11 Top Bathroom Planning Mistakes

For such an important place in our homes, the bathroom is, unfortunately, an absolute minefield of planning and construction disasters! On average, Australians spend anywhere between $10k – $30k (and more!) when renovating their bathroom, making the process quite an investment into your property. By spending the extra time properly plannign your bathroom renovation, you can avoid these nasty pit falls.

1. Not Following the Design Process

There is a lot of thought, planning and research involved in putting together a well functioning bathroom; make sure you do not ignore the design process! This is the crucial step where potential issues or risks are recognised and easily taken care of prior to any works having commenced. Your interior designer will also always keep your budget and final outcome in mind and ensure your project progresses smoothly and within budget.

2. Not Allowing Space for Accessories

Accessories such as your towel rails, toilet roll holders, etc. are often overlooked when planning a bathroom and more often than not, are thrown in almost as an afterthought in an awkward position when proper planning procedures have not been followed. I’ve seen too many bathrooms where the first thing you do when opening the door is bruise your arm on a chunky towel rail that a) Is in an awkward location, and b) The rail’s depth was not taken into consideration in the planning process and as a result, the rail protrudes out into the bathroom’s walkway.

Accessories such as these, are used each and every single day, so why would you not consider their location carefully? Make sure to consider what type of towel rail you want to use, where it would be most conveniently located and also, does the model you want actually fit in the space?

The best solution to avoid wet spots on your floors is to use either a mini towel bar or a towel ring directly beside your hand-basin, and a separate towel rack beside your shower and/or bathtub.

3. Using Mismatched Bathroom Fittings

If you like the look of bronze tapware in your bathroom, make sure your other fittings match. This includes your basin mixers, your showerheads and accessories (towel rails, roll holders, etc), your cabinet handles, as well as the trimmings to your shower screens (another often overlooked item!). This will offer the space a strong sense of continuity and ensure a consistent theme is maintained. There can sometimes be exceptions to this rule however, with certain metal finishes working quite well together; for example, nickel tends to complement brass quite well.

During the bathroom planning process, make sure to view samples of all your selected fittings and hardware to ensure they all work well together and create a cohesive colour scheme. Taking the time to carefully consider your new bathroom’s finishes and colour scheme during the planning process will of course, help you avoid costly replacements later on down the track!

4. Mismatched Colours/Finishes to your Bathroom Products

When selecting your hand basin, toilet suite, bathtub, etc. try to use pieces from the same brand. Each brand of bathroom fittings has a slightly different white, a different bronze, a different black, etc. Also make sure all your fittings follow the same shape: for example, an oval basin should be paired with a softly curved toilet suite instead of a cubed suite. This technique will once again ensure your new bathroom’s design follows a consistent theme, creating a luxurious look in the home.

5. Lack of Bathroom Storage Space

We often underestimate the amount of storage space needed in a bathroom: we have our shampoo/conditioner bottles, backup shampoo/conditioner bottles, soaps, razors, creams, lotions, towels, etc…. So many items and only a small vanity to fit them all in! If you have the space, an extra cupboard or a row of shelving in the bathroom would make your life much easier. An extra cabinet can also be incorporated in your bathroom design to store spare towels and even house a laundry basket. If there’s just not enough room for another cabinet, make sure your vanity is designed well in order to maximise it’s storage capacity. You could also add floating shelves to the bathroom and install a simple glass shelf in your shower to keep necessities on hand where needed.

6. Inadequate Bathroom Lighting

If you only have a single globe hanging off your Bathroom’s ceiling, you’re doing it wrong! A bathroom ideally needs a good combination of natural and artificial light. Make sure your vanity is well lit and try to avoid positioning your light fittings where they would cast a shadow over your face when looking in the mirror. If you also have a bathtub in this bathroom, consider a dimmer on your lights as this can assist in creating a soothing and relaxing environment for bath time.

7. Using a General Contractor

Try to avoid using the same contractor who is building your decks and verandahs for your bathroom. A Kitchen/Bathroom Contractor who specialises in this type of work would give you the best results as they would be more considerate of the planning and design process that goes into putting together a well functioning bathroom and also, their team of workers will also specialise in these types of renovations, thus ensuring the best quality renovation.

8. Compromising on Quality

Although you should always keep your budget in mind, don’t make your final decisions based on price alone. There are certain items that we just should not compromise on as quite often, the cheaper alternative ends up being the costly alternative. Cheaper priced products can also be cheaper in quality, causing issues later on down the track. Know where you’re spending your money!

9. Shower Shelving

When it comes to adding shelving to your shower, consider your options: you may use a shower niche (a shelf that sits in the wall cavity), a shower shelf fixed onto the wall or simply add a hanging shower shelf once the job is done. Each option, however, has its good and bad points: A shower niche for example, can be awkward to fit into your tile pattern. A shower niche can also be awkward to clean in the corners, causing soap to build up. On the other hand, a shower shelf (often made of glass, plastic or stone) fixed onto the wall provides a better and easier to install alternative, provided you have a good amount of space in your shower to accommodate for the shelf protruding from the wall.

10. Retaining Old Bathroom Fittings

Although sometimes it can be perfectly viable and cost effective to retain some old bathroom fittings, it may not always be the smartest choice. Bear in mind that it is very easy for breakages to occur when attempting to remove existing fittings and as such, you may save yourself the headache and choose entirely new fittings from the get go. However, if there is a piece in your bathroom that you would really like to hold onto, ensure your new fittings match in both colour and shape to ensure a consistent look in the space.

11. Lack of Natural Lighting & Ventilation

Australian Standards relating to the required amount of ventilation in your bathroom are specifically designed not only to ensure the integrity of the building materials but also to ensure the user’s safety and health when using a bathroom. When planning your bathroom, make sure to consider sources of ventilation as more often than not, an exhaust fan is simply not enough. It is also important to consider sources of natural light in your bathroom, ensuring the space is as comfortable and user friendly as possible with an adequate amount of light. Too much artificial lighting is neither comfortable nor good for us!