Planning your bathroom layout



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The family bathroom is a busy place. It’s not only where we get ready to face the day, but it’s also a retreat where we can relax and recharge our batteries. The best bathroom layout for your family will depend on your lifestyle and the way you use the space.

Off the wall

When planning your bathroom, decide how many wet walls (walls that contain plumbing pipes) you need and can afford. A one wall bathroom layout, with the vanity, toilet and shower lined up along one wall, is the most budget friendly, but the most limiting design-wise. Two or three wall layouts give you more design flexibility, but come at a cost. Remember to take advantage of plumbing lines in adjacent rooms that you may be able to connect to.

Some privacy please!

A separate room or compartment for the toilet offers the ultimate in privacy. However if you don’t have enough space, use your bathroom layout to ensure the toilet is not in direct line of sight. Try placing it to one side of the doorway, hiding it from view with the vanity, using sandblasted or frosted glass, or building a half wall. Note that moving an existing toilet is difficult and costly because of the soil pipe.

Map out your bathroom layout

Draw a scale floor plan; a scale of 20mm to 300mm is standard. Take plenty of time to try different layouts and consider how you’ll use and move through the space. Is there enough room to get by when the door is open or someone is standing at the sink? Keep in mind the following measurements as you plan your bathroom layout:

  • Provide a minimum of 300mm between a bath or shower, and other fixtures like the toilet or vanity.
  • Allow at least 600mm of clear space in front of the toilet, and 200mm either side for ease of movement.
  • For comfortable use, allow 750mm of counter space for a single sink and 1800mm for double sinks.
  • Bath sizes start from 1520mm long x 760mm wide. Think about why you want the bath and if it will suit your purposes if you have limited space.
  • We recommend the shower size to be at least 900mm x 900mm.

Wet and dry

Think of your bathroom as having wet and dry zones. Try to locate wet zones, such as beside the bath and just outside the shower, out of the path of dry zones. If someone’s just had a bath or shower, you don’t want to step on a wet floor when you go to brush your teeth!

Planning a stylish bathroom with functional layout is quite complex and it may pay to invest in expert advice. A good designer is used to solving problems and will help you maximise space, ensure good access and plan for both your present and future needs.