Top 5 Tips for a functional bathroom layout

Incorporating a functional layout in your bathroom design is not only going to reduce chaos and bring some order and calm to the area, but it can also shave time off your bathroom visits and routines. So that you have a clear idea of what to consider when designing your new bathroom, we’ve rounded up our top 5 tips for designing a functional bathroom layout.

Functional bathroom layout #1: Wet and Dry Zones

An easy start to creating the foundation of your functional bathroom layout is by dividing the bathroom into Wet and Dry zones. The Wet zones contain the shower, bath and/or spa and it is where the water-based activities occur, while the Dry zone contains the vanity, storage and toilet. Dividing the room into these two key areas separates the two activities and prevents water-based problems such as mould in the dry area and also stops wet feet stepping into the usually high-traffic dry area. When the bathroom is on the smaller scale, installing a cavity sliding door can not only allow more privacy in the dry zone but will also create more room and help the bathroom to appear less cluttered. To avoid budget blowouts, try to keep the wet walls and plumbing in their existing layout locations otherwise you could face high plumbing bills.

Bathrooms generally have one, two or three wet walls:

One wall layout: The sink, toilet and shower share one wall. This is the most cost effective but functionality can be limited.

Two wall layout: The sink and toilet share a wall while the bath and shower are separate.

Three wall layout: The sink, toilet and shower are all on separate walls.

Functional bathroom layout #2: Consider the vanity as the ‘workbench’

The vanity gets a hefty workout throughout the day between teeth brushing, grooming, cosmetic applications, hand washing – the list goes on! If the entire family shares the vanity, then it sees even greater usage time. With this in mind, consider your current and future needs. The vanity generally consists of a bench top, one or two sinks, storage cupboards and/or drawers and a mirror. A dual sink is beneficial when a couple’s routines align (husband and wife get ready for work or multiple children brush their teeth at the same time) but it also takes out a chunk of bench space so consider which you think you would be most relevant for your household. While a large bench is great real estate for placing products and tools, it can also easily become overrun and be visually cluttered. Choosing an appropriate amount of cupboards and drawers for your needs will allow everything to have a home.

Functional bathroom layout #3: To bath or not to bath?

If you are not the kind of person who loves to soak in the bathtub or needs to bath children then skip the bathtub. Not only will do they create more cleaning work for you but a bath takes up a lot of space in the bathroom. Opt for a roomier, larger shower (maybe a his-and-hers design) which will add a stylish modern touch and open up the room space. With the extra room in the shower, install niches on one end to store items or maybe even a seated area for extra relaxation.

If you want or need a bath, think about how it can be incorporated into the design to maximise the functionality of the room. A back-to-wall bath takes advantage of a long wall to minimise how far this large item encroaches into the room. But, if you have the space, consider a freestanding feature bath to make an immediate visual impact.

Functional bathroom layout #4: Placement is key

While we discussed the wet and dry two-zone bathroom layout earlier, we also need to make sure that every item is in its most functional and practical place. Throughout the day, we visit the vanity to wash our hands, look in the mirror and our guests may also visit the vanity so think about where you want it placed. Try to avoid placing it at the back of the room to reduce the foot traffic through the room and also keep it quickly accessible. The toilet on the other hand can go right to the back! If possible, close it off with a privacy screen or wall. Your bathroom designer will think about the traffic flow both in/out as well as throughout the bathroom so ensure that fittings and fixtures are located in proximity to where they will be used and that the placement reflects how often they are used.

Functional bathroom layout #5: Lighting up the correct areas

It’s time to set the mood! Remember those different functional zones we created earlier? Different tasks are performed in each so it’s ideal to give them separate lighting styles. A soft, dimmable light or a natural skylight over the bath/spa and shower will create a relaxing mood while lights either side of your mirror will brighten up the face and eliminate shadows for cosmetic application and facial grooming. If the bathroom is large enough, a feature pendant or chandelier will add an elegant visual touch. It’s best to discuss your bathroom lighting with a professional to ensure they comply with the Australian standards as certain lighting can and can’t be used within certain distances of water sources.

When it comes to designing a functional bathroom that suits both lifestyle and taste, we believe our clients benefit the most when they take advantage of our full-service design and project management. This way, our expert team can look after your project from the very start to the very end and together, we custom build your beautiful bathroom. Our head designer is a Certified Bathroom Designer (CBD AU) and has more than 30 years’ experience designing and building award-winning bathrooms for happy Sydney homeowners. We’d love to sit down and discuss designing your dream bathroom so contact us today.

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