Showers & Bathrooms


Planning Your Bathroom Remodeling

Taking accurate measurements is vital when doing any kind of renovation work, and is especially important in a bathroom, where you’re likely to be restricted by space and layout when fitting your new fixtures.  It makes sense to draw out a scale plan on graph paper to help you select the right size bath, sink and toilet for your room’s proportions. 

When drawing a scale plan, there are all kinds of things that need to be measured in addition to the walls, such as the window and door and the space to either side of these.  You will also need to mark on your plan the position of any electrical points, water supply and drainage pipes, as these will influence your bathroom’s layout.  Remember to also measure how far things like your radiator or heated towel rail protrude out into the room.


Here are some other important points to think about when planning your bathroom:

  • Do you have floorboards?  This should make it easier to access pipes and cables that run under the floor.  If your bathroom floor is concrete, you won’t be able to run cables or pipes beneath it.
  • Remember to measure the height of your window sill and to take this into account when selecting any fixture, such as a sink, that will go beneath it.
  • If you want to position a bath or sink in front of your window, think about whether it will be easy to open and close the window if you do that.
  • If you have an extractor fan, would it be better off in another position?  If you don’t have one, would it be a good idea to install one, particularly if your bathroom is prone to condensation and mold?
  • Do you have any stopcocks in your bathroom?
  • Remember to check whether your bathroom door opens into or out of the room.
  • Consider whether your floor is all on one surface, or whether there are any steps, or spilt level flooring.  And does your floor slope?  If it does, this could make it tricky to install things level.
  • Have a look and see if there are any attractive arches, alcoves or other decorative features that could be highlighted in your bathroom’s new look.
  • If you need to reroute electrical cables to put in new lighting, check how easy it is to get access above the bathroom.
  • If you’re building a new bathroom in a room that’s been used as a bedroom or study, there are likely to be electrical sockets that have to be removed.
  • Measure your doorframe and work out the best way to take out your old suite and bring in the new fixtures.
  • Bear in mind whether you took the architrave into account when you measured the space each side of the door.
  • If your existing bathroom isn’t too old, it may be possible to switch your fittings over without having to make any major chances to your water supply and drainage systems.
  • When you install new supplies, consider whether it’s possible to conceal them behind fitted units or box them in.  Remember that it’s essential for all pipe work to be accessible in an emergency, so bear this is mind when building boxing or paneling.
  • Make sure there’s some kind of heating in your bathroom, either a radiator or heated towel rail, or both.
  • Leave space in your design for a decent sized mirror, which will be both functional and help show off your room at its best by reflecting light and creating a feeling of space.
  • When fitting your suite into your plan, ensure you check the measurements of that particular manufacturer, because although there are standard sizes, there can also be slight differences in measurements.

Drawing Your Plan

When you’ve got all the relevant measurements for your bathroom, draw an overhead plan of it on graph paper.  You can then make scale cutouts of the appliances you’d like to add and move them around to find the best layout.  Many bathroom stores offer a planning service, which includes a computer print out of both the overhead and side view of what your bathroom could look like.  Even if you don’t decide to purchase your suite from that store, this service is well worth using as it can really help with the planning process.  Visiting a bathroom showroom is also a good way to see what various styles of suites look like in the flesh, to help yourself visualize what each suite would look like in your own bathroom.