Bathroom Design A to Z
Accessories: Accessories include decoration, wall hangings, art and sink essentials such as cups, toothbrush holders and the like. It’s a good idea to begin with a unifying theme.
Clearances: All fixtures should be at least 30 inches apart and 15 inches from the center to the nearest obstruction. There should be 30 by 48 inches in front of the sink, 24 inches around the toilet, 45 by 30 inches in front of the tub and at least 32 inches for all walking areas, including doorways.
Colors: Bright colors add light to a room. Pastels make the room appear larger. Too many colors in a small space can add to the busyness of a bathroom, not to mention stress out users. When in doubt, use white.
Countertops: Tile is still popular. Solid surfacing gives the convenience of one-piece construction and tends to be low-maintenance. Polyester resin, laid like tile, is seamless with no grout lines.
Flooring: The most important feature of bathroom flooring should be a non-skid surface.
Floor plan: The toilet should not be visible from outside the bathroom, nor should it be the first thing you see when entering the bathroom.
Lighting: Halogen or fiber optic lighting help to brighten up the bathroom.
Mirrors: Mirrors make any room look bigger. Don’t put more than one per wall, however, as it adds to visual confusion.
Paint/paper: Unless applied properly, paint and paper can peel and bubble.
Safety: Protect all electrical outlets with a ground-fault circuit interrupter and place all switches at least 60 inches from water sources. Mount grab bars near toilets and tubs, and inside of shower units.
Showers: If you’re installing a shower separate from your tub, it should be at least 32 by 32 inches. Install swinging doors so they swing outward to avoid trapping the user. Benches or footrests should be at least 12 inches deep or more.
Sinks: Vitreous china pedestal sinks are popular because of their sleek lines and design details. Many people still prefer the vanity-type sinks with their greater storage and surface area.
Storage: Install an over-the-toilet-tank shelving unit to save space. Measure all storage doors to make sure they swing clear of fixtures.
Tubs: Platform-mounted tubs should be no more than one step off the floor. The step should be no more than 7 1/4 inches high and at least 10 inches deep.
Ventilation: A bathroom without adequate ventilation can contribute to rotten drywall, peeling wall paper and bubbling paint. Install an inexpensive fan.