While bathrooms have, of late,
become stylish with architects and interior designers working to combine beauty
and utility as desired by clients, careful planning is indispensable in
designing them. More so, because bathrooms cannot be altered as frequently as
other parts of the house can be refurbished, since plumbing and sanitary
facilities are expensive.
Few areas of house calls for greater attention, from an angle of
beauty and utility, than the bathroom. Aesthetic appeal and
usefulness are of much importance while designing it. Stylish as they are,
modern bathrooms are largely seen as a private space to refresh and relax.
Architects say the design of a bathroom should be dictated by the needs of its
users and available space.
Time was when toilets were
located outside the houses. Concepts have also changed with the flooding of
advanced sanitary and bathroom fittings in the market. Bathrooms are no longer
treated as a less important part of a house. Today, the bathroom is seen as a
reflection of its owner's personal taste. Manufacturers of premium-range
bathrooms have succeeded in highlighting how it can reflect his or her
Positioning and space utilisation of toilets inside a
house require special attention. Unlike other rooms, the toilet has permanent
fixtures. An architect should ensure that care is taken to give as much
importance to concealed plumbing and sanitary lines as to the designing of the
interiors of the bathroom.
Dryness is the most important ingredient that
contributes to positive ambience in the washroom. Cleanliness is the other
major ingredient here, for which dryness helps. So, try to segregate two areas
- a dry area (washbasin and the water closet) and the wet area (the shower) -
within your washroom. Plan drops in the floor between dry and wet areas and
from the bedroom to the washroom. Wherever possible use a shower cubicle or
shower curtain. Length of shower curtain should be up to the level of the drop
in the floor.
The minimum area is 35-40 square feet of space,
with a minimum width of 5 feet for a good washroom, while a 50-60 square feet
space is optimum. For generating a sense of space, locate the washbasin in
front of the door and tuck bulkier items like the tub or the shower cubicles
towards the interior part of the washroom. The space under the washbasin
platform/counter may be used for locating the laundry bin, while the mirror
atop the washbasin can be fashioned over a cupboard to house cosmetics and
Opt for large windows that can bring in adequate
natural light and ventilation allowing you to employ sunlight, heat and air
circulation to keep the bathroom dry and odour free.
Privacy need not suffer on account of this, if you use curtains, louvers or
even Venetian blinds. A few floor mats especially near the basin and shower do
wonders for the dry feel and the ambience.
For flooring, ceramic tiles or semi-vitrified tiles
are by far the best options, what with the almost unlimited range of sizes and
design available. However, marble (Indian or Italian) or other natural stones
may also be used.
Avoid polished granite or vitrified tiles on the
floor as they are very slippery especially when wet. For creating an aesthetic
ambience, you could use minimal tiling in the dry areas and substitute it with
textured or plain painted surfaces.
Fixtures and fittings
Washbasins may be either a counter or a pedestal
type and multiple choices and brands are now available in the market today.
Make sure that the tap selected is long enough so that the water falls well
into the washbasin.
As for water closets, wall hung closets are ideal
for cleanliness and easy maintenance. Choose low water consumption flush tanks
and a health faucet for their hygiene value.
A mirror light is a must especially when shaving
with additional wall lighting for general lighting. A table lamp on a ledge can
Opt for waterproof fittings and try to locate the
switches including the geyser switch outside the washroom. This may take a
little getting used too but is a very good safety practice.
The architects and interior
designers call for varied considerations while planning bathrooms for different
users: working couple, children and the aged. While safety is an important
aspect to be considered while designing and arranging a bathroom for children
and the aged, working people, often, prefer the bathroom to be a place to relax
and refresh and even to read and listen to music.
The architects and bathroom
designers say that sufficient care should be taken while selecting the sanitary
fixtures to ensure colour
coordination, water-saving, easy-to-clean surface, noise-free flushing,
stain-free glaze and smooth contours.
The plumbing consultants add
their list of do's and don'ts while setting up a bathroom. For them, plumbing,
sanitation and drainage system should be given special care while planning
bathrooms. If the system fails, the design meant to give comfort and style is
rendered useless. For example, they say, the septic tank and soak pit should be
at sufficient depths to allow the smooth gravitational flow of solids and
effluents into the tank. The air vents and inspection chambers should be
suitably located. Unwanted materials should not be flushed in the water closet,
he says, as these will clog the drainage pipes.
Care should also be taken to
ensure that soap water does not enter the septic tank. Waste containing
excessive detergent or disinfectants should not be led into the septic tank, as
they adversely affect anaerobic decomposition.The
water and soil piping system should be ventilated for the removal of foul
gases. He also calls for care while constructing the septic tank. Construction
of a septic tank should be such that direct currents are not established
between the inlet and outlet. This is achieved by using submerged pipe-tees or
baffle valves near the inlet and outlet ends.
spray jets, steam generators, foot massagers and, FM radio sets , hands-free telephone receiver
are among the facilities and luxuries that you can have in your bathroom.
A multifunctional computer panel helps to set the cubicle lighting. All these
come at a price of Rs. 3 lakh, perhaps.
A bath cubicle come in various combinations. It can start with just a tray
covered by shower curtains. If curtains do not help to keep the bath dry, perhaps,
you can go in for a simple cubicle.
cost of a cubicle depends on the kind of shower panel you choose. There are
shower panels providing options for rain and hand shower, the number of spray
jets and other features. As the number of features increase, so does the cost.
having a bathtub was an indication of luxury. Now it is the combination of
bathtub, cubicle and sauna that makes up a luxury bathroom. A cubicle with a
sauna attached again costs around Rs.
2 lakh. While the domestic
sanitary-ware products provide the latest designs and features, the demand for
imported stuff continues. Many companies try to enter the highly competitive
field here. The domestic manufacturers, in tie-ups with foreign sanitary-ware
makers, make available some of the products — Italian, for instance, some of
which have a designer label too. Some of the top American and other European
manufacturers have a few of their production houses in China,
which produces some of the most popular pieces in bathroom ware. Water closets
have undergone a lot of changes over the years — the most important being the
hygienic water outlet. All the modern gadgets are designed for hygienic use. It
leaves you happy with not much of a bother of cleaning up the mess with water
splashed on the walls and so on. An important item that needs mention here is a
pressure pump that helps to provide water through spray jets at the required
pressure. In a high-rise building, such a pump will not be needed for the lower
floors as the gravitational force would provide enough pressure. However,
apartments high up will need pressure pumps if spray jets need to work.
designs have gone a change over several times and the companies are making
products to suit almost every room. There are large, grand washbasin tops,
smaller and sleeker ones and those with shelves and without shelves. Of course,
the shape of the basin is constantly changing to suit different styles. The
experiment goes on in having shapes such as round, square, boat-like and
salad-bowl-type. There are tabletop basins or the ones fixed to walls or with
steel stands that provide a towel bar or one on a tripod stand.
bowl washbasins are the most in demand. So much so that people have to wait for
the dealer to procure and deliver them. While some prefer the plain glass type,
there are other colourful
can fix it as a decorative piece of bowl in the dining room as well.
one of the options for a urinal, there is one with a sensor that gives a
second’s flush just as you stand in front of it and flushes again when you move
away from it. Public places such as airports in foreign countries make use of
user does not have to touch any knob to flush.
the water closets, there are those built in one piece — both the seat and the
water tank fitted with twin flush option. It also has a completely concealed
s-trap (waste pipe). Among some of the imported varieties, there are the soft
closing seat covers too. Sanitary-ware manufacturers have come out with some
designer bathroom accessories.
are options to pick four to six pieces such as soap/lotion dispenser, soap
dish, toothbrush holder, tumbler, toilet brush holder and a tray.