Primarily a functional room, the bathroom is one of the only ones in the home that you can be sure every member of a household will frequent and use at least once a day – and, no doubt, more than that. So, should you be looking to renovate or update the bathroom in your home, like it or not, getting its design right may not be as straightforward as you expect.
Not only does it need to be practical and easy-to-use, as well as safe for all users (especially the kids), but also look great, obviously, and let’s be honest, in most cases, save on space. Hmm, so how to achieve this? Well, your priority ought to be selecting the most suitable plumbing and heating options available – and those, of course, that possess the sort of look you prefer for your new bathroom.
Make the most of space
As mentioned above, design and ease-of-use is key when it comes to planning out the features and fixtures of a modern bathroom, but perhaps your byword should really be ‘keep it simple’. What you definitely don’t want to do is cram this room full of unsuitable items – do you really need twin basins or dual showers? Probably not. Planning should be based around priorities then. If you have an idea, expect to have to scale it back; the more you accept this from the outset, the easier it’ll doubtless prove every time you’re faced with having to do so.
So then, the sorts of plumbing solutions you may well want to look to are shower-baths (terrific for bathrooms on the smaller side and not as costly as a separate shower and bath enclosure) and free standing/ clawfoot bathtubs (flexible to install and locate almost anywhere in a bathroom; great as a focal point in the bathroom as they don’t necessarily have to be tucked away into a corner). Plus, you ought also to consider wall-hung fixtures; not only do back-to-wall ‘floating’ toilets and basins apply here, but so too do heating options like wall mounted electric radiators – all of them space-savers.
Ease and convenience
Unless you design your new bathroom with convenience and ease-of-use in mind, you’re doing it wrong. Let’s face it, with every will in the world, time’s an asset of a morning when the entire family has to be up, ready and out as quickly as possible. Don’t doubt it; the morning rush starts with everybody getting through the bathroom and out! To that end, speeding up the morning bathing experience can be achieved through the installation of a large heated towel rail.
How? Well, of all bathroom radiators, such a towel radiator offers not just enough space to hold towels for every member of the family so each of them can grab them quickly, but also many models can be powered by either the gas central heating or (ideal for the warmer months of the year when you want to save money on heating the whole house) via electrical supply from a socket in the wall. This option then is often referred to as ‘dual fuel’.
Don’t forget safety
Safety in a bathroom? Is that big a concern? The fact is, when you have young children, safety’s always an issue. You don’t want a bath-time toy causing you to slip over on the bathroom tiles when you get out of the shower or for your youngest to pick up and start playing with a razor. So, suitable storage is a must and can be achieved by nicely fitting vanity units, which you’ll find after a bit of research come in a great deal of difference sizes so they can slot into corners and tight spaces as decreed by the layout of your bathroom. You may be lucky, in fact, to be able select such a unit that also comprises a slim-line basin and goes perfectly with your new bathroom design. Be aware too that nowadays vanity units can be fitted with child locks; not a bad idea, eh?
Moreover, on the safety front, you’d be wise to consider purchasing bath mats, bath strips and grip rails too prevent slips, trips, falls and unnecessary visits to A&E. And you might also like the sound of soft-closing doors; installing one of these to the bathroom could well prevent little ones’ fingers getting trapped when a door unexpectedly closes on them.
An open-plan design?
Finally, again bearing in mind space (or a lack of it), how about avoiding a too-tight shower enclosure by opting instead for a wet room-style bathroom design? This open-plan layout would see a glass screen separate the shower area from the rest of the room when necessary, as would a recess in the floor for where the shower’s installed against a wall. The great thing about such a design is that, without enlarging the room at all, it actually gives the impression of spaciousness; that said, any wet room-style bathroom’s floor definitely ought to feature a non-slip coating!