lf the job you have in mind is a completely new bathroom, albeit a small one, you are not nearly so constrained by existing facilities, though again you must consider with the help of a scale drawing the sizes of the various pieces of equipment you want to get in. And again it will be wise to have the various items sited as close as possible to the water sources. lf a new extension is in question, you, or your architect, will have considered this matter from the start and cited the extension accordingly – above the kitchen or backing on to another bathroom, for instance, so that their plumbing facilities can be shared.
But if you are going to transform a room that was previously a bedroom, ensure that it is one not too far away from the house’s existing plumbing – unless, that is, expense and inconvenience do not concern you. Then plan your room, particularly if it is a large one where you might be tempted to do otherwise, so that the plumbing outlets for bath, shower, lavatory, bidet and wash bowl are grouped fairly closely together. If you are tempted to have the bath taps on one wall, the bidet taps on another and the wash bowl taps on a third – to take an extreme case of bad planning – your plumbing costs will reflect your carelessness.
Pipe concealment will follow the same general principles as in the refurbished bathroom, though it is to be hoped that the job will be made easier by your thoughtful disposition of the plumbing. The partition wall may be used to great effect here, detracting little in terms of space and containing everything you wish to conceal. Other expedients should be carefully exploited so that they contribute to the overall appearance and orderliness of the room as well as performing their concealing function. A vanity unit set across one wall to hide pipework, for instance, should be well-designed, strongly made and fully equipped with storage shelves; and there should be no awkward gaps, cracks or spaces between it and the walls where dust can gather. In other words, don’t just box the pipes in, but ensure that the boxing contributes in some way to the aesthetic and function of the room.
Things to remember
Whether your room is a new or refurbished one, and even if it is small, try to incorporate those features which so many bathrooms lack and which can make all the difference in terms of comfort, tidiness and cleanliness. Storage has been mentioned, and this will vary in extent according to the size of your bathroom, your family and your possessions, but do not underestimate your requirements if you like an orderly style of life. A dirty linen box should also form part of the equipment and built-in bathroom storage, one would be infinitely preferable to the baskets and plastic bins which the shops offer us. Most of the ranges of ready-made bathroom units incorporate such a fitting, but it is possible to build your own into a newly designed bathroom. The low-level trunking to conceal pipes which have been turned into a seat could have a flap which lifts up to reveal a clothes bin or a range of buiIt-in cupboards could have a hinge-down flap opening for the same purpose. A bath often takes up only part of a length of the wall. The remaining space up to the corner could be boxed into form a bin. The possibilities are numerous and not difficult to contrive.