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The Shape of Bathroom Floorplans to Come

by Sonja Albrecht
Repair-Home Columnist

Why leave all the fun of home remodeling to your contractor? You can design your own bathroom and give it a personal touch! The most technical stage of a bathroom design is determining the layout. Here's how to choose a bathroom floorplan that will look good and fit your budget.

Lay Out Your Floorplan Priorities

For such a small room, the bathroom features plenty of options in floorplan layouts. When choosing a bathroom design, you'll need to take into account three variables: look, utility, and economy. Here's the scoop:

  • Look. Bathroom layouts can create a feeling of spaciousness in a tight space, or break the 'hallway' look of a long floorplan.
  • Utility. This is a primary concern in most home bathroom remodels. How many people will use the bathroom, and how will they use it? For example, you may want to choose a bathroom floorplan that accommodates two sinks, room for a tub, or a private shower compartment.
  • Economy. The economy of your bathroom layout depends on the relationship of fixtures to plumbing. How much extra plumbing work will your remodel builder need to do to accommodate your layout? The closer your fixtures are to the 'rough plumbing'--the main water supply and waste drainage pipes--the cheaper the installation.


Basic Bathroom Floorplan Shapes

You'll probably find yourself choosing among the following four basic bathroom floorplans:

  1. The Hallway - The most economical layout features a fixture lineup along one wall. This is the 'wet wall,' site of the rough plumbing pipes, to which tub and or/shower, sink, and toilet all have direct access.
  2. The L - More attractive than the "hallway" and potentially just as efficient, this layout has the sink, toilet, and the end of the tub on one wall, with the tub extending along the perpendicular wall.
  3. The Aisle - For some bathroom floors, it makes sense to align appliances on opposite walls. Beware of this floorplan along two significantly longer walls, or you'll create a cramped feel.
  4. The U - If you have the right floor shape for it, this may be the best choice because fixtures are positioned along three walls.

These four bathroom layouts offer starting points... from here, the design possibilities are endless. Let your imagination run wild! Of course, keep your design to scale (graph paper helps), so that your remodel builder can execute your vision.


About the Author
Sonja Albrecht works as a writer and editor for an online media company. She has also taught college writing and completed a Ph.D. in English.