Have you ever experienced a bathroom that looks great but was difficult to use? The design rule that “form follows function” is important because it doesn’t matter how pretty a space is if it complicates your life.
A bathroom is a space with many specific functions, and if something hinders the ability to perform you will be reminded of it every single day. When undertaking a bathroom remodel, you can have a gorgeous bathroom that works like a charm if you pay special attention to the following details.
• Natural light keeps a bathroom from feeling cramped. Add a window (as in the photo above) or a solar tube to bring in daylight.
• Why shower in the dark? It’s a daily task that needs proper lighting, and it can be natural or artificial light, so long as you can see what you’re doing.
• If you shave or put on makeup in a bathroom mirror, be sure to have proper lighting. A pair of sconces at eye level on either side of the mirror provides balanced illumination with no shadows.
• Dimmers on the light switches will become your favorite feature, because a therapeutic bath tub soak needs different lighting than when getting ready for work in the early morning.
• Place the toilet so it is not the first thing you see when entering the room, or at least can’t be seen when looking into the bathroom from adjoining rooms.
• The British have long known the wonders of a water closet. In a master bathroom that has more than one person using it at the same time, consider placing the toilet in its own little room.
• If only adults will be using the bathroom, opt for a comfort-height toilet. As you age, your knees will thank you.
• Even if you’re not yet ready for grab bars, since the walls may be open for the remodel, have wood block framing put in so that when the day may come, installing grab bars will be a quick and easy process. This also goes for the shower area.
• Take an inventory of everything you need to keep stored in your main bathroom and design storage to accommodate all of it.
• In the shower, place bottles, soaps and scrubbers inside niches or nooks rather than shelves, which take up work room while you bump into them.
• Use the vertical spaces above the toilet or sink to hang wall cabinets or shelves for more storage.
• Paint the walls with a satin or semi-gloss finish so you can easily wipe off splashes without marring the finish.
• Floors need to withstand water exposure, so opt for tile or stone rather than real wood or carpeting.
• Add water to a shiny ceramic tile and it’s an accident waiting to happen. Choose floor tiles with a matte or honed finish so you get some grip underfoot.
• Even with all the improvements in wallpaper durability, play it safe and use it on walls away from water fixtures.
• The more glass and mirror in a bathroom, the more surfaces to clean. Be honest about how much maintenance you’re willing to take on when configuring your shower and vanity areas.
• The smaller the tile the more grout lines to keep clean. Opt for bigger tile to decrease grout lines, or have the tile and grout sealed after installation to keep dirt out.
• Bowl sinks are like a gorgeous piece of sculpture, but they have a high splash factor that requires constant cleaning. Consider using them in a guest powder room rather than the bathroom you use daily.
• Place towel racks as close to the sink and shower as possible to minimize how far dripping hands or limbs have to travel.
• Swinging doors use up a lot of floor space. Consider sliding pocket doors when bathroom space is at a minimum.
• Place the door so it swings open without banging into or blocking anything in the bathroom.
• For glass showers or water closets, a frosted or semi-transparent glass affords privacy while letting light in.
These are the type of details that can make or break a bathroom remodel. For help with getting the details right in your bathroom, team with the designers at St. Louis remodeling firm Mosby Building Arts. View a portfolio of some of Mosby’s bathroom remodeling projects. To get started, call the Mosby office at 314.909.1800 or contact them here.