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Matching Your Bathroom To Your Lifestyle

A bathroom will mean different things to different people. A large family will obviously make more demands on the space than a single house holder. A bathroom used mainly by the elderly or young children will involve different styling from a room that is used only by a young couple. Planning your bathroom involves assessing your lifestyle, needs and demands ?C both as they are currently and as they are likely to evolve over the years. It is necessary to ask yourself a few key questions before you start, to help plan the most effective space for you.
Who will be using the room?

Look at issues such as the number of people using the bathroom and how often. If you are catering for the demands of a large family whose members will all need the bathroom at the same time, consider installing additional fixtures like a second basin or a bidet to provide additional washing facilities which can be used simultaneously. Think about replacing an bath/shower combination with a separate shower enclosure, or installing showering facilities and vanity units elsewhere in the house. You should also consider these adaptations if styling a bathroom for a busy couple who may both need it at the same time.

Consider whether the facilities are suitable for all the family. A step up to the bath is ideal for small children, and also useful for a parent when bathing babies or toddlers. Think about height restrictions and safety ?C small children may bang their heads on low basins, and tall people will be uncomfortable bending over low fixtures.

If elderly people will be the main users of the space think about installing a low-sided bath or shower on rail with adjustable heights and hand held features. Elderly or less-able people will also benefit from a higher toilet (easy height toilet) or Care toilet seat (for easy transfers on/off the toilet). Consider your choice of taps, too ?C lever-operated fittings with Ceramic Disc Cartridges will be easier for them to use.

If the bathroom will be used primarily by the very young or the very old, you need to pay close attention to safety features such as slip-resistant bath surfaces and mixer taps with temperature limiting devices to prevent scalding (Caroma Nordic or Opus range). Grab rails at key points in the bath room such as near the bath, in the shower and next to the toilet are also a good idea.

Carefully consider the needs of those who will be using the space and think about what you expect from a bathroom. Are speed and efficiency the most important criteria? Are relaxation and recuperation the crucial ingredients? Or perhaps it is essential to have both at different times, and create a space that is a sanctuary as much as utility.

What type of look do you want?

Deciding on the type of look for your new bathroom can be tricky as there are so many different schemes and styles to choose from.

Be creative with styles, but remember when choosing colour schemes and fixtures think carefully about how easy they will be to live with and ultimately what will increase the value of your house.

Be careful about going for an ultramodern suite, brightly coloured tiles or weird and wacky fixtures ?C you may love them now but for how long? Neutral tiles and classic shaped suites are ideal for working into future schemes ?C a few new accessories, fittings and a fresh colour on the walls can give you a totally different look without the expense of retiling or a complete bathroom suite.

What type of fixtures?

Take time to consider your choice of fixtures, flooring and wall covering. If children will be using the bathroom, make sure the materials you choose are child friendly. Remember that some materials need more cleaning than others. What are your priorities? Style at all costs, or a hard-wearing, low-maintenance environment?