathroom update checklist?

Swish Bathroom Solutions offers a complimentary bathroom design consult to start the conversation about how to plan a bathroom. They can even do this for clients who are interstate, which is a great boon for anyone in that category who has been considering upgrading their bathroom. So that would be on the top of our list and then to follow we’d recommend a checklist that considers:

  • Dimensions. The bathroom size will be incredibly important. If you’re having trouble getting accurate measurements, pay someone to do it for you. It can be difficult to measure the space yourself if you have a strangely-shaped bathroom, such as one that’s in an L-configuration.

  • Plumbing. If budget allows then you can re-plumb the space if needs be. What is your flooring made from? If it’s timber then there shouldn’t be too much hassle. If however, it’s concrete then you’ve got some more considerations and challenges, but it’s do-able. If budget is tight then plumbing will play a big part in dictating your bathroom layout.

  • Budget. The “B” word is one you should keep in mind. It’s fine to look over all the tips for planning a bathroom, but it’s important to know they all may not fit your financial limitations. Still, you can often do imaginative things during a bathroom redesign you never realised were possibilities — while staying on budget.

  • Height of tiling. Some owners like to tile their walls right up to the ceiling, whilst others prefer to see some paint. This is something to have clear fairly early on in the piece. It will absolutely help you as you plan your bathroom update.

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Where should my main focus – and budget – lie?

We like to go back to what the bathroom is being used for, and that’s ultimately to clean and to prepare. This means there are two focal points to any bathroom – the shower area, and the bathroom vanity. If this appeals to your idea of the best bathroom for you, then our advice would be to find the biggest and most practical shower and bathroom vanity you can! Just be mindful, that you have to ensure you have bench space left to work with.

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Again, a balance of aesthetics and practicality is essential. Maybe you want a seat in the shower? Maybe you want two sinks and two separate cabinets for the vanity, or you’re after extra-large sinks? Go to town!

Freestanding baths are so popular – should I go down this path?

If your bathroom is the average Australian size, we’d recommend you avoid a freestanding bath. It just eats up way too much of your space and it becomes a real hassle to clean and move around. If space is not an issue and if you really love the free-standing baths, and your budget allows, then absolutely! There’s nothing stopping you!

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Where does the toilet go?

If at all possible, keep the toilet entirely separate to the bathroom. Out of all the new bathroom builds and renos that come to us, not even one per cent want a toilet in the bathroom. I think that’s indicative of the population. There are some sensational options now in terms of powder room sinks and tap wear that can really work well in small spaces.

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What’s the best advice you can give someone about to undertake a bathroom sprucing-up?

Take time to think about it. Let the ideas sit with you for a while. Listen to the experts; they’re not telling you what they want – they’re never going to use your bathroom. They’re sharing their expertise with you because they want you to be 100% over the moon with your bathroom.

Visit Swish Bathroom Solutions for more great ideas.

Thanks again Nick for your time and sharing this valuable information on how to plan a bathroom renovation.

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Frequently asked Bathroom Design Questions:

How to do I plan lighting in my bathroom?

As with any room design, the amount of space dictates what form of lighting is possible for an individual bathroom. There a few types of lighting to consider when planning a bathroom, these are: Task Lighting, Which refers to increased luminescence to a space used for a specific task; Ambient Lighting, lighting which provides illumination to an entire area or space. Then there is Accent Lighting, which are recessed or standard spotlights used to create focal points and of course Natural Light through the use of a window or skylight. A combination of a few or all of these types of lighting needs to be considered when designing a bathroom layout. It is best to focus on your lighting plan once you have confirmed the layout of your bathroom, this will make deciding which type of Lighting you will need much easier. Remember that good lighting should be supplied in a bathroom, especially towards the mirror and basin areas where applying makeup, shaving and other activities take place. To increase luminescence in your bathroom we suggest using light coloured tiles and paint as well as smooth textures as these are less likely to absorb light whilst also helping to reflect and project light throughout your bathroom. For more information on bathroom lighting design tips, read our comprehensive article on the subject here

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