How To Start Your Bathroom Wish List

We’ve already helped you start your kitchen wish list while we are still under a shelter-in-place order. But, what about the bathroom? You may only have one, or you may have five or more! The bathroom is a space that everyone in the home uses at some point or another, which is why we end up remodeling a lot of them. Anything from a powder room to a master bath has certain things to pay attention to. We are here (again) to help guide you on creating your perfect bathroom wish list. Take this time at home to start jotting these things down, and realize what things you would actually benefit from. So, let’s get started!

Standing Space

Have you ever walked into your bathroom and suddenly felt claustrophobic? Does your shower door bump into your commode? Are you unable to easily open your cabinet? That’s probably due to a lack of standing space – or open floor space. This space is important because it allows you to more easily complete tasks that need to be done in a bathroom. If you don’t have enough space in front of or around each fixture, you are probably frustrated. Residential codes provide minimum requirements; however, we are going to share some things for the “ideal” world. Here are some things we aim for:

  • At least 30″ of clear floor space in front of fixtures (lavatory, commode, and shower/tub)
  • If you have a long pathway (like in a master) it should be at least 32″ wide
  • You really want a 36” square of completely clear floor space (no bench!) in a shower
  • Separate commode closet? We’d love a 36″ wide by 66″ long room (no angles)

You may be thinking “but my bathroom is too small to do all of that!” Here’s where working with a professional design/build company can really help. Want an elongated commode seat but it runs into the shower entry? In-wall commode tanks can save 4-6″ of space in front of your commode. Upgrading from a pedestal sink to an actual cabinet for more storage but a standard 21″ deep vanity is too deep? Upgrading to a wall mount faucet and making your cabinet 18” deep gains 3” of open floor. Write down what’s bothering you when standing or using different applications. And if you are remodeling with ADA recommendations in mind, open floor space becomes even more important. This is especially true for wheelchair use and hiring a professional is always recommended.

Lavatory Sink Location

Lavatories are always huge issues on any bathroom wish list. Say you currently have tall vessel sinks – typically between 3″ and 10″ above counter height. But, you want to keep their cabinets, update the counter and get new under-mounted sinks. What’s the issue? The new sinks are now 3-10″ lower than what you are used to using. Get an idea of what is actually bothering you about the sink. Is it the location, the look, how easy or hard it is to clean, or something else? Add that to your wish list and we can help recommend a solution. Here are some starters:

  • If your elbow hits a wall or tall cabinet while washing your hands or face, we may want to move it further away – we recommend centering 20″ from any tall object
  • Running into your significant other while getting ready? We’d love to center your lavatories 36” from each other
  • Old “standard” vanity cabinets had about a 32″ counter height – the new standard is around 36″ (like a kitchen) but can go up to around 42″ depending on the user height, and what kind of lavatory sink you plan on using

As you see above, this couple each had their own requirements for vanity sink placement. The husband, who was taller, wanted a raised counter and sink height. His vanity sink base was made taller than the rest of the cabinets to do this. We also gave him a larger vanity base to get him away from the wall some, and have some additional storage below. It also made it easier to shave since the water is closer to his face when standing. Her side was lowered since she was shorter, and made at the perfect height to bend and wash her face.

Accessories and Storage

Lack of storage is the number one issue we face with every bathroom remodel. Likely, on your bathroom wish list, it’s in the top three. Some are easy to fix – like changing out a freestanding pedestal to a vanity cabinet – but others are trickier. What about towel placement? Or shampoo niches? We have a few rules of thumb but suggest you take note of what you regularly use. In a powder, you may only need space for some tissue paper rolls and hand towels, but in a master, your list grows tenfold.

  • Take inventory of items in your shower and at your tub – a wall niche or freestanding table may work
  • Where do you normally grab for hand towels and body towels?
  • Do you have to awkwardly angle yourself to get to the tissue paper while seated on the commode? The NKBA recommends centering 8″-12″ from the seat-front, and 26″ above the floor
  • How many personal items need to be behind closed doors? This answers the open shelves vs. cabinets debate, or if we need recessed medicine cabinetry

Niches are always big-ticket items. Consider this for your tub, not just the shower. Make sure they are a good size and not running into plumbing lines. And don’t be afraid to ask for a tall one for shampoo, a shorter one for soap, and one lower to the ground for you ladies to use as a foot holder while shaving. Nobody wants you to fall over in your shower by trying to be a flamingo!

If your kitchen it bothering you too, we created a Kitchen Wish List to help you as well. There’s never a bad time to start your kitchen or bathroom wish list. A bathroom remodel can take longer than you think, so get started on that wish list now!