No question, the bathroom should meet your needs and requirements and look great – to achieve this, it’s best to plan it digitally, from the floor plan to the heating system. You can try out the furnishings using a 3D bathroom planner.
This way, you avoid mistakes and have a complete project overview. This way, you will always know whether your bathroom is taking shape according to plan. We explain everything here about sketching and space allocation, flooring and walls, sanitary objects and fittings, and heating and lighting so that you can turn your dream bathroom into reality.
How bathroom planning begins
Get inspiration for your dream bathroom online before planning your bathroom – what style fits your vision and the rest of the house? Do you need a bathtub? Which materials do you particularly like, and what even fits your budget? The best way to do this is to consult a professional bathroom planner, who will use their expertise to help you make the best use of the available space and implement your personal preferences.
It’s also a good idea to visit various bathroom exhibitions to gather inspiration and get an overview of the latest trends and products on the market.
Bathroom planning: Draw the floor plan
As a first step, sketch your bathroom. Measure wall heights, widths, door and window sizes, corners, and projections. On the plan, mark outlets and light switches, electrical and plumbing connections, the location of radiators and chimney shafts, and roof slopes. In the second step, transfer all the data to a scale of 1:20 onto a piece of check or graph paper – one meter in your bathroom is 5 centimeters on paper. For the tub, shower, basin, and toilet, for example, you can buy stencils at a plumbing supply store or cut them out of cardboard: Copy the floor plan and templates, try out design options, and fix the most favorable arrangement. Tip: Remember to plan for sufficient storage space.
Bathroom planning: Buy the right sizes
When planning the bathroom, remember that sanitary furniture can have different sizes. Make sure that the size you want will fit in your bathroom. The following standards are common:
In addition to standard sizes, of course, sanitary ware has much more choice. For small bathrooms, for example, you can find short bathtubs. In huge rooms, there is also room for freestanding bathtubs.
Good to know: To ensure that the heights, distances, and freedom of movement are correct later, you should have the installation by a professional. He will also make sure that everything fits ergonomically.
The right fittings
When choosing a bathtub, sink, and shower, you should select fixtures that match the bathroom style. First and foremost, consider what functions are crucial for you. After all, nowadays, there are also some special features from a technical point of view. Would you prefer a faucet operated from the side or the top? Do you need a pull-out shower? Do you want the water to flow completely without contact? What color matches the rest of the bathroom? Black bathrooms, for example, are all the rage right now. You also need to decide whether you like exposed or concealed faucets better.
Plan bathroom furniture correctly
As you plan, slide the templates back and forth on the floor plan until you find the most convenient arrangement that suits your needs. Plan for elbow room, too. Allow at least 75 centimeters of elbow room for this; 90 centimeters is better. The washbasin or toilet should be 20 centimeters away from a side wall, and the bidet 25 centimeters. Always place the bidet and toilet together and leave about 20 centimeters of space between the sink and toilet. The sink and bathtub can also be placed closer; the height difference allows enough room to maneuver. Always keep enough space in front of the furniture and shower so that drawers and doors can be opened easily and you can bend down. Other questions you should ask yourself when planning the bathroom are whether niches can be cleverly used. Where are the windows? And where are the water, sewage, and electricity connections?
Open shelves and sliding doors allow for more interior design space. Plan for about 3 centimeters of air next to and behind shelves, mirrors, and behind the washer and dryer – it will carry moisture away, and mold will have less chance. You can draw your desired furniture in a copy of the floor plan. For discussions with interior designers and tradespeople, it can also be helpful to have photos of the old bathroom during a renovation.
Bathroom renovation: Measures at a glance
Change the floor plan
Especially in old buildings, the bathroom layout sometimes corresponds to your wishes. To change the floor plan, you have two options:
Bathroom remodeling with solid walls.
With stone walls, you can enlarge the bathroom, move it out into an annex or separate a shower stall. Only build solid bathroom walls directly over house walls below – ask a structural engineer how much the floor slabs can support—tearing down load-bearing walls? You can only do that with a building permit – so first go to the building authority. You can choose from the following materials:
- Aerated concrete: This material insulates heat well. One wall weighs about 110 kilograms per square meter. Plan blocks and cuboids can be cut to size with a handsaw. Tip: Fasten your sanitary objects and bathroom furniture in it only with special aerated concrete dowels.
- Bricks: They add 300 kilograms per square meter of wall weight and compensate for fluctuations in the room climate. Lightweight or porous bricks contain heat-insulating cavities.
- Sand-lime bricks: These bricks weigh about 250 kilograms per square meter. They store heat well, and release water vapor very slowly. However, do not wall them together with bricks – there is a risk of cracking due to different expansion properties.
Move-in lightweight partitions in the bathroom
Create cozy, functional areas with lightweight partitions – they weigh only 95 kilograms per square meter, which is convenient for renovations in old buildings. You can even partition off niches for WC, bathtub, and washstand with plain half- and three-quarter-height partition walls.
Floor construction: how to keep it watertight
When you change the bathroom’s footprint, remember the floor! A waterproof floor pan (not to be confused with the bathtub) will prevent moisture damage to the lower floor. Lay out a barrier sheet on the raw ceiling; the sheets should overlap each other by 30 centimeters. Leave the foil up on the walls by 30 centimeters as well. Place insulation strips all around the walls. Lay the thermal insulation layer on the barrier film and, above it, a separating film against the moisture of the screed. Spread the screed mortar about 4 centimeters thick on the foil. Level the very uneven screed with a flowing screed; then, you will succeed in laying the bathroom floor easier.
The right heating for the bathroom
The temperature and floor heat must be optimally coordinated to feel comfortable in your dream bathroom. As a rule, it may be around 21 to 24 degrees warm – depending on personal preferences. In addition to a pleasant climate, heating protects against mold and dampness, as the air in the room is usually very humid, and warm air can absorb more moisture. Which heater suits your bathroom also depends on whether you want to heat it with electricity or hot water. But in any case, get advice from a professional who can help you choose and install it for you as a specialist company.
Underfloor heating is an exquisite solution: you don’t see it, and the cozy warmth is always evenly distributed from the floor surface throughout the room. Retrofitting underfloor heating is possible, but it comes with some challenges. So this option is better for new buildings. The heating coils are laid on insulation in the wet system, and the gaps are filled with screed. The heating coils are laid from the walls to the center of the room as a snail. Supply and return pipes are placed alternately next to each other. As a rule, underfloor heating systems are operated with hot water. However, due to a longer lead time, combining underfloor heating with radiators may be advisable.
Good to know: Ceiling or wall heating can also be considered during a renovation. Ceiling heating systems are also suitable, for example, for old buildings with valuable floors or stucco walls that one would be reluctant to tear away.
They are classic in the bathroom. There are many different types of radiators, for example, tubular radiators, modern flat radiators, or practical towel radiators. You can choose between models that can be operated either with hot water, electricity, or both. In addition, there are many different colors and shapes, so something suitable for every interior style can be found.
The right light in the bathroom
Lighting in the bathroom must be well thought out. It should be soothing to be able to relax but also provide enough light to be able to apply makeup on gloomy days. In addition, the lighting should also be safe above all. So only buy lights suitable for damp rooms and splash-proof (IP protection). What IP protection is necessary depends on the location of the luminaire. For example, IP-67 is required near a bathtub or shower. You should also leave the electrical installation to a trained electrician. He knows the regulations and guarantees your safety.
Basic lighting in the bathroom
The basic light is the basis for further lighting. It is primarily used for orientation. Install general lighting in the center of the ceiling – the light is switched from the outside next to the door. Choose a luminaire model that leaves headroom. Recessed spotlights or LED panels are trendy.
Tip: The basic light should not be seen in the mirror – otherwise, it will dazzle when putting on makeup or shaving.
There should be daylight white lighting in the bathroom (6,500 Kelvin) to wake up and get ready. However, switching off in the evening during a full bath is counterproductive. For more comfort, you should be able to set warm white lighting (2,700 Kelvin).
The optimal “beauty light” should not be underestimated. It should shine evenly and diffusely to make up and dress up without any problems. Aim the light on the mirror at the viewer, and do not let the glow fall against the glass surface.
Caution. Lights above the mirror cast drop shadows under the eyes, nose, and chin. Place one light source to the right and one to the left of the mirror at eye level – one-sided lighting shadows the face.
Bar-shaped light sources are less dazzling than point-shaped ones. If you want to illuminate the mirror area with incandescent bulbs, as in a theater dressing room, screw head-mirrored bulbs into the sockets.
You can set accents with indirect decorative lighting – this can be, for example, LED strips under shelves or cabinets, which create a real feel-good atmosphere.
Bathroom design: Ideas and tips for the interior
Once the questions about sanitary equipment and technology in the bathroom have been clarified, it’s time for the beautiful things: the layout and design. With the help of the ideas you have already collected, you can, for example, use a 3D planner online to realize your dream of a bathroom in the virtual world. What you should consider when designing the walls and the floor you will learn below.
Design the walls in the bathroom
Wall tiles in the bathroom are the absolute classic. They come in any colors and sizes, such as mosaics and, for example, without joints. The seamless bathroom has gained popularity in recent years. After all, no joints also mean no gaps for dirt – cleaning is faster. However, one disadvantage is that tiling is not easy and should be done by a professional company.
In addition, bathroom tiles are now suitable stone and mineral plasters, which are breathable and easily tolerate moisture. And for a quick renovation, wall coverings are suitable. If you still have old tiles on the wall, you don’t have to remove them first, but you can stick the cladding and panels over them. Or you can repaint your tiles.
If you want a bathroom with a particularly natural flair, you can also add wood to the walls. However, you should ensure there is not too much splashing water in the area.
The floor in the bathroom
Removing old flooring in an old building can be quite a nuisance. However, often this is optional. For example, you can paste new tiles over old ceramic tiles. Vinyl flooring is an alternative: it offers designs in wood and stone looks, is very durable, and is easy to clean.
The color design in the bathroom
It has long been known that colors influence our mood – this is particularly important in the bathroom, where a feel-good atmosphere should prevail. A black and white bathroom is timeless and can be spiced up with the help of colorful accessories. Shades of gray fit perfectly into a modern bathroom. For those who like it more homely, brown shades are a good choice.
Good to know: Although blue walls seem cool at first glance, this color can have a calming and relaxing effect.
Plan storage space
In the bathroom, you usually share with several people, all of whom bring their own products. This means: space is necessary and lots of it! After all, to prevent the room from descending into chaos with cans, shampoo bottles, towels and the like all over the place, you need to create enough storage space right from the start. The most elegant and also the most expensive solution for this are built-in cabinets. They visually blend into the overall look of the bathroom and offer plenty of space.
The classic is again a washbasin with an undercounter, in which you can make cosmetics disappear thanks to integrated drawers. But mirror cabinets can also be a useful solution. And if the space offers it, of course, shelves or trays on the bathtub are also a way to display one thing or another (especially decorative!).
Where can you save on bathroom remodeling?
If you want to share remodeling work with tradespeople: Establish responsibilities and liability, and do so in writing. The craftsmen, for example the MachbarMacher from Obi, can only start their part of the work if you do your preliminary work on time in each case. Calculate your own working time generously. Even talented do-it-yourselfers often need twice as long as experienced professionals. And if you are not really very good at something, the expert will only fix your botch-up for expensive money.
You yourself are liable for any damage caused by your work – for example, if water seeps into the neighboring apartment from a leaking connection or if your radiator slams into the tiles. Work on the electricity grid and gas installations may only be carried out by licensed specialists. You can help here by milling and plastering cable slots.
There are ways to save money with less risk.
- Compare prices: Many tradesmen only work with certain manufacturers. Find out what advantages this gives you and whether they will make you pay for your own purchases. It can be worthwhile to accept the craftsman’s tie-in because they will offer quality and discounts. However, it can also be right to choose another craftsman.
- Watch for special offers and promotions from home improvement stores. Specialty stores often reduce prices for items on display.
- Order the materials and objects in time and get the delivery date confirmed in writing. Get exactly as much material as you need. Measure surfaces precisely so that little remains of screws or coverings. If you do have some left over, save it for later repairs.