Bathroom 101 – Vanity and shower heights, towel rails and more

Aug 13, 2018 | Anoushka's Blog, Interior design and decoration

I’ve talked in the past here about how to get the best out of your bathroom design. With a focus on style, fixtures and finishes and general layout. That’s all really important stuff to think about. Now that you’ve agreed on your floor plan, you’ve chosen your tiles and fixtures and now you want to make it super functional.

The funny thing about bathrooms is there really are no standards. Of course there are Australian standards when it comes to how close you can position an electrical outlet to your taps, or where you can position a pendant light over a bath. That’s not what I’m talking about here. There really are no legal standards when thinking about shower height, shower screen placement, heights and widths, vanity positioning, tap height over vanities, or even where to mount your accessories like shelves, towels rails and toilet roll holders. There are so many decisions to be made in a bathroom, and it really is all in the details. So here are some of my ‘standards’, some general rules of thumb that may help you direct your builder through the process.

General heights of things

There are some key things to decide and get sorted early on, mainly to be ready for your plumbing rough-in which happens right at the start of the process. Firstly, shower height. No matter if your shower is fixed or on a rail you want it to generally sit at around 2100mm height from the underside of the showerhead. If you have someone super tall in the house then make it a little higher, if you are all a little shorter you can drop it back to 2000mm.

I like my mixer tap in the shower to sit at 1000mm height from floor. I also try and position the mixer away from the showerhead so you can turn the water on and not get wet whilst it’s warming up.

Next if you’re thinking about your vanity height then usually you would aim to have the benchtop between 850/900mm. However, if you have an over counter basin then this will mean the top of the basin sits really high. So drop the benchtop and keep the top of your basin no higher than 950mm. When wall hanging tapware I like my spout to sit 100/150mm above the top of the basin. This allows enough space to wash, but splashes are minimised.

How much space do I need for…

Here are some general guidelines for spacing of key pieces. Generally, you want a 900mm width space for a toilet, I have gone down to 800mm in smaller spaces, but it will depend on the bathroom. A 900mm wide vanity is a good starting size with a single bowl, I prefer 1200mm if you can fit it. For a double bowl I like to make the vanity 1800mm to 2000mm. For a shower space you generally want 900x900mm as a minimum. And bath’s I don’t mind these being smaller and deeper, so 1500mm for a freestanding works, 1600mm is a great size.

Shower screens when fixed

It’s very popular now to have no door to a shower and just install a fixed glass panel. If you are doing this ensure you have enough space for at least a 900mm wide screen. Anything less you will get a lot of splashed water into the main area of your bathroom. I prefer 1200mm if possible here. You need to leave a clear width of 700mm to be able to step comfortably into the shower.

Accessories and positioning

Personally I like to eyeball these as they are going in (unless it’s a heated towel rail of course as you need to wire before tiling). However, for towel rails between 1000/1200mm height is good. Toilet roll holders between 650/800mm is good from the floor, and also shelves I like to make 1200mm from floor height. If you are installing a heated towel rail, try and keep the highest point under 1600/1700mm from floor.

Next week I will follow on from this with some tips on common placement mistakes people make in bathrooms and how to avoid these.

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