3 things to consider when designing a bathroom


Bathrooms can be tricky to design, with so many possibilities that are intertwined with practical and necessary elements such as plumbing, drains, waterlines and vent stacks, it’s obvious why creating your dream bathroom can easily turn into an expensive and complicated juggling act.  Here are some mindful design tips that I have learnt along my renovation journey.

Vanity tips for small spaces

Finding a vanity to suit a small space can be tricky, especially when you are wanting to keep an open and fresh design aesthetic, but a furniture-like vanity could be the solution.  Not only does this save space by doubling as a dressing table, but freestanding vanities with legs are certain to make your bathroom feel bright and airy.

Designs that WOW on a tight budget

Renovating a home is not a cheap endeavour, but when you are investing so much time, effort and money into a renovation project it’s important that the design quality isn’t sacrificed when the reality of accumulating costs hits.  This balancing act definitely achievable through some creative economics.

Affording the “Rolls Royce” of everything may not be achievable by the time bathroom designs commence, but it’s easy to distract from more economical design purchases by incorporating “wow features”.   For example, adding large handles as a feature or a big pendant light (if your ceiling height permits) are great ways to divert from more practical and budget friendly design aspects.  Stuck for inspiration? is my go-to for all things bathroom design, especially when I’m looking for a wow factor.

A realistic time frame

Although bathrooms are often smaller in comparison to the rest of the home, they are very intricate projects with a lot of back-end work which takes time to complete, so it’s important to have a realistic timeframe factored into your renovation plans.  This ultimately impacts your budget and allows you to set aside a realistic amount from the beginning.  On average a complete bathroom makeover takes approximately 4 weeks and often involves the below steps, which you can use as a time/budget guide.

Approx. time allocation Renovation Steps
2 days Demolition of current standing bathroom
2 days Rough carpentry (this may not be necessary depending on the underlying structure)
1 – 2 days Plumbing rough-in (plan on more than two days if you are moving pre-existing plumbing arrangements)
1 – 2 days Electrical rough-in.  This is when electrical lines are set up but not yet connected.
1 day First inspection.  Scheduling an inspector to make sure electrical and plumbing work is up to code can leave your renovation at standstill depending on the inspector’s availability
Half day Insulation
2 days Plastering (second stage)
1 day Painting
2 days Tiling
1 day Cabinetry
2 days Flooring
2 days Fixtures and hook-ups (toilet, sink, etc.)
1.5 days Time allowance for contingencies


Feature Image credit: Houzz

1 Comment

  1. Sally Hart

    Sally Hart

    September 25, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    Agree that there’s lot to think about. The other thing to think about in the bathroom is the maintenance. Sorry to be blunt, but bathrooms are where hair and dust collect(from clothing removal, toilet paper and towels). So some of the pretty features such as claw foot baths and vanities on legs, or decorative plinths look gorgeous in a photo or drawing, but when they create nooks and obstacles for the mop, the reality can fall short of the vision.
    Tip: a built in seat/bench for undressing little children and aged or injured adults and a laundry hamper are really worth planning into the floor plan if possible.

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