Practical Bathroom Design Ideas

Few spaces in the home are as personal, and as practical, as the bathroom. Bathrooms are a place to freshen up, reorganize and steel oneself against the forthcoming day. They are also a place to wind down from a day just past and prepare for bed.


Serving numerous purposes, and oftentimes for multiple persons, makes practical bathroom design a challenge. But it is also an opportunity for remodeling what is often the smallest room in the house to suit the most important needs.

Bathroom Design for Small Spaces

Firstly, the bathroom design and layout should maximize the space available. Few have the opportunity to build a bathroom as large as we might want. Even in new home construction, costs often limit how much space can be allotted to the bathroom. But there are usually many pockets of wasted space that can be used to open up floor space and add elbow room.

Dependent on the height and size of the bathroom users, medicine cabinets, shelves and under sink storage can often be relocated higher or around a corner. That can free up counter space for makeup application, shaving and so on. Lots of medicine cabinet designs, for instance, are not set in the wall but extend into the space a couple of inches.

Six to eight inch shelves are often placed at chest or chin height in a high traffic area. They tend to store less frequently used items such as spare towels, fragrance bottles, and so forth. Move them higher and provide a foldaway step stool for the shorter members of the family.

Bathroom Design Ideas on a Budget

Cost is always a limiting factor, but there are two ways to maximize your dollars. One way is to choose higher quality materials and accept a higher initial expenditure. The longer use will make the average cost per year the same as using cheaper materials with a shorter life span.

If that’s not viable, plan the bathroom design so that lower quality materials can be easily replaced every couple of years. Use screws into L-shaped hooks for large bathroom mirrors whose molding will tarnish. Lay linoleum in a roll and secure with colored, invisible nails. Glue removal always makes a job many times harder and more time consuming.

Bathroom Design and Installation

Do not skimp on the cost or installation effort for smaller, but important, fixtures. A noisy fan will rapidly become an irritation. Lights that do not sit at the correct angle or provide harsh illumination will produce frustration every time they are used.

Be sure to allocate enough percentage of the budget for quality shower components. Shower heads, knobs, behind-the-wall valves, and so forth that don’t last lead to leaks and more frequent replacement. A small behind-the-tile pipe leak can lead to hundreds of dollars in repair costs, increased insect invasion and weeks without a shower.

Consider heating options. For the first time in decades electric heating is more cost-efficient than gas, particularly for small, confined spaces like bathrooms. And the likelihood is that it will stay that way for some time to come. If you are planning a floor tile renewal, now is a good time to consider installation of radiant under-floor heating. Several different styles are available, some as easy as rolling a thin sheet of material lined with wiring or mesh that connects to the house electrical system. They are safe and, since heat rises, help to take away not only that cold floor tile but warm the entire bathroom for pennies per day.

Often bathroom remodeling projects can be accomplished in pieces. Floors one month, remodeling cabinet work the following, then shower enclosures or toilets and so on. Make it easy on your budget and your back. Plan ahead with the bathroom design and you will be able to create that personalized space that gives you the ideal place to wash your worries away.