6 Insider Tips For Bathroom Design From the Experts

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By Michele Koh Morollo
Equipped with 25 years of experience designing bathrooms, Melbourne–based GIA Bathrooms & Kitchens gives us the scoop on how to create a polished, functional space.

Building or renovating a bathroom is no small feat, with lots to consider when it comes to selecting fixtures, surface materials, cabinetry, and electrical and plumbing needs—so it's crucial to plan well and consider how you and your family will use the space based on individual needs. 

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For expert tips on designing a bathroom that works for you, we turned to Melbourne home renovation specialists GIA Bathroom & Kitchens. According to the GIA team, the three tenets of bathroom design are appearance, practicality, and durability. Read on for their important insights about one of the most hardworking rooms in the house.  

Allow the Layout to Create a Sense of Calm 

Make sure to allocate enough space for each functional area. If you want a freestanding bathtub, for example, but don't have sufficient space for it, the tub will look hemmed in, and the aesthetics of the room will suffer. Furthermore, avoid making the toilet the focal point of the bathroom; let a vanity or freestanding tub be the first piece you see when you enter the room.

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Don't Install a Bathtub You Won't Use    

Most people prefer a large, roomy shower stall over a spacious tub, but worry about the resale value of their property if it doesn’t have a bathtub. If you can't decide between the two, consider how many people in your household take regular baths, and ask yourself if installing a bathtub might compromise the comfort of your shower stall.

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Install Adequate Lighting 

Good lighting is an essential part of a practical bathroom. Ensure that task lighting and mirror lighting is correctly placed to avoid throwing shadows. Mood lighting is a great way to create a more relaxing atmosphere.

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Choose Low-Maintenance Materials 

Durable and easy-to-maintain materials, such as porcelain and reconstituted stone, is your best bet for bathroom surfaces. Natural stone looks great, but because it's porous, it requires more sealing, and is more challenging to maintain over time. 

For more on materials, check out Pros and Cons: 7 Kitchen and Bath Countertop Materials.

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Consider Tile Textures

When choosing glossy tiles for the shower base, be careful that they are not too slippery. On the other hand, tiles with coarser surfaces can be more difficult to clean because they tend to trap grime. Choose a tile that is neither too smooth nor too rough, and if you use natural stone tiles, be sure that you seal them so that they are more water resistant.

For more on tiles, check out 20 Bathrooms With Transformative Tiles and Tile Talk: 5 Most Popular Shapes and How to Use Them

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Don't Skimp on Waterproofing, Electricity, and Plumbing 

Use a licensed waterproofing and caulking company, as you won’t want to deal with problems like frequent bathtub or shower water seepage—repairs that are costly, and that add up over time. Work with licensed plumbers and electricians to ensure that your plans will work safely and well.  

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