Family bathrooms come in a variety of different styles and sizes and will vary in need depending on the ages and size of family members. But where do you start when it comes to your space? And how do you get the most out of your space, whether you’re looking for a small bathroom or a large one? This guide aims to look into the dos and don’ts and arm you with plenty of family bathroom ideas.
Striking a balance between practicality and luxury is probably the biggest headache for families. How do you create your personal area of relaxation, while also being aware that with more people using the space, it needs to be durable and hard-wearing? In this guide, we’ll advise on the biggest dilemmas, what items to include in your family bathroom, and give you plenty of inspiration to take away with 20 handy solutions and tips to make the most out of your space:
- Don't ditch the bathtub
- Get the best of both with a shower bath
- Add a bath mixer tap with hand-held shower
- Avoid scalds with thermostatic showers
- Make play-time splash-friendly with a shower screen
- Invest in easy-to-use taps conveniently located
- Save time with a Back to Wall toilet
- Add a soft close toilet seat to avoid trapped hands
- Make sure to have plenty of storage with racks and trays
- Get a vanity or combined unit to add more storage
- Merge your mirror with storage for more space
- Take storage higher up with a wall-mounted towel rack
- Invest in a bluetooth mirror, perfect for all the family
- Relax in a fantastic ambience with a dimmable illuminated mirror
- Add warmth and more space with a heated towel rail
- Keep warm underfoot with underfloor heating
- Make your bathroom accessible with grab rails
- Install a comfort height toilet
- Get a bathtub with handles
- Consider a walk-in shower or bathtub
Bath and Shower Family Bathroom Ideas
One of the biggest questions around family bathrooms is whether you should keep a bathtub or replace it with a shower. While baths are both practical and suitable for all the family they take up a lot of space, which for smaller bathrooms can come at a premium, particularly the bigger the household gets.
However, this really shouldn’t be a dilemma. Simply put, a bath is the best of both worlds. For one, baths are better for younger children, and especially babies and toddlers, because they’re safer and can be supervised. They also provide more fun, enjoyment and stimulation with bath-time and playtime. A standalone shower just isn’t practical by comparison and being made of glass, it could be a danger. Baths are also a haven for relaxation for older children and adults, and it’s important not to leave out the family pet if they ever need a wash down.
If you want the best of both worlds, a shower bath is a happy medium, combining the trusty tub with the convenience of a shower fitting. This provides older children and adults with a choice, particularly for those in a rush for work, school, and college, while also meaning you don’t lose the practicality of a bath for smaller children.
When it comes to baths with showers, you have two options. One is the wall-mounted overhead shower with a riser rail, or built into a wall, great for adjusting for people of differing heights.
However, if you need space-saving ideas or more storage, then a bath-mounted (also called deck-mounted) bath mixer tap with a shower head is perfect. This can sit on your bathtub and free up valuable wall space around the bath. They’re also easy to grab, less fiddly than dealing with the holder on a riser rail, and lower down, making washing hair much easier.
If you’re planning on having a wall-mounted shower unit, always opt for a thermostatic option, which come in two options: exposed or concealed. Thermostatic showers allow the temperature to be altered to suit the user, meaning an easy adjustment based on the preferences of the family member. It also reduces the risk of burns or scalding from children who may like to touch settings.
If you’re just getting a bathtub, then a screen maybe not entirely necessary and you could always go without. However, if you’re getting a bath with a shower, then a bath and shower screen is a practical addition. With smaller children, bath time can get rather splashy and water can escape over the tub. A shower screen can help provide an additional barrier against water, keeping spills to a smaller area. They are also sturdier than a shower curtain, which might be cheaper but let far more water escape. A folding (or in-fold) shower or bath screen will also allow for easier access.
When getting bath taps and basin taps, look for ones that are both easy to use and reach. Think lever, instead of crosshead handles and consider their location. The ability to turn or lift the taps on and off will make it easier for children of a slightly older age to be able to wash their hands or fill the bath.
Jessica Morgan, Founder of Carnsight.com and a parent of 2 children and a former parenting blogger, shared some insight into issues she faced with taps: “The previous bath had taps in the middle which wasn’t practical,” she says before advising parents looking at purchasing new taps to consider this in their planning. "We thought about where taps were, and where the toilet was, making sure kids could reach things.”
Toilet Ideas for Family Bathrooms
A real time-saver for a family bathroom is getting a back to wall toilet, which sits flush against the wall or as part of a unit. This hides and removes the whole cistern and plumbing from view making cleaning much easier. This means it is a real-time saver when it comes to cleaning, and especially for issues such as missed bowls and toilet training when it comes to children.
Avoid the dangers of a falling toilet seat and trapped hands by getting a toilet with a soft-close toilet seat. These toilet seats close in a slow and much more controlled way, meaning less worries of injuries.
Family Bathroom Storage Ideas
The big one. No matter your household size, any family bathroom is going to need plenty of storage. Smaller children have bath toys to play with that may need putting away, while you will need racks for sundries, personal items, and bathroom accessories for other members of the house. Around the bath and shower, add wire baskets, over-bath trays and corner baskets. These will be perfect for tidying away after bath time, storing bottles. Ideally, make sure each household member has their own shelf for shampoo, conditioner and styling items.
Jessica further advises on storage: “Think about the practicalities of now and also in a few years. Look at your bathroom and think about what you don’t like, for example, toys on display. We have furniture in there which allows us to pack away all the kids' stuff and leave it looking clean.”
Yes, more storage. If you have a larger family bathroom, then a great idea is to get some vanity units and bathroom furniture, which can be standalone. However, if you’re limited, look at combining storage in with fixtures and fittings as opposed to separate, such as a toilet unit.
Another investment may be to get a mirrored bathroom cabinet, which can be placed high up, away from the inquisitive hands of small children. This is also a space-saver if you’re not particularly precious about a large bathroom mirror.
A wall-mounted towel rack can be added high up on a bathroom wall and provide a convenient storage space for towels. This can free up space in other rooms, or other storage cupboards in the home and provide easy access.
Family Bathroom Accessories Ideas
If you’re looking for a bigger standalone mirror, then invest in a Bluetooth bathroom mirror. Combining the style and elegance of a mirror, the built-in Bluetooth allows users to connect devices, meaning you can play music and podcasts. Perfect for those who like to have a relaxing soak for a while, or those who want to get their Ellie Goulding or Justin Bieber on. The added bonus of these mirrors is that many also come with LED lights and anti-fog demister pads meaning extra light and reduction in steaming-up issues.
A big bathroom mirror is always going to be a winner for families, whether it’s for make-up, hair styling or shaving. An illuminated mirror can provide great lighting during the night, while those with dimmer switches are perfect for cosy, relaxed evenings in the tub.
Heating Ideas for Family Bathrooms
Towel Radiators and warmers are fantastic for family bathrooms. They come in a variety of sizes, which means they can be both useful for storing items as well as providing the obvious heat benefits. They also come in handy during the winter months, when the heated element can be used to help dry clothes. This is particularly useful with smaller children, where changing and washing clothes is a regular aspect of family life. They are also wall-mounted, providing extra visible space, which is great if you’re looking for space for a smaller bathroom.
As well as heating in general, underfloor heating is a good way to make it a nice, inviting, and warm space for everyone to use. This is good for small children to keep them warm, while also making it nice and toasty under-foot for those early morning workers and school-goers in winter months.
Family Bathroom Ideas for Elderly Relatives/People With Mobility Difficulties
Family bathroom ideas shouldn’t just focus on kids but how you can make it accessible for elderly relatives, guests, and of course for any family member experiencing health conditions that impact on mobility.
With this in mind, provide extra help by installing grab rails and bars around your bathroom. These can be strategically placed alongside toilets, basins, and bathtubs and some can also double up nicely as towel rails when not in use.
Comfort height toilets are just like normal toilets, except the bowl and seat are higher up. This makes it easier to sit down and it’s not as far to bend down for people with mobility issues.
If a family member can get in and out of a bathtub but may need extra help, then look at getting a bathtub with handles. Usually placed either side of the bath, some manufacturers do include these as an optional feature, and they can be useful in assisting people.
If a family member struggles with getting in and out the tub, then you may need to look at getting a walk-in shower. These can be built at ground level, or with a shower tray that is low profile, making for easier access. You can combine this with other shower accessories, such as shower seats, to help for people who struggle to stand for long periods of time.
These are just some of the ways you can make your bathroom family-friendly and enjoyable for everyone to use. As many of these ideas show, it isn’t necessarily about making it decorative, fun, and entertaining for family-members but just as important to make it both practical and easy-to-use.
Do you have some family bathroom ideas that you would like to share? How did you get the most out of your space? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or our contact page and we’ll add it to the blog.