8 things no one tells you about the bathroom that affects your renovation

PHOTO: Renonation/Architology

The bathroom should provide the basic features to carry out the necessary hygiene tasks and proper storage. However, having a functional bathroom does not stop at having adequate storage and a stylish design. Read on to find out why!

1. EXTREMELY PRONE TO HEAT & HUMIDITY

Piping hot baths and showers, coupled with a small bathroom window, made moulds and mildew one of the top problems faced by homeowners.

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What does this mean to you?

Consider installing either a ceiling or a window ventilation fan for ample ventilation. Always leave the bathroom window and door open after every shower for hot air to escape. The shower screens and walls should also be wiped dry after every use to reduce the moisture level.

2. TOWELS ARE TOP BREEDING SPOTS FOR GERMS

As the bath, face and hand towels are only used to dry up after a clean up, no one expects them to be the top breeding spots for germs. Based on the Huffington Post, "experts recommend washing after about three uses to remove millions of dead skin cells and avoid that musty scent. Face towels should really be replaced after every use if you don't want to reintroduce bacteria in your pores, says a dermatologist." In addition, the towels used in a bathroom are usually thick to absorb and lock in moisture to help us towel dry faster. Unfortunately, this means that these towels also lock in millions of germs too.

Photo: Renonation/Linear Space Concepts

What does this mean to you?

Towels are the heavy touch points for any bathroom users and therefore, the towel bars should be located at places which are accessible to the bathroom users, well away from the toilet bowl and have plenty of air ventilation. Furthermore, the towels should be replaced frequently at least every 3 uses or days.

3. CHOOSE TOWEL BARS OVER TOWEL HOOKS OR RINGS

Hanging towels on hooks or rings make them dry slower, traps moisture in the folds which helps mildew and bacteria flourish, resulting in nasty odour. However, spreading the towels on a towel bar will dry them much faster.

 

Photo: Renonation/Starry Homestead

What does this mean to you?

Towel hooks or rings are preferred over towel bars due to their space saving properties. Nevertheless, many homeowners did not realise that wall mounted multiple towel rails can actually help to address the space constraints since they are multi-tiered.

4. AVOID OPEN SHELVING IN SMALL BATHROOM

Open shelving in a small bathroom makes it hard to pull off an organised look. This makes it also impossible to keep out the dirt, bacteria-contaminated flush-spray and fecal matter droplets when bathroom users do not close the toilet lid before they flush. Hence, when the open shelves are used to store clean towels, makeup brushes and even toothbrushes, they will be more vulnerable to bacterial growth and contamination.

Photo: Renonation/Voila

What does this mean to you?

Ensure that the storage cabinets are designed with doors and drawers in mind. To keep the storage cabinet clutter free, organise them with drawer tray dividers, bins, baskets and even extension rods.

5. DEDICATE A SPOT FOR HAIRDRYER, ELECTRIC SHAVER & ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSHES

As our lifestyle becomes more high tech, the electronic devices which are needed to complete our daily bathroom routine include hair dryer, electric shaver for ladies and men and electronic toothbrushes. However, a bathroom is a high moisture place and the dangers of the water splashed accidentally on the electrical socket are real.

Photo: Renonation/Free Space Intent

What does this mean to you?

Dedicate a spot for storing and using these electronic devices in the bathroom and they should be preferably 1 m or more away from water sources such as bathroom taps and shower area. If the electrical outlet is to be installed in the bathroom, get a certified electrician to install the outlet (with a built in circuit breaker) and a splash cover to protect it from water and moisture. The safest option is to install the point either inside the wall of a storage cabinet (which helps to keep the cords and water out of the way and behind closed doors) which is furthest from the water sources, or simply just outside of the bathroom, so that the hair dryer, electric shaver can be used through the open bathroom door.

6. PLAN FOR EMERGENCY BACKUP LIGHTS

As mentioned in the opening paragraph, the bathroom is where we start and end our day with our basic hygiene tasks. Therefore, as the next workhorse of the house, it is extremely critical that the bathroom is always functional. If the bathroom lighting malfunctions, you will find it challenging and even dangerous to use and navigate the bathroom in the dark.

Photo: Renonation/Three-d Conceptwerke

What does this mean to you?

Make sure that the bathroom is equipped with minimal 2 LED lighting points. This helps to ensure that if one lighting malfunctions, the other is still functional while the faulty lighting is replaced. LED lighting generally has a much longer lifespan and is more energy saving.

7. PLAN FOR LESS MAINTENANCE

Difficult to clean grout lines and stained tiles are the most common grouses. In fact, keeping white grout lines and tiles pristine clean is actually a tall order for most busy homeowners!

Photo: Renonation/Design NEU

What does this mean to you?

Keep in mind to stay away from white tiles and grout lines when choosing the design style for your bathroom. In addition, choosing the biggest tiles available for the shower area, goes a long way to keep the maintenance to the minimum!

8. WALL & FLOOR FINISHES IN BATHROOMS & TOILETS OF NEW HDB FLATS CANNOT BE REMOVED!

All new HDB flats have a 3 year restriction period for wall and floor finishes removal in bathrooms and toilets. Hence, hacking of the wall and floor tiles are strictly prohibited.

Photo: Renonation/Architology

What does this mean to you?

Even with these restrictions in place, you can still replace the ugly looking wall and floor tiles by overlaying them with tiles of your choice. Nevertheless, you need to thoroughly check the wall and floor for hollow tiles and get them replaced, prior to the commencement of the renovation works, to prevent popped tiles in the future.

This article was first published in Renonation.

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