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How to plan and design your bathroom layout

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If you’re fitting a bathroom from scratch, then the key to achieving the look you really want is to have a plan in place from the beginning, so you have a clear idea of how everything should look. While you might tweak this slightly as you go along, having everything pre-planned will remove a lot of the stress and confusion around the process, as it’s easy to get distracted by all the available products and options.


When planning your bathroom you can design it bit by bit or choose a complete suite, like the Legend Traditional Toilet and Basin Suite above.

Begin with the basics

The first thing to do is decide where key features such as windows and doors will be located, as this will ultimately affect where you place everything else within the room. From there, you’ll also need to look at placement of the plumbing and electrics as these will, again, influence placement of various other items.

Whether your bathroom is a large or small space, layout is therefore key. With smaller bathrooms, you may need to get a bit more creative with your planning – but you might just be surprised by how much you can include, with clever use of the space. Larger bathrooms obviously give more scope for your design, but sometimes a larger space can seem intimidating, so it’s always best to start with the basics and build up from there.

Key considerations for your bathroom

1. Floor plan: As mentioned above, it’s best to begin by considering placement of the door/s and any windows in the bathroom, along with the location of the sink and toilet and the space needed around these for access. You should also consider radiators (alongside or instead of underfloor heating) – planning out where these will be located and if they’ll be fixed to the floor or the walls.

NB It’s also useful to make a note of features within the room such as alcoves or sloped ceilings, which will impact upon where you can place certain items.

2. Measurements for fixtures: It’s important to know exactly what amount of space you’re working with, as this will impact upon the size and type of bathroom-ware you choose. Knowing measurements will ensure that you don’t purchase a shower or bath which ends up dominating the space or being too big to fit in the room.


3. Drainage, plumbing and extractor fans: It’s important to consider drainage options early on, as this will determine what you go for in terms of showers and baths. It’s best to speak to a plumber about this, even if you’re doing a self-build project and want to complete much of the work yourself, as they can give invaluable expert advice.

4. Consider the bathroom fittings: Last, but not least, to complete your bathroom layout, it’s time to choose the fittings – everything from baths and showers to vanity units and other accessories. Whether your starting-off point is the bath, or you’d rather make a focal point out of the vanity – or build your bathroom design around a certain colour palette or tile style – identifying something specific to start with will help immensely.

Know your bathroom budget!

If you have a set budget for your new bathroom, then stick to it. This will influence how you lay your bathroom out but needn’t restrict creativity!

Bathroom budgeting

  • Measurements for bathroom products: It’s good to remember that many products come in standard sizes and that, while smaller or larger sizes are also available, these may cost more. For example, the standard bath size in the UK and Ireland is 1700mm X 700mm. If you need to get something created bespoke, however, then remember that this will cost more and eat into your bathroom budget.
  • Budget for big ticket items: Some bathroom furniture costs more than others so, if you’ve got your heart set on a particular style of bath – or really want that underfloor heating – then remember to work this into your budget from the outset. That way, you won’t run out of money by forgetting to factor in the extra costs.

Small vs large bathrooms

If you have a smaller bathroom, then you’ll want to consider space-saving ideas such as wall-mounted basins or toilets and may opt for a corner bath or a bath-shower combi. Alternatively, if you’re more of a shower person, then you might decide not to install a bath at all.

Baths, showers and wet rooms: Depending on your space, you may want – and have room – for a separate bath and shower, or you might just have room for one, or for a bath-shower combi. Freestanding baths can make great features in the room but if you don’t like baths then you might prefer to install a wet room or a larger walk-in shower.

Thinking about what you like, what you need and what you have space for is always key before considering individual styles of furniture. Freestanding baths will take up more room than fitted baths, however, so this should be factored into your decision-making. Meanwhile, door types on shower enclosures also require consideration – do you have room for a door which opens out into the room or would a bi-fold or sliding door be better to economise on space?

Toilets: Consider the soil pipe when deciding where to fit the toilet, as putting it where this pipe leaves the room will make it much easier to plan the layout. You may also want a bidet – if so, then you’ll need to consider space and placement for this as well.


Consider whether you want – or have room for – a vanity unit, such as the Milan Floorstanding Vanity Unit and Basin pictured above.

Vanities and basins: When it comes to vanity units, consider whether you actually want one and, if so, what size would suit best – is a single vanity sufficient, or do you need a double unit for sharing with your partner? Alternatively, you may prefer simply to have a wall-mounted bathroom cabinet, if you need to save space, or larger bathrooms might benefit from a larger vanity unit as a feature piece. It should be noted that pedestal basins will take up more floor space, while floating basins will maximise use of whatever room you have. You may also want to include storage underneath in drawers or cabinets, so should think about this as well.

Heating: Whatever type of heating you decide to use, there are various options, including floor or wall-mounted vertical radiators, underfloor heating and heated towel rails, amongst others. If you don’t have much space, then you might prefer to go for underfloor heating (though remember to factor in the higher cost of this), instead of taking up floor or wall space with towel rails or radiators.

Walls: You might want to use tiles on your walls, but a shower wall or PVC panels are other options to consider. Tiles are generally pricier than shower walls so, again, your budget might influence which you ultimately go for.

Lighting: It might be viewed as an accessory by some, but lighting is important in any room, so don’t forget to plan the ceiling space, too! Whether it’s simply selecting the lights themselves – anything from bathroom chandeliers to spotlights – or the ceiling surface, which can be painted or otherwise, the ceiling can also make an impact upon your space.

Colour palettes: The colour scheme of the room might be decided upon earlier on, but this will also feed into the types and styles of tiles and bathroom-ware that you decide to use in your bathroom.


Heating can be underfloor, a heated towel rail (as above) or a traditional cast-iron radiator, depending on preference and space.

Bathroom products for every space

Whether you’re planning the layout of a small bathroom or something larger, Bathshack has a wide range of quality products which will help you create your dream space. With an extensive variety of freestanding and fitted baths, as well as showers, wet rooms and all the associated accessories to choose from, we have everything covered.

We also supply tiles and flooring, as well as a range of heating solutions and items including mirrors, lighting and wall panelling. No matter what you need, our expert team can help you plan your bathroom from start to finish – advising on products which work well together as well as complementing colour palettes and styles.

When it comes to bathroom planning and layout, we have you covered.


If you need any help with planning the layout of your bathroom, then why not visit your nearest Bathshack showroom? Alternatively, email our team at [email protected] or give us a call on (028) 9077 0188.

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