Before starting work on remodelling the bathroom, take some time to think about the following;
- Is the existing bathroom large enough for current and future requirements, eg are you planning on increasing the size of your family?
- List all the items you wish to include in your bathroom, is the current room large enough to accommodate all of these?
- Are you able to physically increase the size of the current bathroom? Will this negatively impact other rooms in the house?
- Could you merge a separate bathroom and toilet to create one large room?
- Could you move the bathroom door to increase the space in the room?
- Is there a room adjoining a bedroom that could be converted to an en-suite bathroom?
- Do you need a separate bath and shower or can the two be merged with the shower in the bath?
- How many people will need to use the bathroom at the same time - are twin washbasins needed? Does the wc need to be separate?
- If a separate wc is required, could a new toilet be installed elsewhere - eg under the stairs?
- How much storage is needed for linens, toiletries, medicines, children’s bath toys, etc?
- How do you want to decorate the walls and floors?
Once you feel you have answers to the above questions, you will need to consider the following;
Bathroom access - a separate wc, or a wc within a bathroom, must not be accessed directly off a kitchen, living room, or dining room. This can be overcome in difficult circumstances by the use of twin doors (ie exit from living room, and entrance to bathroom). A bathroom can open off a room that is used solely as a bedroom or dressing room, however if it contains the only wc in the house it must be accessible from a door not through the bedroom.
The colour of bathroom suite you wish to choose - white goes with everything, it's easy to keep clean, and will always remain in fashion. A white suite also makes it easier to mix and match items from different suppliers, and it's easy to replace an item if need be in the future.
The bathroom fittings and attachments needed for your chosen suite - remember that you will need to be able to maintain your bathroom to keep it looking clean - chrome is popular because it is easy to clean and matches most bathroom suites.
Not all baths are rectangular, if space is an issue many baths are available to fit corners, combine a shower, or are simply shorter than average to fit in a confined space.
When looking at bathroom suites consider the amount of bathroom storage you will require - a sink recessed into the top of a cupboard is more useful than a stand alone pedestal sink.
Mirrors and/or mirror tiles can make a small bathroom look larger - remember though to only use mirrors specifically made for bathroom use as standard mirrors will quickly become damaged by condensation.
The feeling or ambience in the room given by the chosen bathroom suite - avoid the room becoming too basic and clinical through the use of natural materials such as a wooden floor, cane furniture, or a wooden bath side panel.
What lighting do you require to adequately light the entire room?
How is the room to be heated? Can you remove a radiator and replace with a heated towel rail?
Can you keep the existing service points? Re-wiring and plumbing can involve a lot more time and money.
Lighting and ventilation considerations
External ventilation is required for a bathroom and/or wc according to current building regs. This can be provided either with a window or an electric extractor fan. The use of an electric extractor fan means that a bathroom, a 'downstairs' wc, or a separate shower room can be incorporated in a room, or space, that does not have a window.
The correct selection of lighting in a bathroom is fairly important, not only to ensure that you can see yourself properly, for instance when shaving, but also to prevent accidents from slipping on unseen water spills. With this in mind, consider the following;
The position of the window relative to items, such as mirrors, to avoid glare. Also consider whether you may need frosted glass to provide privacy. The type and position of lighting fixtures - often a combination of wall and ceiling lights works well to adequately light all areas of the room. This is especially important to ensure that any spilled water is visible on the floor to prevent accidents.
Remember too that one bright high wattage light can make the room feel far too clinical, especially when combined with white furniture, whereas a number of lower wattage lights will give a warmer feel and can also provide a more flexible lighting solution when combined with multiple switches - such as a shaving mirror over the sink.