Whack It With a Hammer

Adventures in DIY and Decor

Bathroom, family, Family Bathroom, Uncategorized

Five Tips for a Family Bathroom

We’ve had to do a total refurb of the bathroom in our new house, not just because it was avocado, or because it was full of cracks but definitely because it leaked. Bathrooms tend to be the smallest rooms in the house, ours measures approximately 2m by 2m. A small bathroom takes a long time to plan, especially if it’s a family bathroom because it has to be all things to all people. It’s also really expensive in the UK (the cost has doubled since I did our last bathroom 6 years ago) so you only want to do it once.

Avocado plastic family bathroom
Here’s the delightful before picture!

Some of the links in this article are affiliate links so if you choose to buy something I will receive a small commission which will help keep this site running, at no extra cost to you.

Nearly every bathroom showroom has a free design service to help you visualise your new bathroom. Do take advantage of this but don’t think that you have to buy all your fittings from one store. You’ll find the same tap will have a different name and price depending on the supplier so it can really pay to shop around.

a stack of brouchures for bathrooms
I really did shop around.

Here are five things I found were most important when planning my family bathroom.

Max Out On Storage

A family bathroom has to store everyone’s stuff. I encourage everyone to use the same shampoo and bodywash to cut down on a great clutter of products but there still seems to be a lot of stuff that needs to live in this tiny space. Go for draws over cupboards – it’s much easier to find your moisturiser if you don’t have to rummage past the rubber ducks to the back of a cupboard. You can also separate cleaning products and cosmetics more easily.

After looking at hundreds of units I got ours from the Imandra range at B&Q because it fitted the space, was a good price and big hubby liked it too. It’s also a really good idea to squeeze in shallow storage with mirrored cabinets on the wall. I got ours from Bathstore (at the time of writing the store was closing down so has some really good deals, but beware as its pretty much impossible to return these items if you decided they’re not right) I like them because the mirrors are bevelled and the edges are rounded which softens the room.

mirrored cabinet providing extra storage
I love the soft curves on this cabinet.


Underfloor heating is one of the things that people most regret not fitting in a bathroom, so if your budget allows go for it (ours didn’t) But, even when you’ve got toasty toes you’ll still want somewhere to dry your towels.

Those tiny heated towel rails that you find in hotels and new builds are a waste of time in a family bathroom. There are going to be more than two perfectly folded towels to handle. I have two rapidly growing children and they need bath sheets (they also need to learn to pick them off the floor and fold them but that’s way beyond my skillset) Our heated towel rail measures 600 X 1800mm which is plenty of room for four large bath towels to and to heat the room. Make sure they have a thermostat or are dual fuel so you can control the heat in summer when you want to dry your towels but not overheat the room.

As a side note, do make sure that your fitter tests the heating and shows you how to use it, even in the height of summer. Ours didn’t and when we tried to make it work in autumn we were baffled. A text conversation with the plumber revealed that he didn’t know how to make it work either! It’s now lovely and toasty thanks to a very kind friend who had done some other work on the house. (I know who I’ll be recommending)

Let There Be Light

An adult ensuite can be dark and dramatic but in a family bathroom you need lots of light. The lighting has to work hard you need somewhere to shave, apply makeup, scrub children and also somewhere you can relax in a hot bubble bath. A bathroom chandelier gives plenty of light and adds a bit of glamour I got ours from B&Q. Make sure your lighting has a suitable IP rating otherwise it won’t be safe in a bathroom. For easy cleaning you can’t beat spotlights but I would definitely keep some candles close at hand for when you want to relax.

IP rated bathroom chandelier
I know I’ve featured this in a previous blog about affordable updates, but I really love it.

As our bathroom is not overlooked and we have frosted glass we chose to go without window dressing to let in even more light (and one less thing to clean). This also means we save energy by not having to turn the light on in the daytime.

Save on Tiles

If budget is an issue (when is budget not an issue?) tiles are a place you can really save. We chose large white tiles from Topps Tiles. They were the least expensive and came in a matt finish which is great if you live in a hard water area (less cleaning) and used a mosaic tile for the border. You can then add colour with paint and accessories which is easier to change if you fancy a refresh.

I wanted to have more fun with the floor tiles and got loads of samples. I absolutely love the big patterned ones but when I tried them they overwhelmed the small room and I worried would date quickly.

grey and black tiles
These were the semi-finalists

I found these graphic tiles at B&Q which luckily everyone in the house liked. They were end of line so really reasonable. If you only have a small area of floor space its worth hunting around for end of line discounts.

graphic patterned tiles in light grey
Subtle and graphic!

Cut Down On Plastic

If you have a family I can assume you want a good future for your children and so probably want to cut down on plastic waste. Having a new bathroom is a good time to make a decision to do something that cuts down on plastic. We made the change to wooden toothbrushes which look nicer than plastic ones and are biodegradable. We are lucky we have an eco shop in our town which sells them but if you don’t have one of these locally there are loads available online.

You can get ones with coloured ends but we just write our names on with a sharpie so they don’t get mixed up.

I hope my five tips for a family bathroom have been helpful let me know what you think in the comments section. If you enjoyed reading this please follow me – you’ll just get blogs no spamming! Or to share ideas and inspiration follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest.

Family bathroom after refurb, grey furniture and white tiles
Hope you like the results! (its sooo hard to get a decent shot of small bathroom)

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