How to make you and your bathroom a perfect match.
Most of us would agree that a great bathroom plays a considerable role in helping maintain a happy household. The challenge is that different bathrooms serve different purposes for different people. A bathroom used mainly by the elderly or families with young children probably needs more practical features, such as non-slip surfaces, easy-clean materials and carefully positioned towel and safety rails, to name a few. A bathroom used by a young couple may focus more on aesthetics and luxuries, such as a statement bath or shower, premium tapware and more.
Whatever your aims, planning a bathroom involves assessing how you live (or would like to live!) now and into the future.
A good place to start
Begin by considering how many people will use your bathroom and how often. Do you need to choose practicality over luxury? Are you living with small children, teenagers, the elderly or only adults? Do people with special needs use your bathroom? Do you want a serene sanctuary to retreat to, a practical, easy to clean, efficient bathroom that gets the job done, or a bit of both?
If you’re catering for the demands of a larger family, who’ll probably need to use the bathroom simultaneously, consider installing additional fixtures, like a second basin or a bidette. Think about
replacing a bath/shower combination with a separate shower, or, if possible, installing shower facilities and bathroom vanities elsewhere in the house. This is also relevant if you’re a busy couple and need to be ready and out the door at the same time each day.
Consider whether the facilities are suitable for the whole family. A step up to the bath is ideal for small children and handy for a parent when bathing babies or toddlers. Think about height restrictions and safety. Small children may bang their heads on low basins and tall people will be uncomfortable bending over low fixtures.
Elderly and very young
If your bathroom needs to cater mainly for older people, think about installing a low-sided bath or shower on rail with adjustable heights and hand-held features. Less-able people will also benefit from a higher toilet (Easy Height toilet) or Care toilet seat for easy transfers on/off the toilet. Consider your choice of taps too. Lever-operated fittings with Ceramic Disc Cartridges are more comfortable to use.
Bathrooms for the elderly or very young need to include safety features such as slip-resistant bath surfaces and mixer taps with temperature limiting devices to prevent scalding. Grab rails at key points in the bathroom such as near the bath, in the shower and next to the toilet are also a good idea.
Young (or older!) couples with no kids
This group often like to include additional luxuries in the bathroom, such as large freestanding spa baths, overhead rain showers, heated towel rails, and even televisions.
Whatever your choices, it’s important to consider and assess the needs of those using the space, as well as your own expectations. Are speed and efficiency your number one priorities? Or is your bathroom a retreat for relaxation and recuperation? Perhaps it needs to deliver different things at different times, such as being utilitarian in the morning and relaxing in the evening. The choice is all yours.