On the face of it the perfect bathroom might be an oasis of tranquillity with exotic expensive-looking tiles, posh smelly stuff and gleaming surfaces. In an ideal world this is a place to escape for serenity and me-time.
However, if you’ve got kids then you don’t live in an ideal world so the perfect bathroom requires a whole different set of considerations.
If you’re creating a bathroom in your home from scratch, as we did a couple of years ago, or renovating the existing one, here are some points to ponder.
Do not have any more moving parts than you need. Moving parts will trap fingers and dirt. Then they’ll break. This means, for example, using a fixed shower door instead of a sliding one.
Minimise grout. It’s such a nasty word, isn’t it? But grout will attract dirt and mould. The bigger the ceramic or porcelain tiles you can find, the better. Even consider sheets of shower wall panels.
Pick a deep shower tray. I know the really flat ones are trendy but consider what happens when a toddler sits in the shower and blocks the plughole with his bottom.
Don’t loo-se the battle. If you have sons and they need toilet training then make things easy for yourself. They will splash and miss the toilet, you might as well accept it. Just install a toilet and surrounds that are accessible and easy to clean.
Bathrooms to dye for. If you colour your hair at home, then the same advice about minimum grout – and easy-clean surfaces applies. Otherwise, your grey hair giveaway will be the state of the bathroom.
Dry up about wet rooms. Wet rooms are all very well, but your children will see that as an instruction. Is that really what you want?
Safety first. When your kids are little, it’s probably better to have a lock on the outside and not on the inside. You’d rather keep them out than run the risk of locking themselves in.
Consider comfort. Bathing children is great fun, but not very comfortable if you have to spend ages kneeling on the hard floor beside the tub. If possible, allow space to put a small stool beside the bath – your joints will appreciate it.
Don’t rail against dropped towels. When choosing a towel rail, select one with big enough spaces between the rails to make it easy for a child to hang theirs up again after use.
Make it DIY. I don’t mean fit the stuff yourself, I mean create a bathroom that your small children can learn to use by themselves. Put the light switch on a long pull cord that they can reach or have space for a stool so they can step up to turn it on. Make room for steps beside the sink and toilet.
Smooth operator. Consider how easy your beautiful bathroom will be to keep clean. Smooth, flat surfaces are inevitably easier to keep clean than bumpy ones that catch the dirt and dust.
Disclosure: This post contains elements I was paid to include, however, that doesn’t mean the advice is any less good.