Home Remodeler Bathroom Layout and Design Strategy

Learn What Goes Where In A Bathroom Layout

The first thing homeowners must decide when remodeling a bathroom is where everything will go. The existing floor plan may have worked for a couple, but feel cramped and inefficient for a family of four. Moving around the sink, toilet, shower or tub might seem like fun, but homeowners should put some serious thought into their bathroom floor plan. The wrong design could lead to wasted space or a costlier renovation.

Bathroom layout basics

A perfect strategy for bathroom remodeling design can be to convert the bathtub to a shower.

Before sketching out a floor plan, think about the basic items needed in the room. Will there be a walk-in shower or a shower/tub combo? One sink at the vanity or two? Once a homeowner decides on the must-have items, it's a matter of moving the pieces around to see which design works best.

Keep in mind, the bathroom's existing plumbing and wiring will have a big influence on floor plan, especially when it comes to the toilet. While you might want to move the commode clear across the room, toilets require a large stack pipe that's difficult to move. Doing so can add considerable cost to a bathroom remodel. 

Converting from a tub to a shower is another favorite project. What is often overlooked is that the code-required shower drain is a 2" pipe, while a tub uses 1 1/2" pipe. So usually that means the entire pipe must be re-done all the way back to the main stack, with drywall patching in the room below or floor system removal to work within the bathroom.

Behind the walls of a bathroom layout

An efficient layout with curvy design flair: the air tub surround s-curves into the shower as a bench seat. Round mirrors continue the theme.

The electrical work, ventilation, water supply lines and other "guts" of the bathroom are often overlooked by homeowners, but play an important part in determining floor plan options. Consider how many outlets the bathroom should have to meet your needs. Minimalists may want to keep outlets limited to over the vanity, while those who use multiple shaving and hairstyling gadgets should add more. Ventilation is another important feature to protect the remodel from model and mildew. An experienced bathroom contractor can tell you what kind of fan and ventilation is needed based on the size of the space. Click here to view a page devoted to bathroom floor plans by Kohler.

How Is The Bathroom Used?

How a bathroom is used is unique to every individual. Some take a 10 minute shower religiously every day, while others spend the most time at the vanity applying make-up, hairstyling and getting children ready in the morning. Is bedtime a crunch of bodies fighting over one sink, or are you always fighting for counter space atop a tiny vanity? As a homeowner, think about how you use the existing bathroom space and how you could improve it with a new bathroom layout. Are there minor aggravations caused by the size of the vanity or positioning of the toilet? Does the shower door open in an inconvenient way? 

When homeowners do this kind of thinking, they often realize the features that seemed vital when they bought the home aren't the most used. Many people are ditching the large Jacuzzi tub and using the space for added room at the vanity or a luxurious walk-in shower. Others are looking for more privacy as their family grows and opts for a separate toilet area.

Who is Using The Bathroom?

This glamour room isn't the average bathroom. Rather, it supplements the adjacent bathroom that 3 teenage girls share.

Is the newly remodeled bathroom part of a master suite or one the whole family uses in the main hall? If it's one separated from other rooms, think about having a changing area where family members can stash robes and clothes and hang up towels after bathing. This is also an opportunity for bold colors for those who want to make a statement, or making the space a cool and calming retreat outside the hectic hallway along the kids' corridor.

Remodeling a master suite bathroom should be considered along with the entire suite. Keep a similar color palate and style between the two rooms. Building a dressing room or master closet at the entrance to the bathroom is also a popular option, offering a buffer space between the bathroom and bedroom for more privacy, and convenience in the transitions from bed to day and back to bed.

More storage

Sleek and stylish bathroom layouts typically have plenty of space to hide away toilet paper, towels and shampoo not in use. When imagining the ideal floor plan, consider how much storage is required to meet your needs. Also, find unique ways of seeking out more space in unusual places, like creating a nook within the bath wall for soap and toiletries, or built-in shelving, cabinets and other smartly placed storage spots.

This article was updated by Abe Degnan on 2/14/2018.

About Degnan Design Build Remodel
Since 1981 Degnan Design Build Remodel has provided home improvement and construction services to customers throughout Greater Madison, Wisconsin. Our goal is to WOW you with a "Designed For Your Life" solution using a process that will transform your home into a beautiful living space, delivered on time, and on budget. We are known for our communication, respectfulness, and a commitment to our customers and our community. Contact us to speak with one of our designers about your home improvement project.