Achieve an effortlessly hardworking room that performs under pressure by following these design tips for creating a functional family bathroom.

neutral boho bathroom space - how to design a stylish and functional family bathroom - home improvements -

Image: London Tile Co 

Successfully designing a family bathroom involves meeting the requirements of several users of different ages, heights and sizes. It needs to function efficiently, be able to cope with some tough treatment, all the while still looking good for years to come. 

Find the perfect fit

white grand bathroom - how to design a stylish and functional family bathroom - home improvements -

Image: Duravit

With the British family bathroom often measuring in at under 5 square metres, 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 of room, as this may also add a little more value to your home.

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

Bath and shower ideas

graphic monochrome bathroom tiles - how to design a stylish and functional family bathroom - home improvements -

Image: Day True 

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 arguements about who gets the tap end.'  

Storage options

farmhouse style bathroom - how to design a stylish and functional family bathroom - home improvements -

Image: Utility Design

Address problems associated with an awkward layout or lack of space with bespoke or modular fitted furniture. Wall-hung vanity units are an excellent choice for keeping products out of sight.

When you're renovating or building from scratch, stud walls with built-in recesses provide practical shower storage. Remember to ensure that bath surrounds are wide-enough to hold essentials. You may also want to fit a dual fuel or electric-heated rail, so stacks of warm towels are available all year round. 

Walls and floors

bathroom wood effect floor - how to design a stylish and functional family bathroom - home improvements -

Image: Amtico

When it comes to design possibilities, tiles are an ideal combination of hard-wearing, practical and incredibly versatile. 'Porcelain replica woods and marbles are an excellent alternative to the real thing,' says Colin Roby-Welford, creative director at Fired Earth. Large formats and panels will reduce grout lines for smooth, easy-to-clean surfaces.

Smart bathroom

smart shower head - how to design a stylish and functional family bathroom - home improvements - 

Image: Pure Bathroom Collection

With an emphasis on water safety and efficiency, thermostatic brassware and digital controls make regulating the water temperature very easy and you can pre-programme settings to personal preferences.

With smart home technology, almost everything can be controlled via an app or home assistant. Different family members' preferences can be saved so everyone can have a customised shower and their baths filled automatically, while music and lighting settings transform spaces into relaxing retreats.


Are you in the process of planning a bathroom renovation? If so, what worksurface are you considering? Let us know by tweeting us @granddesigns or posting a comment on our Facebook page



9 creative bathroom trends for 2020

7 ways to create a smart bathroom with the latest tech

6 clever layout ideas for compact bathrooms

Kevins Column

Top self build highlights at Grand Designs Live 2019 hosted by Kevin McCloud

Find top experts, specialist exhibitors and a wealth of inspiration for your self-build or renovation project all under one roof.
Home Improvements

Future-proof your home with a luxury home lift

Lifts can be a real feature in your dream home. Not only that, they future proof it too, ensuring it will be accessible for you...
Home Improvements

Triple glazed windows: what you need to know

Triple glazing is increasingly popular with self-builders. We present a handy guide to the ins and outs of triple glazed windows.
Home Improvements

Get a healthy house when you install a ventilation system

Boosting the air quality in your home can have a transformative effect on health and happiness. We look at why adequate home ventilation really matters.
Home Improvements

Discover a wine room design service for self builders

Luxury wine storage can be the perfect addition to your statement home. Discover spiral cellars and bespoke walk-in wine rooms.
Home Improvements

The next generation of electric fires

The latest electric fires boast realistic flames, great performance and sleek designs perfect for self-build homes.
Home Improvements

Bathroom lighting ideas: creative designs to illuminate your space

Well-planned lighting will enhance your bathroom, making it beautiful to look at and easy to use. Take a look these ideas for plotting the perfect...