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Bathroom planning and layout tips

Bathroom planning helps to reduce costly mistakes. It has to be the starting point for your bathroom renovation. This makes sure you end up with your dream bathroom, with ample walking space, plenty of storage, and a bathroom you're proud of.

This post is all about bathroom planning. We’ll look at bathroom floor plans and a selection of popular layouts for various types of bathrooms, including, square bathrooms, long and narrow bathrooms, Jack and Jill bathrooms, and disabled bathrooms.

For design ideas and inspiration, project management tips, and costs, check out our ultimate guide to bathroom renovation planning. But first, bathroom planning!

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The importance of bathroom floor plans

While it’s tempting to jump ahead to colour schemes and fixtures and fittings, planning your bathroom layout should always be the first step.

Planning your bathroom layout will result in a functional and aesthetically pleasing space that optimises your floor plan.

Failure to do so could result in frustrating and expensive problems further into the project with sanitaryware that doesn’t fit and doors that can’t fully open.

Bathroom layout planner

There are various ways to tackle bathroom planning with relative ease.

  • Use the traditional method of creating a scale drawing with graph paper and a pencil
  • Search online for free bathroom layout planner software. Some of which will create your bathroom layout in 3D

Either way, you will need to take accurate measurements of the available space within your bathroom, and factor in windows and doors, to create a realistic image.

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Square bathroom layout

Let’s begin by looking at one of the most versatile shapes: the square bathroom layout.

Square bathroom layout

Key considerations for planning a square bathroom layout

  • Functional zoning

Separate the space into functional zones, such as bathing and washing, and storage areas.

This will help to ensure you create an efficient flow within the bathroom and have sufficient storage for your needs.

  • Placement of sanitaryware

When planning the placement of your sanitaryware, consider what layout would allow for easy movement and accessibility in the space you have available.

Plan a clear floor space of at least 760mm from the front edge of all fixtures to any opposite fixtures, walls, or obstacles.

Remember to account for adequate clearance for your bathroom door to open too.

Arranging sanitaryware around a focal point, for example, a mirror or window, helps to create a pleasing aesthetic.

Of course, you’ll need to factor in the placement of existing plumbing too!

Need to rejig existing pipework? Contact a qualified plumber for advice.

  • Utilise the corners

To maximise the available floor space, consider how you can use the corners to their full potential.

In a smaller room, space-saving fixtures such as corner sinks, vanity units, or showers are often placed in corners. Corners make ideal locations for storage units too.

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Jack and Jill bathroom layout

A Jack and Jill bathroom, shared between two bedrooms, requires careful consideration to meet the needs of multiple users.

Tips for planning a Jack and Jill bathroom layout

  • Dual sinks

As a Jack and Jill bathroom is shared by more than one person, dual sinks are recommended.

This promotes convenience and helps to minimise conflict during morning and nighttime routines.

  • Separate toilet area

Create a separate area for the toilet within your Jack and Jill bathroom with a locked door.

This allows for simultaneous use of the wash basins, for example, even if the toilet is in use.

  • Storage and organisation

With multiple users, it’s important to incorporate sufficient storage space within a Jack and Jill bathroom layout.

This could be individual storage cabinets or shared storage within a vanity unit.

Long and narrow bathroom layout

Long and narrow bathrooms can be challenging to design, but with the right approach, they can be transformed into elegant and functional spaces.

Long narrow bathroom layout

How to plan a long, narrow bathroom layout

  • Vertical storage

When limited with floor space, utilise the wall space for your storage needs instead.

Install tall cabinets or shelving units that maximise the available vertical space from the floor to the ceiling.

  • Traffic flow

Consider how the people in your household will use the space and plan the layout to ensure a smooth traffic flow.

Avoid placing the sanitaryware too close together as it could cause a bottleneck during busy times!

Arranging sanitaryware and storage in a linear layout or L-shaped configuration will create a sense of balance.

  • Lighting

Clever lighting can enhance the sense of space in a narrow bathroom.

Achieve this will recessed spotlights and wall-mounted lights to draw the eye upwards.

Combine this with plenty of natural light and carefully placed mirrors to bounce light around the room.

Remember, always seek the services of a qualified electrician to install your bathroom lighting.

Disabled bathroom layout

Designing a bathroom layout for individuals with disability requirements must consider two important factors: accessibility and safety.

Disabled bathroom at home

Key requirements for planning a disabled bathroom layout

  • Accessibility

Wider doorways and open floor plans are essential in a bathroom for disabled users. This will ensure ample manoeuvring space for wheelchair users.

A curbless shower with roll-in entry, handheld showerhead, and a wall-mounted fold-out shower seat are also recommended.

Consider the positioning of storage to ensure bathroom essentials are easily accessible.

  • Safety

Installing grab rails around the toilet and shower will offer support and safety in a disabled bathroom. Choose chrome grab bars for a sleek finish to a contemporary disabled bathroom.

Non-slip flooring, such as rubber or anti-slip vinyl, is recommended for added safety. With a variety of patterns available, vinyl flooring can mimic any style, for example, marble-effect or stone tiling.

  • Height-adjustable fixtures

A height-adjustable sink, toilet, and worktop will help to accommodate different mobility requirements, offering comfort and independence for all users.

Check out this guide to disabled bathroom ideas and inspiration.

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