Design Tips for the Bath:

This is a partial list only and is provided as a courtesy to assist you in planning new bathrooms. Please consult a professional for the latest building codes and style trends.


In the overall layout, try not to make the toilet visible from outside the bathroom. It should also not be the first thing you see when entering the room. Allow at least 32″ for all walking areas, including doorwaysRoom size

Shower stalls:

should be at least 32″ x 32″ but the trend is for larger showers, and the larger the better. If a swinging door is installed, it should swing outward to avoid someone being trapped inside. A bench or footrest should be provided, at least 12 inches deep or more. If no bench is provided, consider a footrest niche 14 to 18 inches off the floor depending on your height for washing or shaving legs. Make sure the valve is a pressure-balanced type to prevent scalding.


All floors must be of slip-resistant material. Bathroom floors are often wet. All electrical outlets must be protected with a ground-fault circuit interrupter and no switch can be within 60 inches of a water source. Install grab bars near toilets and tubs, and inside of shower units. Mount all grab bars into studs, not just drywall or tile. Mount two in the shower, one at the entrance and one at the water source. They should be angled at 45 degrees.


Include both a standard and a hand held showerhead in the shower. If you can only have one, make it a hand held unit mounted on an adjustable vertical pole. The shower valve should be able to be turned on outside the shower, with the spray aimed away from the entrance.


Be sure to provide storage space near lavatories for toiletries, shampoos, and towels. Make sure if your plan includes a bidet that you provide a place for soap and towels close by. Tissue holders should be mounted 26 inches off the floor to the front of toilets. Install adequate electrical outlets. Bathrooms typically use more than one expects. You should install an outlet on either side of the vanity. Colors affect the perception of size in a room. Bathrooms are usually the smallest rooms in the house, and as such should usually contain less vibrant and overpowering colors. As their size grows, the boldness with which you choose the colors can increase.

Too many colors in a confined space can be confusing to the eye. Try to maintain a theme and avoid too stark a contrast. Light walls and floors make a room seem larger. The same is true of clear shower door glass. Patterns made of small elements seem to push walls farther away.Mirrors expand space in every direction. They should be used freely, the larger the better, but try to only install one on each wall to avoid visual confusion. Also glass block walls, windows and skylights make rooms seem bigger. Avoid vertical lines. They add height to a room, but reduce visual space. Horizontal rooms make a room seem larger.Enclosed shelves reduce visual space. Open shelving can make a space seem bigger. Make sure all doors swing clear of fixtures. Provide adequate ventilation to reduce condensation and moisture. Check local codes. A window may meet the code but a fan is better, and even better in the shower where most moisture arise

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