How to remodel your bathroom layout to maximise space

Upgrade your bathroom with space-saving furniture, sanitaryware that suits the space and some clever design tricks

Title image: Victoria & Albert

Working out what you don’t like about your existing bathroom is the key to designing your new one. Follow our simple steps to rethinking a layout

Look at what you have

a white freestanding bath in a large spacious room

Title image: Victoria & Albert

Think long and hard about why your current bathroom design isn’t working. If the existing space isn’t being maximised, there isn’t enough storage and the layout is haphazard then these are the starting points for deciding what you will change.

Decide what you need

white tiled large shower in a small bathroom

Image: Benjamin Moore

Review how you use the space now and let that be your guide. If you rarely use the bath and always take a shower, perhaps removing the tub might free up space for a better and bigger shower.

If your WC is plumbed into the centre of the room, would the layout be more successful if it were moved to a corner?

Make a list of what you want from your new bathroom and don’t worry about cost at this stage.

Get measuring

bathroom layout idea by Cue & Co of London

Image: Cue & Co of London

Make a note of where your water, waste and heating pipes are and measure your existing bath, basin, WC and storage.

Work out where you would put an extractor fan if you don’t have one already. Bear in mind where the windows are, how the door opens and what clearance it needs.

Call a plumber

a bathroom layout design idea by BetteStarlet Oval Silhouette 150cm from Bette

Image: Bette

Ask a plumber if your fixtures can be moved and check that your project is feasible. Moving plumbing and soil pipes can be expensive and disruptive, but it can also be key to creating a successful layout.

Ask for a guide price and way it up against the advantages of having a room that works.

Sort the storage

a bathroom design by kaldewei scona silenio

Image: Kaldewei

Plan your storage in from the beginning and be creative. If you have narrow wall spaces, fit tall pigeonhole-style shelves. If you have a standard bath, look for a bath panel that conceals built-in storage.

Include recessed panels behind a shower for toiletries and make use of doors for hung shelving systems.

Create clean lines

Roman Decem hinged door shower

Image: Roman

Free up floor space and create the illusion of a larger room by choosing wall-hung sanitaryware and storage. Find designs that conceal pipework.

Go slimline

compact sanitaryware in an ikea bathroom design

Image: Ikea

Look for sanitaryware that solves a particular problem in your room, such as compact ranges with short-projections that free up space.

A P-shaped shower bath would improve your showering experience without losing the option of taking a bath.

See it in the flesh

Ideal Standard Concept bathroom suite

Image: Ideal Standard

Don’t buy anything for your bathroom until you have seen the real thing in a showroom or a shop.

Brochures and websites are convenient for research, but you need to see exactly what you are buying for yourself. Finishes, colours, size and quality are best evaluated with the naked eye.  

Find lots more design inspiration for bathrooms at Grand Designs Live 

Words: Rachel Ogden, from original article on Grand Designs Magazine 

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