How to Plan and Design a Bathroom

Planning and designing a new bathroom can feel like quite a daunting task to embark on. From the practical considerations to the aesthetic aspects, there’s a lot to consider to make sure you get it right. For help on how to plan your new dream bathroom, follow our step-by-step guide as you get started on your renovation journey.

What are your needs & requirements?

Different bathrooms can have different needs and requirements. Family bathrooms will have different considerations to say a bedroom ensuite or a downstairs cloakroom, so it’s important to think about what you need and want from your bathroom.

Who is going to be using the room? Is there anything you know you definitely do or don’t want? Your first step in planning your bathroom should almost be a checklist of everything you need your new bathroom to do for you and then you can take the next steps in figuring out what needs to be done to achieve it.

It is important at this stage to also consider what look and style you want to go for and how much of a priority that is for you. If you’re wanting to achieve a spa-style sanctuary where you can relax away from the day’s stresses, you’ll need to factor that in early on as it will influence certain decisions.

Measure up carefully

This may seem obvious, but it is one of the most important parts of planning a bathroom successfully. Get accurate dimensions of your space, including elements such as windows, doorways and even things like chimney breasts.

Factor in where the main sanitaryware and furniture pieces are going to be positioned by looking at where the drain pipes and waste pipes are. Look at where the soil pipe is and take as many measurements as possible to draw up a clear and concise blueprint of the space you’re working with.

Top tip - don’t forget to measure the height from the floor to any windows, it can often be missed especially if you’re working with a bird’s eye view of your floorplan.

Plan your layout

Once you have measured your space, you can start to plan your new bathroom layout. Some may want to do this the old fashioned way by hand, but if you’re looking for some free online planning tools there are lots of websites that offer really intuitive design programs that will really help with your layout planning.

One of the key things to bear in mind at this stage in your planning is that you shouldn’t just change your layout for the sake of it. Moving things like plumbing and in particular soil pipes for your WC will cost more money and take more time, so it’s important to only move the positioning of things if it will really make a big difference to the overall scheme.

Expert advice

There are a range of experts you should speak to when planning your bathroom. Whether that’s going into a bathroom showroom to choose your furniture and sanitaryware, speaking to your builder or plumber about logistics of positioning, speaking to a tile showroom about the best choice for your bathroom… and so on!

There are a lot of decisions that need to be made and if they aren’t considered properly and the wrong product or decision is made, it could cost you more money in the long run if anything needs correcting. So take your time, get advice wherever you can and make informed decisions.

Style & inspiration

This is the fun bit!

When deciding on what look you want to go for in your bathroom, start with the fundamentals and ask yourself questions such as: Do you go for classic or contemporary? What colours do you want to include? Are there any materials you want to include, like marble or wood?

Pinterest and Instagram are great sources for inspiration these days and it’s a great idea to pin or save any images that take your fancy. Once you’ve gathered your broader inspiration imagery, you can then narrow down some of your decisions and figure out if and how any of your inspirations can become realities in your new bathroom.

Don’t forget the practical elements

It’s easy to get carried away with all the pretty parts of planning a bathroom but there are a lot of practical things that need to be considered as well.

Plan your ventilation

Ventilation is vital in bathrooms and must be planned appropriately to make sure you have no issues with damp or mold in the future. Make sure you speak to an expert to ensure your ventilation is adequate for your room size, it is especially important to plan this well if you don’t have any windows in your bathroom. If planned properly, it needn’t be an issue but all too often it is something that is overlooked until it’s too late!

Factor in storage

Whether you like it or not, bathrooms will always require storage. From toiletries to towels and even kids toys, you want to plan in as much storage as possible so that you have the opportunity to create the most clutter-free space possible. Start this process by clearing out your old bathroom and really only keeping the things you need, then when it comes to planning your new bathroom you know what you need to store and can plan accordingly. There are a lot of excellent vanity units with compartmentalised drawers and wall hung units that can hide things away, and you can always add a floating shelf here or there to display any of the more prettier items such as candles or plants.


From spotlight positioning to motion sensored mirrors, lighting is a crucial consideration in bathroom planning. If your bathroom is an ensuite connected to a bedroom for example, you should think about having different levels of lighting - a low level and a brighter / full level. This means that if you need to turn the light on in the middle of the night it won’t be so disruptive and also feel just that bit more relaxing during your bedtime routine. Motion sensors on mirrored cabinets are a popular and excellent way of opting for different levels of lighting in the bathroom as they offer a softer glow to the main overhead brighter lighting.

Choose your tiles

Your bathroom tile choices will play a vital part in the overall finished look of your space. There are a few different things to take into consideration when choosing your bathroom tiles, from visual impact to practicality.

Any bathroom floor tiles need to have a good slip resistance and be suited to wet areas, this is especially true if you’re planning a wetroom. Patterned tiles are great for adding a real statement to a space whilst large format tiles can create a calming and spa-like ambience. The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to tiles in the bathroom, allowing you to create a space that’s tailored to you and your style.

Bathroom Tiles


As with any planning or renovation project, figuring out your budget will help you to make certain decisions. Having a priority list of what is the most important to you will help you figure out where you might be happy to spend a bit more as well as pull back on other areas. For instance, if a freestanding bath is something that will make or break your dream bathroom, invest in the best quality bath you can afford and perhaps save on other fixtures and fittings such as brassware. Overall, make sure you factor in all areas into your budget including labour. Get a few quotes from different tradespeople and try and come to an agreed quote so that you don’t land any unwelcome bills once your bathroom is complete! 

We hope our guide has given you the confidence to get started on your new bathroom of dreams. Make sure you take a look at our bathroom tiles collection and our Pinterest boards for inspiration!

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