You would agree, that having a great looking bathroom is definitely secondary to having a bathroom that is convenient to use. There are so many design mistakes that people make when designing the bathrooms which are difficult to rectify later, and it leads to an inconvenient handling and discomfort in use in the long run. It might be a good idea to get your bathroom and its fittings finalized by a professional bathroom designer. In this post, we intend to walk you through the ergonomic best practices and design ideas to follow, if you want your bathroom to be convenient to use for a long long time. Sometimes this may lead to compromises on the appearance front, but the convenience of usage will definitely be on top priority when designing any room of your home, especially the bathroom and kitchen where work is done, and involves water. Read on to find out how to make your bathroom ergonomically perfect while not compromising on the appearance.
The right heights for your counter, cabinet and mirror
The counter height for your bathroom should be suitable for your height, even if it means deviating from the standard height of 85 cms in either direction. Your back will thank you in old age if you have made it at an optimum height, and not too low. Having a counter at a higher height will not let you bend properly when you wash your face, and you will not be able to avoid splashes all over, and water running down your elbows. Also, ensure that you are able to see your face and nearly half your torso in the mirror, when you are standing in front of the sink counter, and then mark the point for the installer. Remember to not leave it for the installing person, as they might be inclined to install it as per their height.
Planning the position of your shower head and it's levers
It is generally not a practice much followed, but having the shower levers a little away from the shower head, rather than having them just below it, can save a lot of unwanted showers and splashes when you just wanted to turn on the tap to wash your feet, for example. Also do invest in good quality soft moving levers that do not make you use a lot of force.
Height of the medicine cabinet
Have your medicine cabinet at an appropriate height. It should not be too low that you have to bend your back each time you need something, and not too high that you become reluctant to store daily use items in it, and would rather use it as a dumping cabinet. If you and your partner have to get ready at the same time for work, it is a good idea to use twin basins, so you can both can share some bathroom time. The twin sink concept will also work perfectly with two kids, when they need to get ready for school.
Location of the health faucet
Place your health faucet on the side of your dominant hand, as that is the hand that will hold it for use. If you are designing the bathroom for guests, you should have the health faucet on the right side, as in general, people have right hand dominant.
Gap between the basin and the faucet
Many a times, a beautiful long faucet attracts you so much that you just want to have it installed on your basin. However, think ahead before you plan to do so. A long faucet will prevent you to reach the basin, when you bend to wash your face, and that will create chances of splashes. Long faucets are great for hotels and restaurants where people will only wash hands, and not faces. The faucet on your basin in the home should be installed at the right height and distance from the basin, to enable you to have your entire face over the basin when you need to wash your face. This might mean shifting the basin a little ahead on your counter, but the mess it will avoid will be worth it.
Towel rails at the right locations
Even though a bathroom is supposed to be used for all things water, no one loves a bathroom that has wet floors at any time. To avoid wet floors for your bathroom use strategic locations of towel rails so you never have to step out wet.
If you have a tub, hang a towel rail on the wall opposite the faucet side, and you will be able to wipe yourself and come out of the tub. If you have a shower with glass door, fix a towel rail on the outer side of the glass door, and you will be well wiped before you step out.
Hang towel ring near the basin, so you don't have to turn with wet hands to pick the hand towel too. Also it is a great idea to use microfiber floor mats outside the shower and below the sink, to absorb the tiny droplets that might have escaped.
The most important of all ergonomics is the height of the toilet seat in your washroom. An inch higher and you will not be able to ease on to it for a very important task of your day. In general a toilet seat is 17 to 19 inches. However if you are exceptionally tall, you could have it an inch higher, but be careful in case of wall mounted seats, that an inch lower seats would be more comfortable than a seat that is an inch higher.
Vanity above the sink
When you have your vanity above the sink, do ensure that the depth and height of it is safe enough to prevent your head from bumping into it. Also it is a great idea to install sliding doors rather than the opening ones to avoid any accidents while one person is washing the face, bent at the back and the other one opens the cabinet door.
A place to sit
When you plan long term, do keep in mind that a small place to sit down will be a great help in the later years, when you would want to wear clothes sitting down before coming out of the shower. A seat will also allow you some time of rest, if you feel tired when taking a shower in a standing position.
A small pedestal for kids
Lets face it, making a bathroom with everything that is the right height for kids is not always feasible, both practically and financially. Making a regular bathroom usable for kids only requires a couple of safe and sturdy pedestals for them to climb on and use the washroom.
Drawers in the cabinets below the sink
No one likes to bend down and fumble in the deep dark cabinets to find what they are looking for. Installing drawers in your below basin cabinet will not only keep it organized but also make the usage easy and comfortable.
Do ponder on these ideas for making your bathroom ergonomically efficient, free from mess and easy to use.