Clive’s rules/advice for planning a bathroom

Apr 4, 2016

  1. Write down everything you need.

  2. Write down everything you want.

  3. Study bathroom catalogs and identify any features you think you might like such as a glass shower cubicle. Not all things are possible or within your budget.

  4. Don’t think about placement yet.

  5. Try to look deeply at the layout of a many friend’s bathrooms that are a similar size to your and identify those problems you definitely want to avoid. It is rarely possible to get the perfect layout in the real world because most of us have limited space in the room.
  6. Measure every height and width as accurately as you can including window positions. Transfer the measurements to scaled graph paper. Use this as your base and copy it for various trial runs of bathroom layout. Create scale plan items of all the bathroom items you need and want allowing clearances. Allow for wall thicknesses of insulation, tiles etc.

  7. Find out which way the joists under you floor run. It is much easier to run waste water pipes parallel to joists than to cut through them.

  8. Find out where the soil stack is and aim to get the toilet to empty into that with shortest run and fewest bends.

  9. Place toilet on the plan leaving sufficient clearance around it.

  10. Place all other items on plan such as bath and hand basin. Try different layouts and photocopy and number each version. Try to visualise how you will “navigate” each layout. Pay attention to whether you will bump into items like towel rails as you move around the room. Will doors open and close fully or will they bump into things?

  11. Where will be your storage for cleaning materials, medicines, towels, linen basket etc. etc.
  12. What impact will the placement of items such as shower cubicles have on the light (natural and artificial) in your bathroom? Where are you going to position your ceiling lights and extractor fan?

  13. Plan all water supply and waste pipe work for each layout. Can you work out where the waste pipes will exit the wall and how far they have to travel and what is their angle of drop before they empty into the drain or soil stack? Try to keep distances of pipes and number of bends to a minimum. Will the holes in the wall result in pipes running over a flat roof. Will this be a problem? Do you have rodding points on your waste water pipes in case there is a blockage?

  14. Do you have sufficient head clearance if you decide to raise the floor?

  15. If you are tight for space think about taking your two “best” plans for independent advice. The difficulty is finding someone competent. Maybe think about a merchant such as Ikea who have software that can render your plan and produce a 3D projection. What you are trying to achieve is to find someone who can find major issues with your plan such as clearance around items or pipe layouts. What they are probably trying to achieve is to sell you stuff. It may seems expensive to pay for advice for a layout when it seems a simple activity. Believe me, if you can find the right person to help you avoid major flaws in your design, you could save thousands of pounds and much anguish in later rework.

  16. The problem of using catalogs or going to showrooms for layou ideas is that they have much more space to play with than is available to you and they don’t have to worry about placement of pipes.
  17. When you have a plan you like then cost it out. Don’t forget myriad details such as  flooring, toilet roll holdrs (really). Too pricey? You aregoing to have to make some choices.
  18. Don’t be impatient to get everything done. Thought and preparation is much cheaper than rework.
  19. Present your design to your builder and ask him / her to run through how the bathroom will be constructed.
  20. Be prepared for there to be problems during the build even if you have thought really hard about everything.

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