Redesigning your bathroom is an exciting yet challenging task, but before diving headfirst into ripping the entire suite out there are a few important things that should be carefully considered. We understand that remodeling a bathroom can be tricky, time consuming and not to mention costly, so to help your project stay on track and run smoothly we have created this essential checklist. For more expert advice, we recommend taking a look at our ultimate bathroom design guide.
Setting a budget
The first step on our bathroom design checklist is to set a budget, as this will help you to make decisions about what to include in your renovation project. Once you have figured out what you can afford to spend and taken into account labour costs, you will have a clearer idea on what you can afford for fixtures, fittings, materials, etc. Remember, you don’t have to spend a fortune to create the look you really want. Take a look at our bathroom fitting cost guide to give you an idea of how to much to set aside for installation costs.
If you have a small bathroom, don’t assume that it will be any easier to design or require any less planning. Regardless of the shape or size of your bathroom, you will need to pay close attention to detail. You will also need to factor in the ordering and purchasing of tiles, materials and fixtures and ensure they can be delivered when your bathroom fitter needs them.
The time-frame is a crucial element if you only have one bathroom in your home, as you’ll need to make arrangements where to shower and use the toilet while the bathroom is being worked on.
It’s a good idea to allow extra time for any hidden problems that may arise with your bathroom upgrade. Unless you are highly experienced at DIY and plumbing, we recommend hiring a professional to carry out your bathroom installation to ensure it functions without any issues.
The order of work
Completing your bathroom design project in a specific order helps to prevent mistakes and allows you to focus on one area at a time. You should always start at the top of the bathroom, beginning work on the ceiling, then the walls and finally the floor to minimise damage to new fittings.
Bathroom design & functionality
Deciding on a style for your bathroom is never easy, as there’s so much to consider such as the colour scheme, materials, the available space and storage to name but a few. Begin by gathering bathroom ideas and take note of what catches your eye and inspires you. Houzz and Pinterest are both fantastic for discovering ideas for your new bathroom.
When looking for bathroom design ideas, remember that they have to be functional too. You may like the look of his-and-her sinks, but if you don’t have the available space, it’s no good trying to squeeze them in. You will also need to think about how many of you will be using the bathroom and if you plan to put your home up for sale in the future. Will the bathroom design fit in nicely with the rest of your home’s interior? These are all things that you should be asking yourself.
Measure, measure & measure again!
The three most important factors that make size matter in bathroom design are:
- Available space
- Location of the existing pipework
- Dimensions of bathroom fixtures
We can’t stress enough how important it is to measure the space and check the measurements two or three times to ensure they are correct. There’s nothing worse than having your new basin and toilet delivered only to find they don’t fit!
Hire a professional
You may think it appears simple to fit your new basin or toilet, but if you aren’t experienced at DIY, unforeseen plumbing problems can happen that you may not know how to deal with. So, if you want your bathroom design project to be a success, don’t overlook the advantages that a specialist contractor can offer.
Choosing bathroom fixtures
The right choice of fixtures such as basins, toilets, taps, showers, baths, vanity units, accessories, and not to mention heating and lighting, can make or break your bathroom design.
Bathroom fixtures are available in an array of styles ranging from the sleek and modern to the elegant and traditional to suit all tastes. If you have a small bathroom, opt for compact fittings to maximise space. Wall mounted basins and toilets are ideal for making your bathroom appear more spacious. For those who have plenty of room to play with, why not consider a freestanding bath and a separate walk-in shower for a luxury look?
Don’t forget to factor in storage, which is essential for any bathroom small or large. Vanity units offer a stylish and practical storage solution as they combine a sink and drawers or a cupboard underneath where you can keep toiletries hidden away. They come in wall mounted and floor standing designs, as well as a choice of finishes ranging from white gloss to walnut. If you have an awkward shaped bathroom, a corner vanity unit can offer a great solution.
The walls & floor
As long as it’s waterproof, almost any material can used in the bathroom. Your choice of material for the walls and floors will depend on your budget. If you have a bit more to splash out you could opt for marble or granite for a touch of luxury. For those on a lower budget, there’s marble effect tiles, so you can get the look but without breaking the bank. Vinyl flooring is another option for those on a limited budget. There are many designs to take your pick from, plus it doesn’t feel cold underfoot either! Whatever your choice of bathroom flooring, just make sure it is both durable and slip resistant.
Poor ventilation can leave your bathroom damp, mouldy and can even harm your health, so it’s essential to fit an extractor fan to prevent issues arising. It’s also a good idea to minimise bathroom condensation, as this can also cause damp problems.
Bathroom heating & lighting
The heating and lighting play important roles in your bathroom design. The space should have task lighting, as well as mood lighting to create a relaxing ambience, so plan to incorporate both into the design. Ensure any lighting you choose is suitable for use in the bathroom and that it uses energy saving LED technology.
When it comes to heating, we recommend fitting both underfloor heating and a heated towel rail in your new bathroom. Underfloor heating keeps the room warm and dry, while a heated towel rail provides the basic luxury of toasty towels.
The final thing to think about is accessories. They may seem like an insignificant part of your bathroom design project, but the right style can enhance the overall space and bring everything together. Accessories such as glass shelves, toilet roll holders and towel rails will ensure your bathroom is functional.
Tell us… do you have any more bathroom design advice you’d like to share? We would love to know, so share with us in the comments or @BigBathroomShop
Hi, I’m Liz, an interiors blogger. My main focus area is the bathroom, where I aim to inspire anyone who’s planning and designing a new bathroom – you’ll find plenty of tips, how-to guides and a wealth of ideas!