You don’t have to be a designer to know what you want in your bathroom. You probably know what you like and what you don’t, and that’s the first step to planning the design of your bathroom.
When you first start to consider a redesign, pull pages from magazines, scan pages of books, and print images off of the Internet. Put these in a binder and mark each with your initial impression: “love it,” “like it,” “hate it” or some other ranking system that works for you. When it comes time to fine tune details based on budget and overall design, you won’t be swayed to install something you “hated” just because it’s a little cheaper.
This design small bathroom book also gives you a coherent idea of how you want the room to look. You’ll start to see patterns, and you’ll naturally notice what you like falls into themes where color choices, fixtures, and flooring work best together. Here are some items to consider as you make decisions about the individual elements of your bathroom design.
If you are designing your bathroom to feel like a home spa, the bathtub is probably your largest and perhaps most important fixture. Bathtub style evolves more often than we think, and where they were once freestanding, then later were built in, they are now freestanding again; however, today’s tubs can be found with a modern or vintage feel.
When you consider the design of the rest of your home, will a claw-foot tub feel like an original fixture? Can you fit a deep, jetted tub into the bathroom’s floor plan? What about weight – if you replace a small utilitarian tub with a luxurious garden tub, is your floor designed to hold the weight, or will you need structural changes? An experienced bathroom designer will help you answer these questions and more as you make the decisions for your bathtub as part of your remodel.
Showers remain a popular addition to bathrooms, and they are now often designed as freestanding fixtures separate from the tub. This allows more freedom to move around, step out of the spray or into it, as well as the ability to add and capture steam.
As you consider the design of your bathroom’s new shower, decide if the shower will completely replace the tub, if it will be a dual tub/shower, or if it will be a stand-alone feature. Each of these options can be outfitted with dual showerheads, either one below another or, in wide showers, two heads that can be used by two bathers. (Dual heads are especially useful when little ones come in from a dip in the pool or from playing in a mud puddle.) Rain-style shower heads also work in any style of shower and they simulate a gentle falling rain.
Generally seen in larger, stand-alone showers, custom systems include multiple shower heads installed at fixed locations that spray jets of water. This allows you to target different parts of your body at once, which can be welcome after a day of sports or of lifting your children or grandchildren onto your shoulders. If you have people of varying heights using the shower, you should consider adjustable heads, which can be moved up or down a bar by the user.
A sealed stand-alone shower can also hold steam for an additional spa experience. These showers should have built-in seating for comfort.
If you decide to add a steam-bath feature to your shower, you must ensure the bathroom design includes adequate ventilation to quickly draw out the steam when you want it to. A good exhaust fan also prevents excess humidity during normal shower use, which can lead to harmful mold.
If you have a large bathroom, you may need more than one fan. Each fan is labeled according to how many cubic feet of moisture it can vent per minute (cfm). For example, an 80-square-foot bathroom would require a fan with a rating of 80 cfm.
Ventilation fans are an area where you can save money but ultimately may wish you had spent a little more. Cheaper fans not only have lower cfms, but they may be noisier. Better motors, bigger housings, and larger vents make a fan costlier but also quieter. Additional upgrade features include timers or humidity sensors which will switch off the unit automatically when its job is done.
It’s harder to choose paint than we often think. The subtle nuance between indigo blue and iris blue are magnified if you choose a paint color with a high sheen or if the paint is exposed to multiple types of lighting.
When choosing paint, think about the feeling you want to create in the bathroom. Darker colors tend to make a room seem smaller and cozier, while lighter colors usually create a sense of space.
You should select paint which is designed for baths. Those paints come in the full range of colors, but they have additional anti-mildew chemicals added.
You have an additional choice to make when it comes to finish. Generally bathrooms are painted in a glossier finish to repel water and stains. (You will probably want at least a satin or semi-gloss.) Matte finishes can be used, but they generally require more maintenance and extremely good ventilation.
Bright light really makes a bathroom feel bigger, no matter the size. You have choices to make when it comes to designing the lighting in your bathroom. That indigo blue wall will look completely different when lit by incandescent lighting versus natural light.
Bathroom designs today generally include at least one natural light source, and they often include several.
From a large window at the end of a bathroom to a row of windows over a soaking tub, natural light creates a feeling of openness, cleanliness, and warmth. Windows can also help with ventilation if a bathroom steams up quickly.
Privacy considerations do come into play with windows in a bathroom. Bathroom designs generally take this into account, and unless your window faces a private screening of trees, wavy glass, frosted glass, or glass block will give you the bright light you like without the risk of clear glass. Half shutters can also be added, as well as high-end windows which frost over on demand.
As you design your new bathroom, you must take into consideration the location of your plumbing fixtures. Having to move plumbing after granite or tile is in place is a costly mistake that your home improvement company must not make.
Vessel sinks are often replacing in-counter mounted sinks. Vessels sit above the countertop (similar to dry sinks of yesteryear), and because the entire bowl is generally on display, the sink becomes more than a place to wash your hands – it becomes a work of art. Vessel sinks are available in many different materials and colors, from metal to hand-blown glass. Keep in mind that the plumbing needs for vessel sinks are different than those that sit in a counter. The faucet must be properly aligned with the sink.
We’ve listed only a few of the many decisions you get to make as you remodel and design your bathroom. Learn more about bath remodeling trends you can consider as you plan your renovation.
Are you ready to get started on your new bathroom design? Find a local bathroom designer near you today. Our remodeling and design specialists will ask the right questions and help you make the right decisions for your bath remodel.