How to Plan and Design Your New Bathroom

Thinking about having a new bathroom? Dreaming of a designer bath or walk-in shower? Thinking about creating that luxurious bathroom just like the hotel you stayed in last year?

You’re not alone. It’s rather busy at Alan Heath and Sons at the moment. We’re busy planning, designing and fitting bathrooms for the lovely people of Coventry and Warwickshire.

There’s one important part of that last statement.



If you don’t plan a road trip you’ll get lost.

If you don’t plan your meals for the week you’ll be eating beans on toast.

If you don’t plan your bathroom you might be forever banging your head on the door while you’re brushing your teeth!

Planning a bathroom is essential and there are many aspects to consider (apart from that luxury bath!).

So, we thought we’d give you a little help.


Here’s our expert’s guide to planning your bathroom


First things first. Before you even think about buying a sink, bath or self-tapping screw – plan your budget!

A new bathroom is a big project and working to a budget will make sure that you stay on track. Set your budget and then build in a contingency for unseen expenses.

If you’re planning to build it yourself then the main cost will be on materials and the suite itself. If you’re hiring a professional company then the labour cost is often a large chunk of your budget (but worth it for the professional finish!).


Space – plan your room

Unless you’re able to knock walls through then you’ll be working with the space you have in your existing bathroom. Measure it well and don’t forget that measuring twice and cutting once is the key to all good DIY!

Making the most of your space is a skill but here are some key areas to think about:

  • Windows can’t usually be moved so add them into your plan.
  • Doors that open into your room might need to be reversed or considered.
  • Are you able to move plumbing? You might be able to make more space by rearranging.
  • You will need to actually get into your bathroom – leave space to move around (most don’t).
  • What looks good on paper may not work in real life so you might need an expert’s opinion.


Different suites will require different fittings and you might find that a hidden cistern will in fact take up more space than one with the cistern on show.

Plan your bathroom so it works for you and consider what you need to make it a success.

Here are some things you may want to have in your bathroom:


  • Bath
  • Shower
  • Basin
  • Toilet
  • Bidet
  • Mirror or illuminated wall unit
  • Extractor fan (recommended)
  • Bathroom cabinet/storage
  • Electric shaving point
  • Laundry basket
  • Shelving.


Get your wish list together and then work out if you can fit it all in. If you can’t then work out what you can live without and remove it. It’s all about compromise but this is a very important part of your bathroom planning.


Ease of use

It sounds really obvious but your bathroom needs to be easy to use. Make sure that all your suite is accessible and that your bathroom cabinet will open without hitting the door.

You’ll need a toilet roll holder and brush – where will they go? If you have a busy bathroom you might need to plan for a double sink? What do you currently do in your bathroom and what would you like to be able to? All this needs to be added to your plan.



Try to plan for some good storage so that your bathroom is less cluttered. A cluttered bathroom will soon look very small, messy and far less luxurious.

Clever storage is simple but effective, and ideas can range from mirrored tall cabinets to wall hung basins with storage build around them. Keeping your floor clear from items will give you more space but sometimes a tall floor cabinet in the corner of the room is a good solution to keep everything organised and tidy.

Some storage ideas for you:


  • Wall hung basin with built in storage below.
  • Tall cabinets make the most use of space above.
  • A small shelf above the sink can add priceless space.
  • A small shelf above your door can add storage (for the tall user only).
  • Mirrored cabinets fulfil two purposes.
  • Turn your bath panels into hinged doors and add pockets to the inside of the panels for hidden storage.
  • Place small square baskets in your cupboards to segment different items and keep them from falling out (you’ll get more in).
  • Adding towel rails to the inside of your cabinet doors can hide fresh towels away.
  • Add shelves or cabinets to the dead space in the corners.


Whatever you decide on, make sure that you are using the space wisely and that you can access everything with ease.



Then look at your positioning. Get everything that you want in your bathroom into a list and work out where it will all fit in.

This isn’t easy and online planners can help but there’s no substitute for expert advice.

The way your existing bathroom is set out now may not be the best way. If you can move plumbing and make better use of the space then we recommend it.

Make sure that doors open and cabinets can be accessed. The bath or shower is the biggest part of your suite so you may need to plan around it.

Don’t forget about doors and windows as these can’t be easily moved. Get your shelves, switches and suite to fit around them.


Planning is everything!

Planning your new bathroom can be a very long but worthwhile exercise. Getting everything right in the planning stages is important.

It’s much easier to correct it at this stage than it is at a later stage when you’re fitting the basin or cabinets and realise it doesn’t all fit!


Of course, you can always ask us to do it for you.

We’ve been planning bathrooms for decades and we can spot a poor plan or layout a mile off. There’s a catch though – we only do this for our customers!


Good luck with your bathroom planning and feel free to visit our bathroom showroom in Coventry for some inspiration.