5 Costly Bathroom Design Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Other than our kitchen, the bathroom is one of the most important designs to get right. It is where we begin and end each day, so it’s important that it provides you with what you need, in terms of how it makes you feel, but that it also functions for you.

When designing a bathroom, there are costly mistakes that can upset the balance of the room’s function and aesthetic. Avoiding the common design blunders below can help you design a well-thought-out bathroom.

Mistake no. 1- No Internal Elevations

Homeowners often feel they don’t need internal elevations as they feel they can easily instruct the cabinet maker or builder on site. This can unfortunately lead to lots of (avoidable) issues and lead to miscommunication and a less than ideal outcome. Often, homeowners don’t feel the investment is needed for elevations, until they see the expensive mistakes that occur onsite when the builder doesn’t know what the owner is expecting (as there are no drawings to tell them).

 Examples of internal elevations which instruct your builder on what you want and your expectations.

What Happens without Internal Elevations?

  • Inaccurate quoting
  • Design and functionality compromises and disappointments
  • The builder is not sure about what you want
  • You will spend more time on site guiding the builder
  • More variations on site = more money
  • Windows location may not be ideal for internal layout
  • Bath too big for the space
  • Configuration of vanity unknown
  • Location of bathroom accessories not clear

Benefits of Internal Elevations:

  • Provides a clear roadmap for your builder
  • Allow your builder to give you an accurate quote
  • It shows your cabinetry design and configuration, and fitting placement
  • You can view everything before the build starts, which allows you to make changes and discuss things with your family and designer at floorplan stage.

Mistake no. 2- Freestanding Bath Too Big for the Space

Adding a freestanding bath that is not suitable for the space is a design compromise. Not only that, but it makes cleaning difficult as it’s hard to reach behind the bath.  A freestanding bath also needs adequate space around the walls to give the bath space to ‘breathe’ rather than being wedged into a tight-fitting area.

Freestanding Bath Top Tips:

  • Allow ideally 150-200mm around the bath to allow for cleaning
  • Ensure you order an extended spout or opt for a floor mounted tap
  • If space is tight consider a back to wall or hob bath instead.

Mistake no. 3- Inadequate Task Lighting

It’s important to consider adequate task lighting, and not to rely solely on downlights in your bathroom. Having light that illuminates your face is important for applying makeup or shaving.  The best solution is to have multiple light sources such as task and accent or mood lighting.

Mistake no. 4- Inadequate Storage

You can have the most beautiful bathroom in the world, but if it doesn’t allow you to store what you need, it’s not functional and it won’t work for you!

Artist Prudence Oliveri’s bold and beautiful Torquay home

Design Tribe Projects

Top tips for creating enough storage:

  • Drawers store a lot more accessible storage than cupboards.
  • Measure height of key items you need to store in drawers, so they are high enough for what you need. Eg, hairdryer
  • Eye-height storage allows easy access for daily essentials
  • A shower niche provides great storage to keep items off the floor

Mistake no. 5- Poor Tile Layout

It’s important to get your tile layout right to ensure the finish is right.

Tile layout will be in the elevations, however, it’s important to also check with your tiler on site just to be sure you’re all on the same page.

Here are some tips to get your tile layout right:

  • Tile layout should be in the elevations
  • Avoid small cuts in obvious locations such as at the door
  • Be mindful that the shower niche finishes in line with wall tiles
  • Consider how the shower waste may affect the layout
  • Align tile height with shower screen or door height if not tiling to the ceiling.

Great design is not just about how your bathroom will look. It’s only one part of the design story. It’s critical to get your layout and design elements right, to ensure your bathroom functions, as well as looks beautiful.

Ready to design and create your own beautiful bathroom?

We offer a range of bathroom design packages that include internal elevations and material, fittings and fixture selections.

Book a chat here to see how we can help you.

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