Bathroom Layout

Planning a new bathroom or remodeling an existing one? Use these bathroom layout tips to create an intimate, rejuvenating space.

Your bathroom layout master plan starts with drawing a scale footprint, or floor-plan. Grab your measuring tape, a ruler and some graph paper. A scale of 1/4 inch to 1 foot (or 2 cm to 30 cm) is standard. If you’re using a computer program instead of paper, the idea is still the same.

I encourage you to take plenty of time at this stage. Try different layouts. You’ll intuitively go back to the ones that work best for you.

The following are a few of the minimum measurements to keep in mind as you brainstorm your layout:

*Provide a minimum of 12 inches (30 cm) between a bathtub or shower and the other fixtures like toilets or vanity cabinets. Designers, remodeling contractors and plumbing suppliers usually call larger, free-standing, plumbed-in pieces fixtures. Faucets, shower heads, handles, etc. are referred to as fittings.

*A toilet needs a minimum of 4 feet, 6 inches from the wall it’s mounted against to the opposite wall…and a minimum side to side measurement of 30 inches (76 cm)…and 36 inches (90 cm) is better.

*A minimum of 6 feet (1.8 m) of counter space is necessary to accommodate 2 sinks. Also make sure to allow at least 28 inches (71 cm) centered at each sink for a person to stand comfortably and have plenty of elbow room while grooming.

Bathroom Layout Reflects Our Changing Habits and Attitudes

No room in our homes has changed more over time like the bathroom has.

The trend has been toward larger, more luxurious bathrooms where we can linger, relax and feel rejuvenated.

Consider finding a focal point for your bathroom as you would with a living room layout.

Bathroom design ideas that expand window space to let in more natural light can still provide privacy by incorporating textured acrylic window panels, glass block or sheer window coverings. And, there’s nothing that makes a great focal point like a window with view.

Freestanding tubs from antique claw-foot tubs to new bathtubs in sculptural shapes provide great focal points for your bathroom layout.

If you have the space, define different zones in your layout. You can create defined areas for bathing, dressing, grooming, lounging, even exercising.

Bring Your Unique Style to Your Bathroom As You Would the Rest of Your House!

Antique armoirs and chests can be adapted to be vanity cabinets, plumbed for vessel sinks or fitted with stone counter-tops.

Bring in chairs for reading. Wooden end tables and benches add texture and homey warmth along with function.

Scan additional articles here, in magazines and on other sites for bathroom design ideas for fixtures, fittings, lighting and more.

Browse online Interior Design Stores for the latest trends in Bathroom accessories, fittings and fixtures to compliment your bathroom layout.

A bathroom designs idea — can I really design my own bathroom? Why not! Today, the bathroom is much more than just a room for grooming and a place to read. Bathrooms can be a good place for home exercise equipment and a good music system or TV, for example. What better way to unwind from the day than a soothing shower or warm soak in the tub with candles and relaxing music. So start a notebook. When you get a bathroom designs idea, write it down. Soon you’ll have defined the bathroom that’s just right for you.

Design my own bathroom? You bet you can! When designing your own bathroom, some of the questions you should ask (and answer) include:

1. How big will the bathroom be? Bathroom sizes include:

o Master bathroom or luxury bathroom – includes toilet, bidet, two sinks, separate tub and shower, whirpool or spa and perhaps more, depending on your budget. Some master bathrooms are large enough to have exercise equipment, and they are subdivided into smaller compartments for privacy depending on what is needed.
o Full bathroom – includes toilet, sink, and combination tub/shower plumbed along one wall. Typical dimensions are 5×7 or 5×8 feet.
o Half bathroom – includes sink and toilet only. It can be placed on the main floor of your home to reduce the morning rush, and the family doesn’t have to go upstairs to use the toilet. Common dimensions are between 3×6 and 4×5 feet, about the size of a smaller closet.
o Small bathroom – includes corner shower stall, toilet and sink and typical dimensions are 6×6 feet.
o Childrens bathroom – can be a three-quarter bathroom or full bathroom depending on the size of your home and how many children you have. Children’s bathrooms should have plenty of storage and cubbies that are safe and colorful. If several kids will use the same bathroom, a wall or half wall between the toilet and the rest of the bathroom may be a good idea.
o Guest bathroom – can be a three-quarter bathroom or a full bathroom.

2. Are you planning to have convenient storage in the bathroom? A design my own bathroom person will always include bathroom storage. You can find a combination sink/vanity for extra storage. A great bathroom designs idea is you can never have too much bathroom storage! Use the wall space wisely with shelves or cabinets over the commode or almost anywhere in the bathroom. Consider using corner shelves, and hang towel bars above one another. Add a medicine cabinet with mirror to your bathroom to store grooming supplies, medicine or toiletries. Traditionally, the medicine cabinet was always located above the vanity or sink, but nowadays you can place it elsewhere in the bathroom. Add a shower caddy to your corner shower for extra storage.

3. Do you have enough lighting planned for your bathroom? Natural light is an important element in bathrooms. A window, a wall or roof skylight will bring in natural light, a view or a dramatic skyscape. Having a skylight that opens is great because moisture build-up is reduced. Artificial lighting is also vital and often overlooked in a bathroom. Without good lighting, the decor and the personality of your bathroom can not be developed properly. Lighting for your bathroom can be natural and manufactured. Lighting should be used to brighten and define the space since both can affect your mood and how you feel inside your home.

4. Another bathroom designs idea – what about ventilation? If you live in climates prone to mold and mildew, you should install an exhaust fan in your bathroom. Ventilating fans are sized by the number of cubic feet of air they move each minute (cfm). A design my own bathroom person will have a good ventilation system that can move the air from the bathroom to the outdoors about eight times per hour or once every 7 or 8 minutes. Bathrooms generate humidity and moisture that can penetrate ceilings, floors and countertops. Remove odors and humidity from a bathroom by installing a power ventilator large enough to do the job. You do not want your walls to break into a sweat every time someone showers.

Design my own bathroom? Go for it! A design my own bathroom person will read as much as possible, thinking through what is wanted and needed in this important room. A bathroom designs idea will range from materials used to the bathroom layout to the finished colors. Having a successful bathroom project is about making informed decisions while planning and while building. Continue the process of learning as much as you can before building begins. How much can you spend, what style will the bathroom be, what size ventilation should you have and so on. Your answer to each bathroom designs idea question is what will guide you so you’ll have the best bathroom ever.

Copyright 2005 InfoSearch Publishing

David Buster is VP of InfoSearch Publishing and webmaster of [] – learn more bathroom design ideas [] for layout, lighting, storage, bathroom vanities, small bathrooms, childrens bathrooms and more.

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