En-suite bathrooms are a very desirable addition to any home, particularly if you only have one main bathroom that is shared. If this is a project you’re considering taking on, here are a few tips to help you along the way.
Find the space
As most of us (except Dr Who) do not live in a Tardis you have to find space in your home that you can give up to create an en-suite bathroom. For instance, do you have a small box room next to the master bedroom that could be more useful if converted to an en-suite? Alternatively, you may be happy to lose some space from the main bedroom to install an en-suite. You will need a minimum of approximately 1.8 m by 0.9 m to make a usable en suite.
Once you’ve decided where you want the en-suite to be and how much room you have for it, you can start to plan the layout.
Planning is key
Don’t get too carried away when you’re designing your en-suite bathroom. Chances are you won’t be able to fit everything you want in. Try to limit your requirements to the most important fixtures – usually a toilet and shower. If you find you have a considerable amount of room left after these are accounted for, you can look at adding other features.
Should you have a larger area to play with, you can choose a complete bathroom suite comprising of a toilet, sink and bath. You can install a shower over the tub to save space if necessary.
The most sensible way to design your new bathroom is to draw a scale plan of the space. If you can, speak to a plumber about where the waste pipes will need to be positioned and where the other plumbing will go. This can help you get the layout right and highlight and design restraints you have to work with.
Think carefully about the door. Will it open into the ensuite or the bedroom – is there space with out the door hitting a bed or sink? If space is really tight consider fitting a sliding door.
Think about light
There are two main factors to consider when it comes to the lighting in your en-suite bathroom – how the space will be illuminated and the wiring associated with the lights. As you’re probably aware, there are strict regulations relating to the kind of lamps you can fit in bathrooms and the placement of switches. You can read all about electrical regulations on the governments planning website – click here.
Standard light switches will always be positioned outside the door, although pull chords can be used if you want the light to turn on from inside the bathroom. You’ll need a qualified electrician to do all the wiring as it must comply with part P of building regulations.
Once you have sorted the technical side you start having fun by deciding what kind of light fittings you want and where to position them. Even though en-suites are often small, consider using more than one kind of lamp. For example, you can have your main light as well as task lighting over the mirror.
If you are gong to use your ensuite for applying make-up you are going to need a light above your mirror. You don’t have to resort to a boring mirror:light combo – there are some space efficient but lovely ways to light a mirror. Check out the image above.
Choose the right decor
One problem with en-suite bathrooms is that they can often feel cramped, so you should do your best to mitigate this with your choice of colours and tiles. Firstly, use the same tiles on the floor as you on the walls – if possible, opt for a walk-in shower with a glass screen, rather than a model with a tray, as this will open up the whole space.
Lighter shades have the effect of making a space feel larger, so bear this in mind when you’re deciding what colour scheme to go for. If you want something bolder, pick a pale hue for the majority of the room, but use a line of brightly-coloured tiles around the middle of the wall to add something extra. Another alternative is to add colour with towels and soap dishes – the benefit of this is its easy to change should you get bored.