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Tips for Planning for a Bathroom Layout (page 2 of 2)

Make the most of your space; get ideas on how best to lay out a new bathroom floor plan.

Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement

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Space Considerations

All bathroom fixtures require space around them so that they can be used comfortably. For example, a bathtub should be at least 2 ft 4 in (700 mm) from a wall or another fixture, to allow you to step in and out and dry yourself easily. You should also make sure there is room for the door to open without scratching or chipping fixtures. Try to provide space for a wastebasket in your plan. Make sure you place items such as mirrors and cabinets to suit the height of all users when possible. Medicine cabinets should be lockable, and be out of the reach of children.

Replacing a Bathroom Suite

Before installing the new bathroom, you will have to remove the old fixtures. If you are not replacing a tiled floor or moving fixture positions, you may choose to tackle them one at a time. If you are tiling the floor or moving any fixtures, you will probably need to remove all the old fixtures before you start. In tight spaces, you may have to take away the toilet and sink before you are able to remove the bathtub.

Order of work considerations:
1. Reroute or extend plumbing
2. Route wiring, but do not wire in any new equipment. Replace subfloor if necessary
3. Install bathtub and shower tray
4. Install the base of the shower mixer valve into the wall
5. Complete any tiling on floors and walls, and paint if required
6. Install the toilet and sink, and the shower and cubicle
7. Lay soft flooring
8. Install electrical items
9. Seal all joints with bathroom caulk

Attaching Fixtures to a Stud Wall

As well as modifying the plumbing, if you are attaching fixtures to a stud wall, you need to install extra blocking for added support. Wall-mounted fixtures will need double blocking, one piece on top of the other, or custom-built frameworks inserted into the wall to support their weight.

To put frames into a stud wall, you will need to remove the drywall or cut a hole in the drywall at the attachment point. With the studwork exposed, you can nail any extra blocking in place. Alternatively, insert the support frame. While you have access to the studs, you might want to hide supply and waste pipes in the wall. To repair the wall, use a drywall patch and finish the drywall.

Planning Plumbing in Bathrooms

The simplest option when planning a new bathroom is to position the new fixtures in the same place as the old ones. In this way plumbing work is kept to a minimum. If each item is already plumbed in with isolating valves and flexible connector pipes, you can easily work on each in turn. If there are no isolating valves, then you will have to shut off the water at a nearby gate valve, or drain down the entire system if there is no other option.

When you are repositioning a toilet, rerouting its waste pipe is complex, and in many cases may not be possible. An option is to fit a grinder pump behind the toilet bowl. This can pump waste through small pipes to join the main stack and makes it possible to put a toilet almost anywhere.

Showers may need to take their water supply directly from a pressure tank, rather than from a nearby supply pipe. This helps maintain pressure and reduces temperature fluctuations. Repositioning other fixtures requires teeing off the water supply pipes and running waste pipes to the new position.

Planning Electrical Work in Bathrooms

Electrical considerations are an important part of bathroom planning. Aside from obvious features such as lighting, it may also be necessary to provide power for an exhaust fan, heated towel rail, or whirlpool bathtub. Water and electricity are a dangerous combination, so bathroom outlets and electricity must be grounded. Use GFCI outlets in bathrooms.

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Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009