How to design a family-friendly bathroom

Design Trends
large double sink white

As we grow, so do our families. From the young couple just starting out, to the first child, teenagers, and ageing relatives, a bathroom should be a space that people of all ages can use and enjoy.

But this doesn’t mean it should feel cluttered or cramped, or dull and clinical. You can incorporate a range of features into your small bathroom renovation, from subtle child- and elderly-friendly additions to clever storage solutions, that ensure it looks sleek and stylish, and continues to evolve as your bathroom needs change.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at our top tips for creating a family-friendly bathroom.

Ensure safety at every age

When you think of dangerous rooms in your house, bathrooms may not be at the top of the list. They’re not home to appliances like ovens, stovetops, or draws full of knives, and nor are they full of power tools or chemicals, like the shed.

But they have their own unique issues that you need to be aware of.

The presence of water means they’re prone to creating slippery floors, with showers and baths providing even more dangerous surfaces. Appliances like hair dryers need a power point—and guess what doesn’t mix well with water. Further still, any medication or cleaning products creates a volatile situation for exploratory little ones.

So, to create a family-friendly bathroom, you need to ensure the safety of all your family members.

Invest in non-slip flooring

Bathrooms get slippery. So, go beyond a mouldy old shower mat and choose tiles with subtle texture and grit that improves grip when it gets wet.

Consider materials like natural stone or porcelain tiles, which are both beautiful and non-slip, to help reduce the instance of slips and falls. They can be used through your entire bathroom, from your flooring to the shower as well.

However, keep in mind that not all porcelain tiles are non-slip. There is a slip rating guide for floor tiles. P3 or P4, or R9-R11 is recommended for wet areas where safety is a concern.

Upgrade to safer hot water control

A thermostat for the hot water unit is a great idea for safer hot water, as these can be controlled without requiring installations inside the wall of the shower, such as in the case of thermostatic mixers. Thermostatic mixers, while another option, are also significantly more expensive and more difficult to install.

This also means you can control the temperature, so certain members of your family don’t use too much hot water.

Add in high shelving for medicines

Don’t store your medicines or chemicals in easy-to-reach boxes under your basin. A great family-friendly small bathroom renovation idea is to add high shelving that can easily be secure from prying hands.

Alternatively, you may want to find another place in the house to store these dangerous items high above the reach of small children, such as kitchen, laundry or linen.

Choose versatile designs that grow with your family

Even without adding children to the mix, your bathroom habits change over the years. So choose designs that don’t limit you as you grow.

Opt for more space than you think you need

We don’t mean create a bigger bathroom. Rather, you can maximise the space you already have.

There are many ways to do this, like installing floating cabinets and vanities helps to boost the feeling of space, as well as making your whole bathroom easier to clean. Or get rid of your underutilised and space-hogging bath and replace it with an open shower, which delivers a timeless look while increasing the usable shower space.

Consider having a power point installed inside a wall cabinet, to help keep unsightly cords from charging items such as toothbrushes and hair dryers out of the way, and off the benches.

Read more about space-saving small bathroom renovation ideas.

Opt for timeless colour palettes

Rather than going for what’s necessarily on-trend, consider choosing a neutral colour palette. This ensures your bathroom won’t age, and you can personalise it with fixtures, towels, plants, and more as your interests change.

Consider child-proof benchtops

There’s no getting around it: kids make a mess in the bathroom. So, consider benchtops that are a little more child-proof. Moulded ceramic tops are a great option, or have an undermount basin in a stone bench-top so everything is easy to wipe down into the bowl and wash away.

Install double sinks

If you’ve only got one bathroom, double sinks can ensure you’re not stuck waiting on someone else to finish their bathroom routine. Two sinks and mirrors provide the space and useability for two people to wash their hands, brush their teeth, and more.

However, make sure to consider how often you use the basin, and how many people require a basin at the same time. We do find that, for some clients, more bench space is the priority here.

Extend your wall tiling for easier maintenance

Painted walls can be a pain to clean. So consider extending the height of your wall tiling, so it finishes above your vanity and toilet, and above the faucet in your shower—or goes completely floor to ceiling. It’s easier to clean and maintain, and helps to create that secluded spa feeling.

Include practical storage and functional fixtures

The more storage, the better. So ensure you have plenty of storage as your bathroom habits change.

Try open or recessed shelving

Open shelving provides easy access to important things like towels, toiletries, or even kids’ bath toys. It also means that, as a parent, you can keep an eye on what’s being used, while taking away the mystery of the shelves for exploring toddlers. And you can keep any medicines, appliances, or shaving essentials in secure or hidden storage, like we mentioned above.

Including recessed shelves in your shower provides more space to store your shower essentials without getting in the way (and look good doing it).

Select dual-purpose mirrors

Or for smaller spaces, choose a dual-purpose mirror. So rather than a vanity with mirrors, you still get the look of a sleep bathroom mirror, but with added storage behind it.

Opt for handheld shower heads

When choosing fixtures, opt for a handheld showerhead. You can get some sophisticated looking designs these days, which don’t just look sleek, but also make it easy when washing the hair of fussy kids.

Ensure approachability and accessibility

There are some things you can do in your small bathroom renovation to ensure approachability and accessibility at any age.

Install grab rails

Installing grab rails next to your toilet and in the shower provide much-needed support for young children and elderly family members. Also for you: consider how much safer it is bending down to pick up a dropped shampoo bottle with one hand firmly secured on a grab rail.

Consider a wall-hung basin

A wall-hung basin creates the feeling of more space in your bathroom, both visually and practically. It not only looks sleek, but also ensures that people with mobility needs, like a wheelchair, can still get close enough to the sink or mirror.

Consider curbless showers for easy access

A curbless shower means there’s nothing on the floor to get in the way when entering your shower space. They look clean and modern, while reducing the risk of trips and falls, and providing access for wheelchairs and mobility aids. Because of this, this is the only style of shower floor we do at WA Assett.

Add in lever taps

Lever taps are a more ergonomic option when compared to traditional taps. They’re easier—and safer—for young children to use, and make it easier for those with mobility issues, like arthritis.

How to include these family-friendly ideas in your small bathroom renovation

Your bathroom needs are going to change over the years. But with the right bathroom design, you can ensure that your space remains functional and beautiful, now matter how your family grows.

If you’re looking to create a bathroom in Perth that suits your family now—and in the future—get in touch with us today and book a free estimate.