DIY: Do-It-Yourself Bathroom Design & Planning

Do you want to design a new bathroom
Michelle Tether
Written by Michelle Tether

The Dream Bathroom

The number one question that homeowners should ask themselves before embarking on a bathroom renovation project is – why not? Refurbishment is not easy or convenient, to say the least but it is rewarding and if well planned, an experience you’ll enjoy and be proud of for a long time to come, not to mention you might just improve the value of your home along the way. Here’s my dream bathroom.

Dream bathroom

Dream bathroom by Bob Emma

There are plenty of good reasons why you might want to get on with this right away. Here are just some of the many possible answers:

Need more space.

The existing functionality is limited or differs from the homeowner’s needs so we need to look at some great ways to get more from the space we have. My number one tip, aside from a great plan, is to make use of a pocket door to gain additional space.

Fixtures and fittings are tired

Fixtures are outdated or malfunctioning, sometimes it’s just better value to entirely refurbish than forever paying a handyman or plumber to come out, fix a tap, replace a handle, renew leaky pipes, the costs add no value to the property. When it comes to selling, you’ll be grateful you didn’t waste a great deal of money making good an old bathroom, and bit the bullet with a new fit out.

What to do when your bathroom is tired

What to do when your bathroom is tired by

Colour theme not to your liking.

The existing style or colour theme is not to your taste. If the bathroom is functional you might consider careful removal of the bathroom in order that it can be re-used elsewhere, maybe an outside shower room idea springs to mind, or an extension to bath outside at your poolside, if you have the space!

Structural changes to your bathroom.

The desire to add, remove or modify a major fixture (such as turning a bathtub into a shower stall) works out to be expensive already, complete bathroom sets will only increase the price marginally from here. If your not getting enough light then you might consider moving a window. This will make a complete mess of the current bathroom set.

Tired bathroom

Tired bathroom in need of an uplift, but is it worth it when it’s still functional by

This is a good time to look through home improvement magazines for ideas and inspiration. This is a creative process and can be a lot of fun but by making your own design you will save a great deal of money, so it’s quite serious, so this is the time to set limitations based on what might be possible or within the budget.

Do-It-Yourself bathroom design process

Make a priority list. The answers to the question above will help determine what are the most important parts of the renovation and it’ll provide you a solid angle to attack the project. Is it new fixtures or the layout of the bathroom? If it’s the colour theme, will a good paint job suffice or must those 70s era tiles be replaced at all costs – it’s worth thinking about. Here’s some super quick tips on making a nice decor job quickly and easily.

Discover the Bathroom – Again!

In this step, gather as much information as possible about the existing conditions in the bathroom to ensure your upfront with any contractors. Presuming architectural drawings of the existing space are unavailable, then accurate measurements will be required. There may be measuring services available locally, but in the spirit of DIY, here are some of the more important dimensions to measure:

Take measurements carefully

Take measurements carefully

– Size of the room as measured from opposing walls, you need an idea of the meterage you’ll be quoted on.
– Height of each ceiling elevation. This will be handy for rendering or plastering costs.
– Width, Depth and Height of the wash basin and the location(s) of the sink drains relative to the wash basins or measured from the two closest walls if theres no basin.
– Location of the toilet as measured from the centre of the drain.
– Width, Depth and Height of the bathtub or shower. Check and measure trap locations.
– Location of any wall mounted fixtures such as lights or switches, as measured from the floor and the closest wall. Also note the location of the bathroom fan, if any.
– Location of each window and door, and their heights and widths.

Making your bathroom plan

Now you have discovered the service locations it’s time to start making that plan. Remember, you don’t want to alter service locations as it’ll be a much bigger job. That is unless you really want to have a different layout and then feel free to draw without any of the measurements above. expect the cost to be as much as 75% more for a big structural job.

Drawing plans

– Get some graph paper with grid lines, this will keep things neat.
– In addition to graph paper, you’ll probably want the normal drawing equipment and an architectural stencil.

Bathroom plan

Bathroom plan and any surrounding room that might be affected.

– For the vast majority of bathrooms, use a scale of 1″ to 1’0″. One inch to one foot is very easy if you use 1/4 inch graph paper.
– Using the measurements taken in the step above, draw out the interior layout of the bathroom, including locations of all the services
– Add the wall thicknesses if you are re running waste pipes and as an easy way to not electrical wiring.
– Draw in or note the exterior walls, doors, windows and uses of adjacent rooms.

This should give you a good professional start. I would highly recommend you go one step further and use Sketch. It’s a Google program to design areas and make layouts for free. It’s highly accurate too and mistakes and ideas can easily be played with.

About the author

Michelle Tether

Michelle Tether

I love everything home. I write as a passion for non profit about the things I love.