It’s hard to know where to start when thinking about designing bathrooms. It’s possibly the most complicated room in the house, with plumbing, electrics and soil stacks to contend with. Here are my five top things to consider before embarking on a bathroom renovation.

1 – Soil Stack

The most limiting aspect to your layout will be the soil stack. It may seem like the least exciting part of the bathroom, but where the waste leads can be very limiting when it comes to your layout and your budget. Soil stacks need a fall to ensure that the waste can be taken away properly – no one wants a clogged up soil stack inside their home! A good way of knowing whether you have some flexibility is considering which wall your soil stack is currently positioned on.

Can you redirect the soil stack externally by re-drilling the hole to another wall? What kind of impact would this have on the visuals from your garden or from the front of the house? If you live in a Grade II listed house it’s likely this wouldn’t be possible without planning permission.

I know it all sounds rather scary but in most cases you can move the soil stack either externally or by building boxing inside the room, which usually requires around 20cm depth for a neat concealment. If you are lucky enough to be undergoing a large renovation you may be able to move the soil stack within the sub floor, but this can come with some eye watering prices!

2 – Spacing

Being realistic about what you can fit within the space may sound obvious, but when you start totting up everything that you want for your dream bathroom the list can end up being quite extensive. Having grown up up in London, I’m no stranger to the small three piece suite that most people can fit into their 2.3×1.7m bathrooms (or even smaller!).

Considering how you currently use the space is a helpful approach. For example, if you shower every day and can’t remember the when you last used the bath, then replacing the bath with a larger walk in shower with lots of lovely recesses for all your toiletries could make the biggest difference. Having a larger bathroom means less compromise on space, but usually comes at a higher cost.

3 – Trends

Be aware of trends you see popping up on various social media sites – I have seen many come and go, and some last a matter of months. A top priority for most of my clients is that they want their schemes to be something that will last for years to come. I find it helpful to consider a scheme for a few months before going ahead with it. The earlier you start the design process, the more you can be sure that what you are going for is true to your style and not something that you will tire of quickly, and not rushing your design can see you through some of the most fleeting trends.

4 – The scheme as a whole

Always look at the scheme as a whole, being careful not to fall into the trap of falling in love with one particular item. Finding the perfect vanity unit at the cost of the whole scheme becoming a Frankenstein of ideas will ultimately take away from the beauty of the piece. It’s far more important to ensure that the scheme and the items within it work as a whole and that each area speaks to one another. This is why when considering your bathroom (or any room in the home for that matter) it’s most important to envision the overall atmosphere you would like to create rather than picking individual pieces. Thinking about how you want to feel in a space should be the main factor in deciding how it looks.

5 – Layouts

Thinking of a variety of layouts can often lead you to the best layout. I like to break the layout of the bathroom down by first thinking about each section individually. When you consider your use of the room and how important this is to you, you can then split the room like a pie chart, working out which areas require a greater amount of space. When thinking about the shower area, I consider what type of showering experience I want to create. For example, do you like to bask in relaxing rain showers, or do you view showers as purely functional, aiming to be in and out as soon as possible? If I considered myself as someone who values their weekly relaxing bath as essential to their relaxation and mental health, I would attribute a larger section of the layout to this. However, it usually comes with a compromise in another area, and that’s why designing can be so tricky!

Hopefully you’ve found this helpful. If you would like to discuss your bathroom in more detail please book a meeting with me here.


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