Designing a bathroom: the 5 rules to know


LED wall lights, Ikea, 49 euros one.


For a bathroom furniture Flawless, many details are to be taken into account. Area, shower or bath, washbasin or double basin, storage ... The architect of the agency Studio d'archi, Nicolas Sallavuard guides you step by step.

The ideal bathroom exists in your head. In order to go from dream to reality, you would like renovate your old bathroom. You want to create the space of absolute relaxation that will make you happy morning and evening and pale with envy of all your friends ... Before you start, some precautions are necessary.

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1. Where to place the bathroom in the house?

In terms of layout, the bathroom should be near the bedrooms. The ideal is to have at least one bathroom (with bathtub if your children are under 12/13 years old and a shower if they have more) near children's rooms. As soon as your family is made up of more than 4 people, it is useful to have more bathroom (with just a shower) which is independent, shared by all or that opens directly in the parents' room, for their exclusive use.

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Nicolas Sallavuard

From a technical point of view, thelocation of the bathroom will depend on the location of the evacuation runs. The equipment (washbasin, bath, shower or WC) must be evacuated in natural slope at the rate of 1 to 2 cm / m until the descents. In practical terms, you will not be able to move the bathroom further than 10 m from the location of these descents.

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2. What surface for the ideal bathroom?

For a single family bathroom, you need an area of ​​at least 5 m² to integrate: a bath of 180 x 80 cm minimum, a double basin of 120 cm and an additional shower of at least 80 x 80 cm.


Nicolas Sallavuard

For a small bathroom attached to the parents' room, where in addition to a more spacious bathroom, 3 m² can be enough to accommodate a beautiful walk-in shower of 80 x 120 cm and a basin of 80 cm wide with a simple basin.

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Nicolas Sallavuard

You can choose to integrate in addition a toilet. If you already have a separate toilet, that of the bathroom, will be a supplement appreciated in families of 4 and over. This equipment occupies about a rectangle of 60 x 100 cm when it fits in the bathroom and 80 x 120 if it is separated.


Nicolas Sallavuard

3. The choice of the shower in the bathroom

The walk-in shower is very popular, but also very practical. In renovation, in older homes, it is sometimes difficult to elegantly integrate a shower tray perfectly orthogonal in a room whose angles are not! On the contrary, waterproof panel to tile, which is the support of the shower in the Italian, intersects at leisure and takes the form that you wish. On the other hand, it is rare to reach create a real walk-in shower (ground level). A step of 10/15 cm is generally necessary to integrate the siphon, the waterproof panel and the tiling.

Nicolas Sallavuard

The shower wall is an element of great importance. Visually first because it will take a primordial place in the room. From a functional point of view because it will allow you to enjoy the shower without flooding the room. But technically also because it is an equipment that undergoes many attacks: water, "dripping", openings, closures, cleaning ... Do not neglect this accessory. You find some 150 euros to more than 3000 euros, but for a model of quality, you will quickly turn around 500 euros.

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The fittingsand in the first place the shower column (whether installed in a bathtub or in a shower), can quickly become your best friend in the morning, or your worst enemy. To suit the whole family, it must be equipped with a thermostatic faucet that avoids you to fumble before finding the ideal temperature, a head shower that pours adjustable water directly on the head and a hand shower attached to a hose for those who want to shower without getting wet the hair.

Bathroom point without sound beautiful dry towel functional and design. If we generally have 100 W of heating power per m², do not hesitate to go beyond this ratio because once it is covered with wet towels, the towel dryer loses not only its design, but also its efficiency. For the more cautious, some models also include a blower that can heat the room efficiently and quickly.

4. The laundry option

A laundry area can also be integrated into the bathroom. A washing machine theoretically occupies a square of 60 x 60 cm. In practice, the power supplies and evacuation at the rear take up space. We must also count with all storage you need all around to accommodate the dirty laundry basket, the products, the iron ... Our advice is to dedicate a closet 80 cm deep by 120 cm wide to be comfortable.

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Nicolas Sallavuard

5. The little extras that change everything ...

Sound system: whether to broadcast a small relaxing music at bath time or morning info, consider installing a integrated speaker in the ceiling above the shower or bathtub. You can connect it to a smartphone via a built-in cable to a dock or bluetooth.

The heating mirror: a story that it is not fogged just when you need it most. This option is spreading more and more among manufacturers of mirrors to ask. But if you already have a mirror, you can add behind a fHeating, a simple power supply is enough.

Outlets: hellish to unplug the shaver to plug in the hair dryer and realize that the electric toothbrush has run out. It takes several shots around the toilet. Install watertight models (not very aesthetic) or place them away from splashes, hidden in the cabinet drawer for example.

Good lighting: the ideal is to install two independent lights. The first is around the mirror, preferably on each side and above, as an artist's lodge. It will be powerful to allow you to see you well to shave or make up. The second can be recessed into the false ceiling and must be able to diffuse a more subdued light and more conducive to relaxation in a hot bath.

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Our other archival advice

The bathroom evolves and with it the elements that compose it. No more small toilets of yesteryear, where we found small elements: bathtubs hoof, sinks skirted ... Today, the bathroom has taken the gallon: it is considered a essential piece of well-being. As a result, the elements that compose it are larger to be more comfortable and better equipped. Here's what you need to know for convert your bathroom into an apartment or house.

1. The clutter of the shower, sink and toilet


The shower tray 70x70 cm is almost no longer. The standard is today 90x90 cm.

Bathroom sink.

The sink now takes place on a real toilet that is 60 cm deep, offering the opportunity to have many things (toothbrushes, toiletries ...) at hand.


The space devoted to WC (equipment and circulation space) is 80 cm wide and 130 cm long.

2. The different sizes of bathtubs

From the traditional 170x70 cm bathtub, we went to the top model which is 180x80 cm, sometimes more especially for an irregular shaped bathtub or a corner bath. Thus, the standard dimensions of a corner bath are 130x130 cm, but there are also 150x150 cm or 100x150 cm.

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3. Lighting sources

In front of the mirror. You must have a powerful light to light your face but beware, this light should not be aggressive and dazzle. The halogen lamps are recommended because they restore the natural light. Arrange the lighting sources, neither too high to avoid accenting the dark circles, nor too low not to lengthen the nose. The ideal is around the mirror (as an artist's lodge).

Global lighting. For everyday tasks, you must also have a global lighting of the room. A ceiling light can do the trick. However, if your bathroom is equipped with a false ceiling, prefer recessed spots. It's more discreet.

Ambient lighting. The bathroom is a room of well being, a space of relaxation. To promote this relaxation, do not neglect a mood lighting. Color LEDs embedded in the floor or neon colors placed in a cornice of the false ceiling are examples of lighting that will create a relaxing atmosphere, if you are a fan of baths.

4. The distances between the different elements

The bathroom does not have to be big to be comfortable. But to facilitate the movements, it is important to respect certain distances between the different elements. In front of your bathtub, you must have at least 55 cm to circulate and squat down without hitting the wall. But 105 cm will be more comfortable to enjoy a sufficient distance, enjoy the space or go around at the same time. In front of a washbasin or a shower, it is necessary to have a space of 70 cm. In front of a toilet, 60 cm is enough.

5. The rules of electrical safety

When water rubs electricity, it is imperative to strictly adhere to the safety rules to avoid any accident. It is also a plus in case of rental or resale. The standard NF C 15-100 is very clear: it defines around the bath or the shower four volumes in which the devices are admitted or not, according to their protection index (IP) and their protection class (from I to III).

- Volume 0 (in the bathtub): you can only install very low voltage (12V) lights, provided that the transformer is outside volume 2.

- Volume 1 (above the bottom of the bathtub up to 2.25 m): it is possible to install an instant water heater or a storage water heater in a horizontal position.

- Volume 2 (within 60 cm of the previous volume and up to 3 m from the ground): you can install some heaters, class I lights and shaver sockets (20 or 50 VA).

- Volume 3 (up to 2.40 m from the previous volume and up to 2.25 m from the ground): you can install all heaters, washing machines or tumble dryers as well as conventional power outlets (2P + T 30 mA).

Another security device, called "equipotential bonding", is to connect together by a driver all the metal elements of the room: bathtub, piping, lighting ... You avoid to maintain between two elements a potential difference and the risk of feeling electrification (or large chestnuts) if you touch them at the same time.