The Perfect Bathroom

I'd regret The special love I have for you, my baby blue
                      Baby Blue Badfinger (1972)  play it

Dominic Vautier

What is it?

The idea of any perfect bathroom is of course pure fiction.  There are as many bathroom designs as there are people on this planet.  The last place to find it is in a display model house, one of those impractical and completely imaginary rooms all cleaned up for the sole purpose of selling a house.  But one thing is for sure--space--and the obvious fact is that average bathrooms built fifty years ago like ours were just simply too small.  Our two upper full bathrooms were like this, originally 5 by 9 feet, a not uncommon dimension for middle-income older houses, but today this size is almost impossible to use because fixtures are bigger today.  So a few years ago our family began to develop plans for our perfect bathroom or two or so and our main consideration was exactly how much room we were willing to sacrifice from the rest of the house and in which direction.  After much consideration we decided the two upper bathrooms could be expanded to 5 by 13 1/2 feet.  This is the space we needed for:  

1)     Full 38 inch glass shower.

2)    Slipper bath.

3)     Single sink with room to expand to double sink.

4)     Two or more large storage shelves.

5)     Skid-resistant heated porcelain floor tile.  Porcelain is very hard.

6)     Two ceiling vents on separate timers.

7)     Mounted hair dryer.

8)  A solution to the everlasting toilet paper problem.

9)    Other goodies.


This is in no way intended to be a showcase--far from it. It's still under development as is everything around here.  I took these pictures without any cleaning up or prior preparation.  the pictures are intended to show the life and times of a living breathing family bathroom that anyone can use immediately because everything is visible and everything is close by and the place is very well lighted and there is no place that mold or mildew can form.  Also there are no hidden rusty shelves hiding behind mirrors and all paint is white.  

So how do you arrange a 5 by 14 foot bathroom without it looking like a pullmen car.  Simple.  Things that go in corners go there.  The rest doesn't and the result is a nice comfortable minimalist environment.


The 32 inch door was positioned so that it opens with maximum clearance to the toilet and sink. I actually had to move it.  Nobody can get the door right the first time.  This also seems to apply for lights and power outlets and mirrors.  It seems that all the planning in the world does not get things quite right.  We eventually decided on two rows of lights over the sink and toilet.







Tile is a very important item in bathroom design and I have come to feel that a special ceramic skid-resistant tile works very well. Before installing tile take your wet hand and test the skid factor and see how it works.  It is harder to clean but it's much safer.

Electrically heated tile costs very little if you do your own work.  Buying the wire mat is inexpensive on-line.  You only have to heat the walkway part of the tile, maybe 20 square feet or two one foot by ten foot rows from shower to tub.

The grout has to be a urathane flexible base unless your floor is resting on concrete.  Otherwise your tile may crack.


Trying to supply four bathrooms with TP is a big job and the idea of wall mounted dispensers does not seem practical.  Storing a pile of TP on the tank lid is also a bad idea because you can't reach around.

Our solution here is a small wire basket of TP beside each toilet which solves all the usual problems.  This TP issue is discussed at much more length here.




There is nothing quite like a nice acrylic slipper tub.  It is easy to clean and does not draw heat away from water like iron does.  The pedestal sink prevents clutter or hidden shelves and does not allow any moisture to collect anywhere.  the sink is spaced out from the wall as well as the toilet tank so all air can circulate. 



A 38 inch shower is good for just about anybody.  The shower head is 6 feet high so it can be reached and adjusted. The unit has a glass enclosure which is easy to clean and avoids the usual shower curtain mildew. The single knob controls temperature and flow.  One permanent shelf is finished but the other shelf is yet to be done so I just put in a temporary one.





This is another view of the slipper tub with full length mirror. We put all the wash cloths and towels in a big basket.  Saves folding time and shelf space.  


Two vents are placed over the tub and shower.  They can clear out all moisture quickly.