Common mistakes in bathroom design

Aug 27, 2018 | Anoushka's Blog, Interior design and decoration

You may remember a couple of weeks back I wrote a post focusing on guidelines around how to layout a bathroom. Things like height of showers and vanities, where to place your accessories and some general advice on shower screens and sizing. To read this post click here.

What I didn’t focus on were some common mistake that I often see made in bathrooms that could be easily avoided with better planning up front. This is more relating to layout and function rather than did you pick the right tile to work with that vanity. If you can get the basics right with layout you’re a long way towards a good design. So here are 5 common issues to get right;

Don’t overcrowd

Too many times I walk into bathrooms and the perimeter of the room is take up with bath, shower, toilet, vanity, clothes hamper, plants. There’s literally nowhere to go let alone anywhere to dry off and get ready for the day. You don’t have to fill every space in a bathroom. My rule of thumb is to leave at least a third clear space as a minimum but ideally a half. That space is usually either in the middle of the room in front of the toilet, shower, bath and vanity or along one whole wall if you have your services on the opposite wall.

Create good flow

This follows on nicely from the above point. Try not to have your items placed so you’re having to zig zag through the room. So a great example is to keep your vanity, toilet and shower all along one wall, for me this is the ideal layout both functionally and aesthetically especially in a longer slim room. If your room is rectangular create a L-shape with everything, and if your room is square keep your items to 3 walls and always ensure you leave good flow in the middle.


I always use tile nest wastes, both in the shower and the middle of the room, you hardly notice them. If you’re putting a long channel waste into a shower ensure by checking with your plumber that you can achieve good enough fall off and also that the drainage volume is sufficient so that the water doesn’t back up. I would avoid the long narrow wastes being any less than 80mm in width, you just won’t get the drain off that you need.

Vanity and storage space

My pet hate is no eye height storage. Vanities are great, and I always include drawers where I can as they are much easier to access than a cupboard. However mirrored cabinetry above or a separate piece of storage at eye height is essential in any bathroom.

Toilet placement

People are obsessed with hiding the toilet behind the door. This isn’t necessary and sometimes is really impractical. Having it sit alongside a good piece of cabinetry can disguise your toilets well, or go for something that looks great like a wall hung pan with in-wall cistern. These can look sleek and less of an eyesore.

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