Designing the perfect bathroom is nothing short of art. We can make it simpler, of course, but there is a complexity to it that must be understood if we’re to avoid the most common mistakes.

Bathrooms are often some of the smallest and most self-contained rooms in a home, so it’s easy to make mistakes in layout. While most people think the room doesn’t need that much attention, it’s quite the contrary – since it’s an essential part of the house, it needs to be very well-planned.

Keep reading to learn some of the most common mistakes we see and how to avoid them! 

“Good, better, best. Never let it rest. 'Til your good is better and your better is best. – St. Jerome

1. The door gives a view of the toilet

While this might not be the worst offender in practice, it just makes for a bad sight to behold. Ideally, an open bathroom door should offer a view of the vanity area and shower box in the background, keeping the toilet hidden.

It makes for a much nicer view when the bathroom door is open, and also makes for a more comfortable experience, since the feeling of privacy is enhanced when you’re not right beside the door when using the toilet.

As an extra layer of comfort, try placing the toilet paper dispenser in front of the toilet, not behind it – this is not necessary and sometimes not possible depending on the position of the toilet, but makes it far more comfortable.

2. Little to no storage

Bathrooms require a lot more storage than most people plan for. Remember, the room needs space for all your:

  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Towels
  • Soaps
  • Brushes
  • Toothbrushes
  • Razors
  • Shampoos
  • Conditioners
  • Hairdryer
  • Electric shaver

And the other dozens of beauty products we accumulate over time…

It gets cramped really fast.

The drawers of a vanity area can hold some of the most practical items, but especially if you’re big on beauty products, you should plan for where they’ll be stored in advance. Having more proper storage means you won’t have to resort to a caddy on wheels, or simply putting everything on top of each other in front of the mirror or above a cabinet.

Make use of the side areas too – even a small but convenient cabinet can offload a lot of the pressure.

3. Bad lighting

Having at least one window to let sunlight (and fresh air) in is already a major step, but if your infrastructure doesn’t allow for a window, you really have to make up for it with good bathroom lighting.

Two mains aspects to consider here:

First, invest in bright lights without clear glass. Clear glass will obfuscate your vision and make it really uncomfortable to be near them, especially when reflected off a mirror, which will likely be the case. 

Second, place them well. Let the shadows guide you – a light directly above your head would create harsh shadows under your nose and eyes, which is very unflattering. Try to place lights in positions where they light the bathroom well, but also your facial features when looking at the main mirror.

For example, soft lights to the sides and above the mirror should provide a nice soft glow on your face. Combine that with a backlight to actually brighten the place up and you’re set!

4. Cramped toilet

Nothing is worse than feeling cramped when using the bathroom, but it’s a mistake that happens all the time. Always plan for the toilet in a way that you have space to move your arms reasonably without bumping into anything.

It’s very common to have toilets where a couple inches to one side you’re touching the shower box, and a couple inches to the other you’re touching the sink. I know space can be limited and sometimes there’s no way around it, but try your best to avoid this clunky situation and you may find a solution!

5. Consider the existing infrastructure

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as placing every part wherever you want – at least, not unless you’re willing to make some investments. Before making big plans, talk to a local professional plumber to understand the infrastructure of your bathroom.

Depending on the current placement of pipes and valves, you may have to adjust your plans to fit the existing infrastructure. Keep in mind though: you can virtually place toilets, sinks and showers wherever you want, but in some cases, you may need to change the infrastructure. And that will surely increase the cost and amount of work. If that’s something you’re trying to avoid, first consider the infrastructure, and THEN lay out your plans around it.

Want to plan your bathroom remodel? Get free quotes from a bathroom remodeling professional from your area today!


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