Bathroom Design

Home Improvement

Looking for some ideas for your Bathroom Design?  Consider these...

Accessories: Accessories include decorations, wall hangings, sink essentials such as cups and toothbrush holders. It’s a good idea to begin with a consistent theme.  One theme that continues to be popular is the beach motif, with either sand-colored paint or shell-print wall paper, murals of shore scenes, seashells in baskets, and anything "beachy." Remember not to overdo it though; too much clutter makes a room appear smaller. Be sure to pick out your colors and accessories so that they match.

Fixture clearances: All fixtures should be at least 30 inches apart, center-to-center, and 15 inches from the center to the nearest wall or obstruction. There should be 30 by 48 inches in front of a single bowl sink, 60 by 72 for a double bowl, and 24 inches around the toilet. Allow 45 by 30 inches in front of the bathtub. Walking areas, including doorways, should have at least 32 inches.

Consider colors: Bright colors add light to a room, and this is especially useful for bathrooms without windows. Pastel colors make the room appear larger, but too many colors in a small bathroom space can overwhelm it. When in doubt, use white since it goes with everything.

Countertops: There are many alternatives on the market when choosing countertop finishes. Tile is still a very popular item in bathrooms, but solid surfacing such as Corian, Avonite, Nevamar and Wilsonart gives the convenience of one-piece construction and tends to be low-maintenance. Fritztile is a polyester resin which can be installed similar to tile but it is seamless with no grout lines. And, formica is still a low-cost alternative.

Flooring: Whatever your choice in flooring, whether tile, wood, stone, the most important feature of bathroom flooring should be a non-skid surface.

Floor plan: A few simple rules apply when designing your floor plan. For one, you should never design the bathroom layout so that the toilet is visible from outside the bathroom, nor should it be the first thing you see when entering the bathroom.

Lighting: Most bathrooms have inadequate lighting because of their lack of windows. It’s worth looking into installing a skylight or two to brighten up the space. If it’s not feasible, halogen and fiber optic lighting are good options for brightening up the bathroom.

Mirrors: Mirrors make any room look bigger so use them liberally in a bathroom space, but more than one per wall can create visual confusion. Mirroring an entire wall makes the bathroom appear twice as large.

Paint/Wallpaper: Any wall covering used in the bathroom must be water-resistant and damp-proof as well. Unless applied properly, paint and wallpaper can peel and bubble so be sure to use the proper materials.

Safety: Protect all electrical outlets with a ground-fault circuit interrupter and place all switches more than 60 inches from water sources. Mount grab bars near toilets, bathtubs and inside shower units, ensuring that they’re installed into studs and not just drywall or tile. Install two grab bars in the shower, one at the entrance and one at the water source, and angled at 45 degrees.

Showers: Showers have become more elaborate over the years. From showers with hydro-massage, waterfalls, multiple shower heads, benches and electronic controls, your options are many. If you’re installing a shower separate from your tub, it should be at least 32 by 32 inches. Today's trend is toward larger showers. Install swinging doors that swing outward to avoid trapping the user. Benches or footrests should be at least 12 inches deep.

Sinks: The hottest design, vitreous china pedestal sinks, boast sleek lines and design details. However, many people still prefer the vanity-type sinks because of their greater storage and surface area. It’s a great option to have a double-bowl sink so two people can use it at the same time.

Storage: Consider the wonderful, inexpensive cabinets, shelving and racks available. If there’s extra space near the toilet, consider buying a short cabinet in which to store toilet paper and toiletries. If there’s no space, an over-the-tank shelving unit can be a good option. Toilet roll holders should be mounted in front of the toilet, 26 inches off the floor. Pre-measure all storage doors to make sure they swing clear of fixtures before you install them. Remember to allow storage space for cleaning materials, linens and medicines.

Bathtubs: There are now more than 400 styles of tubs, including whirlpools, Roman tubs, and spa systems. Platform-mounted tubs should be no more than one step off the floor, and it should be no more than 7 1/4 inches high and at least 10 inches deep. Faucets should be within reach from outside the tub. Be sure to install some grab bars.

Ventilation: A bathroom without adequate ventilation can contribute to rotten drywall, peeling wallpaper and bubbling paint. Installing an inexpensive fan can reduce dampness.