What should you consider when designing a family bathroom? 

A family bathroom from brand Bathrooms To Love with a large bath, double basin, lots of light and easy-to-clean floor

Just because your bathroom is being used by the whole household doesn’t mean it can’t be stylish. Here’s some fantastic family bathroom ideas to create a luxurious layout both grown-ups and kids will love. 

The bathroom is one of the most crucial areas of any busy family home. From everybody pushing past each other in the morning through to getting ready for bed at night, it needs to be well planned and thought through for both adults and kids. 

For your bathroom to work for your family, you’ll need an easy-to-navigate layout that makes the most of an often compact space; fittings that work for young and old, plus plenty of storage, too. You’ll surely want your space to look stylish and inviting while also being hygienic and simple to clean.  

So can your bathroom be something for everyone?  

Yes, but don’t be afraid. By calling on the experts and the latest know-how, it is possible to tailor your bathroom for everyone to enjoy – both now and in the future. Let us inspire you with some family bathroom ideas… 

A beautiful family bathroom featuring products from BC Designs including storage and bath
Family bathroom ideas: BC Designs
Make the entrance safe for all  

A step-free doorway and bathroom floor may seem obvious, but it can have a huge effect on who in the family can safely use the facilities and how welcoming the room will feel. Opting for a flush flooring or a design with a very gentle slope using non-slip tiles is a practical option that also helps a small space feel bigger. 

Also consider the width of the door and in which direction it opens – and it doesn’t have to be hinged. “Pocket doors slide into a wall cavity, freeing up much-needed floor area,” says Sally Cutchie, marketing manager at BC Designs. “It can also help the room feel much bigger. Some people worry about the installation, but a joiner or builder should be able to do this relatively simply – many systems out there do a lot of the work for you.”  

The ideal doorway size really depends on the space you have to play with too, Sally explains. ”I recommend anything more than 32 inches, if you can go bigger, it might be worth it. It also means your space is accessible to any wheelchair users and can be used by any visitor.” 

 A pink-themed family bathroom with shower enclosure and storage designed by West One Bathrooms
Family bathroom ideas: West One Bathrooms
Go for low maintenance 

Showering is the speediest way to get ready in the morning bathroom routine, but constant use by different family members can take its toll. To beat the shower room blues, Kirsten Wain, designer at West One Bathrooms‘ showroom in Clerkenwell, has one top tip: “Consider adding a wetroom floor drain to get rid of the excess bath water that inevitably splashes across the room.”  

Companies such as Unidrain, for example, specialise in minimal, yet highly efficient shower and wetroom drains. Choose from linear and corner designs featuring a sleek steel or custom panel. 

Ensure it’s safe 

Whether you have an over-bath shower or a separate enclosure, opt for thermostatic or digital valves which allow you to set the temperature – this will help reduce the risk of scalding. Handheld showers in enclosures or as part of a bath mixer are also great for washing children’s hair, plus they will come in really handy when you’re cleaning the bath or screen door. Find out more about family bathroom safety here.

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Bathroom designed by Vickie Nicholls at Interior Therapy that makes the most of an awkward space
Family bathroom ideas: Bathroom designed by Vickie Nicholls at Interior Therapy
Rethink the shower set-up 

Shower enclosures may be hugely desirable and popular for the speed and efficiency they offer, but they can eat up valuable floor area. Restricting the positioning of other fittings and often added at the expense of a bath, they may even dominate the look and feel of the room and narrow important walkways.  

So if you’re looking for family bathroom ideas why not consider a shower bath instead as a practical alternative that’s perfect for the family bathroom? 

Popular P and D-shaped designs, featuring wall mounted showerheads and folding glass screens, can provide flexibility for younger families. 

For older households or those with mobility issues, however, a separate walk-in shower enclosure is a must. Here, creative thinking comes into play – removing a chimney breast or exploiting an alcove can provide the answer. Designer Vickie Nickolls at Interior Therapy says: “Bathrooms, especially family spaces, are busy areas of the home, so it’s important to ensure that everything is accessible and easy to use. When designing the scheme above, I wanted to make the most of every part of the awkward space. Fitting a bath and shower in was key, as there’s a mix of ages in the family. I used a bath mixer with an additional shower head to make hair washing a little easier too.” 

A stylish family bathroom with VitrA Nest Furniture and Silence bathtub
Family bathroom ideas: VitrA Nest Furniture and Silence bathtub
Future proof your bath 

Family-friendly bathtubs are many and varied,” says Margaret Talbot, UK and Europe marketing manager at VitrA. “There are many options for compact bathrooms – some can be combined with a shower screen to make the best use of available space, and others have a smaller footprint but still provide luxurious bathing.”  

The room layout and bath design are not the only considerations. Emma Joyce, brand manager at House of Rohl suggests you should also “consider the maintenance. Go for hard-wearing surfaces and sturdy designs made from scratch-resistant materials such as Quarrycast.” 

Vanity unit storage in a stylish family bathroom from Pelipal
Family bathroom ideas: Vanity storage options from Pelipal
Make the vanity do the work  

Space around the wash area in the bathroom not only helps save time but helps make everyone in the family’s  life a little simpler. “Vanity suites offer a wonderful solution,” says Gordon Riddoch, director, at Rutland Radiators. “If your space is restricted, compact vanity units will help create extra storage without taking up too much room. And if you have lots of space to play with, make a feature of your design and also enjoy the extra under-sink storage.”  

For extra practicality, choose a design with some counter space beside the basin which will come in handy for placing flannels and act as a set-down area for whoever is using the bathroom.  

Plan in plenty of storage 

“As a parent, you’ll want a bathroom to be a sanctuary as well as a space that children can enjoy,” says Kirsten at West One Bathrooms. “Keeping it free from clutter will make it feel more spacious and relaxing. If floor area permits, a tall unit can hide a multitude of bath toys as well as cleaning products and medicines that need to be kept out of reach. 

Choose furniture with built-in storage, such as a vanity unit instead of a pedestal basin. If you choose a wall-mounted design, you may find there is enough room below to hide that little step your kids use to stand on when they wash their hands and brush their teeth.  

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With the right wall fixings, these can hold far in excess of the weight of even a couple of kids, so there is no need to worry about children swinging off of them.  

To create a relaxing ambiance, try adding integrated lighting into your vanity unit as well as illuminated mirror cabinets.”  

Stylish wall-hung WC set-up from Bathroom Design Studio with plenty of uncluttered space to easy cleaning
Family bathroom ideas: Stylish WC from Bathroom Design Studio
Find the best WC for everyone 

“There are three types of WC,” explains John Naughten, managing director at Bathroom Design Studio London. “Close coupled (a standard design with the cistern tower visible), back-to-wall (where the cistern is hidden but the pan rooted to the floor) and wall hung. Your room’s layout and the position of your soil pipe may determine which you can use.”  

Thanks to technological innovation, toilets are getting more hygienic, too. “Rimless pans, SwirlFlush and TwistFlush technology, easy-clean glazes, antibacterial compounds and even UV lights all have this same goal in mind,” John continues. “Touchless sensor flushes are useful and they’re the most sanitary option.”  

For a high-tech solution, a shower toilet is a smart WC that combines the WC and bidet functions in one, complete with remote control, heated seat and auto clean. 

Some great family bathroom ideas from Hudson Reed with storage, stylish radiator and close-coupled WC
Family bathroom ideas: Hudson Reed bathroom
Sort the heating 

Keeping surfaces and towels dry in a bathroom that’s in continual use by the whole family is crucial for both health and safety. There are endless radiators and heated towel rails out there – from floorstanding sculptural designs to transparent panels – but choosing one that also offers the right heat output for the room is key. 

In compact spaces, multi-use designs are worth investing in if you’re thinking through your family bathroom ideas. “Extra shelving and the dual benefit of a towel warmer with combination radiator is becoming increasingly appealing, allowing you to heat the room and dry towels at the same time,” Steve Birch, sales director at Vogue UK and Aestus, says.  

“A foldaway heated rail that fits flush when not in use is a good alternative to standard shelving or a bulky wall cabinet, too. Plus, there are designs with an integrated mirror or practical robe hook, which help you make the most of every bit of available space.” 

Layer the lighting 

“Make sure your bathroom is a space for the family to relax in, as well as for getting ready for the day ahead,” advises Steven Jaques, national development manager for Pelipal at InHouse Inspired Room Design.  

“Use a variety of solutions to set any mood. If your space doesn’t have much natural light, choose fixtures with adjustable brightness settings to reflect sunrise and sunset,” he says. “But if you’re really wanting sparks to fly, consider colour-changing illumination so you can create any atmosphere you want in your bathroom. Warm oranges mimic candle light to ensure a relaxing, cosy bath, or you can dial it up to bright white for that get-up-and- go morning feeling. Kids particularly love the disco function – perfect for an entertaining bath time.” Here’s some more bathroom lighting ideas to inspire you family bathroom.

These are some family bathroom ideas, but maybe you also just want to time to yourself? Why not check out some relaxing spa bathroom designs

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