How to design a family bathroom

Practical design ideas to help you create a stylish and functional space for all ages

By Paula Woods | 1 June 2022

It’s one of the hardest working rooms in the house, so it’s important to get your family bathroom design right. The space needs to function efficiently for users of different ages, heights and sizes, be able to cope with some tough treatment, and look good for years to come. Awkward layouts, clearance space and finding room for a bath and a shower can all prove tricky. Follow this practical advice at the planning stage to get off to a good start.

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Photo: London Tile Co

Creating space

With the British family bathroom often measuring in at under 5sqm, planning a space-enhancing scheme is a priority. It’s also worth investigating the possibility of renovating to gain even an extra metre or two, as this may also add a little more value to your home. Can you steal space from a guest bedroom, to make the bathroom bigger, for example? An extra foot can make a big difference.

To be able to move easily around the bath, basin and shower, allow 60-70 cm of clear space between each one and, for comfort, choose the biggest designs you can while taking this into account.

Read more: How to make your bathroom look bigger

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Photo: Duravit

Bath and shower ideas

A bath is a must for young families and a curved, double-ended design looks great and offers ergonomic space for bathing two children at the same time. ‘Freestanding tubs work for the whole family and if space is tight, there are smaller versions available,’ says Barrie Cutchie, design director at BC Designs. ‘Placing the taps in a central position will avoid any arguments about who gets the tap end.’

When considering a family bathroom design for a small space, it’s likely you’re going to need a bath with a shower over the top, so a fitted bath will likely be your best bet. Talk to a bathroom designer to figure out the best configuration for your space.

Read more: Eco bathrooms: a guide to baths and basins

Ebb Shower Bath by Waters Baths of Ashbourne

Photo: Waters Baths of Ashbourne