If there is one area in your home where equal attention to form and function should be given, that would be the bathroom.
Here, everything begins with the design. However, focusing solely on how the bathroom will look can lead to frequent calls to an emergency plumber. Whether you are renovating an old bathroom or having a new one built for you, you have to go beyond appearance and aim for a design that combines aesthetics and function.
Here are a few design considerations that homeowners should factor in when planning for a new, beautiful and fully functional bathroom.
1. Secure a drainage diagram
Go to your local council to get a copy of your home's drainage diagram. This document will show the designer and your chosen plumber the exact location of the plumbing and drainage system on your property.
With a drainage diagram in hand, your plumber can help you avoid costly problems in the bathroom, like wet walls and mildew.
2. Pick out a bathroom style ASAP
It can be overwhelming for homeowners to settle upon a particular bathroom design. While this decision should not be rushed, you should also avoid delaying your decision-making to the last minute.
Choosing a bathroom style will dictate a few vital elements in the bathroom. One such element is the positioning of the pipes. For vintage or industrial design styles, the plumbing is typically exposed, while in minimalist styles, the pipes are hidden.
Apart from that, the placement of the pipes will dictate which type of sink you should buy.
You should also decide which toilet tank type to use in your bathroom ASAP. Depending on the tank you choose, your contractor may need to do extensive work, especially in the drain system. Delaying your decision could slow down the project turnover, and this could add to the final costs of the build.
3. Ask for a bigger drain
The smaller the drain, the faster it can become obstructed by hair, debris, and soap scum. That also means that smaller drains are more likely to get blocked.
The easiest way to avoid this problem is to ask your builder to make a larger drain. This doesn't necessarily mean that you won’t have to deal with the issue of a blocked drain. You still need to regularly clean and maintain your drain if you wish to avoid blockages.
4. Cabinets and storage
Talk to your contractor about the style of cabinets and vanity that you want for your bathroom. Keep in mind that certain styles won't work well with some types of pipe layout.
Knowing this ahead of time will enable you to choose an alternative for the original style you had in mind.
5. Don't overlook the fixtures
New fixtures don't just add an aesthetic quality to your bathroom. There are also a few practical benefits to be had from getting new fixtures.
For instance, the modern fixtures that are currently available in the market are more efficient in their consumption of water and energy.
6. Don't ignore lighting
Lighting serves an aesthetic and practical purpose. Apart from setting the bathroom's ambience and making the area look more spacious, lighting can make the simplest of tasks easier for the bathroom's users.
7. Know when to splurge
Even if you are not after getting a luxurious look for your bathroom, do not easily dismiss the use of high-quality materials.
Specifically, the best floor and wall materials can bring about long-term value and even savings compared to using basic materials.
8. Keep safety in mind
Accidents can and do happen in bathrooms, especially in homes where the sick and elderly live.
One particular bathroom design that can be dangerous (and one that you should avoid) is having a shower and bathtub combo. The use of this bathroom design may seem practical and cost-effective, but is one of the leading causes of injuries at home.
Instead of this kind of bathroom, consider having separate shower and bathtub areas. Or better yet, forgo the bathtub, especially if there is limited real estate in the bathroom.
9. Avoid modifying the plumbing
Be mindful of bathroom additions which can add to the project costs and push the turnover further back.
For example, moving the sink, toilet, or bathtub to another section of the bathroom requires the alteration of the plumbing system. This translates to extra plumbing work.
That doesn't mean that you should avoid altering the plumbing configuration altogether. If such is necessary, a professional plumber can perform the work in the most cost-efficient and effective manner.
10. Keep an open mind
Finally, it’s best to be flexible. You may have been planning the renovation or rebuild of your bathroom for quite some time. Most likely, you have several ideas in your mind that you are planning to implement.
However, some of these ideas may not be practical or might simply push the budget up from what you can truly afford.
As early as possible, include a professional plumber in your conversation with your designer. He can provide invaluable insight that will help you get the most out of the project, amplifying your enjoyment of your new bathroom.
Based in South Melbourne, Blue Diamond Plumbing was founded in 1985, working on new homes, repairs and commercial contracts. Over time they have grown to become some of the best plumbers Melbourne has to offer. Since 2001 the company has specialised in Emergency Plumbing and Property Maintenance, Repairs and Renovations for homes and businesses in Melbourne and inner city suburbs. Owner Rod Diamond has over 30 years experience with emergency plumbing in Melbourne's inner suburbs.