These bathroom design ideas cover every aspect of how to plan and decorate your dream bathroom, shower room or en suite. They come with design inspiration and practical how-to advice from the expert Ideal Home editorial team.
Amy Cutmore, Digital Editor 2nd April 2019
After a hard day, what could be more relaxing than a long soak in the bath? That is – unless your bathroom is out of date, and as you lay back, all you can think out is the mouldy grout/peeling paint/dripping taps. In which case, a makeover is definitely in order!
Designing a bathroom might seem a daunting task, but with our bathroom ideas and expert advice it needn’t be. There are several essential elements to consider when you think about bathroom design – whether you want to know how to install a shower room or what bathroom suite will suit your space, our gorgeous bathroom decorating ideas gallery is packed with inspiring pictures to get you started.
Browse these beautiful (and practical, we promise!) bathroom schemes for all styles and budgets to get a sense of what you like. From vintage bathrooms with free-standing tubs to modern bathrooms, there’s a huge range of options to choose from so it pays to do a bit a research before you invest.
From small bathroom solutions to our guide to bathroom colour schemes, we’re here to help you create the perfect bathroom in the heart of your home.
Cleaning your bathroom is unlikely to be a chore you relish. After all, who’s ever claimed to love scrubbing toilets or tackling mildew stains? However, that doesn’t mean it needs to be a completely thankless task—or a particularly time-consuming one.
We’ve rounded up tips from top cleaning experts on how to clean a bathroom with products you already have at home, making the process easier and saving you time along the way. And for more ways to spiff up your space, check out these 20 Things in Your Home You Didn’t Realize You Should Be Cleaning.
The key to sparkling shower tiles is already in your pantry: white vinegar.
“Heat the vinegar up in the microwave and spray it on while it’s hot,” suggests Brad Roberson, president of Glass Doctor, a Neighborly Company. Roberson suggests adding a tablespoon of dish soap to the mixture if the smell bothers you, noting that this can also help cut through tough grime. And if you’re preparing your cleaning arsenal, start with these 20 Genius Products That Make Cleaning So Much Easier.
If you’ve got mildew or surface mold in your bathroom, a clean dish brush is the tool you need to combat it. Roberson suggests combining six cups of warm water and a quarter cup of bleach to create a mold-busting cleaner.
“Use this solution to scrub down the walls [and] rinse well with the bucket or a handheld shower head sprayer,” says Roberson. And for more genius ways to spruce up your space, check out these 50 Easy Home Hacks That Will Instantly Improve Your Life.
For those stubborn mold and mildew stains that your dish brush and bleach solution won’t touch, try applying a paste of baking soda and water. “Cover the stain with the paste and allow it to stay on the stain for three to four hours,” following up with a thorough rinse, suggests Roberson.
If your drain is emitting some unpleasant odors, a simple mixture of baking soda and vinegar can fix that in no time.
“The combination of vinegar and baking soda begins to fizz and can help break up any congealed grease in your drain,” explains to Joshua Miller, VP of Technical Training at Rainbow International Restoration. Miller recommends pouring one cup of baking soda and two cups of white vinegar down the drain, then flushing it with hot water after half an hour. And for more helpful information, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Some parts of your sink are simply too small for the average cleaning tool to reach.
Luckily, there’s a solution right inside your medicine cabinet: “Dental floss is a great way to remove buildup in the nooks and crannies of the faucet and handles,” says Kim Burckhardt, owner of Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services of Westminster-Eldersburg. And for more surprisingly effective solutions to your household woes, check out these 33 Mind-Blowing Old-Fashioned Cleaning Tips That Actually Work.
One of the most common home renovations is the addition of a bathroom. Most older houses were built with no more than one bath; in today’s world, there’s almost no such thing as too many baths. In new construction, the rule of thumb is at least one bath for the master bedroom, one bath for every two additional bedrooms, and a half-bath (toilet and sink) near the relaxation area of the house. If you have fewer baths, that may be why you’re reading this article.
You know whether your bathroom facilities are adequate or not. But there are other questions you need to ask yourself as you continue your inspection tour. Is there an electrical outlet in the bathroom and, if so, is it a ground-fault interrupter (GFI) receptacle? This is a safety device that functions as a second fuse and will, in the event of a fault in the ground, shut off power to the outlet and prevent electrical shock. They’re recognizable by their small, rectangular reset buttons located between the plug receptacles.
Is the water pressure adequate? Run the cold water in the tub or shower and then flush the toilet: If the volume of running water diminishes noticeably, the pressure is low. Do you need a second sink? Is there enough ventilation, or does the bathroom fill with steam and remain damp for hours after every shower? Is the tile around the bath or shower tight or are there signs of deterioration at the corners or at the junction between the tile and the tub or shower base? Use the heel of your hand to exert some gentle pressure on the tile walls at the point where they join the tub or shower pan. Is there any give? Springy tile may indicate the wall has gotten damp and deteriorated over the years. The absence of a grout line and the presence of mold are signs that water may be seeping into the wall cavities.
Are the porcelain fixtures in good condition or is there cracking or pitting? Are any of the fixtures of a certain age? Older fixtures, even if they have age lines, can add character. Pedestal sinks, claw-foot tubs, and pull-chain toilets are cherished by some home renovators.
Examine the floors around the toilet: Irregularities in the floor (dips, discoloration, softness) may indicate leakage that has caused decay in the subfloor or even the structure around the toilet. That will need to be repaired. Examine the floors around the perimeter of the room, too. Like kitchens, bathroom floors require wet mopping and if the joint where the floor abuts the walls isn’t watertight, moisture can be wicked by the walls and produce peeling paint or wallpaper and, over the long term, deterioration of the wall itself.
A bathroom bill is the common name for legislation or a statute that defines access to public toilets by gender (restrooms)—or transgender individual. Bathroom bills affect access to sex-segregated public facilities for an individual based on a determination of their sex as defined in some specific way—such as their sex as assigned at birth, their sex as listed on their birth certificate, or the sex that corresponds to their gender identity. A bathroom bill can either be inclusive or exclusive of transgender individuals, depending on the aforementioned definition of their sex. Unisex public toilets are one option to overcome this controversy.
Critics of bills which exclude transgender individuals from restrooms which conform to their gender identity argue that they do not make public restrooms any safer for cisgender (non-transgender) people, and that they make public restrooms less safe for both transgender people and gender non-conforming cisgender people. Additionally, critics claim there have been no cases of a transgender person attacking a cisgender person in a public restroom, although there has been at least one isolated incident of voyeurism in a fitting room. By comparison, a much larger percentage of transgender people have been verbally, physically, and sexually harassed or attacked by cisgender people in public facilities. For these reasons the controversy over transgender bathroom access has been labeled a moral panic.
Proponents say such legislation is necessary to maintain privacy, protect what they claim to be an innate sense of modesty held by most cisgender people, prevent voyeurism, assault, molestation, and rape, and retain psychological comfort.
One bathroom bill, the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act in North Carolina, was approved as a law in 2016, although portions of the measure were later repealed in 2017 as part of a compromise between the Democratic governor and Republican-controlled Legislature.
Also in 2016, guidance was issued by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education stating that schools which receive federal money must treat a student’s gender identity as their sex (for example, in regard to bathrooms). However, this policy was revoked in 2017.
Public opinion regarding “transgender bathroom rights” in the United States is mixed, see summary table below.
Support laws that require transgender individuals to use bathrooms that correspond to their birth sex
Oppose laws that require transgender individuals to use bathrooms that correspond to their birth sex
Don’t know / NA
Margin of error
May 3, 2017 – May 7, 2017
1,011 adults American adults
Cellphone and landline phones
February 10, 2017 – February, 19, 2017
Public Religion Research Institute
Live interviews via RDD telephones and cell phones
In many parts of the home, choosing flooring mainly comes down to appearance. You want your living room, dining room, bedroom, or office flooring to look great; performance, while important, is second. With bathrooms, the playbook changes.
When choosing bathroom flooring, consider how it will perform under stress. And the stress event in this case involves water, lots of it. Water is so prevalent in bathrooms that it is an expectation, not an anomaly. Water is everywhere: on the walls, ceiling, and the floor. Moisture will quickly ruin the wrong flooring. To make matters even more difficult, you eventually have to pull those other factors into the dialogue. If moisture were the only factor, sheet vinyl or ceramic tile would likely win every time. But these additional factors, like durability, appearance, cost, and ease of installation, need to be considered, as well.
Watch Now: 8 Questions to Consider When Buying Flooring
Porcelain or Ceramic Tile
Porcelain tile is the best of all worlds for bathroom flooring, as it is waterproof, stylish, and cost-effective. Like stone, porcelain tile can achieve a rich, textured, solid feeling. Like vinyl, it is waterproof and is fairly inexpensive. Like wood flooring, tile looks great.
Should you choose porcelain or ceramic tile and is there a difference between the two? Porcelain is part of the general ceramic tile family with one slight difference: water absorption rate. The Porcelain Tile Certification Agency (PTCA) certifies types of tile as “porcelain” if these tiles have a water absorption rate of 0.5-percent or less. If this is a half bathroom or powder room, there is less of a need to purchase porcelain tiles because there are no bathing facilities.
Because there are so many different types of ceramic tiles, you can create the exact floor you want. You can even find ceramic tile that looks like wood or stone.
Individual tile comes in a wide variety of size and shapes, from square and rectangular to octagonal and hexagonal. Smaller mosaic tiles are pre-mounted on plastic mesh sheets, so you do not have to individually set each tile. With tinted grout, you can be even more creative.
Best of all, tile cleans up well and resists even standing pools of water. Like stone, tile is cold. However, radiant or heated tile can be laid under the tile. Wet tile is slippery. But texturing solves that problem. Smaller tiles are less slippery because more grout is used and the grout acts as a non-skid surface.
Pros and Cons
Many style choices
Good resale value
Works well with radiant heating
Cleans up well
Cold under foot
Hard under foot, so it is difficult to stand on for long periods
Vinyl Flooring: Sheet, Plank, or Tile
Good-looking and supremely practical, vinyl has been a popular choice for bathroom flooring for decades. Sheet vinyl flooring is your best option if extreme amounts of water are expected, such as in children’s bathrooms or laundry rooms. Because