How to Design a Large Bathroom

large bathroom

Planning a large bathroom

Having a large bathroom doesn’t mean that any less planning and thought is required. You’ll need to make sure you plan your bathroom carefully, and ensure that it remains stylish, functional and efficient, even if you are aiming for a luxury look. For instance, you’ll need to make sure that you aren’t walking across the room from your bath or shower to get a towel. You might find it tempting to spread your fixtures out around the bathroom, but it may be easier to group them together in such a way that it provides the added advantage of creating extra space for storage or fitted cabinets.

Once you’ve decided what you want in the room, you’ll need to think carefully about where to place everything. Start with the soil stack for the WC and plumbing – it will be more cost-effective to use this as your starting point because moving it could be costly. It’s much easier to start from scratch in an extension or loft conversion, but remember that mistakes at first-fix will be time consuming and expensive.

Top tip: make a scale drawing of the bathroom and place the cut-outs of the fixtures and fittings you want to include on the floor. Experiment until you find the ideal layout.

Although a big bathroom is beneficial, it will also cost more to fit out. Large expanses of wall and floor require more tiles, so take into consideration the materials you want to use. For those on a tight budget, choose ceramic or porcelain tiles with a non-slip finish instead of expensive marble or limestone, it’s also a good idea to only tile the essentials areas such as above the basin, over the bath and inside the shower enclosure.

Attention to detail

Attention to detail is so important, whether you’re planning a family bathroom that’s equipped to deal with those busy weekday mornings or you want to create a relaxing spa-like retreat for two. Decide exactly what needs to go in the room – a separate bath and shower enclosure is a must, and fitting two basins not only adds a touch of luxury but is really practical too.

Top tip: If you’re buying a lot of bathroom products go to one supplier as there might be deals to be had and it makes delivery easier too.

Create a focal point


You might not think so, but having so much space can actually be a problem when it comes to trying to plan an effective layout, so you may want to consider creating a focal point within your bathroom.

A large freestanding bath positioned centrally within the bathroom provides a great way to create a focal point and adds wow factor too. Available in an array of styles and sizes, freestanding baths provide the perfect way to relax and unwind at the end of a long day. You could also create a focal point by fitting two basins or vanity units side by side for a ‘his and hers’ look.

Top tip: floor joists should be checked if buying a stone or cast-iron freestanding bath as they can be very heavy. Lighter alternatives include acrylic or composite.

Heating a large bathroom

Heated towel rails are still a good option for large bathrooms. Some of the bigger sizes give out a lot of heat, whilst ensuring towels are kept warm and dry.

Top tip: designer radiators are also great – they are available in many sizes and styles to enhance any decor, plus they make a real statement too.

Underfloor heating provides a fantastic way to keep tiles warm underfoot – perfect for those cold winter mornings. There are two systems – wet, which carries water through pipes under a floor screed, or dry, consisting of electrical matting laid directly underneath the tiles. A wet system is more expensive to install, but costs less in the long run. Do not lay heating underneath where you plan to fit the shower, bath and toilet.

Create zones


Each bathroom function should have plenty of space so there’s no early morning crush on busy weekdays. Doubling up on basins provides a great way to make sure teeth are brushed and faces washed quickly before the school run.

For a dedicated shower or wet room area, ensure there’s plenty of access and don’t position items next to it that aren’t waterproof. Building a low wall next to the toilet creates privacy in a family bathroom. Making use of different levels or using contrasting flooring materials can really help to define zones.

Top tip: make a feature of your freestanding bath by creating a raised area and fit spotlights in the floor around it for added luxury.

Light and colour

Although you don’t need to think about enhancing a sense of space through the use of light and colour, it will still have a part to play in your bathroom design. A larger bathroom can feel clinical or impersonal, and that’s where the tones you use will have an impact on the overall feel of the space. Dark colours are great for creating a sense of intimacy within your bathroom, while bright colours are perfect for families with young children. Make sure to plan the lighting around the natural light so that the whole space is illuminated, and add feature lighting to highlight the different areas within the bathroom.

Top tip: LED strip lighting provides a simple yet effective way to highlight certain features such as furniture.

Bathroom storage

Storage is just as important in a large bathroom as it is in a small one, and more people using the space means more clutter. A big family bathroom will need to incorporate somewhere to keep bath toys hidden away when not in use, as well as toiletries and beauty products, so to avoid clutter taking over surfaces, it’s a good idea to invest in several storage solutions.

A vanity unit with sink, a unit next to the bath and a shower basket will keep clutter under control, but it’s important to consider where you store things, as items that are too far away from where they are used will only cause inconvenience. Wall mounted bathroom cabinets are great for towels and cleaning products, and mirrored cabinets keep everyday essentials close to hand.

Top tip: check out our bathroom furniture buying guide to help you choose the perfect storage solution.

In the process of a planning a large bathroom? They why not let us know how it’s going by telling us in the comments section below?

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