Measure Me Right: Bathrooms & Laundries

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The bathroom is one of the rooms in the home that needs careful consideration when embarking on a renovation project. Aside from the style and almost innumerable choices now available in terms of finishes and products, planned-out spacing is a key requirement of a great bathroom.

To ensure a bathroom is designed well and it functions seamlessly now and into the future, there are a few key things to consider. Perhaps the most prominent question when setting out on the design process is: 

Who will be using this bathroom, now and in years to come?

If you can answer that question, you’ll be setting off in the right direction from the outset. Will it be two people who often get ready for work at the same time? A family with young children? Grandparents? Pets? Your bathroom requirements will change depending on the main users.

How will the bathroom be used?

If two people are going to be sharing the use of the space at the same time each morning, you will want to consider floor space, designing comfortable amounts of room to carry out whatever tasks are undertaken at the same time. If the bathroom needs to accommodate space for one person to sit and apply make-up while another shaves at the same time, you may consider double basins and a larger mirror. 

If you’re looking at accommodating young children, a bath may be important, but in the years to come, you may want to ensure there is enough room for one child to have a bath and another to have a shower at similar times. 

If the bathroom is being designed with the elderly or future-proofing in mind, plenty of space will be needed for ease of access.

Considering these questions from the outset will ensure you are setting out on the right track. 

Storage

The other pertinent question to consider is storage: what sort of items will need to be kept in the bathroom, and is that likely to change in the future? Again, ensuring you’ve considered this will make the design process a more efficient one as you work around functionality and future proofing the space. 

Layout options

When it comes to layout, there will invariably be a number of different options. Depending on budgetary requirements, it can pay to consider, for example, looking at keeping all the plumbing on the same wall rather than having a bath and shower on opposite sides of the room. This can save considerable costs on labour and installation. 

In regards to layout, another important consideration is what will be seen of the bathroom from the door. If a guest is walking past the room, it may be that having the toilet in the line of vision isn’t the best idea. Instead, ensuring the vanity and mirror are the first focal point could make more sense. 

If you’re looking at including a bath, space can become an issue in smaller layouts, so thinking about combining a bath and shower is often a popular solution with a shower over the tub. 

Key measurements

Most bathroomware products are of fairly standard dimensions. Of course, there are countless options for different products. If you’re looking at designing bespoke pieces, then these more standardised measurements won’t be relevant. As a general guide though, the following dimensions are relatively universal for standard bathroomware and are worth considering as you develop a design for your bathroom that allows for seamless functionality through clever use of space.

  • Toilets generally measure 650mm (d) x 380mm (w) x 816mm (h)
  • Vanities generally measure around 395mm (d) x 460mm (w) x 900mm (h)
  • Showers generally measure around 900mm (d) x 900mm (w)
  • A standard bath generally measures 1740mm (d) 800mm (w) x 612mm (h)

Concept plan of a bathroom with standard unit measurements

PLANS Thomas Keeler

 

Space required around bathroomware

To ensure a comfortable amount of room around each piece in the bathroom, there are some fairly standard guidelines to follow. While these will differ depending on individual design requirements, the guidelines below are a good place to start.

  • For ease of movement, you’ll need a minimum of 700mm of clear space in front of the toilet, and 200mm on either side of it
  • Double sinks can generally be incorporated into an area spanning 1500mm, but it’s generally more functional if this can be extended to at least 1800mm
  • Towel rails are normally mounted around 900mm above the floor
  • If a shower has a glass enclosure, it normally reaches a minimum of 1900mm in height from the floor
  • If you have fixtures on opposite walls, a minimum space of 800mm from the front edge of each fixture to the front of the opposing one allows for comfortable space to move around in
  • With the placement of each fixture, ensure you leave enough space for an uncluttered entryway where the door can effortlessly open. For a standard 81cm door, aim for at least an 86cm width of surrounding space. 

These measurements are just a starting point, and each country has different requirements in terms of what is required in regards to minimum spatial requirements. Talking to a renovation or design professional is the best way to get this information in your area. 

8 steps to an efficient laundry layout

  • Allow extra depth for the taps and hoses behind your washing machine - at least 75mm in addition to the depth of the appliance.
  • Particularly if they’re inside the bathroom area – concealing laundries behind shutters or doors will keep the bathroom from looking overcrowded with fixtures, and the general mess can be hidden. 
  • Know what type of doors you plan to put on the front of a laundry cupboard and make sure you have planned the laundry layout to work with the door system provided.
  • Make sure you can get your appliances in and out of the space provided should they breakdown at any stage. 
  • Try to avoid having your laundry and linen storage combined into one cupboard. As we often use warm or hot washes the laundry is often the area with the highest humidity in the house. Not good for storing bedding and towels at all.
  • Ask yourself, do you really need a tub? Modern washing machines do just about everything. 
  • Planning a laundry with direct access to the garden works as this is where the clothesline is, meaning you’re less likely to use the dryer. 
  • Having the laundry away from the main living area is good as washing machines can be aggressively noisy.

Please note: These measurements are a guide only. It is best to contact a professional for exact dimensions for your home.

For more common renovation measurements, read “Standard measurements to consider when planning your next kitchen renovation”.

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This article featured in Issue 30 of Renovate Magazine. Renovate Magazine is an easy to use resource providing fresh inspiration and motivation at every turn of the page.

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