Your bathroom is one of the most expensive rooms in the house. It contains expensive prime cost items such as basins and baths as well as plumbing, waterproof membranes, wall and floor tiles and the cost of labour.
Careful bathroom planning is essential:
The bathroom should be a comfortable size but not too large or it becomes hard to heat in winter.
If there are elderly or young people in the family, consider the way the room is organized. Look at planning books for dimensions which suit disabled people.
Cavity sliding doors are excellent alternatives to opening doors as they do not detract from the interior space.
A timber or tiled seat next to the bath can be an excellent addition to a bathroom.
If the design allows for roof skylights into the bathroom, they are an excellent means of providing natural light yet still maintaining privacy from the outside.
When building the bathroom, ensure the whole floor as well certain wall areas are membraned to prevent water penetration into the walls and to other floors.
Ensure that the taps in the shower, bath and sink can be turned on without pouring hot water onto your arm.
Bathrooms must be well ventilated. An exhaust fan close to the shower is essential.
Heating for the bathroom should not be overlooked. There are many options from strip heaters and heated towel rails to heated floors and ceiling-mounted heat lamps. Combination fan/heat lamps located in the ceiling provide ample heat, ventilation and light, but can be expensive to install, as they must run on a separate circuit to the meter box.
A towel rail close to the shower is required so you can reach out for a towel without having to 'walk water' across the floor.
Always allow room for a toilet roll holder beside the toilet.
All electrical items including lights and switches must be kept a set distance away from areas which contain or can be splashed with water. The Building Code of Australia (BCA) sets out these requirements in general terms, but there may be exemptions for products specifically designed for bathroom or 'wet area' installation.
Good tile selection is critical, since tiles are not easily replaced. The plainer the tiles, the more likely you are to be happy with them long term.
Remember that items such as toilet roll holders, towel rails and soap dishes can be included in the tiling.
It is easier and cheaper to change the decor of the bathroom by altering the colour of the towels rather than the colour of the tiles.
Ensure that the floor tiles are non-slip, and durable so they do not easily scratch.