The definition of a bathroom actually varies based on the cultural context it is being used in. It literally is a “room with a bath”. However, since traditional bathtubs have already been replaced with various types of modern showers, probably a more general definition would be that it is a “room where one could take a bath in.
In the past, bathrooms usually just had a bathtub, a sink and a toilet fixture. However, in the modern bathrooms of today, there have been a lot of additions done such as shower enclosures, vanity cabinets, special bathroom lighting, along with many other bathroom fixtures.
Today, bathrooms are also considered as probably one of the most important rooms in a house as the average person spends around two hours or even more each day in it. This would be equivalent to around a month each year. Therefore it is logical that we spend a lot of planning as to how our bathrooms would be the most functional while having the most appropriate design for our needs.
Bathroom Design And Layout
Before starting to remodel or construct your bathroom, make sure to take time in designing the room. You can make use of various digital design software programs if you plan to do it yourself. Try t look at different samples and pictures of paints, fixtures, tiles and the other materials that would be needed. There are a lot of designs and styles that you can do so make sure to pick the one that would suit your needs and taste best. You could go for a vintage design or probably a Tuscany theme. If you choose to hire a professional designer, you could work with him or her on this step so that would be able to make sure that the outcome would be exactly what you want.
You could also consider what kind of layout you would be needing for your bathroom. Would there be instances when more than one person would be using the bathroom simultaneously? If so, would you need a bigger counter space or possibly another sink or a shower enclosure for privacy? Would there be enough storage space for those who would be using the bathroom?
Would the vanity cabinets and drawers be interfering with the bathroom door?
Family baths should be able to comfortably accommodate two people or possibly even more at the same time. This would mean that you may need to plan to have two sinks or even double showerheads. You might want to isolate the toilet from the bathtub, shower and sink area.
Once you have the design of your bathroom set up and planned, you would need to make sure that you have already been able to secure all the permits that you need before the remodelling or the construction of your bathroom is started.
This is probably the most important aspect of your bathroom construction or remodelling so make sure that you have a plumber that would check all the plumbing fixtures in it.
For the electrical wirings and connections, it would be best to make sure that you have an electrician that would be working on them to ensure the functionality of everything.
Make sure that the lighting of your bathroom would be adequate enough. The lighting that would be over the mirror should be strong – possibly one strip of 8 60-watt bulbs. However, you could also consider using soft ambient lights and pinpoint task lighting. If you are planning of installing a whirlpool that would be for two, you could have some indirect mood lighting. For incandescent lighting, you would need around 3 and 1/2 to around 4 watts for each square foot but if you go for fluorescent lighting, 1 and ½ to figure 1-1/2 to 2 watts around 2 watts for every square foot would do.
As for the sinks that you could use, there are a lot of varieties that are available in the market – from the simple ones to the more elegant and luxurious models. Wall-mounted sinks are more commonly used as they take up less space but are more prone to falling apart. A lot of expert bathroom designers advise using sinks which are on top of cabinets or countertops.
If you are looking for a sink, you might want to consider the ease of installation, the material of the sinks and the price.
For toilets, there are several elements that you would need to consider such as the design, one-piece or two-piece; the shape and size of the toilet seat, as bowls could either be round or elongated; the flushing, there are those that have just one and those that have two flushes; the trap-way, small or large and glazed or unglazed; the height, which would depend on who would be using the toilet; attachment, floor-mounted or wall-mounted; and the additional features such as bidets, motorized seats, insulation and many others.
When choosing bathroom mirrors, you would need to make sure that the size, shape and design would be complementing the theme and layout of your bathroom.
Bathtubs are considered as one of the most essential elements of the bathroom. As such, you would need to make sure that the design, size and material would be suitable for the look of your bathroom, as well as for the people who would be using it. There are many materials which are used for the construction of bathtubs today. These would include acrylic, ceramic tile, cast iron, cultured marble, marble, fibreglass, porcelain on steel and solid surface.
The number of types available for bathroom faucets today is endless. There are those that are single-handed and those that are double-handed. The materials used for bathroom faucets today would include stainless steel, brass, chrome and brass nickel.
You also have many options in showers and shower valves. The manual type would be the most common, as they are fairly easy to use and inexpensive. The thermostatic ones are able to ensure that the water flow would have a constant temperature. There is also the twin shower which has two levers, one which controls the water flow and one which controls the water’s temperature. Also a popular choice today would be the electric shower valves as this type heats water as it is dispensed. Some other types would be the triple shower valves, sequential shower valves, power and many others.
Shower enclosures are also fast becoming popular in bathroom fixtures, as not all of us have the luxury of having time to spend in a tub. Shower enclosures or shower stalls are very convenient as you could just get in, have a shower and go on to do your daily work. There are a lot of style and designs available as well as materials. You can get those that are made of glass, fibreglass, tempered glass, plastic or acrylic. You would just need to make sure that the one you would be choosing would be durable, heatproof and waterproof. You could even have shower enclosures customized to your requirements or get one that has been pre-fabricated.
When shopping for a shower door, you would need to consider the amount of space you have in your bathroom. If you have a smaller bathroom, you could go for sliding doors. You could also get trackless shower doors or pivot shower doors. It would also be important to consider what finish the door has. You can choose from polished aluminium, satin chrome, glass, tempered glass or brushed nickel.
For bathroom cabinets, you would need to decide on the size, design and the materials to be used. You could also consider the amount of storage space you need with a bathroom cabinet. This would depend on how many people would be using it.
Bathroom vanities are basically similar to bathroom cabinets. When choosing vanity cabinets for your bathroom, make sure that it would perfectly fit the overall theme and design of your bathroom. Also, make sure that it would be able to provide the functionality and storage that you require.
Tiles And Flooring
Bathroom tiles have the power to either beautifully complement or destroy the overall look of your bathroom. The more popular choice for bathroom tiles and flooring today would be the ceramic tiles as they are very durable, easy to clean, waterproof and very safe to walk on. It would be advisable to go for bathroom tiles which would be slip-resistant. Bathroom tiles today come in a wide variety of shapes like squares, octagons, circles, hexagons and so many more. You can also get them in various colours, sizes and textures. You could choose tiles that: have solid colours for a simple look; have the same colours for a classic look; have contrasting colours for an artistic look or are decorative to match the design of your bathroom.
Again, shower curtains must match the rest of your bathroom fixtures and accessories. Today, you can get shower curtains which are made of fabric, vinyl or even linen. It would depend on the amount of maintenance that you can afford to do later on, as well as on the overall style of your space.
There are many other bathroom accessories which you could add on for functionality or plain aesthetics. When choosing accessories, make sure to go for the ones that would be the most useful and would be complementing the style of your bathroom.
Some Other Bathroom Tips
Now, although bathroom construction or remodelling can be an exciting project to do, it could also be quite costly.
Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind as you go about the construction or the improvement of your bathroom.
- Try to visit home stores that are selling clearance items. As the newer stocks come in, you would be able to get products like cabinets, countertops, flooring as well as other bathroom accessories and fixtures which are brand new but are at lower prices.
- You could also look into buying all the items you need from a wholesaler who could possibly give you a big discount if you get everything you need at one time.
- Remember that you should also not scrimp too much on buying items for your bathroom. Think of everything that you are buying as investments for your house to make it even more valuable later on.
- Make sure that you would be paying enough attention to energy efficiency. Remember that you would be able to save more money in the long run if you install low-flow toilets or water-saving shower valves along with other energy-efficient fixtures.
- Make sure that you are able to prepare a fairly realistic budget for the entire construction or remodelling of your bathroom.
- Be sure to shop around before buying everything. You could research at online and offline stores for the prices and options you have to make sure that you would be able to get the best value for your money.