Lather, rinse, repeat!

Bathrooms are one of the smallest rooms in your home, but attentive and thoughtful design is still needed to ensure the space functions well. We do not actually realise how much time is spent in the bathroom; statistics have shown that we spend an average per week of 1 hour and 42 minutes a week on the toilet, 1 hour and 25 minutes in the shower or bath, and almost 18 minutes just drying off and brushing our teeth. To put things in perspective, that is roughly a year and a half of our lifetime spent in bathrooms!

We often think of bathrooms as a necessity, but perhaps we ought to think of it as our private sanctuary. Depending on the needs of the users—children, elderly, or passing guests—the dimensions and provisions of a bathroom can vary dramatically.

There are many options available for wall and floor finishes in a bathroom. Some commonly used finishes include tiles, mosaic, stone, and concrete. A well-coordinated selection can elevate the space's entire look. Tiles are arguably the most versatile material to be used, with a myriad of options and high resistance to water staining. Keep in mind though, that smaller tiles mean more grout lines, which can be harder to maintain. Attention to setting out positions, tile sizes and patterns can also go a long way. If more than one type of tile size is used, try to select tiles of dimensions that are multiples of each other, so wall and floor tiles can align neatly. Termination points like corners, counters, kinks, floor drops and doors are good tile setting out points.
In addition to having floor drops to demarcate wet and dry areas, glass doors can help express boundaries between the two areas and provide protection from splashes. Fixed glass panels and low parapets are great alternatives when there are space limitations. They prevent splashes to a certain extent while maintaining a sense of openness.
Sinks, faucets and counters can be seen as a collective, where each fixture influences the placement of another. A comfortable sink height sits between 800-900mm, depending on user preference and type of sink.

An under-counter mounted sink can be accompanied by a surface mounted faucet, or wall mounted faucet if counter space is tight. A recommended counter depth of 500-600mm will accommodate most sink models. Semi-recessed sinks are advantageous when there is a narrower counter, and a sink mounted faucet usually accompanies it. Counter mounted sinks are usually selected for master bathrooms or powder rooms where the sink can also be a display piece. When using counter mounted sinks, try lowering your counter to a height of 650-750mm, so that the overall height is maintained at the optimal 800-900mm.
Mirrors are a vital fixture in the bathroom. Typically, they are installed 250-300mm above counter height, or sink height if a surface mounted or semi-recessed sink is used. An exception would be loose mirrors that simply sit on the counter. Wall mounted mirrors are generally fuss-free, but having a ledge below or storage cabinets behind might be more practical for home users. Where there are joint lines across the mirror, do be careful to ensure that they never obscure the reflection of the user. If there is a window in front of the sink counter, try mounting mirrors from the ceiling instead.
The shower setup usually consists of a shower mixer, hand shower and storage ledge. Optional items include shower rails and rain showers. The mixer should be installed at 900-1100mm from the ground. Hand showers may or may not come with a rail. For those that do, rails should be fixed above the mixer, with around 1400mm distance from the floor to the base of the rail. For those that do not, the hand shower holder can simply be fixed beside the mixer. Rain showers should be installed such that the face plate of the rain shower is around 2200-2400mm from the ground to allow for a good spray coverage.

Shower ledges for shampoo and soap bottles can either be low at 450-600mm, or high at 900-1200mm from the floor. Alternatively, if space allows, a shower niche of 150-300mm deep can be built into the wall to serve as a soap ledge. Of course, these dimensions serve as a rough guide; always check with your sanitary fittings supplier for their advice, based on the particular fitting you have selected!
There are 2 types of WCs: freestanding and wall hung. While the seat height of a freestanding WC is predetermined, the seat height of the wall hung WC should be at 400-450mm from the floor, just like a chair. Wall hung WCs usually requires a concealed cistern as well, with a depth of around 200-300mm excluding finishes. The flush plate for the concealed cistern can be installed on the countertop or on the wall. Depending on the cistern model, the height of the flush plate should be within 800-900mm from the ground. Again, remember to check with the cistern provider, to ensure that the flush plate is installed at the correct height.
The accessories that usually accompany the WC are the toilet roll holder and the bidet spray. The ideal height for bidet holders is 550mm and 300mm for the valve. Toilet roll holders should be placed no further than 300mm away from the edge of the WC seat and can be installed at a height range of 650-750mm.

Towel rails can be mounted on walls or glass shower doors where wall space is limited, and come in various standard lengths, ranging from 400-900mm. They can be installed at heights of 900mm, 1500mm, or both in a stack.
Downlights serve as general task lighting, and are usually located directly above the sink and slightly in front of the WC. Shower areas do not usually require downlights especially when ceiling mounted rainshowers are installed. If downlighting is necessary, a good location is immediately outside the glass shower door, away from heavy moisture.

We can instead employ other lighting strategies to create a warmer ambience, or to simply create a visual interest in the space. Lighting can be concealed in carpentry and in the ceiling above as a cove, to illuminate a space softly where task lighting is not required. Feature pendant lights, usually installed where the sink counter is, also make for nice accents.