Homeowners Professionals

How to design a bathroom

The idea of a new bathroom can be very exciting. You can wave goodbye to leaky showers with little pressure, dripping taps and cracked tiles. However, there are lots of decisions that need to be made when having a new bathroom designed and installed.

The idea of a new bathroom can be very exciting. You can wave goodbye to leaky showers with little pressure, dripping taps and cracked tiles. However, there are lots of decisions that need to be made when having a new bathroom designed and installed.  

First, you need to consider the new layout. How the space is organised could make the room a success or a failure and it can be very difficult to rearrange the room once the major aspects, such as the toilet or shower, are fitted, not to mention expensive. For example, installing a toilet under a sloping ceiling might be a good idea for women, but most men may bang their heads on the wall. These are the details that need to be thought about during the planning stages to make sure that the layout will be functional and practical as well as look beautiful.

Then, there are practical decisions to be made. Will you do away with a bath completely and decide to have a large walk-in shower? Perhaps you’d like a shower over a bath to save on space. Maybe you’d like a freestanding tub or a floating vanity unit. The choices to be made are almost endless, but you shouldn’t allow yourself to be daunted by these things. Make one decision at a time and the whole thing will come together nicely.

Finally, it’s time to make your bathroom beautiful by thinking about the textures and materials that you’ll be using. Tiles are common in a bathroom, but you can also think about how to make the room a little softer and cosier by adding wood effects, vinyl flooring and soft furnishings such as towels and bathmats.

To help you with all of these things, read on to discover how to design the perfect bathroom layout, how to draw a floorplan so you can experiment with the space on paper as well as how much your bathroom renovation could cost.  

How to design your bathroom layout

You might be struggling to find the perfect bathroom layout that includes everything you want and is practical but stylish. There are so many important decisions to be made and you don’t want to regret any of them later.

Your priority should be deciding what you want from your bathroom and what it absolutely must contain. Some people are happy to go without a shower; others couldn’t live without one. Some people want a freestanding tub; others might prefer to have double sinks. Is this room going to be a practical family space or do you want to relax and escape from all your worries in there? These two types of bathrooms should look completely different. A practical family bathroom will likely need lots of storage and a walk-in shower, whereas a spa-style space would benefit from a large bath.  

To discover what your priorities are, you should start by making a list. One column should contain the things the room must have and another column should contain the things you’d like but are happy to go without. Once you have these things clear in your mind, it will make the design and layout stages much easier.

Now that you know what you are and aren’t having, it’s time to think about your layout. When you’re deciding on a bathroom layout, the first thing you need to think about is the position of the toilet. This is because the toilet needs to be located next to a soil pipe, and having a new one installed or moving the current one can be a big and expensive job. Once you’ve decided where the loo is going, the rest of the bathroom can be designed around this. Doing it this way could save you a lot of headaches later.

Once you’ve got the position for your toilet, you need to consider where the other fixtures can go. Look at the size and shape of the room. You don’t want to stuff lots of large items into a bathroom as you’ll just make the room feel small and cramped. Consult the list of priorities you made earlier and consider what can and can’t fit in.

Finally, once you’ve decided which fixtures you want, you need to think about some more practical features and accessories. Bathrooms frequently lack storage, however they are rooms that really benefit from a place to store towels, medications, toiletries, etc. When you’re planning the design, keep an area free for vanity units, shelving or other forms of storage such as a laundry basket. You’ll also need to consider where your radiator will go. If your boiler is located in the bathroom, you might want to think about whether you want to  move it to another room  or keep it there. Moving it could free up some much needed storage space.

By working out these key priorities, you’re making sure that the bathroom will work in the way you want it to.  

How to draw a bathroom floor plan

A water softener is a device that connects to your heating system, usually where access is easy, such as under your kitchen sink. This device is around the same size as a pull-out kitchen bin and works by removing the calcium and magnesium ions that make water hard.

First, water from the mains supply enters the system and moves through resin beads that are located in the cylinder. These beads allow a process known as ion exchange to occur. This is when the unwanted minerals are removed and instead replaced with salt. Then, the excess minerals are flushed from the system completely, leaving you with softened water.

This isn’t a process that can be done just once. Your home is always pulling in fresh water from the mains and so a water softener is a device that should be fitted permanently. The salts will occasionally need replacing so that the softener can continue to do its job.

Once you’ve decided on the above elements, it’s time to draw your bathroom floor plan. Creating a floor plan is a way to confirm that your new bathroom layout and certain technical aspects, such as which way your door opens, will work.

Step 1: Draw a rough sketch

Before we get down to drawing scaled diagrams, the first step is to draw a rough sketch of the room. This doesn’t have to be perfect. Begin by outlining the shape of the room, and then include all permanent fixtures and fittings, including doors and windows, pipes, drainage, lighting, charging outlets,  radiators  and the location of the existing bath, shower, sink and toilet. This may seem a bit excessive, but all of these details could affect the layout later on.

You should end up with something a little like this:

Step 2: Draw a second diagram if you’re making structural changes

If you’re planning on making big structural changes to your bathroom such as knocking out a built-in closet or borrowing space from another room, then make a second diagram including this new layout. This means that your first diagram should be of the original space and the second of what it will look like when finished. If you’re not making structural changes, then move onto Step 3.  

Important: You may need a structural engineer to make an assessment for some alterations.

Step 3: Measure the bathroom

Once you have your diagrams, it’s time to measure the bathroom. You should measure the walls and windows as well as other elements such as the size of your current bath. As you go, write each measurement down on your diagram next to the element it applies to.

Step 4: Create a scale drawing

Now you have a rough diagram with some exact measurements of your bathroom,it’s time to create a scale drawing. But don’t worry! This is more straightforward than it sounds.

It’s easiest to do this on a piece of grid paper that has squares a quarter of an inch wide. You  can print some off here. This means that four grid squares equal one inch. To create a scale drawing, decide on your scale. To make things as easy as possible, four grid squares could equal one meter. Therefore, if a bathroom wall measures 2.5 metres, your line should cover 10 squares on your grid paper.

You should use this scale to mark out your walls and windows and any major fixtures like your toilet and walk-in shower. If you want to get even more creative, you could cut out a correctly scaled bath, shower, toilet and sink. These features can then be moved around your floor plan to determine the best layout and position for each item.  

How much does it cost to install a new bathroom?

It’s hard to say exactly how much it might cost to have a new bathroom installed. The cost will depend on the extent of the work that’s being done, the size of your bathroom and what fixtures are being installed.

The average cost of a bathroom is around £3,000, depending on the quality of the fixtures you purchase. To have the bathroom installed by a professional plumber would cost around £1,000, but this wouldn’t include the cost of tiling. You should also factor in things such as lighting, flooring, storage solutions and more. Tiles can vary hugely in price from £10 per square meter to £30 plus. This means that there will be ways you can save money on your bathroom renovation, but do consider that the products should still be good quality in order to last.

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